Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders

Bernie’s our guy!

By Chris Horton

The Bernie for President Campaign is alive and well in Worcester!

Three weeks ago 35 “Berners” gathered for food and talk at a Bernie Social in Worcester and two weeks ago 21 of us met in Worcester to rededicate ourselves to the Political Revolution – and making Bernie our Next President!

Tonight (Thurs 6/2) we meet again to plan our activities at the Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention in Lowell on Saturday: a car-pool, a standout, a campaign to put the Mass Dems on record calling for Single Payer and opposition to the job-killing TPP treaty, calling for the end of the Superdelegate system. We’ll be inviting the Democratic delegates to stop at the Lowell Teachers Hall before they go home to have some pizza and make calls to voters in California!

Wait! Isn’t it over? Clinton pronounced it OVER! She cancelled the California Debate to concentrate on getting beaten up and destroyed by Donald Trump. It’s just Hillary and the Donald now, isn’t it? The Mass Media – all the pundits, politicians and newscasters, editorial writers and talk show hosts – they’ve all declared it OVER and are talking about the race as if Bernie wasn’t there!

Never mind that Bernie’s holding HUGE rallies of wildly cheering fans all across California, one of which topped 30,000 people, which don’t make the news. Like his rally in Boston last year that drew 28,500 – and didn’t even make the news in Worcester!

No, it ain’t over ’til it’s over, and we don’t know when that will be. Bernie could still win the nomination – and the Presidency. Hillary is crashing and burning and probably can’t win the Presidency and the Democratic leadership is waking up to that sad fact. And the Sanders Campaign is alive and well!

As I travel round our City with my Bernie pins on, people keep talking to me about him, about the race, about what they want. Many they voted for him, want to vote for him again. But then they say, half statement, half question, Bernie’s losing, isn’t he? Like, everybody knows Bernie doesn’t have a chance. He really doesn’t. We all know that! The relentless propaganda campaign seems to have taken the stuffings out of Bernie’s voters,and even many activists.

Folks seem eager to hear me when I explain how Bernie’s actually winning, but that only lasts about 20 seconds, and then they’re back into their funk. Because depression is something chemical, and once it sets in it gets into your bones, and it takes more than a conversation to shake it off. Even those of us who are still in the thick of the battle have to fight it off every day. People who get a lot of news from Facebook, ICT or the Web have some resistance. If you get your news from Fox, CNN, MSNBC or WCRN – or God help you the insidious NPR, BBC and PBS – it’s looking pretty bleak.

And yet, wherever I go folks still say they want to vote for Bernie. Some are saying they’ll vote Green or stay home if they can’t have Bernie. A few say without joy that they’ll vote for Clinton. Many don’t regard Clinton’s wins as legitimate. And many are saying if they can’t vote for Bernie they’ll vote for Trump!

Because they’re tired of the lies and corruption, tired of rigged elections and being ignored, tired of hard times and being told it’s a boom Many come back to the line it’s time to “throw the bums out”, and right now Hillary’s the Bum. Many have bought the illusion that Trump, the very embodiment of our corrupt, ruthless criminal billionaire class, is against the Establishment, and see voting for him as a way to send a huge FU out to their tormenters!

When I ask them whose side Trump’s on, every single one so far says “Trump’s side”. But they’ll vote for him anyway!
They even know that Trump doesn’t make any sense, but Trump expresses their feelings and sends the message they want to send. If they can’t have Bernie many will settle for that!

As for the Bernie Movement in Worcester, a lot of us have been making calls to other states to talk to voters. There’s a lot of calls going especially to California this weekend – so far Bernie volunteers have made 67 million phone calls and we hope to hit 70 million by the end of the weekend. And that’s not counting the millions of calls made through Progressive Democrats of America and MoveOn.org. But when we got together for a social event a few weeks ago to talk, what was on the minds of many was what do we do, what should we do, when Bernie doesn’t win the nomination.

