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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Press Release: Somerville Dem's Challenging State Committee

I'm not one to get involved with the Democrat / Republican he said, she said stuff, but this intrigues me... ~Courtney




Doing Their Part

Despite overwhelming super-majorities in both the Massachusetts House and Senate (90% and 84% respectively), the Massachusetts Democratic Party finds itself begging its membership to gather signatures for ballot initiatives directly linked to its own platform.

The Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform, adopted at a convention in Worcester last June, clearly states: We demand living wages, benefits that support working families, and the right to organize and collectively bargain for all workers.

Last week, Chairman Gus Bickford sent an email to party members urging them to “do their part” in gathering 10,000 signatures to put Paid Family and Medical Leave (H.2172/S.1048) and the $15 Minimum Wage (H.2365/S.1004) on the 2018 Ballot. An odd request, considering the party has more than enough votes to pass those platform-plank bills and overcome a Governor’s veto.

In fact, the 190th Democratic-majority congress has enacted pay raises—for themselves. With “emergency law” H.58, their first act of 2017, Democratic House and Senate leadership gave themselves an extra $45,000 a year. When Governor Baker vetoed the bill, they easily overturned it. Since then, legislative leadership has refused to move on raising the wages of ordinary Massachusetts workers.

"It is shocking that party leaders are relying on rank-and-file members to pass ballot initiatives, instead of lobbying elected officials to simply pass the legislation that has already been written," says Jacob Kramer, member of the Ward 2 Somerville Democratic Committee, "Leadership’s lack of accountability to our platform is disgraceful."

In response to Massachusetts Democratic Party leadership’s calls for everyday constituents to “do their part” by gathering signatures for bills that could be passed by the legislature, a group of party members has responded in kind, with a letter to Party Chairman Gus Bickford, demanding that he does his part, by pressuring House and Senate leadership to legislate the party platform instead of forcing ballot initiatives and putting the burden on constituents.

"Last week's Democratic electoral wins across Massachusetts and the country were in large part thanks to the tireless work of thousands of grassroots organizations and activists," says Fenna Krienen, member of Somerville’s Ward 3 Democratic Committee and Our Revolution Somerville. "We've already been knocking doors and collecting signatures. We've been doing our part. Now we need party leaders to do the same."

The Change.org petition can be found here: bit.ly/2zFLtD8

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