PDM Issues Update & Actions No.12

Together we can make a difference focusing and advancing a Massachusetts progressive agenda. Check out our issues working groups’ scheduled activities and events.  Join one of the working groups by replying directly to the contacts below or info@progressivedemsofmass.org
Public Education
Event: Campaign  for a Commercial Free Childhood is hosting a discussion with Matt Damon, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, CCFC’s Josh Golin, and local activists about the corporatization of our public schools following  the Boston premiere of the acclaimed filmBackpack Full of Cash. 7pm - 9:30pmWednesday, September 13, 2017,Wheelock Family Theatre,180 Riverway, Boston, MA 02115.
Take Action: The Group has broadened its focus to study three critical issues impacting education in the Commonwealth:  Vocational Education, Foundation Budget, and Use of High Stakes Tests. These new working groups are drafting white papers to identify resources and outline action steps. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 3. Join us in person, or contact us at info@progressivedemsofmass.org for details about how to join the meeting by telephone.

Workers' Rights 
Take Action:  Starting in September, Raise Up Mass coalition is gathering signatures to qualify two important measures for the 2018 ballot: Raising the Minimum Wage to $15 and Providing Paid Family and Medical Leave for all workers in the state. The PDM Workers’ Rights Working Group and other members of the Raise Up coalition across the state are sponsoring public informational events in September to educate and train people to participate in the signature effort. If you can help gather signatures, host a meeting to recruit signature-gatherers in your area, or have any questions, please contact Margaret Heitz at heitz.up@gmail.com or Peter Enrich at penrich@rcn.com.  
Events:  To get ready for the signature drive, training events are now scheduled to cover the two ballot measures and the details of how to collect valid signatures. They will provide a brief overview of the Raise Up MA organization and campaign time line:

  • Brookline--Sunday, September 172-4 pm, Coolidge Corner-Meeting Room, 31 Pleasant Street, sponsored by PDM along with JALSA and others.
  • Lexington--Monday, September 117-8:30, Cary Memorial Library - Large Meeting Room.
  • Reading--Tuesday, Sept. 19, 7 PM at the Reading Public Library,  co-sponsored by the Reading Democratic Committee. In addition to the training Jay Gonzalez, Candidate for Governor will speak. The Reading Public Library is at 64 Middlesex Ave, Reading, MA 01867. The event will be in Community Meeting Rooms A & B, Lower Level.  For details, contact John Lippitt at  Jlippitt@verizon.net
  • West Springfield--Saturday, Sept. 9 2:30-4 PM at West Springfield High School, in conjunction with the meeting of the Democratic State Committee hosted by the Mass. High School Democrats. For details, contact Corinne  Wingard at corinnemarie@comcast.net
Signature Drive Statewide Kick-off:  On the weekend of Sept. 16-17, the Raise Up Mass coalition will be holding kick-off signature gathering events at many locations around the state.  More detail will be provided in a future update, but if you have any questions, please contact Margaret Heitz  at heitz.up@gmail.com or Peter Enrich at penrich@rcn.com.

Hearing on Bill to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 (H.2365 or S.1004.) Tuesday,  September 19 1:00 pm in the Gardner Auditorium preceded by at rally at 11:30 am. Meet in Room 437 at the Statehouse at 11:30 am if you would like to participate in the rally.  The Raise Up Massachusetts coalition is encouraging people to attend the hearing, as well as the rally and lobbying before the hearing, more information here.

Energy and Environment
Take Action: PDM has signed on to a letter prepared by the Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN) supporting an increase in the renewable portfolio standard to 3% per year, a rate that will provide a sustained demand for clean energy, create a stable environment for financing it and put the Commonwealth on track to exceed a 25% renewable electric supply by 2030. Attend the hearing on this legislation before the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee, Tuesday, September 19 at 1 pm to show your support.
The Energy and Environment Working Group will meet  Tuesday September, 19 at 7:15 pm Cary Memorial Library, Learning Center, 1847 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA to discuss the Baker Administration’s Threats to the Future of Solar Energy with Mark Sandeen of Sustainable Lexington. Contact: Jeanne Krieger kriegerjk44@gmail.com  to join the working group.

Progressive Democrats of Lowell:  PDM is working to support a growing group of progressives in the Lowell area, who are organizing around the upcoming Lowell city elections and a range of issues impacting Lowell.  The group will meet again Monday, Sept. 11, at 7:00.  If you'd like to be involved in the work of this group, please contact Peter Enrich at penrich@rcn.com or John Lippitt at jlippitt@verizon.net

Gubernatorial Endorsement Process:  Starting shortly after Labor Day, PDM will be convening a group to kick off our endorsement process in the Governor's race.  The group will develop a set of questions for the candidates, arrange for interviews with them, and develop materials to inform our sustaining members about the candidates, to lay the groundwork for a decision about whether and when PDM should make an endorsement.  If you're interested in being part of this group, please respond to info@progressivedemsofmass.org.

Communications: PDM is working on an update to its website. If you can help, please contact Harry Margolis at harry@margolis.com.


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