What YOU can do NOW
Metro-West Regional Advocacy Training - free and open to the public.
To to high-response and to allow us time to prepare for Sunday, pre-registration for this event is closed. You can still show up on the day of the event. There are two main sessions (Mass Alliance and Planned Parenthood) that can accommodate anyone who attends on the 19th even if they haven't registered in advance.
Many people are seeking specific ways to respond to election 2016--ways to be involved and protect the progress society has made. This training will connect activists and leaders with a key takeaway: practical, clear action steps to take to help at the local, state and federal level.
Organized by the Newton Democratic City Committee and Progressive Newton/Needham with co-sponsors Emerge Massachusetts, the Environmental Voter Project, Green Newton, Mass Alliance, Massachusetts Together We Can, Massachusetts Sierra Club, Metro-West Showing Up for Racial Justice, Boston Black Lives Matter, The Watertown, Needham and Belmont Democratic Town Committees. Scroll down for speaker bios and more information. Additional co-sponsors welcome; no financial commitment required - costs are covered for this event.
Participating as table/booth hosts: Action NOW Indivisible Group, ACLU of Massachusetts - American Promise - Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) - We The People Massachusetts - MetroWest Showing Up for Racial Justice
12:30 to 1:00 pm - Registration and tabling
1:00 pm to 2:15 pm - one keynote session (for all attendees) focused on "how we can take back Massachusetts and the nation" featuring Mass Alliance Director Jordan Berg Powers and Bryan Barash, Legislative Director and General Counsel to MA Senate Majority Leader Harriette Chandler..
2:30 pm to 3:45 pm - Breakout sessions - YOU CAN
- Run for office or help friends run for office
with Ryanne Olsen, director of Emerge MA with State Representative Ruth Balser and Sharon Stout, Deputy Treasurer of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.
- Defend health care and women's rights
with Kate Frisher, advocacy coordinator for Planned Parenthood MA and State Representative Kay Khan
- Support Anti Racism and organizing around marginalized communities
with Tonya Tedesco from Boston Showing Up for Racial Justice.
- Understand Black Lives Matter and Bystander Intervention
with Martin Henson from Black Lives Matter Boston and Dhruba Sen from Metrowest Showing Up for Racial Justice.
- Save the Planet
with Emily Norton, director of the MA Sierra Club and Nathaniel Stinnett, founder and CEO of the Environmental Voter Project.
- Make MA More Progressive - Progressive Concerns within our Communities: Immigration and Affordable Housing with Progressive Massachusetts including Sue Parsons of MIRA Coalition and Jesse Kanson-Benanav of A Better Cambridge.
- Learn how to use social media to achieve change
with Angela Pitter-Wright, founder and CEO of Livewire Collaborative.
- Make your home town more progressive
with Martina Jackson, founder of MA Together We Can and Holly Ryan, Vice Chair of the Newton Democratic Party.
Bryan Barash is the Legislative Director & General Counsel to MA Senate Majority Leader Harriette Chandler. He also is a member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee and elected member of the City of Newton Charter Commission. Bryan also has served as policy director for Warren Tolman for Attorney General.
Jordan Berg Powers, Director, Mass Alliance is the Executive Director at Mass Alliance, where he previously served as Deputy Director of Mass Alliance. In his seven years there, he has helped elect new progressive leaders across the state, recruited progressive champions to run, and trained hundreds of grassroots organizers. In 2015 Jordan was recognized for his exceptional work in politics as an inaugural inductee into the 40 under 40 Poly Award. Using his expertise in talking to ordinary voters about progressive policy, Jordan is active in campaigns for saving public education, gender equality and more progressive tax system for the Commonwealth. He conducts trainings across the state on campaign strategy and management, candidate recruitment, progressive messaging and women in politics. Jordan's career in politics began when he was only 13, when he was hired to knock on doors for a Congressional campaign. He has worked on several congressional races since, on Capitol Hill and for a national polling firm. Jordan has a Masters in International Politics from the London School of Oriental & African Studies as well as a B.A. in International Development and a B.A. in Economics from American University.
Representative Ruth B. Balser
Ruth B. Balser is the State Representative for the 12th Middlesex District, which includes roughly the southern half of the City of Newton. Now serving her ninth term in the House of Representatives, Representative Balser continues to be an independent progressive voice, fighting for the values and priorities of her community. Please click here to read Rep. Balser's full bio.
Kate Frisher, Advocacy Coordinator, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts
Kate Frisher joined the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts (PPAF) as an Advocacy Coordinator in September 2016. Prior to that, she was involved with PPAF for five years as a student organizer, volunteer, and patient. At Planned Parenthood, Kate takes on a mix of policy work and community organizing and manages two programs in the health center that engage patients as advocates as the organization shifts from patient-centered policy and advocacy to patient-led. Before coming to Planned Parenthood, Kate worked at Health Care For All, a non-profit dedicated to patient-centered healthcare reform, for nearly two years as a policy associate and coalition builder.
Martin Henson, chapter director for Boston Black Lives Matter.
Martina Jackson, founder of Massachusetts Together We Can, an activism organization that was established during Hillary Clinton's campaign for President, and Democratic State Committee Member
Jesse Kanson-Benanav, Chair, A Better Cambridge
Jesse Kanson-Benanav comes to Somerville Community Corporation with more than a decade of experience in the housing and community development field. His career began at SCC where he worked as a community organizer from 2003 – 2007, primarily focused on organizing the Affordable Housing Organizing Committee (AHOC) to institute strong affordable housing policies in Somerville. Since his first stint at SCC, Jesse obtained his master in city planning degree at MIT and gained a variety of skills while working in affordable housing market research, public housing management consulting, and real estate development within New England. Most immediately before re-joining the SCC staff, Jesse worked for a large nonprofit developer of affordable housing, helping to build and manage their new project pipeline. Jesse is thrilled to return “home” to SCC as Senior Project Manager in the Housing Development department. Outside of work, Jesse is a community activist, leading a citywide resident group that advocates for smart growth and affordable housing development in Cambridge where he resides.
