Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Convention Notes

UPDATE 5/17 4:19PM (the platform has been posted here)

Hi Mass Dems.

We're back!

The Party was running a skeleton crew Monday (not that we have a large crew to begin with) as folks took a much deserved day off to recoup after a busy and long convention week. We hope everyone had a great time and enjoyed the break-out sessions and the speeches and are starting to get excited about winning for the Democratic ticket in '06. Thanks to all of the volunteers, delegates, elected officials, candidates, party members, activists, and everyone else for all your support and hard work.

A few things of note:
  1. We are in the process of preparing the final versions of the official new Charter and Platform. We should hopefully have it live by today but it may be tomorrow.

  2. We are trying to gather the final versions of the speeches delivered to the convention, and we will try to post those as well.
Thanks again for all your support and help. More to come later.


At 11:24 AM, May 17, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a platform convention that was pretty good. It still had some logisitcal issues but what conventions don't?

I enjoyed hearing all the candidates speak, and it was good to see some new and younger faces in the crowd. The breakout sessions were an excellent way to get people involved in a more intimate way. A lot of people seemed to enjoy them.

At 8:04 PM, May 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the party officials should understand that there is some degree of concern about the manner in which the changes were pushed through. It has further reinforced among some, the feeling that the state party is not in touch with the grassroots of the party, feeling it is their toy to play with.

At 11:29 PM, May 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the second commenter is onto something real. There's a lot of discussion of these issues in the comments to this post at the Blue Mass. Group blog. I would like to hear what the party has to say to the activists who felt shut out. Jane? Anyone?

At 8:35 PM, May 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you read the convention wrap-up in the Phoenix you get a pretty good idea of Jane's opinion of activists who felt shut out. I'm disappointed, but not terribly surprised that the state party has chosen not to speak to the concerns that many delegates have.

Just based on the charter changes it's very obvious to this activist that our voices are not welcome. I'll keep that in mind the next time I get a request for a donation. Then again, I guess that $55.00 delegate fee WAS a donation. It sure wasn't for participation.

At 2:25 PM, May 23, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to the convention as a delegate under the impression it was to be a "platform convention". After several hours of speeches, that business was summarily executed in 15 minutes.

For future platform conventions, let's set the order of business realtive to the objectives. Take up the platform first, then move on to the politics.

At 2:53 PM, May 23, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We are trying to gather the final versions of the speeches delivered to the convention, and we will try to post those as well."

Deval Patrick's speech was posted immediately to his campaign website, literally from the convention floor. See http://www.devalpatrick.com/releases

Seems to me that this could have been copied from there, and it and all other speeches posted to http://massdems.blogspot.com/ by now (8 days after the convention).

At 5:53 PM, May 23, 2005, Blogger Southcoast Dem said...

I think the State Committee should consider very seriously addressing one by one the rational behind each amendment to the MA Democratic State Party Charter. And once they have done this they should then apologize about how this was handled at the convention. I am a new member of the Democratic Party and was a delegate at the convention. Even though I was new it was clear that the voting to approve the amendments was not handled well. Afterward I had the chance to listen to people who are active within the party and whom I respect. They seriously questioned what had just occurred. I have thrown my hat in with you please do not make me rethink this.

At 8:59 PM, May 23, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a member of my ward committee, and a delegate to multiple MA state conventions, I can tell you that:

i. The charter changes, and the way they were made, were one of the slimiest, undemocratic exercises I've seen in a long time. Sort of embarrassing coming right after Howard Dean's speech.

ii. Pretty much all the members of our ward committee were appalled by the exercise.

At 2:59 PM, May 24, 2005, Blogger PaineInTheArse said...

Ref. "We are trying to gather the final versions of the speeches delivered to the convention, and we will try to post those as well."

Senator Kennedy's speech has been on his campaign website for a few days - http://www.tedkennedy.com

Senator Kennedy Addresses Massachusetts Dem Convention

Senator and Mrs. Kennedy took part in the Massachusetts Democratic Convention on Saturday, May 14th in Lowell, MA. Introduced by Niki Tsongas, widow of former Senator Paul Tsongas, Senator Kennedy spoke at the convention, addressing many of the major issues that the people of Massachusetts and America are most concerned about, and outlined a vision for our future – “a vision not just for Democrat or Republicans or for red states or blue states – but a way forward for all our people.” A rallying cry for Democrats everywhere, Senator Kennedy’s remarks are below.

“Hello Democrats!

Thank you so much, Niki, for the warm introduction. Didn’t she do a great job?

I also commend our outstanding State Chairman Phil Johnston. We might have come up a little short in other states last year, but because of Phil’s hard work – and all your hard work – the Massachusetts Democratic Party is as strong as ever.

