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News :: Labor : Organizing : Politics
Community-labor coalition kicks off campaign for more power in elections
27 Sep 2005
Over two-dozen local community and labor organizations have kicked off a grassroots effort to reinvigorate democracy in the Bay State by giving citizens more choices and a stronger voice at the polls. Rallying behind the slogan, “Vote Your Values,” the groups are conducting an initiative drive to repeal the state’s ban on cross-endorsement voting.

Cross endorsement gives voters an opportunity to express support for the platform or values of a minor or third party without "spoiling" or wasting their vote on a candidate who has no chance of winning. Allowing candidates to run for office with the support of more than one political party gives voters more ability to hold elected officials accountable. Politicians can count the votes they receive on the minor party’s ballot line and recognize the significance of that party’s issues or platform in their election’s outcome.
“For too long the major parties in this state have taken people of color for granted,” said Angie Wilkerson, a board member of the Boston chapter of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) and member of the Mass Ballot Freedom Campaign’s steering committee. “By bringing back the cross-endorsement, like-minded voters can build coalitions with people who share their values and have more impact in elections.”

Cross endorsement voting was legal in Massachusetts until 1912, when the legislature banned it. Today it is still commonly used in New York and Connecticut.

John Bonifaz, founder and general counsel of the National Voting Rights Institute, which has endorsed the campaign, commented, “Fewer people are voting today than ever before because they feel left out by a system that responds more to big money than regular people. Cross-endorsement will give everyday folks the chance to send a message each time they vote. Massachusetts politicians need to hear from more voices, and they need to have more choices at the polls. This ballot initiative will help make that possible.”

“Working people have lost faith in government and our democracy is weaker for it,” said Mark Govoni, legislative director of UFCW Local 1445. “With the power of cross-endorsement, average citizens can more effectively bring issues like affordable health care, better jobs and stronger public schools into the electoral arena.”

Earlier this year the Mass Ballot Freedom campaign pushed for state legislation that would repeal the ban on cross endorsement voting, making the ballot referendum unnecessary. However House Bill 90, co-sponsored by seven Democratic and Republican legislators, is seen as unlikely to pass this year.

The group needs to collect almost 66,000 qualified signatures from registered voters by November 23, 2005 to get on the ballot for the November 2006 election.
See also:
http://www.massballotfreedom.com

This work is in the public domain.
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This will never work
26 Sep 2005
The democratic party has become so odious to the advanced workers in the US that they now have to use other names to keep their support -- the "working families party", the "green party", the "communist party USA", etcetera.

Labor must break with the democrats and build an independent party with a socialist program! Stop deceiving the masses with this demagogic foolery.

http://www.workers.org/
Re: Community-labor coalition kicks off campaign for more power in elections
27 Sep 2005
we also need paper print-outs of how we voted, a listing on the ballot of all the candidates. and a media coverage of all the candidates. with the media covering just the two major parties and occasional snide jokes of the "other" candidates the media is delibratly keeping the people ignorant.
Re: Community-labor coalition kicks off campaign for more power in elections
27 Sep 2005
It amazes me how few people actually write, call or seek face to face meetings with politicans on all levels. I once spoke with a state rep during his local office hours and he said that if he heard from 5 people on any particular issue, that was a lot. This is a sad trend which needs to be reversed. Don't be afraid to be active, ask questions and demand answers. Remember, they work for us and let them never forget it. Perhaps we should bring back the ol' Bay State tradition of tarring and feathering politicians.
Re: Community-labor coalition kicks off campaign for more power in elections
22 Feb 2006
Good evening!!

We are located in the Antelope Valley, north of Los Angeles. The Antelope Valley Community Labor Coalition is looking for some examples of by-laws and regulations of governing our new organization. Is there a possibility of sending a copy of your regs so that we may start to work on our own.

Please lend us a hand in creating an organization that was created to better all members of the community.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Derek Rushing