Voices from the field

On December 1, 2016, the Newton Dems hosted a meeting with nearly 200 attendees. The purpose: to reflect on the campaign and discuss next steps. With so many people on hand, not everyone could speak. Many more couldn't attend and want their voices to be heard. On this page we are posting the thoughts, concerns and ideas from activists in Newton and beyond for your consideration. If you want to add something please email contact@newtondems.org or just add a comment below. 

Michael Malec, Newton Highlands: "put an end to gerrymandering" (full statement in comments below) and this website directs people to 4 actions each week. It looks like an interesting model. I don't know anything about who put it together, etc., but it may be of some use. https://www.wall-of-us.org/

Gary Rucinski, Newton Lower Falls: "Dems should filibuster all Supreme Court nominees until there is a president who wins both the popular vote and the electoral college, Massachusetts should lead on a non-political redistricting process, and the Mass Dems should hold a conference to identify ways to help central and western MA" (full statement in comments below)

Peter Myerson, Newton Centre: "Democrats have to retool their message to the people who do not live in the bubble that is Massachusetts, or like Massachusetts; unless the democrats can make the general population see them as part of the solution to their problems, I fear that the only way to solve the problem is for people to see that the Republican positions will not help the common man and will only hurt them."  (full statement in comments below)

Ellie Goldberg, Newtonville: "Feeling down about the election but not sure how to respond? We'll help you get started. Quick actions and resources, just launched at http://www.WhatDoIDoAboutTrump.com

Dahlia Rudavsky, Waban: "Since we are an affluent community, we should be generous with our financial resources" and donate to environmental organizations like the Sierra Club or Union of Concerned Scientists." (full statement in comments below)

Lynn Holbein, Auburndale: read these thought-provoking articles: "What So Many People Don't Get about the US Working Class" and  "The End of Identity Liberalism" ...and two thought-provoking books: Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010 by Charles Murray and Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance

Terry Brown, Newton Upper Falls: "Trump lied and said lies people wanted to believe even though he is likely not able to deliver on promises.  His was a ‘fake it till you make it’ campaign.  Hiliary was not in a position to lie to people - to promise things she could not deliver not did she invite Russia to ‘hack’ etc" - the electoral college should go for Clinton.

Rep. Ruth Balser, Chestnut Hill: "Adopt a sister Congressional district" and help turn a district from red to blue. https://www.sisterdistrict.com

Mark Alpert, Newtonville: "fight to make sure Massachusetts elected officials adhere to the will of the voters on Question 4."

Daniel Miller, Newton Centre: "Let's have Massachusetts proactively declare that we will abide by the U.S.'s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement (full statement in comments below)

Virginia Ewell, West Newton: "We need to listen to voters with open questions to uncover their issues and how they want to address their issues plus the language they use to describe."

John Stewart, Newton Lower Falls: "Newton Dems, like all Democratic organizations have to become more seriously substantive -- crafting policies and actions that mean more than the campaign fluff we're all tired of hearing."

Jonathan Beit-Aharon, Newton Corner: "People respond emotionally stronger to concise messages.  Our messages should therefore be trimmed to not exceed seven words." (full statement in comments below)

Vince Canzoneri, Newton Centre: "would love help from a web designer to make the domain 54percenters.com a resource for standing against Trump." 

Sallie Katz, Auburndale: "A suggestion for a project.  The papers have been filled with the disgusting tactics used in the sale of ivana Trump products.  TJMax in Newton is selling them.  The company needs to be contacted Preferably by people with clout, that we do not want her products sold here. If this fails a boycott should be considered."

Ros Winsor, Weston: What to do?  Work to end the electoral college.  Common Cause is working for the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact or NPVIC.  Through this compact, which 10 states have already committed to, participating states agree to have their electors cast their ballots for the winner of the national popular vote.  The compact only becomes activated and binding when endorsed by states with a total of 270 electoral votes, the needed majority.  Ten states have already entered this compact for a total of 165.  Massachusetts passed legislation to enter the compact in 2010.   I have been contacting my friends in other states to urge them to contact their state legislators.  Change.org has a petition that can be signed but of course, there is much more for motivated individuals to do.

Caroline Wilson, Newtonville: 1) I'd like Newton to explore running its government buildings and vehicles entirely on solar/wind power and 2) I also think it's really, really important for the Democratic party to give traditionally disenfranchised populations candidates to get excited about statewide and even nationally. (More detail posted in comments below).

Herb Robinson, Newton Highlands: We lost the election because we didn't have a clear message that resonated with people.  Trump had a message ("Make America Great").  Obama won because he had a great message ("Change").  Having such a great message is what let Trump get away with saying just about anything else he wanted to, because most people didn't get past that message. (Full text posted in comments below)