The truth is that Bernie’s doing great. He could win the nomination. He has a majority of the people with him! He has the young folk, he’s still turning people out for huge rallies one after the other (30,500 at one in California last week that didn’t get reported in the news) he has the energy, and in community after community he’s won huge majorities.

People know Bernie’s winning the actual votes, winning the battle of public opinion, and they’re pissed that it’s not showing up as vote counts and delegates. They’re confused when they and practically everyone they know went out and vote for Bernie, yet Hillary wins. They know the game’s rigged and their votes aren’t all getting counted, and they’re seriously pissed off.

Bernie’s the one who is speaking our truth, our thoughts, our beliefs, our values. Bernie’s the one who’s been leading us in the fight for our homes, our jobs, our families, our way of life tor 30 years. Over and over again I hear people express this as “Bernie’s our guy!”

Bernie’s the one combining us into one great voice that cannot be ignored. And we have to go on, because we must be heard!

This just in! InCity Times ace political writer Steve Maher is back!

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Woo-hoo!!!

DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS SHOULD ABANDON CAUCUSES, SUPERDELEGATES, UNPLEDGED DELEGATES AND CLOSED PRIMARIES

By Steven R. Maher

Sometimes one gets the impression that America democracy is dissolving before our eyes as the rank and file rebel against the party elites through the candidacies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Part of what voters are rebelling against are the rules set up by these elites to preserve their own privileges and the huge amount of money flooding into the political process because of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United. Together these two toxins are poisoning the American people’s belief in the Democratic process.

The antidote to these poisons is uniquely American – let the voters decide, not the super-delegates,unpledged delegates, or the party bosses.

Caucuses

The first thing each party should do is abolish caucuses, replacing them with primary elections where party voters choose the candidates. The caucus process embraces a fundamentally un-American concept that everyone knows what candidate you voted for. Unlike a primary, voters can’t go into a voting booth and in privacy select the candidate of their choice. They have to go “caucus” in the corner of the meeting hall for their candidates, where their choices are known to all. This is a situation which lends itself to retaliation and boycotts in which individuals can be targeted for reprisals for supporting a particular candidate.

Caucusing imposes what I call an “availability tax” on working business persons or single parent mothers. If you’re a small entrepreneur (Republican) trying to get a business up and running, taking three or four hours out of the day to caucus means foregoing business opportunities. Likewise, a single working parent (Democrat) trying to support several small children on a minimum wage job (or two jobs) may have to cut back on food, the electricity or some other vital expense to pay for a baby sitter to watch their children while Mom caucuses.

The caucus system is an expensive privilege for many, not a right.

For the two reasons cited above, both parties should replace caucuses with a primary election where voters can walk in, cast a ballot, and leave with the knowledge that their input, anonymously made, counts.

Superdelegates

In 1972 the Democrats had one of the worst electoral defeats in history when Richard M. Nixon defeated George McGovern in every state but Massachusetts. After this, the party created “superdelegates.” Wikipedia defines ‘superdelegates’ this way: “These Democratic Party superdelegates include distinguished party leaders, and elected officials, including all Democratic members of the House and Senate and sitting Democratic governors. Other superdelegates are chosen during the primary season. Democratic superdelegates are free to support any candidate for the nomination.” The same website put the number of superdelegates at 719.

Superdelegates were created to prevent another George McGovern from winning the nomination. It seems tailor made to block Bernie Sanders. It reeks of the rancid belief that the people can’t be trusted to make their own choices, and the party bosses should in some exigent circumstance select the nominee against the will of their own party. Selecting the candidate with the most votes is the American way.

Unpledged delegates

The Republicans don’t directly make members of the party’s political establishment “superdelegates” the way the Democrats do. But they do allow their state organizations considerable leeway in creating electoral processes that are favorable to party patricians, and in the case what I call “mini-conventions,” which almost totally disenfranchise the lower party ranks.

