Notes from Indivisible MA Statewide Organizing Meeting,
On Sunday, May 6, Barbara Klipper represented Indivisible Outer Cape at a three-hour meeting with representatives of other Indivisible groups from around the state and member of the Indivisible MA Core Team (about 20 people in total). The focus of the meeting was on the runup to the November elections; what groups are doing and what resources the Core Team could provide to groups to support them in these efforts.
The most significant takeaways from the meeting are:
- Focus on House races:
Many groups are focusing their efforts on flipping the House and supporting candidates in other states they feel can win over GOP incumbents. It was the feeling of those with this focus that this is the best way we can get our democracy back. It was suggested that groups or individuals develop a manageable “portfolio” of candidates to support (5-10) and focus on those races. There is also focus on local races, and we were encouraged to work for Julian Cyr if he is embattled.
- Indivisible Army:
Indivisible Armyis an app currently in development. It should be fully functional by June. This tool will allow users to search for House candidates in a number of ways; by issue, by their viability, and many more. This tool can be very helpful in developing a “portfolio” of candidates to support with money, postcarding, phone banking or canvassing.
- The Gubernatorial Race:
There was some interest in working on the MA governor’s race, and feeling that Baker is not as much as centrist or as popular as many people believe. There are two Dem candidates; Jay Gonzalez and Bob Massie. Some attendees have chosen to back one or the other, other groups are waiting and will support whoever wins the primary. Baker also has a conservative GOP challenger, Scott Lively, but he is unlikely to get the nomination.
- Work in Partnership:
Indivisible MA leaders are finding it helpful to meet with and learn from each other in a number of ways; in periodic leadership phone calls, live meetings like this, and participation in a number of channels that have been established on Slack. Participation in the leadership group is meant to be inclusive, not exclusive and “leader” in this case is loosely defined. Anyone who is a committed, participating member can avail themselves of some of these resources. If you are a member of Indivisible Outer Cape and interested in accessing Slack or joining in on phone or live meetings, please contact Barbara Klipper: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Groups are also working in partnership with other entities from their local areas or around the state. Two of these are:
Freedom for All MA– https://www.freedommassachusetts.org. This group works to support the rights of transgender people. Currently they are running phone banks in Malden & Lexington (Needham to come) in support of the bathroom bill which is under attack.
Force Multiplier – This group operates in Brookline, Newton, Cambridge and Arlington. They bring in out-of-state House candidates for local events.
Training in various aspects of this type of activism is one key to success. Possible sources are:
Resistance School https://www.resistanceschool.com
Mass Alliance –http://massalliance.org.
The Core Teamis also looking into the possibility of offering multi-session trainings for groups in six regions throughout the state. These trainings would focus on organizing skills; how to get people involved and re-involved, how to build a leadership team, how to do house events, and how to train others. One hurdle they are facing is cost, which is high. The team is currently negotiating with providers.
I reported on the Cape and Islands Voter initiative that members of our group are involved in this summer. Contacting our state reps and asking them to support the Automatic Voter Registration bill before the close of the legislative session in July was also suggested as a way to advance voter registration.
One groups is focusing their energy on GOTV efforts.
There are currently 10 red legislative districts in the state, that possibly could be flipped. The common belief that MA is a totally blue state is not a fact.
Someone suggested IOC look at Cape Cod Grandmothers Against Gun Violence https://www.capecodgag.org/index.htmif we are interested in a group on the Cape that is working on this issue. You don’t have to be a Granny to join them.
Attendees mentioned a number of organizations or people they use or follow:
Postcards to Voters: https://postcardstovoters.org. They run postcard writing campaigns and also link to sources of postcards if groups want to do their own postcarding. If a group decides to do postcarding (especially for MA candidates) check with the campaign first. There are various requirements you may need to fulfill, which may include using their postcards.
Swing to Blue Alliance –https://www.facebook.com/Swing2Blue/. Developing a statewide calendar of events
Jen Hofmann Americans of Conscience Checklist – https://jenniferhofmann.com. Good place to find weekly actions to take
Talking Points Memo – https://talkingpointsmemo.com. Source for daily news in depth.
Statewide calls are scheduled at 8pm on 6/6, 7/10, 9/6 and 10/2. The November get together may be in person.
Attendees will weigh in on whether to initiate an Indivisible Lobby Day at the Statehouse in Boston to be supported by multiple groups.
The Core Team will discuss and decide whether to try to support a Force Multiplier event on 6/27 with house party fundraisers around the state.
Communication going forward between groups is via the Slack Channels. A website for the state is also in development. When that is available, I’ll let IOC members know and we’ll link to it on our own website.
Barbara Klipper May 8, 2018