Showing posts with label Organizing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Organizing. Show all posts

CSfC Becomes a Chapter of Progressive Mass

Born out of the 2008 Obama campaign, Cambridge-Somerville for Change has been organizing for the past four and a half years to help elect progressives to office and pass progressive policies at the state and national level.  We have had great success, winning most of the elections we worked on (from Patrick in 2010 to Obama and Warren in 2012 to Ed Markey just last week), and even won some issue campaigns as well (starting with the 2010 health care reform).  Cambridge and Somerville are full of dedicated progressive activists, and CSfC's 1,000+ members are among the most dedicated.  Yet despite this capacity, the CSfC steering committee has felt that by working independently of any state or national organization, we limited our ability to have a broader impact.  For this reason, in May of 2013 we proposed that CSfC become the Cambridge and Somerville chapter of Progressive Massachusetts... and CSfC members voted to approve this proposal!
The Democratic Caucuses in Cambridge and Somerville are taking place over the next week.

Cambridge and Somerville wards will be electing their delegates to the 2012 Democratic State Convention, which will take at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts on June 2nd, 2012. This is sure to be an exciting convention where we will pick our nominee for the U.S. Senate to run against Republican Senator Scott Brown. Before a candidate can be placed on the September Primary ballot they have to get the support of 15% of the State Convention Delegates and 51% to get the endorsement of the convention. But in order Linkto go to the convention, you need to be elected.

Here is everything you need to know about the 2012 Caucuses.

Cambridge-Somerville for Political Engagement

“We got used to the politics of disappointment -- figuring out how soon we were going to be let down. ... There’s a different dynamic in the ... politics of hope. It’s much more challenging. It means you’ve got to get up and do something. There’s opportunity. If you don’t take advantage of that opportunity, you really have to bear responsibility for not doing so. That’s how I see the time we’re in. ”

One of the most unique and exciting elements of the 2008 Obama campaign was the distributed leadership model.  When we were starting out, during the spring and summer of 2008, we had so many volunteers to organize, so much work to do, and no full-time staff, that we had no choice but to embrace the distributed leadership model.

Help get out the vote for President Obama in New Hampshire

Immediately after the CSfC Kickoff, the Obama campaign will be heading into its get-out-the-vote effort for New Hampshire's January 10 primary. The campaign is looking for a big Massachusetts contingent to knock on doors and make phone calls, to make sure people hear the alternative to the Republican message, and to lock in President Obama's New Hampshire support.  Join CSfC as part of that contingent!  You can sign up for canvasses on January 7th and 8th by clicking on the links below, and go to to sign up for phonebanks in Boston or canvasses in New Hampshire on Tuesday, January 10th. Thank you!

Massachusetts Single Payer Hearing: Thursday, December 15 11am-4pm

Next Thursday, December 15, beginning at 11am and continuing to not later than 4pm, the Mass-Care sponsored bills to introduce a single payer (and alternates to introduce a public option) will have their first hearing before the MA Joint Committee on Health Care Finance in Hearing Room B1 at the Massachusetts State House.

Here's what you can do to help:
(a) Contact your MA state representative and senator and ask them to attend and speak in support of the single payer bills.
You can find their contact information from the Common Cause web site:
(b) If you have any health care stories that indicate how a single payer system would have helped you, sign up to speak in support of the bill.

(c) Attend for any portion of the meeting. The more people that attend, the more support the committee sees for the bill.
Please spread the work to other health care reform supporters.

CSfC Economic Fairness Team and the Rebuild the Dream Campaign
We are meeting at Christina’s Ice Cream near Inman sq. on Friday evening at 7:00PM, to discuss CSfC's role in the Rebuild the Dream campaign.  If you're unfamiliar with this ten-point, progressive policy campaign, the Rebuild the Dream web site and a one-page PDF overview are good places to start.

The address is: 1255 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139-1338, (617) 492-7021.

First Steps - Lobbying Senator Kerry and the Super Committee

CSfC's Economic Fairness Team has been meeting and planning for the past few months and at our September 21st community meeting we unveiled our three initiatives:
  • Join the efforts of the Defend the American Dream campaign 
  • Unelect Senator Scott Brown
  • Lobby Senator Kerry in his role on the Congressional Super Committee
The Super Committee initiative has the shortest time-frame, and one of the Super Committee members represents Massachusetts, so we have a short-term organizing opportunity and we're starting out by focusing our efforts there.

Electoral Victory in 2012 via Economic Fairness in 2011

Cambridge-Somerville for Change is kicking off our Economic Fairness campaign at a community meeting this Wednesday, September 21st, at the Central Square YMCA in Cambridge, starting at 7:00 PM.  We're beginning to work on several parallel paths, including
  • Educating voters about Scott Brown's opposition to economic fairness policies, like voting to end  unemployment benefits and supporting a budget that eliminates job-training programs.
  • Lobbying Senator Kerry and the other members of Congress's Deficit Super-Committee to preserve the social safety net.
  • Support the Contract for the American Dream campaign to protect and grow the middle class.
Gradually, as our attention turns toward the 2012 elections, the issue advocacy campaigns will become more heavily oriented toward electoral organizing.  Our goal is to build the popular, progressive policy arguments to draw distinctions between liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, in an issue arena where the overwhelming majority of voters agree with us.  It's a big goal.  We'll need a lot of help. 

Can you join us on Wednesday?

Amazing Somerville Canvass

Today the Deval Patrick/Tim Murray campaign, Organizing for America, and Democrats around the state held a state-wide canvass.  In Somerville, CSfC worked closely with the Patrick/Murray campaign to knock on doors in Winter Hill.  We had a great response, with many supporters identified.  In the Mystic Public Housing Community, several canvassers focused on registering new voters and encouraging registered voters to vote on November 2nd.  For enthusiasts, we had the additional draw of a rally with the President next Saturday in Boston.

