Monthly Meetings

In 2023, we are holding meetings as key topics arise and speakers are engaged. Our meetings will be held at 7:00-8:30 pm, with specific dates and locations announced along with meeting publicity. We will aim to resume our previous monthly meetings in 2024.  

In the meantime, please visit the calendars of statewide organizations to learn about meetings hosted by other local political activist groups. Many of these meetings are held remotely, so you can attend from anywhere.  You can find helpful calendars with meeting announcements at Swing Blue Alliance and Indivisible Mass Coalition, which hold regular meetings. 

2023 Meetings

May 18 , 2023 - Plans for 2023-24

At Our first in person meeting in a long time, we reviewed strategy for working on 2023-24 swing state elections. We also hear from Jen Bluestein about several strategic considerations that are key in all elections, as well as how some of today's most pressing and controversial issues will likely impact elections this year and next.  Access the slide deck here

Jen works at a national progressive foundation that funds advocacy targeting reproductive freedom, voting rights and democracy, criminal justice and education. Her wide ranging experiences at EMILY's List, Giffords, and on many campaigns have given Jen a unique and insider perspective that will educate, enlighten and energize us for upcoming election work. Jen and her family moved to Newburyport in 2021 from Washington, DC.  

Meeting Archives - 2019 - 2022

June 21, 2022 - Fighting Voter Suppression

We previewed the updated version of the documentary Suppressed and Sabotaged: The Fight to Vote and discussed recently enacted voter suppression laws. The movie was made available through Common Cause and is now available on YouTube here.  Our meeting deck lists states with voter suppression laws enacted since the 2020 election and links to useful resources. Access the deck here.

May 17, 2022 - Spotlight on Battleground States (Part 2)

Representatives of the Wisconsin Democratic Party and the Georgia Indivisible Coalition provided in depth information on what's happening with elections in their states, including upcoming primaries, the lowdown on candidates, the outlook for November elections, and voter restriction challenges.  Here's the meeting deck.

April 19, 2022 - Inspiration Close to Home

With campaign season underway and heating up, we heard from several I-RISE activists about what motivates them, what keeps them going and how they turn their passion into action. Their inspiring words helped us all reenergize and reengage! We learned that some are motivated by hope and love, and some by anger.  Some act out of emotions, and some are fact-based and respond to data. Some are lifelong activists, and some became active as a result of the 2016 election.  Whatever the "why and how", let's all stay motivated and active!  As one of our speakers said, "If not you, then who?"

Take a look at the meeting deck for links to the websites and Facebook pages of the organizations with which our speakers are involved. The deck also includes slides listing some important accomplishments of the Biden Administration and reasons why Dems CAN win in the upcoming midterms. We hope this information also motivates you!

March 15, 2022 - Spotlight on Battleground States: New Hampshire and Pennsylvania

Two guest speakers offered in depth insights about two key battleground states: 

The meeting also included an update from our local State Legislative Watch Team, offering updates on key legislative efforts and what our state legislators are doing (or not doing, as is the case with some).

February 15, 2022 - Voting Rights: What's Next?

Alexandra Chandler, co-leader of Protect Democracy’s elections and voting rights efforts spoke to us about the status of federal voter protection laws, the additional voter restrictions that states are trying to pass, and what we can do to help preserve democracy and voting rights.  

January 18, 2022 - Kickoff of this Midterm Election Year

Congressman Seth Moulton introduced the meeting with words of inspiration and advice about how we can make a difference.  As our guest speaker from Field Team 6 unable to attend at the last minute, we had more time to review our planned ongoing weekly actions, present our analysis of the key battleground states and races, and offer details concerning the status of those races and candidates.   Review the meeting materials, including detailed notes about the battleground races discussed at the meeting.

November 16, 2021 -  Voting Rights: Where Are We, What's Next, How Can We Help?

Stephen Spaulding and Herb Meisner of Common Cause discussed the status of the proposed Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voter Protection Act, the need to reform the filibuster to ensure passage of these critical laws, and how we each can help to accomplish that goal in an effort to protect voting and, ultimately, democracy. Our speakers brought great knowledge and experience:

October 19, 2021 - Strategies for Winning in 2022

Guest speakers shared information about tactical ways to get involved and move the needle for the 2022 Midterms, including the best timing for participating in each tactic, why state races are important for our national delegation, and how we can best help make a difference in neighboring New Hampshire where much is at stake. We heard from:  

Reid McCallum, co-founder of Postcards to Swing States, whose volunteers wrote 21 million postcards to voters in 2020. Postcards to Swing States became part of Progressive Turnout Project in 2021 where Reid now directs the postcard writing program. 

Lisa DeMio, Chair of the Democratic Committee for Hampstead, NH, a member of the Rockingham County Democratic Committee and Vice-Chair and founding member of the Rock Hills Coalition

View Ried McCallum's presentation here

September 21, 2021 - Getting Big Money Out of Politics

John Bonifaz, a constitutional lawyer and co-founder of Free Speech for People, and Ayden Nichol, a fellow with American Promise, described what their groups are doing to address the issue of getting big money out of politics, including working to pass relevant Constitutional Amendments and taking other steps to end super PACs and excessive corporate influence in our elections. 

View video shared by John Bonifaz here

View Ayden Nichol's presentation here 

June 16 , 2021 - Protect the Vote in MA

Beth Huang of MA Voter Table and Geoff Foster of Common Cause Massachusetts discussed the redistricting process in our state, the pending state VOTES Act and other efforts to help ensure fairness in our election process right here in MA.