Emily Norton, Director, Massachusetts Sierra Club, Emily Norton serves as Massachusetts Director for the Sierra Club, the largest and most influential grassroots environmental advocacy group in the country. Emily holds a degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and is an elected City Councilor in her hometown of Newton. Whether lobbying for clean air, clean water and climate justice on Beacon Hill, or advocating for clean energy in her own community, Emily is passionate about helping citizens across the Commonwealth spur their legislators to take stronger action to mitigate climate change. Learn what’s new, what’s next and what’s needed, especially in today's political climate, to ensure that our children inherit a livable world.
Kay Khan, State Representative has represented Newton in the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 1995, and currently serves as House Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. Rep. Khan has served as the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities since 2009, which provides oversight to the Department of Children and Families, The Department of Developmental Disabilities, The Department of Youth Services, The Department of Transitional Assistance, The Commission for the Blind, The Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Mass Rehabilitation Commission. The Committee also works closely with the Department of Early Education and Care, as well as the Department of Mental Health. Representative Khan is the founder and co-chair of the legislative Mental Health Caucus, the first of its kind in the country, and founder and co-chair of a task force on Women in the Criminal Justice System and their children, under the Caucus of Women Legislators. She served as the Co-Chair of the Caucus of Women Legislators several years ago and in recent years, she served on the Commission to End Homelessness and currently serves on the Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Commission and the Special Commission on Early Education and Care.
Ryanne Olsen, Executive Director, Emerge Massachusetts. Ryanne Olsen has spent the past six years working for a variety of progressive candidates and causes. She comes to Emerge with a deep knowledge of the ins-and-outs of campaigns, having worked on races ranging from Ward Alderman in Somerville to Russ Feingold for United States Senate. Additionally, she has experience working with elected officials as an advocate and lobbyist for adult basic education.
Ryanne is a graduate from Northeastern University where she studied Political Science and Communication. While she was at Northeastern, she volunteered as a Democracy Coach for Generation Citizen, where she engaged students in action civics. Ryanne serves on the board of the Young Democrats of Massachusetts as the Young Democrats of America National Committeewoman. She lives in Boston.
Sue Parsons, MIRA Coalition
Sue Parsons is a member of Newton's Ward 1 Democratic committee, and an affordable housing advocate in Newton as a member of Engine 6/Livable Newton. She is Director of Development at the MIRA Coalition, and has had an extensive career in the areas of workforce policy, labor and community organizing, and development. She was a Workforce Policy Specialist at the MA AFL-CIO, and served as Director of the Workforce Solutions Group, which helped pass key legislation and new appropriations in support of career pathway programs for less skilled workers. She has also been Director of Development at City Life/Vida Urbana, and worked as a union organizer for over 20 years. Sue holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College.
Angela Pitter-Wright, Founder and CEO, LiveWire Collaborative--A technologist at heart, Angela connects people with technology in a humorous and non-
intimidating manner. Angela is Founder and CEO of LiveWire Collaborative, a digital marketing consultancy. Their services include Online Strategy Development and Implementation for mid-size businesses, Social Media Training for corporations or organizations, one-on-one Executive Coaching, Social Media Analysis, as well as Facebook Ads and Email Marketing. Additionally, Angela has trained several hundred professionals on hot topics such as “How to” Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and There’s an App for That! Angela has spoken at the Massachusetts Conference for Women, CWE Women’s Business Leaders Conference and was featured on the TV series, Our World. Prior to LiveWire Collaborative, Angela spent over 20 years in high-tech and brings extensive experience leading global teams and products to the market. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and holds both her M.S. in Administration and B.S. in Computer Engineering from Boston University. Angela currently serves as a Board Member of the Newton School Committee. Follow her on twitter: @angelapitter.
Holly Ryan, is a board member with the Baystate Stonewall Democrats. She was the first chair of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. She is also a Massachusetts Democratic State Committee member, member of the Newton Human Rights Commission and adviser to the Massachusetts Senate President. Holly also serves as vice-chair of the Newton Democratic City Committee.
Dhruba Sen, Metrowest Standing Up for Racial Justice
Nathaniel Stinnett, Founder and CEO, Environmental Voter Project, Nathaniel Stinnett has over a decade of experience as a senior advisor, consultant, and trainer for political campaigns and issue-advocacy nonprofits. Recently dubbed “The Voting Guru” by Grist, Stinnett was named one of the 50 environmental visionaries that you’ll be talking about in 2016. He has held a variety of senior leadership and campaign manager positions on US Senate, Congressional, state, and mayoral campaigns, and Stinnett is a frequent expert speaker on political strategy at campaign management trainings and top universities. Formerly an attorney at the international law firm of DLA Piper LLP, he is also widely recognized for his work as a land-use, environmental, and real estate attorney. Stinnett holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Boston College Law School, and he lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife and daughter.
Sharon Stout is the Deputy Treasurer, Massachusetts Democratic Party and former co-chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party's field services committee which leads campaign activities throughout the state.
Sharon also serves as co-chair of the Newton Democratic City Committee and is a small business owner in Watertown, MA.
Tonya Tedesco represents Showing Up for Racial Justice in Boston, MA SURJ BOSTON is a local chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice, a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. We work to connect people across the country while supporting and collaborating with local and national racial justice organizing efforts. SURJ provides a space to build relationships, skills and political analysis to act for change.