Depending on the website you wish to cite, there are 168 unpledged delegates (Politico) or 457 (Mother Jones). “The only people who get unpledged status are each state’s three Republican National Committee members,” says Wikipedia. “This means that unpledged delegates are only 168 of the total number of delegates. However, unpledged delegates do not have the freedom to vote for whichever candidate they please. The RNC ruled in 2015 that the unpledged delegates must vote for the candidate that their state voted for; the unpledged RNC members will be bound in the same manner as the state’s at-large delegates, unless the state elects their delegates on the primary ballot, then all three RNC members will be allocated to the statewide winner.”

The Mother Jones figure seems to include those states, like Pennsylvania, which elected 57 delegates unpledged to any candidate. Some of the Pennsylvania unpledged delegates, to their credit, said in advance they would vote for Trump if a majority of their constituents did. Others stated they would not vote for Trump under any circumstances, regardless of how the majority of the people voted.

Particularly insidious are the “mini-conventions” like that in Wyoming, where Ted Cruz won 14 out of 14 delegates. In these shams, voters go to precinct meetings, where delegates are elected to a county convention. At the county convention, delegates are chosen for the state convention, where delegates are for the national convention are picked. This is what Trump has accurately described as a “rigged process.”

Closed primaries

Closed primaries are those where only someone who has been a party member for six months or more are allowed to vote. In Massachusetts, Independents can take either a Republican or Democratic ballot, and revert back to being an independent after they vote.

This writer understands why some party members would prefer that the party nominee espouses their party’s basic liberal or conservative brand. A good example of this can be illustrated by the reference to the two second-tier parties in Massachusetts, the Libertarians and the Green Party.
Libertarians advocate shrinking the size of government and reducing governmental interference in Americans’ private lives. How would Libertarians feel if thousands of left-wing Democrats voted in a Libertarian primary for a Libertarian nominee who wanted to double size of government and insert government totally into the private lives of all Americans? Probably the same way the Democratic Party establishment felt about large numbers of independents entering the Democratic primary to vote for Bernie Sanders.

The Green Party is at its heart an environmentalist party. How would the Greens feel if thousands of right wing Republicans entered the Green Party to pick a nominee who favored fracking and land strip mining? Probably the same way the Republican establishment felt about thousands of independents flooding their primary to support Trump.

The two party system has served America well. To preserve this system, the two major parties need to have the elasticity to absorb elements such as those supporting Trump or Sanders. The closed primaries should be abandoned. Otherwise, as John F. Kennedy warned in his inaugural address: “Those who make peaceful evolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.”

Chris parked in A.I!

Dear friends of Bernie …

By Chris Horton

We’re doing fine. We really are. We’re doing just fine.

The Powers that Be, the billionaire class and their flaks and agents, are doing their best to stop presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Their message is: Candidate Hillary Clinton is Inevitable, Resistance is Futile … Give Up and Go Home!  

They actually believe that because Clinton won a few primaries they’ve got us beat, and we’ll sober up and admit it, or at least Bernie will.  They actually believe we’ll slink back into line and get with the program!

They think they’ve got us beat, but they don’t.  Every day the Bernie campaign goes on in any corner of this country, more people are thinking and talking about Bernie’s ideas. And every day we continue is a win because this revolution belongs to us all.  It belongs to the people of Indiana who vote next week.  It belongs to the people of Puerto Rico and California who vote in June.  Every phone call we make, every Bernie Journey, every dollar we donate helps build it. 

They think they’ve got us beat, but they can’t beat us because you can’t kill an idea, and once an idea is loose and in people’s hearts there’s no stopping it.  

There’s a Big Idea they’ve been trying to keep bottled up ever since any of us can remember.  Like Aladdin’s genie, it’s out of the bottle now and no one can put it back!  And it changes everything!

Thanks to the Sanders Campaign millions of Americans are now talking about the whole spectrum of issues that confront us.  But none of it by itself is new.  So what’s this Big Idea?