View the presentation here

View meeting notes here

Protect the Vote Actions

May 18, 2021 - Planning for the High Stakes of the 2022 Midterms

Guest speaker, Chuck Fraser, offered thoughtful and thought-provoking considerations and insights about how Democrats should strategize for how to keep their razor-thin control of both houses while still passing meaningful legislation. Chuck is a political blogger, retired lawyer, activist who was instrumental in passing New York City’s law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, and an alumnus of Harvard College and Columbia Law School, as well as multiple NYC mayoral administrations. To read more of Chuck's insights, visit his PoliticsbyEcceHomo blog.   

April 16, 2021 - Countering Disinformation

Rose Lang-Maso of Common Cause described that group's social media monitoring program.  A few internal speakers offered additional insights and other actions to take to counter disinformation, including proactive posting with Indivisible's Truth Brigade, increasing Facebook's accountability, protesting Fox News, and pressuring companies.

View the Meeting Presentation here

Click here for a list of actions to take to counter disinformation

March 16, 2021 - Legislative Updates

Karen Trowbridge, leader of the Legislative Watch Team, presented about our local state legislators (Senators Tarr and DiZoglio and Reps. Mirra and Kelcourse), as well as Governor Baker and Speaker Mariano.  Keith Attenborough, leader of the Democracy Reform groups, presented on voting laws, both federal and at the state level. 

View the meeting presentation

February 16, 2021 - Strategy for 2021

Our first meeting post-election kicked off the new organizational structure and new mission for 2021.  We also had a presentation on electoral strategy for the upcoming election cycle.

View the meeting presentation

October 20, 2020

This was our last meeting before the election. We heard from Christina Eckert and Amber Hewett. Robin Lawson shared information on relational organizing and Kath Mason shared the Action Calendar with info on locally-organized phone banks.

September 15, 2020

Ben Bloomenthal, Biden/Harris volunteer organizer and MA Democratic State Committee member, talked about the importance of phone banking, and shared guidelines and tips on how to be most effective.

August 18, 2020

Horace Small, leader of Black Ballot Power and founder and executive director of the Union of Minority Neighborhoods, spoke about voter suppression and how we can work toward a fair election and voter registration.

July 21, 2020

Paula Joseph, co-organizer of Swing Left Maine, spoke about what's at stake in Maine and how we can help make sure Maine votes blue in the Presidential, Senate and House races. Paula also profiled Sarah Gideon, who handily won the 7/14 primary and is challenging Susan Collins.

June 16, 2020

Laura Weisel of Force Multiplier spoke about this grassroots group that uses data-based analytics to identify the most strategic U.S. House and Senate races as well as high-impact states for the Electoral College. Force Multiplier raises funds and directs them to the most strategic campaigns through Act Blue.

May 19, 2020

Michelle Olson, CEO of and a founder of Indivisible Mass Coalition and, showed how to create an individual game plan for effective online activism for the 2020 election.

April 21, 2020

Massachusetts State House candidates Amber Hewett (First Essex representative) and Christina Eckert (Second Essex representative) shared why they're running and where they stand on key issues.

February 18, 2020

Rebecca Riccio of Swing Left gave us insights to feel confident about having voter conversations, listening to voters’ concerns, and influencing their decision-making.

January 21, 2020

Ted Russell (Indivisible-RISE core team member) and Debbie Hart-Klein (our liaison with Swing Left) reviewed our 2019 accomplishments and used maps and data to show where our electoral priorities will be.

November 17, 2019

Reverend Rebecca Bryan, minister of the First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist in Newburyport, shared approaches that create opportunities to come together over differences, leading to greater health, creativity, and hope.

October 15, 2019

Craig S. Altemose, Executive Director Better Future Project, talked on "Building a Movement to Tackle the Climate Crisis".

Better Future Project works to build powerful grassroots movements to address the climate crisis and advance a rapid and responsible transition beyond fossil fuels. Executive Director Craig Altemose discussed state-level initiatives and legislation, including actions Indivisible-RISE members can take.

September 19, 2019

Jordan Thornlow, Eastern Massachusetts organizer from Planned Parenthood, shared an overview of the ROE Act, a historic bill currently under consideration by the Massachusetts legislature. The bill aims to protect and expand access to safe and legal abortion here in the Bay State. Participants learned how to support the ROE Act and advocate for safe, legal, and equitable access to abortion.

August 20, 2019

In a lively Q & A format, Angus McQuilken, co-founder of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, discussed the scope of the gun violence problem in America, effective models for reducing gun violence, and what Indivisible-RISE members can do to get involved and make a difference.

July 16, 2019

Amber Hewett, offshore wind energy campaign manager for the National Wildlife Federation, discussed clean energy and climate policy in Massachusetts and opportunities to support important legislation this season.

June 18, 2019

Immigration attorney Elizabeth Goss presented "Demystifying Immigration and Restructuring the Immigration Debate."

May 21, 2019

Olivia Santoro, volunteer coordinator of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts presented an overview of the process by which the Massachusetts State Legislature introduces and passes bills to help attendees better understand how voters can influence lawmaking at the state level.

The Indivisible-RISE Legislative Watch Team updated attendees on their work to follow the Massachusetts Legislative Process and elected officials from the 1st and 2nd Essex districts.

April 16, 2019

A volunteer from Voter Choice Massachusetts explained Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), which allows voters to rank candidates on their ballot in order of choice. Two RCV measures have been proposed in this session. One would make it easier for cities and towns to use RCV in local elections. The other would adopt RCV for federal elections except for President.

Meeting attendees held a brainstorming session on ideas for I-RISE in 2019.

March 19, 2019

State Senator Diana DiZoglio discussed her legislative priorities for 2019.

February 19, 2019

Representative Moulton's plans and progress were reviewed; the Legislative Watch Team was introduced.

January 15, 2019

The core group laid out Indivisible-RISE's 2019 mission and approach followed by a presentation by Olivia Santoro of ACLU Massachusetts, who shared the ACLU’s 2019 agenda and told us how we can get involved locally.