The voters are out there, we just need to reach out to them.  We'll be canvassing again tomorrow, and next weekend, and making calls all week. Sign up here to get involved:

Stopping the Next Brown

This election didn't end up the way I wanted it to, but it's only a small setback in a campaign that started some time in the distant past, and will probably go on forever.

I'm happy today. I'm so proud of all the activists and the great work we did. The Cambridge/Somerville ground campaign that we built over four days was inspiring. We couldn't win the whole state, but we could boost turnout in Cambridge and Somerville for Coakley, and with hundreds of volunteers and dozens of GOTV events, we absolutely did.

We had organizers, volunteers, and local groups working toward one goal. We abandoned factions and borders. We made new alliances, and strengthened old partnerships. Progressive organizers in Massachusetts came together, mostly outside formal organizational structures.

Yes, it was too late to win. But we tested our organizing strategies and tactics. OFA swooped in from every state and provided a massive calls-to-voters operation. It wasn't perfect - there were flaws in everything we did. I'd rather know what those flaws are now, when there's one critical race, than in November when there will be dozens of critical races.

We have so much work to do this year, and we are not yet prepared to win the array of contests coming in November. Democrats across the country should look at this election and learn. We need to commit to preventing the complacency and inertia that allowed this to happen. Every progressive organization in the country should be building their plans for November right now, every day vowing No More Browns. No more unforced errors on Election Day.

As Massachusetts organizers, we are stronger today than we were a week ago. We need to keep exercising those organizing muscles, starting today, to prevail in the 2010 races. It can be done.

If you're not already a member, sign up with CSfC today.

(cross-posted, with edits, from BlueMassGroup)

CSfC Volunteers Are Amazing

At our phone bank for the US Senate race Thursday night our volunteers, along with recruits from CDCC and the Coakley campaign, made 1860 calls to voters. That's an amazing amount for a single phone bank in a 3 hour shift. But that's just the beginning. To win we're going to need a lot more shifts like that. We're setting up new locations, training new phone bank coordinators, and activating all of our resources to send Martha Coakley to the US Senate. Stay tuned.

Organizing for Martha Coakley for Senate - Two Weeks Till Election Day

As you may have heard, Rasmussen released a poll today showing GOP State Senator Scott Brown within 9 points of Attorney General Coakley. That's just too close. If you're reading this blog, I don't have to tell you that we can't afford to lose a US Senate seat.

The CSfC Elections Team has two projects during this brief, wintry campaign to keep that from happening. We're holding phone banks with our old friends the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW) at their offices at 15 Mount Auburn Street in Cambridge, between Harvard and Central Squares, every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday night through (Special) Election Day, January 19th.

Sign up here to join us from 6 to 9 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 5:30 to 8:30 PM on Sundays. HUCTW has phones, comfy chairs, the works.

We're also working with the Cambridge Democratic City Committee on an Absentee Voter project to increase voter turnout among local seniors - you can sign up for that project on the same form.

Live-blogging the Grassroots Organizing Forum

Even if you can't be at the Grassroots Organizing Forum, we are live-blogging the event. Go to to follow the action!

Here are a few snippets from the stream:
9:21 AM: John Walsh: "We may be crazy, but I think we're crazy like a fox because of the way things are going."


9:27 AM: Mitch Stewart: Barack Obama's message was about hope and change. Here's an example of how that came true. The President brought together six groups in health care and they committed to saving $2 trillion in health care costs.


9:33 AM: Mitch Stewart: We've done 228 listening tours. This is the largest yet.

Massachusetts Statewide Organizing Forum

Please join us for a Statewide Organizing Forum on Saturday, May 16! Register now!

The Grassroots Organizing Forum is a critical networking opportunity for volunteers, organizers and activists to discuss issues that matter most to our country. You’ll hear from Mitch Stewart, National Director of Organizing for America, and have an opportunity to give input into OFA’s direction. We’ll discuss campaigns in the three areas at the core of President Obama’s agenda: Energy, Health Care, and Education - and what you can do to help win them. And we’ll learn to leverage the political clout that comes from organizing around issue-based campaigns.

When: Saturday May 16, 2009, 9am-3pm
Where: SEIU Hall, 150 Mt. Vernon Street, Boston (JFK Red Line stop; unlimited free parking)

Admission to the forum is FREE and lunch will be provided. The event is sponsored by Organizing for America-Massachusetts (OFAMA).

Join organizers, volunteers, and leadership from OFA national headquarters
to discuss President Obama’s agenda and what it means for organizers here in MA.
  • Learn how to influence national & statewide public policy
  • Give input into OFA’s direction
  • Hear from experts on President Obama’s 3 key agenda issues: Energy, Health Care, Education
  • Leave with a plan of action to organize folks in your community
If you have questions, or are interested in volunteering for the event, please email

If you're new to Cambridge-Somerville for change and want to sign up to be a part of our grassroots community, please fill out our Volunteer Sign-Up form to the right of the page. Let us know if you're interested in one of our Action Teams -- Health Care, Energy/Environment, and Education -- by clicking on the corresponding box under "Activities Interest."

We're looking forward to seeing you on May 16! Register here:


Cambridge-Somerville for Change is an all-volunteer community group dedicated to harnessing the grassroots energy and spirit of change inspired by the Obama campaign. Our organizing work includes electoral and issue-based campaigns at the local, state, and national level. Our members have chosen to work on promoting economic fairness, comprehensive health care reform, creating policies that conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide for fair and adequate access to public transportation, and promoting in-state tuition for immigrant youth.

This is an organization built by and for you, the community, and we look forward to your participation and feedback. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about getting involved, please email
or call us at
(617) 302-7324.

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Note: Contributions are not tax-deductible.