Ward 19 Committee renews support for We The People Act

The Ward 19 Democratic Committee, at its the April 3, 2017 meeting, voted to renew its support the We The People Act, and to commit to activities to further passage of the act.

The We the People Act is a joint resolution pending in the Massachusetts legislature, introduced by Sen. James Eldridge and Rep. Cory Atkins, that does two things:

  • First, it calls on Congress to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution asserting that
    1. the rights protected by the Constitution are the rights of natural persons, i.e. human individuals, only and
    2. Congress and the states shall place limits on political contributions and expenditures to ensure that all citizens have access to the political process, and the spending of money to influence elections is not protected free speech under the First Amendment.
  • Second, if Congress fails to propose such an amendment within six months, the We the People Act puts Massachusetts on record calling for a convention of the states for the purpose of proposing the amendment.

The Act was introduced in the last session of the Legislature but did not make it out of committee. It has been resubmitted in the current session. It has been modified to limit the convention, if called, to consider only the proposed amendment.

The Ward Committee thanks Laura Gang of We the People Massachusetts for providing updated information at the meeting.

For full details, please visit http://www.wethepeoplemass.org.


State Democratic Convention Updates

The convention will be held at the DCU Center in Worcester on Saturday, June 3, 2017, starting at 10:00. Some important upcoming dates:

  • The Boston platform hearing will be held on Thursday, April 6, 2017, at 7:00 pm, at the Boston Teachers Union, 180 Mount Vernon Street, Dorchester.
  • Deadline to for delegates to register for the convention, without a late fee, is Friday, April 7, 2017.

For a list of Ward 19 convention delegates, see the “Caucus Results” blog post below. There has been one change: Mike Benac has withdrawn as an alternate due to a conflict.

The Ward 19 Democratic Committee is organizing a meeting, to be held before May 6, to discuss items to submit to the platform committee. As soon as we have a location and date, we will post that here.

Caucus Results: Delegates to State Democratic Convention

Ward 19 (Jamaica Plain/Roslindale) Democrats convened on Saturday, March 11, 2017 to select delegates to the upcoming Massachusetts Democratic State Convention 2017.  We are pleased to announce the results and congratulate our delegation:

  • Female Delegates: Sandy Bailey, Ann Clarke, Kerry Costello, Ziba Cranmer, Judy Coughlin, Marcelle Grair, Radhika Khetani, Nikki Kong, Altagracia Peguero, Helen Raizen
  • Male Delegates: Ed Burley, Tyler Crosby, Edmund Crotty, Jeffrey Jacobson, David Kaplan, Carmel Levy, Robert Ricles, John Riordan, Ruben Rodrigues, Bill Shaevel
  • Alternate Delegates: Mike Benac, John Broussard, Cathleen Cisse, Alicia Scahill
  • Committee Co-chairs: David Ofsevit, Karen Payne

At the Convention, delegates will approve the platform which defines what the party will stand for in upcoming elections, hold breakout sessions on organizing and running political organizations, and have opportunities to meet and talk with candidates in this fall’s elections.  The Convention will be held at the DCU Center, Worcester on Saturday, June 3, 2017, beginning 10:00 am. Note that the location has been changed.

The caucus was very well attended, and we did not have time to do the scheduled training on how to use  Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.  Citizens are using Indivisible strategies to advocate their positions with their elected officials at meetings and Town Halls across the country.  Ward 19 is pleased to offer this training for Ward 19 Democrats and to encourage use of Indivisible.  We have postponed this to our upcoming business meeting on Monday, April 3, 2017, at Farnsworth House, 90 South Street, Jamaica Plain.

Further information about the Ward 19 Democratic Committee is available at https://bostonward19dems.org.  Further information about the Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention is available at http://www.massdems.org/caucuses/state-caucuses-convention.


Committee Endorsements of Ballot Questions

After a large turnout at the Issues Forum on Thursday, October 13, the Committee voted on Monday, October 17, to take positions on the current ballot questions:

  1. Additional slots-only casino license: NO
  2. Authorization of up to 12 new charter schools per year: NO
  3. Prohibit certain methods of farm animal containment: YES
  4. Legalize recreational marijuana for individuals at least 21 years old: NO POSITION
  5. Community Preservation Act in the City of Boston: YES

A two-thirds vote is required for the Committee to take a YES or NO position. Question 4 did not have such a margin in either direction.

For more details on the first four ballot questions, which are state-wide: https://ballotpedia.org/Massachusetts_2016_ballot_measures

For more details on the Community Preservation Act: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Preservation_Act

General Election 2016 and Early Voting Notice

The general election this year is on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. For registration and voting information, select “Voting Info” at the top right corner of this page.

This fall, the City of Boston is allowing residents to vote early for the first time. Early voting is similar to absentee voting, but you don’t need a reason or excuse to vote early.

From Monday, October 24, through Friday, November 4, you can vote at any early voting location in the City, including Boston City Hall. You can see the complete schedule for early voting locations at https://www.boston.gov/news/early-voting-locations-boston-2016-election. Pick the time and place that’s best for you.

All early voting locations are accessible to voters with disabilities. Every location will also have AutoMark machines for voters who need help marking their ballots.

Two Important Events: Issues Forum and Committee Fundraiser

The Boston Ward 19 Democratic Committee and its neighboring committees will hold an issues forum so that you can be informed about ballot questions in the November 8 general election:

  • Date: Thursday, October 13, 2016, 6:30 pm.
  • Location: First Baptist Church, 633 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, at the corner of Green and Myrtle Streets, adjacent to the Jamaica Plain Post Office and JP Licks. The Number 39 bus stops in both directions, and the church is about a 10-minute walk from the Green Street T Station.
  • The forum is sponsored by Ward 9 (South End, Roxbury), Ward 10 (Mission Hill), Ward 11 (Jamaica Plain, Roxbury), Ward 12 (Roxbury), Ward 18 (Hyde Park) , Ward 19 (Jamaica Plain, Roslindale), and Ward 20 (Roslindale, West Roxbury).  Light refreshments will be served.
  • The public is invited, and there is no charge.

The Boston Ward 19 Democratic Committee fundraiser will feature Jimmy Tingle with his humorous observations of the current political season:

  • Date Monday, October 17, 2016
  • Location: Doyle’s Cafe Back Room, 3484 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain, MA, a 7-minute walk from the Green Street T Station.
  • Minimum requested donation: $25.00. Please contact the ward committee at info@bostonward19dems.org. Members of the committee will have tickets for sale.
  • The presentation will begin at 6:30 pm. The Ward Committee will provide appetizers, and you can order drinks.

Ward Committee Endorsements for September Primary

It was standing room only at the candidates’ forum on Tuesday, August 23, 2016:


At the completion of the forum, the Ward 19 Democratic Committee voted to endorse the following candidates for contested races in the September 8 Democratic primary:

  • Senator, Second Suffolk: Sonia Rosa Chang-Díaz
  • Representative, Eleventh Suffolk: Elizabeth A. Malia
  • Sheriff, Suffolk County: Steven W. Tompkins

The Boston Neighborhood Network (bnntv.org) recorded the forum. You can watch it at https://bnntv.org/vod/bnn-special-events/bnn-election-coverage-farnsworth-house-candidates-night