It’s such a privilege for Vicki and me to be here with you all today in Lowell’s state-of-the-art Tsongas Arena. It’s such a fitting tribute to Paul’s state-of–the-art mind and his extraordinary vision.

It’s also a special honor to be introduced by Niki, who has been such a friend to all of us for so many years.

And so have Paul’s sisters Thaleia and Vicki, and Paul and Niki’s three wonderful daughters – Katina, Ashley, and Molly.

Paul never stopped pressing us to think about the future in new ways. He left a powerful legacy for our Commonwealth and our country.

He sounded a clarion call in the 1980’s that America’s soaring debt was choking our economy, and we responded in the 1990’s by turning the record budget deficits into record surpluses – and creating tens of millions of jobs.

But George Bush has turned his back on all that. Oh, how we could use Paul’s strong voice again today!

Lowell was always home – the place he loved the most. We’re grateful for his vision of this city. Where others saw decline, Paul saw renewal – and he made it happen here in countless ways.

Today, we see a city reborn and vibrant due to his tireless dedication. The city of the National Park – the Lowell Spinners – the Lock Monsters – the Memorial Auditorium – the American Textile Museum – and the list goes on and on.

As I look out across the convention hall, I see so many people who have shared our causes across the years – friends who were with Jack and Bobby and me in campaigns and who’ve done so much for our communities and our Commonwealth.

My family has always believed profoundly in public service. My parents taught us from the beginning that each of us has the ability and the responsibility to make our community, our country, and our world a better place. As President Kennedy said, “ Each individual can make a difference, and all of us must try.”

That belief is the defining spirit of the Democratic Party – and it’s alive and well today in Massachusetts.

I know my brothers would be proud of all of you here for your dedication and your outstanding support of the Democratic Party. In large part because of so many of you, our Party is living up to its ideals, and we’re doing it more effectively than ever here in Massachusetts.

Across the state, we have fought and won many important battles together – creating the Riverwalk and National Park here in Lowell – cleaning up our brownfields across the state for new industries and new jobs – supporting our fishing families in Gloucester, Cape Cod, and New Bedford – restoring Boston Harbor for the generations to come – investing in our hi-tech corridor along Route 128 and I-495 – building transit centers in Pittsfield, Brockton, Lowell, and Lawrence –and transforming Worcester into a new vibrant, and growing center in the life sciences and medical research industries.

And yesterday, we saw further proof that our efforts are bearing fruit. We stood by our communities as they made the case for preserving our military bases. And we’ll continue to make the case for Otis. But it’s a tribute to the hard work of the people of Massachusetts that at a time when the Pentagon is closing bases all over the country, they not only want to keep Hanscom open, they propose to expand it.

That’s eleven hundred good new jobs that will make a difference for hundreds of our families. Now that’s how Democrats define progress.

As Democrats, we intend to stand up for our principles and speak out for our priorities.

We’ve done it before, and with your help, we’ll keep on doing it more effectively than ever. I say to all of you, we will never give up and we will never give in.

In the years ahead we’ll continue to fight for better schools, so that every child has a fair start in life and a fair chance to go to college. We’ll keep on fighting for better jobs and better job training – safer working conditions – a reasonable minimum wage – a cleaner environment – and to end all forms of discrimination in the workplace.

And we’ll be fighting for full civil rights here at home for all Americans – and for full human rights for those in other lands.

Unlike the Republican Party, we believe our values unite us as Americans, instead of dividing us. In fact, our values are still our greatest strength.

Despite hardships and setbacks over the years, our values have brought us closer than ever to the ideal on which America was established – that all people are created equal.

And when Democrats say “all,” we mean all. Don’t we?

Our friends in the other party want us all to believe that the last election was some far-reaching mandate for them to pursue an agenda of division, exclusion, and single-minded ideology.

They’ve convinced themselves – and are trying to convince the American people – that 60,000 votes in Ohio is a license to do anything they want.

Well I say they have no license – none at all – to dismantle Social Security, the most successful government program ever created.

We don’t have to destroy Social Security in order to save it.

They have no license – none at all – to pack the courts with reactionary judges.

Loyalty to extreme, right-wing ideology is no substitute for loyalty to the law.

They have no license – none at all – to keep giving larger and larger tax give-a-ways to the wealthiest individuals and corporations in the country, when the nation’s debt is soaring beyond all records and when more children than ever are sliding into poverty.

They have no license to protect the profits of pharmaceutical companies, when millions of Americans are struggling to pay the exorbitant cost of prescription drugs.

They have no license to deny an increase in the minimum wage, or eliminate the 40-hour workweek, or get rid of overtime pay for millions of working men and women.

They have no license to destroy the environment by giving carte blanche to big oil to drill in our most precious areas, or to let the timber industry start new chain saw massacres in our national forests.