It’s not the idea of massive job creation through public works and projects. There are people alive today who remember that’s what President Franklin Roosevelt did and plenty who’ve been saying we need to do it again.

It’s not the idea of making healthcare a human right, available to everyone rich or poor. President Harry Truman tried to get that past Congress in 1948, and folks have been fighting for it ever since.

It’s not the idea that the billionaire class has corrupted and bought our political system and that we need campaign reform, that we need to get Big Money out of politics. People have been saying that, fighting for that, for years.

Nor is it the understanding that the super-rich, the billionaires, have rigged the whole economy so they’re getting richer and richer while the rest of us get screwed. Or the idea of breaking up the big banks, freeing our young people from student debt or equal pay for women.  

It’s not the idea of banning private prisons, or ending the war on drugs, ending police violence against people of color, immigration reform or bringing our jobs home from Mexico and China. Nor the idea of ending foreign tax havens, taxing financial transactions or making the millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. 

It’s not even the idea of bringing everyone together to fight for all of these once, although that’s getting closer.  

So what’s this Big Idea that ties this all together? 

It turns out we all knew most or all of the things Bernie’s talking about already.  Bernie didn’t suddenly come along and start preaching the truth and suddenly the scales fell from everyone’s eyes.  Bernie is telling us things we all already knew were true!  

And we already knew that the TV Networks, the news media were manipulating us and creating illusions, but most of us believed the final illusion: that of all those other lazy stupid people out there watching TV and believing it all.  And so we played it safe and didn’t speak out.

The Big Idea is this: We’re all in this together, we all know what’s up, and if we come together, speak out, stand up for each other, and stand together to confront the billionaire class and demand our country back, there’s nothing we can’t do! And that idea, with your help, is spreading like wildfire across the land! It’s an Emperor’s New Clothes moment, when everyone starts speaking what everyone already knew was true but afraid to say.

So courage, my friends! Let’s organize and carry on! This is only the first stage! A lot can happen between now and July, but win or lose, it’s not over!

This is just the beginning!

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Stay tuned for phone banks this weekend and Tuesday to call Indiana. It’s their turn to Feel the Bern, and our turn to support them!  Exciting news coming about national mobilizations in June and July.  And please let us know if you are interested in our upcoming all-day retreat.

Chris

WorcesterWantsBernie@gmail.com

508-963-1399

Bernie Blowout – didja know?

By Chris Horton

So candidate Bernie Sanders won six out of seven Democratic Presidential Primaries and Caucuses in the week of March 21 to 26, by Yuuge margins! 

And I’ll bet lots of you reading this didn’t know! Bernie Sanders’ campaign for President, the “Political Revolution”, is on fire and growing, but you’d never know it from watching Network News, listening to talk radio or reading telegram.com!  Many – especially young folks – are getting their news from the Web or from Facebook.  

But not everyone can. 

For those who can’t, small local independent news sources, especially ink-and-paper weeklies like InCity Times, are a blessing. So thank you, Rosalie, for keeping it alive! Bernie Sanders just had three blowout wins on Saturday in Washington State, Alaska and Hawaii. The Telegram Online did run an AP story covering it, but it underplayed the wins by not mentioning the huge margins –  Hawaii  70% to 30%, Washington State 73% to 27%, and Alaska by an astonishing 82% to 18%! – or that Bernie won every single county in all three states!

Worse, the story, and Telegram Online, never ran a single word about the other four contests that week.  I had to really go digging on the Web to find them Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

First, last Monday March 21 the results of the Democrats Abroad Primary – with 13 delegates at stake – were released:

34,000 US Citizens in 170 countries gave it to Bernie by a lop-sided 69% to 31%.
Then Sanders won two out of three contests on Tuesday, by even more lopsided margins:  Utah 78% to 20% and Idaho 79% to 21%.

Arizona went for Clinton 58% to 40% – in a primary election so scandalously mismanaged that it made international news and is expected to trigger an investigation by the Justice Department. 

