Dear Greylock Together,
Summer is supposed to be around the corner. The weather hasn’t been lifting too many spirits, but I hope everyone does relax and ease up on the gas pedal for a bit over the summer. If we feel weary 6 months into this presidency, remember that the folks in the White House and on Capitol Hill probably aren’t having as much of a ball at this experience as they were hoping to. And, we live in a summer destination spot, so we should enjoy it! This past weekend, I hope many of you were able to celebrate the amazing energy we have in our community; the opening of Building 6 at Mass MoCA and all the ways that institution has pushed the envelope on community engagement, contemporary art, and economic development partnerships is a marvel.
Memorial Day and Heroes in Portland
Yesterday’s Memorial Day ceremonies also serve as a reminder of so many who have come before us who sacrificed for the ideals this country was built upon, for which we continue to strive and add our own efforts. Many are dismayed that the president has not recognized by name Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Rick Best, who were murdered standing up against a racist attack. May they rest in peace, and may their sacrifice not be forgotten.
Our Next Greylock Together Meeting is this Sunday, June 4th, 3:00-4:30pm at the Williamstown Youth Center. We will be joined by Joyce Hackett from Code Blue, and hope that despite various graduation ceremonies happening over the weekend, that you’ll be able to come out and hear about Automatic Voter Registration. As always, childcare is provided and all are welcome!
Thank you Alexander for the following notes about our surveys and the Quist race.
Please Take our Second Greylock Together Survey
This survey includes bills about two dynamite issues: the economy and healthcare. How do we bolster a fragile recovery, fix a rigged system, and protect the victories of the past? With laws, and this is our first step. We need your voice — do you support a $15 minimum wage, do you want a public option? You make the decisions… what will Greylock Together support? With hundreds of active members, we have a lot of power: help us decide how to use it!
Our last survey shows the Greylock Together community is overwhelmingly supportive of nonpartisan redistricting to end gerrymandering, automatic voter registration, and ending the disenfranchisement of felons. Changing the system of voting from first-past-the-post also has majority support, but many people still have questions about that one. We’ll ask the research team to get us more info. So we’re getting good results and soon we’ll know what to support… and where our representatives stand!
Montana and Quist
Last week in Montana’s House race, Democrat Rob Quist lost by seven points to Gregory Gianforte. This might seem disappointing and surprising — weren’t we pouring a lot of effort and money into that race, and didn’t Gianforte assault a reporter the day before the election? But Montana is deep red! In these special elections, we’re paying the most attention to the overall trend, not any individual result. In other words, victory would have been amazing, but we weren’t counting on it. Instead, we’re looking at the whole picture.
Montana is 21 points more Republican than the American average, meaning that the results are about fifteen points more Democratic than we’d ordinarily expect. And in combination with all the past results this year, we’re talking about a good year next year. Your work is paying off, so keep it up!
Chart by Harry Enten of fivethirtyeight.com
Steve Ballmer’s Data Trove
About a month ago, the New York Times wrote a fascinating article about former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s project to provide the public with a comprehensive look at how government revenue is collected and spent. Love data? It’s definitely a website worth checking out here.
The Big Bad Budget
As we all have seen by now, Trump’s proposed budget is disastrous on a number of levels. Though it seems unlikely that it will be approved given that many Republicans oppose it, it’s still scary to think that any budget similar to this could be approved. Here’s a good New York Times info piece about the proposed budget. And a helpful piece that Indivisible posted about the budget. Whether you’re concerned about Medicaid, the EPA, ridiculous tax rates, or anything and everything else, now’s a good time to call your representatives and tell them what you don’t want to see the decimation of our social safety nets to fund tax cuts for the wealthy
Berkshire: Richard Neal 202-225-5601
Bennington: Peter Welch 202-225-4115
Rensselaer: John Faso 202-225-5614
See you soon,