And they have no license to make a farce of our bankruptcy laws, by putting credit card company profits above the American people.

The American people didn’t vote for any of these Republican pet causes last November, and now they are counting on us to stand up to them – and they are counting on us to stop them.

And let me tell you also, they had no license for their shameful and relentlessly negative attacks on our friend and true American hero, John Kerry.

In the face of their arrogant and reckless tactics, we won’t be intimidated. We won’t retreat.

The last thing America needs is two Republican parties – one is already too many.

When they seek to divide America, we’ll seek to unite it behind our progressive vision.

A vision not just for Democrat or Republicans or for red states or blue states – but a way forward for all our people.

Our pledge is to see that the next generation of Americans lives in a better, safer world, and that every American, regardless of race, gender, religion, disability, or sexual orientation is guaranteed a fair chance at the Great American Dream.

It’s an agenda based on hope that embraces the values and aspirations of our people now, and for the coming generations – and it recognizes that we must all move forward together.

It’s an agenda fit for these times of extraordinary challenge and uncertainty, but it’s true to the timeless ideals born right here in Massachusetts on the fields of Lexington and Concord at the founding of our nation.

We renew our commitment to that great ideal now.

And in doing so, we recognize that our first obligation is to the brave young men and women who sacrifice so much for us overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq. I’ve had the privilege of meeting so many of these brave women and men, and it’s always a very moving experience.

They do so much for all of us – and the least we can do for them is to see that they have the best equipment possible to protect their lives.

Here at home, we renew our commitment to building a stronger America for all our citizens.

We are determined to build a future in which America competes with others – not by lowering wages or standards but by raising skills and leading the world in innovation.

We want a national education strategy to see that all American students can advance in the 21st Century – enough of the tin cup budgets from the White House.

We want a college education available not only to the privileged, but affordable for any qualified student no matter what their income.

We want to put thousands more math and science teachers in our public schools, by forgiving college loans for any students willing to become teachers.

We want to invest in research and development so that the high technology jobs of the future will continue to have a home here in Massachusetts for generations to come.

We want to connect every home – and every school – and every business – in this state and in this nation to the global marketplace though broadband technology – because no man, woman, or child should be shut out because of where they live.

We want to strengthen our nation’s security, by rebuilding strained relationships abroad and creating an effective coalition to keep the most dangerous weapons out of the hands of madmen.

We want to improve mass transportation to bring vitality to our urban areas and to cut down on congestion that is degrading our air quality and undermining the health of our children.

We want to stop this Administration from distorting science and manipulating environmental laws. We won’t let them turn the Environmental Protection Agency into the Environmental Pollution Agency.

And let’s stop wasting the talents of Americans with disabilities, by vigorously eliminating barriers and opening new doors to their full participation in our society.

Let’s defend the rights of gay Americans to live their lives with dignity, respect, and with the full protection of their constitutional rights. And let’s not retreat from that.

And last – but far, far from least – let’s commit to provide affordable health care for all the American people.

Today 45 million Americans have no health insurance – five million more than when George Bush was elected – and one third are children.

The costs of our neglect are out of sight. Half of all bankruptcies in the United States are caused by medical expenses. Millions of American families are just one major illness from complete financial devastation.

Hospitals are needlessly strained because millions without insurance have no choice but to go to the local emergency room, it’s their only family doctor!

This is an enormous moral issue, and it’s major economic issue. Sick children can’t learn in school, and sick parents can’t earn on the job.

And let there be no doubt – this is a Democratic issue.

I’m proud that Massachusetts is poised to lead on this issue this year, and hope something great can be accomplished. State Senate President Bobby Travaglini and Speaker Sal DiMasi deserve a great credit for their commitment to this issue.

As we reach the 40th Anniversary of Medicare this July, it’s time to extend that comprehensive coverage to every American citizen from birth through the end of life.

What Medicare has done for senior citizens, Medicare can do for all our citizens.

I call it “Medicare for All,” and it will be.

The American people aren’t asking much from their government. They want a decent job with decent pay and safe conditions, and a secure pension and retirement.

They want to tear down the walls of discrimination, and they want decent housing, clean air, and clean water. They want safe neighborhoods and a strong national defense.

Above all else, they want more of what matters.

They want time to spend with their families, an opportunity to serve their communities, and the chance to build a stronger future for their children.

Are they asking too much? Of course not.

And we as Democrats want that for all our people, not just the few of wealth and privilege.

We may be a minority in the US Congress, but we speak for the majority of Americans across the country – and in November 2006, we’ll be speaking again for a majority in Congress too.

I look forward to working with all of you – the strongest Democrats in the entire country – to fulfill that promise of America in the years to come for all our citizens.

It’s the greatest honor of my life to serve all of you and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States Senate.