The number of polling places in Maricopa County had been reduced from 200 to 60, mostly by eliminating stations in poor and Hispanic neighborhoods. Voters were still standing in line to vote at midnight! 

And many thousands of independent voters who had switched to Democrat found that their registration had been lost, and had to cast provisional ballots which were apparently also lost!

Did you see a word about that in telegram.com?  Nope!
So there you have it.  Sanders won six out of seven contests in the past week, by Yuuge margins!  Yet I keep meeting people who are all depressed because they think Hillary’s won, her lead is too big to overcome – and they haven’t heard about this week’s results!  

If you didn’t know these stats, the odds are most of the folks around you don’t either.  

You might want to check them out for yourself at nytimes.com/elections/results.   
And then … Repeat the news to your friends, relations and co-workers, everyone you meet. Because the networks, the talk shows and the daily paper won’t.
 
Democratic Primary Facts, Week of March 21-27

  Overseas Democrats Primary March 21: 

Bernie  68%, Hillary 32%

  Arizona Primary March 23:                      

Bernie  40%, Hillary 54%

  Utah Caucus March 23:                              

 Bernie 78%, Hillary 20%

  Idaho Caucus March 23:   
                           
Bernie  79%, Hillary 21%

  Alaska Caucus March 26:                           

Bernie  82%, Hillary 18%

  Hawaii Caucus March 26:                          

Bernie  70%, Hillary 30%

  Washington State Caucus March 26:        

Bernie  73%, Hillary 27%

This Tuesday, March 1, Massachusetts voters get to choose the next U.S. President! 

By Chris Horton

·   Your vote in the Massachusetts Presidential Primary has a huge impact.

 And the whole country will be watching!

·   Democratic contest: If you are registered as “No Party (unenrolled)” or “Democratic Party,” you can go to the polls on Tuesday and draw a Democratic ballot.

·   You will be given a choice of a number of candidates for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.  The only two that matter are Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

O’Malley has dropped out and the other candidate is only running in Mass.  

·   Your vote will help determine how many delegates for each candidate go to the Democratic Convention in July that will choose the candidate.

·   Republican: If you are registered as No Party or Republican you can draw a Republican ballot.  

·   Green: There is also a Green Party contest. 

·   Voting Times: Polls open on Tuesday March 1 from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. 

·   Absentee ballots:  If you can’t get to your polling place to vote on Tuesday, you can still submit an absentee ballot, but you will have to hand deliver it to your Town or City Clerk or Election Commissioner by Noon Monday.  You can download an absentee ballot at http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/absentee_ballot.pdf.   

******

Changing hats now …

Bernie Sanders was a Civil Rights activist, mayor of Burlington Vermont, and for 25 years the independent Congressman and Senator from Vermont.  He is challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President.  
Bernie is calling for a “Political Revolution”, bringing working class and middle class people of all races, nationalities together into a great movement to take back our corrupt political system from the “billionaire class”, to rebuild our country and restore economic, racial and social justice.

Bernie is hugely popular with many who know or have paid attention to him.  However many others – especially those over 45 and the working poor – know nothing about him, because up until about six weeks ago the networks and newspapers ignored him almost completely.  

Plus, practically the entire Democratic Establishment has thrown its weight behind Hillary.  

Whether Bernie wins the nomination depends on how many of his supporters actually make it to the polls.  If you support and love Bernie, if you want him to be our candidate and our next President, then you should:

·   Promise yourself you will get out to the polls on Tuesday

·   Plan exactly when you are going to do it.

·   Ask someone to “hold your promise” and call to remind you on Tuesday.

Also, consider:

·   Make a list of everyone who told you they’re going to vote for Bernie.

·   Call or drop in on each of them to remind them the election is this Tuedsay and ask for their promise to get out and vote.

·   Check in with them again around noon Tuesday to see if they’ve voted yet!
People talking to people and holding each other accountable – that’s the starting place for our revolution!  

