PDM Issues and Actions Update No. 14

Event of General Interest
Healthcare in America: What’s Next, a forum sponsored by Minuteman Indivisible and Harvard Medicine Indivisible with panelists Don Berwick, Alan Meyers and William Hsiao, Monday, October 27 to 9 pm, First Parish Church, 7 Harrington Rd.  Lexington, MA. More information is here.

Working Groups
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 to info@progressivedemsofmass.org

Campaign Finance
Take Action: PDM, through the action of its Campaign Finance Working Group, has endorsed the Massachusetts We the People Act calling for a US Constitutional Amendment overturning Citizens United (H.1926 and S.379). If you would like more information about the bill or this issue, please visit the website of We the People Massachusetts, which is leading the fight for this bill, at http://www.wethepeoplemass.org/. PDM will communicate our endorsement to legislators and our allies. We encourage you to share this endorsement with your state representative and senator, as well as others. We will monitor the progress of the bill and let you know when there are specific opportunities for action. Contact: John Lippitt  jlippitt@verizon.net.

Event: Multi-media education presentation about the need for a Constitutional Amendment, Saturday, October 21, Lexington Community Center, 39 Marrett Rd., co-sponsored by PDM in association with We the People.  More information here.

Energy and Environment
Take Action: Attend the hearing of the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee in support of the two Mass Power Forward (MPF) priority solar bills on Tuesday October 3 at the State house Room A-2 1:00 pm.

Mass Power Forward and PDM urge the legislature to ensure all communities can benefit from solar energy. This legislation ensures fair compensation to low-income solar and to community shared solar net metering with a minimum threshold of low-moderate income customers, incentivizes projects that expand access to communities facing barriers, and directs the Department of Energy Resources to address barriers like income, housing type and language in their program design.   More information is here.
Event:  The League of Women Voters of MA is sponsoring a lecture by Dr. Jonathan Buonocore from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health The Health Benefits of Renewable Energy Choices: A Role for Carbon Pricing , Wednesday October 5, 6:30 to 9:00 pm at the Winchester Town Hall, 72 Mt Vernon St. Winchester

Protecting People
Take Action: The group will convene a phone meeting Thursday, October 5 at 8 PM. There are many people this administration is making vulnerable. We will discuss what we can do to support some of these people - advocate for the Safe Communities Act, protest the DACA reversal, start work to defeat the ballot initiative to reverse the trans anti-discrimination act and anything else that people think we can/should be working on.  It will be part brainstorming and part blueprint for future action.  Additional information on fighting the DACA repeal can be found here.  Please contact BonnieBrodner@aol.comif you are interested in being on the call.
Events:   Join the March for Racial Justice, sponsored by PDM and 29 other organizations in Western MA, Sunday, Oct.1, 2017, 12:30 - 2:30  p.m., starting at Holyoke Heritage Park, 221 Appleton St, Holyoke, MA., 01040.  We will meet near the Merry-Go-Round in the park, march to City Hall and end with a Rally with inspiring speakers and opportunities for additional civic engagement. This is a sister March to the National March for Racial Justice held in Washington, DC, on Sept 30th, the anniversary of the 1919 Elaine Massacre in Elaine Arkansas when hundreds of black sharecroppers organizing for better pay from white plantation owners were killed by state sanctioned white mobs.   For more information go to the Facebook Page:  March for Racial Justice, Holyoke MA, and to www.m4rj.com.  
Public Education
Take Action: The Public Ed Working Group will meet at the Cary Memorial Library, Learning Center. 1874 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington  on Tuesday, October 3 at 7:00 PM. Please join us or email info@progressivedemsofmass.org for info on how to join the meeting by phone. We will be reviewing the DRAFT issue papers of the three sub-groups (CTE, Foundation Budget, and Testing).‚Äč The related bills the Testing group is looking at are as follows (others may have been filed):

H.234 - An Act relative to student impact rating (Rep.Decker)
H.260 - An Act to eliminate the use of the MCAS for high school graduation (Rep.Gonzalez)
H.281 - An Act relative to Massachusetts high school diplomas (Rep.Keefe)
H.2844 - An Act to place a moratorium on high stakes testing (Rep.Decker)
H.2860 - An Act clarifying parental rights in the administration of standardized tests (Rep.Malia)
H.2861 - An Act requiring school districts, with the assistance of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, to disclose information about required assessments (Rep.Malia)
S.226 - An Act supporting the local determination of educational competency and multiple forms of academic assessment (Sen.Creem)
S.301 - An Act relative to standardized tests (Sen.O'Connor Ives)
S.308 - An Act strengthening and investing in our educators, students, and communities (Sen.Rush)

Workers' Rights 

Take Action:  Raise Up Signature Drive around the state:  Come join us to gather signatures for the $15 Minimum Wage and the Paid Family & Medical Leave ballot initiatives. 
  • Saturday 9/30, Lexington Center, 12-2pm-- Depot Square
  • Monday 10/2, First Parish in Lexington Church, 6:30-7pm
  • Monday 10/16 and Wednesday 10/18, Cary Memorial Hall, 6:30-7:30pm -- before Special Town Meeting
To post other events through November 18, please contact Margaret Heitz at heitz.up@gmail.com or Peter Enrich at penrich@rcn.com.  Contact information for additional signature drives near you can be found here


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