And I hope you’ll visit my website – TedKennedy.Com – as we prepare to meet our great challenges together.

The course ahead is calling us, and we’re ready to respond. Fellow Democrats, full speed ahead.”

At 3:02 PM, May 24, 2005, Blogger PaineInTheArse said...

Ref. "We are trying to gather the final versions of the speeches delivered to the convention, and we will try to post those as well."

Deval Patrick's speech was uploaded from the convention floor to his campaign website - www.devalpatrick.com - within minutes of delivery.


Deval Patrick Speaks to Delegates in Lowell
Speech to the Massachusetts Democratic Platform Convention

May 14, 2005

Tsongas Arena Lowell, Massachusetts

Thank you for that warm welcome. Thank you…

Thank you, Phil, for that generous introduction. And thank you fellow delegates for your warm welcome.

As Phil told you, I have been blessed with many opportunities: to serve my community as a lawyer and a volunteer; my country as a senior government official; and the customers and employees of two big companies as an executive.

In so many ways, I have lived the American Dream- because I got a better chance in Massachusetts. And I was taught that success is not what you get, it's what you give. So, I am running for governor because I want a better chance for you and everyone else in the Commonwealth.

But when I look at Massachusetts today, I see world class hospitals, and half a million fellow souls with no health care and many more just one serious illness away from bankruptcy.

I see Fleet and Gillette and Hancock pull out and take jobs out of state with them, while our Governor travels the country making us the butt of his jokes.

I see a Governor whose income tax cuts are the reason our property taxes and fees keep going up, and our services keep going down.

I see so many people suffering from Alzheimer’s, diabetes and other diseases, while our Governor plays politics with their one chance for hope, stem cell research.

I see young people in over-crowed classrooms, with no after-school programs, and with teachers who spend their own money for materials, while our Governor bashes those very teachers, and acts as if the MCAS is all we need to measure the progress of our kids.

I see a Governor who calls for the death penalty and in the same instant cuts local aid so that we can’t pay for cops we need on the street.

I see time and energy devoted to debating whether to discriminate against gays who want to marry, while the pressing business of building our economy, building our public schools, and rebuilding our shattered public health system goes unaddressed.

We can do better. We need a different kind of problem-solver.

I’ve help lead two Fortune 500 companies, but I’ve also worked the lathe in a machine shop.

I have been a lawyer for major corporations, but also for working families.

I have sat in the Oval Office and counseled a President of the United States, and then had trouble hailing a cab when the meeting was over.

I’ve made some money in the last few years, but I remember what it’s like to need two incomes to pay the mortgage.

I’ve learned how to build bridges across different worlds; how to take the time to listen, as I have to people all over this state; and how not to put people in an ideological box, just as I insist that you not put me in one. And I’ve learned one other thing: I’ve learned about the power of hope, the power of saying, “yes, we can.”

So, when somebody tells you that we can’t afford excellence in public education when our kids’ future depends on it, say, “yes, we can.”

When somebody tells you we can’t have both a strong economy and social justice, or both quality health care and universal health care, say, “yes, we can.”

When somebody tells you that we can’t have decent jobs at decent wages, so that working families see a way up, say, “yes, we can.”

When somebody tells you that we can’t have a fast train to Fall River or New Bedford, or the Green Line to Somerville or the Blue Line to Lynn, say, “yes, we can.”

When somebody tells you we can’t revive Worcester and Lawrence and Pittsfield and North Adams with light industry and biotech, or put Springfield back on its feet, or build housing that working families can afford in every community, say, “yes, we can.”

And when somebody tells you we can’t win back the corner office with a candidate who hasn’t paid his political dues and stored up his political chits on Beacon Hill, what do we say? “Yes, we can.”

My grandmother used to say, “hope for the best, and work for it.” She lived that lesson.

When I was growing up, my grandmother grew roses- on the South Side of Chicago, no less, a place not generally known as a garden spot. Early in a spring morning, she would go out into the little back yard behind our tenement. She would pick up trash, clear away broken glass and work that soil- and I want to tell you that that soil had things in it that God would never put in dirt.

But she grew her roses. From one cutting I remember she grew a climber that reached nearly two stories up the side of our tenement. It was magnificent. And it was improbable. Especially in that soil. In that place. But she tended her garden.

Well, a soil like our ancient Massachusetts soil, sown with the seeds of division and mistrust, cultivated too often by cynics, and choking in places with the weeds of old politics, may not seem like fertile ground to some of you. But it is ours. We must tend our garden.

So, I ask you to join me - in this campaign and in this cause – for your sake and your neighbors’, too. Let’s tend our garden, let’s grow our roses again, let’s revive our politics, Democratic politics, the politics of hope.

Thank you very much.

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