All together! Let’s do it! 

Go, Mia and son, go!!! … and The case for Black, Brown and Latino Leadership in the Sanders Campaign

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I was delivering InCity Times today when I spotted the beautiful Mia and son enjoying the lovely weather at our lovely Elm Park! I had to snap a pic! So cute! – R.Tirella

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The case for Black, Brown and Latino Leadership in the Sanders Campaign

By Chris Horton

Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president is unleashing something very powerful, something that has been locked away in the hearts of millions of Americans for decades.  He is speaking simple truths about the big issues of our lives and country, truths that have been banned from the airwaves almost since the beginning.  Millions are responding with passion, even joyfully, to this coming of the light. 

Sanders’ vote in the Nevada caucuses, while not a win, was far higher than anyone thought possible even a month ago.  His win of a majority of the Latino vote is encouraging.  But it is very concerning that Clinton won 3/4 of the African American vote, just as it is very concerning that in Worcester, few Black, Brown or Latino leaders have stepped forward for him.

It is critically important that the American people have leadership that they trust at this dangerous moment in history.  The economy is sliding toward a terrible new crisis. Wars are spreading across the globe and the danger of a new World War has never been greater. And – right on schedule – fascism is rearing its ugly head, here and abroad.  Yet these threats are all man-made, and Bernie is showing us the promise of a brighter future on the other side.  He shows us there is nothing we can’t accomplish when we all come together and take our government back from the billionaires.

But history teaches us that racism in all its forms has been and remains the greatest obstacle to winning that brighter and better future.  It also teaches us that the broad unity we need is only possible when we have Black, Brown and Latino leadership at every level: 

 –  for the numbers;

 –  for the strength, experience, understanding and passion “people of color” bring to the battles, 

 –  because the alternative is wasting our strength on fighting each other.
  
Black, brown and Latino leadership in the struggle is a necessary idea, necessary for believing that a winning combination is possible. 

I rarely pass up the chance to talk with Trump supporters.  The working-folk among them know and understand a great deal of what Bernie is saying. Most will admit their reasons for supporting Trump are nonsense. But they sense that the “us” they imagine coming together to fight – an all-white, native-born “us” – is incapable of confronting the billionaires who are the actual problem. This leads to fatalism, and so they either drop out or turn to stupid outrageous stuff that at least feels good and expresses their anger and disgust.  Thus, curiously, I think many may be drawn to Trump because the Sanders Campaign looks “too white to win”  in the larger battles to follow.

So why has Bernie’s support among Black, Brown and Latino voters been building so slowly?

Do they detect insincerity, a shallow understanding or pandering?  Does Clinton have something more or different or special to offer?  I have hesitated to write about this because I know I can’t really understand what it’s like to grow up and be black in America. But time’s running out, we vote in 9 days, so it’s long past time to take a risk.

So here is my case:

First, Bernie’s core economic program will benefit all working folk, but are most urgently needed by Black, Brown and Latino working folk   His plans for massive job creation, bringing our work back home from overseas, raising the minimum wage to $15, requiring benefits like family leave and paid vacations, medical care as a right for all, expanding Social Security, breaking up the big banks behind our foreclosure crisis and free public college – and for making the rich and the billionaires pay for it – will go far to restoring the health of all of our communities, but none more so than Black, Brown and Latino communities.  

This is not the same as reparations for slavery, but it would accomplish much the same economically and it is a program around which we can build broad unity.  

Second, Bernie’s challenge to the “white working class” to reject racist thinking and stand together with Black, Brown and Latino folk is not based on moralizing or shaming but on a well-founded appeal to common self interest, and to the need we have for each other in the struggles to win our common objectives.    

Third, Bernie far more than any other major party candidate for President has responded to challenges from Black Lives Matter activists, by putting their issues and demands forward strongly, including an end to police violence against Black folk, demilitarizing police, abolishing private prisons, ending mandatory minimum sentences, ending the war on drugs and decriminalizing marijuana.  And he states these strongly not just in urban centers but, as I have seen with my own eyes, at town hall meetings in rural nearly all-white towns.  

Finally, the record clearly shows that Bernie has cared about and fought for these issues over the course of his 55 years as a political activist, mayor and legislator.

For example:
 
 — His record of introducing, fighting for and winning legislation supporting racial justice and civil rights in the Senate and House is second to none.  The NAACP and the ACLU both regularly give him top ratings.

 — In 1988 when Jesse Jackson ran for the Democratic Nomination for President, not one elected Democratic official endorsed him, even after he had won eleven primary and caucus contests.  The lone elected official in America to endorse him was the Mayor of Burlington Vermont, Bernie Sanders, who went on to organize Jackson’s win in the Vermont caucuses.  Listening to his endorsement speech from 1988 is like listening to his campaign speeches today, only the statistics have gotten a lot more shocking in the intervening 28 years!  

 — Some would belittle Sanders’ Civil Rights work in Chicago, but that was and still is a real battleground. Chicago was then arguably the most-segregated city in the world, and probably still is.  As a 19-year-old college student I was present at the Battle of the Willis Wagons on Chicago’s South Side in the Summer of 1963, where the City was putting mobile classrooms on the playground of an all-Black elementary school rather than changing the boundaries to put some students in a neighboring all-white school.  While I don’t remember meeting Bernie personally I remember the commitment and seriousness of the members of his campus group, the Young People’s Socialist League or YPSL.  We spent many days and a night with community folk preparing for the battle to stop the bulldozers.  How proud I would be now had I stayed and been arrested with Bernie!  But then, my whole life might have taken a different and perhaps more useful path.  
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-bernie-sanders-1963-chicago-arrest-20160219-story.html

Bernie is the real deal.  The campaign against him is focusing on sowing doubts about his honesty, motives and commitment.  I would urge we shrug off these attacks as the diversions they are and join in committing to a historic peoples’ victory at the polls and in the urgent battles that will surely follow.  

Go, Edith, go!!

Don’t be an “I” – stay registered and VOTE!

By Edith Morgan
 
So, you are registered, you voted recently, and have not moved. But how do we know you are still there, and still alive?

A few days ago we all received a plain “billet doux” from the City of Worcester Election Commission, asking us to verify that we still live where we are registered, and to correct any errors or omissions on this paper.

I hope you did not toss it out, or misplace it or expect that your spouse or other family member filled it out. 

From my many years of experience as Warden on election day, I know there is so little fraud at voting time that it is not worth the paranoia and suspicion that has been fomented in recent years – mostly to make voting more onerous, but not dealing with any REAL problems.

Btu every year, we find many voters who come to their polling places and find that they have an “I” by their name. They still get to vote, but  have to complete a “voter certificate” – not a very difficult process, but a delay, and many voters are in a hurry (on their lunch hour, or with family at home,etc).

So , fill in the  “Voter Registration  Information System Validation” form and send it back in the self-addressed envelope. Surely keeping our election lists up-to-date is worth the 49 cent stamp needed – or take the envelope and deliver it in person to the Election Commission in person, at City Hall.
 
Then, save Tuesday, March 1 – and VOTE. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
 
Since March 1st is a primary, there will be four ballots available: you can only take the ballot of the paqrty you belong to. There are Democratic (D), Republican(R), Grenn/Rainbow (J), and United Independent Party (CC) ballots.  If you and Unenrolled (U), that is, have not designated any party, you can choose which ballot you want. Whatever ballot you choose, your party designation will not be changed.
 
I was surprised to learn that there are 24 additional parties listed, but they are not running candidates. However, if you are a member of any of these other parties, you can still vote, but only using one of the above mentioned four parties. (There will be a complete listing of these
at your poll, or at the election commission.)
 
It is always a good idea to have a picture “ID” with you, just in case there is problem. Also, if you have moved in the last few months, have “proof of residency” with you (that includes any of the following: current utility bill, bank statement, payroll statement, government check, or any other document that sows your name or address. Of course, your driver’s license or ID is acceptable) YOUR PASSPORT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE, as it does not have an address.
 
All of us at each poll will do all we can to make your voting experience pleasant and quick. The new voting machines are a pleasure to use. And we in Massachusetts are fortunate to have a paper ballot, so we have a “paper trail” if there ever is any question about an election result.

We have done everything in our power to make our elections foolproof and honest – the rest is up to you, the voters. 

The precious privilege of voting is well worth a little effort, is it not?

Iowa!

By Chris Horton  

We all knew better, but still we couldn’t help worrying: Was the media right?  Would Hillary Clinton sweep the Iowa Democratic Presidential Caucuses as they said she would?  Would she show us our campaign was just a hopeless daydream?

We needn’t have feared. In Iowa, just as here, folks who “Feel the Bern” show up, and there are a lot of us, more every day! 

Bernie, who started the campaign in Iowa with just 4% support in public opinion polls, came out of the Iowa Caucuses essentially tied with Hillary.  So close was the outcome that Hillary came out ahead only because she won six out of six tie-breaking coin tosses!  (Odds against: 63 to 1!)  That’s a win!

So what does this mean for us?

First, we can take heart!  We are on a roll! We have a winning candidate, we have a winning message, and we have the momentum!  Folks are starting to pay attention! I was overhearing people talking about him everywhere I went today – busses, waiting rooms, a cafeteria, a shoe shop!  

Second, getting out the vote is critical.  The “usual suspects” voted for Hillary.  Many first-time voters and “Obama voters”, young, working class and minority, the ones who more often stay home in disgust, came out and voted for Bernie!  

Looking at Iowa county outcomes, there were huge differences between similar neighboring counties. The difference had to be the organizing work of local volunteers.  Folks like me – and like you!  But we need to make that happen!  And we have just 28 days left to do it!

But there is something else here. The Republican campaigns are all about fear.  Fear of the dangerous aliens abroad and in our midst who hate us and would destroy us.  Democratic campaigns – Hillary’s campaign – often count on fear too: fear of the Republicans, fear of what will happen if we don’t all get together and stop them by electing her – and fear of what could happen to us if we dared to actually fight back against the Powers that Be!  We’ve been living the politics of fear for a generation or more!  

But now people are rejecting the politics of fear.  More and more are speaking out boldly, speaking our truth and demanding what we need and what we know is our birthright – an America where everyone can live decently, in peace and unafraid, an America where we can dare to dream of creating a better life with our own hard work and creativity.

For a generation now, the Democratic Party has been fighting defense. The right wing has been advancing their corporate agenda: dismantling our unions and our standard of living, dismantling the New Deal, privatizing our public property and our schools, shipping our jobs overseas, waging endless wars of plunder and stripping us of our freedom and our democratic rights.  Democrats have been putting up a show of resisting, but too often in the end make “compromises” that always give away part of what the Republicans were demanding. 

Fact is, when you only fight defense, you can lose fast or lose slow, but you’re losing all the same, and we’ve been losing for a generation. It is very depressing and discouraging.  It’s given politics a bad name!

The Sanders Campaign is fighting to win, to win back what we’ve lost and go beyond it, to win the kind of world that we know is possible.  We’re playing offense now!  We want it all back, and more!  And suddenly our people are coming alive!  

There’s just four weeks left until the Massachusetts Primary.  We’re getting our “ground game” on: people talking to their own neighbors, getting organized, getting ready to  all show up together at the polls on March 1 and elect our champion Bernie Sanders to the White House!   

If you’re feeling the Bern, you want to be a part of it, sign up at call our Central Mass Field Organizer, Nate Flynn, at 774-239-6308 to enlist, or drop in on our Field Office at 256 Park Ave!