News

Please find our most recent newsletter as well as archived content below. 

August 23, 2018

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MAHSD at Senator
Elizabeth Warren's Campaign
Headquarters

The Massachusetts High School Democrats have a great campaign opportunity - a day at Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Campaign Headquarters! The event will take place on Tuesday, August 28th, from 4-6PM at 150 Mt. Vernon Street, Dorchester, MA, 02125 (the second floor of the Corcoran Jennison Building). The HQ is walking distance from the JFK/UMass stop on the Red Line and free parking is available.

The HQ day will include:

  • A tour of the campaign headquarters

  • A Q&A session with several staffers from different parts of the campaign

  • A chance to meet with your regional field organizer to learn more about the campaign’s presence in your region and how you can get involved

  • A skill building session on campaign skills such as phone banking and canvassing

  • Phone banking for the campaign

  • Pizza!

If you are interested in attending, please sign up here.

Email MAHSD Field Director, Anjali Ramakrishnan, with any questions or concerns at aramakrishnan@hsdems.org.

Statewide Back to School Call

The MAHSD Statewide Back to School Call will be on Wednesday, August 29th at 7 pm. Listen in for Executive Board updates and plans for the school year. All are welcome!

Chapter chairs, please fill out
this form
to confirm your attendance or who will be present in your place.

You may join the call using
this link and this meeting ID: 277-916-594.

To join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/277916594

To join from iPhone one-tap :
US: +14086380986,,277916594# or +16465588665,,277916594#
Or Telephone:

Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 408 638 0986 or +1 646 558 8665

International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/zOvjgKgJ.

More information will be sent out closer to the date.






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AugusT 1, 2018

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 GETTING INVOLVED 

 CAMPAIGN BULLETIN BOARD 

Through our campaign bulletin board, students are able to volunteer their time on behalf of candidates running in local and state races. Volunteering for a campaign offers a variety of opportunities from developing critical thinking skills, logical reasoning, and problem solving. Students are able to gain insight on how to run for office and the inner workings of a political campaign, while building their political network. We highly encourage you to utilize this resource and hope it is of use to you!

 

 VOTING REGISTRATION DRIVES 
 

Looking for a way to engage your community or your peers at school in the political process? Hold a voting registration drive! The state of Massachusetts allows people to pre-register to vote at just 16 years old. With your efforts at your school supported by the resources the High School Democrats provide, you can easily prepare your fellow students for the elections this Fall, any local elections, or any wider races in the future. Especially in the upcoming midterms, an increase in turnout from newly registered voters can make a huge difference.

However, you may be asking yourself, “How do you hold a voting registration drive?” There are only two main steps in your preparation.

 

Step 1: find a time and place. Whether it is at lunch, before school or after school, think about what point of the day would find your school’s students (and yourself) available to fill out a quick form. Brainstorm some places around the building that would provide great visibility and a place for people to stop by. Once you have an idea, talk to your school’s administration to iron out the logistics on this nonpartisan effort.

 

Step 2: Get the forms you need. Visit  https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/ to learn about the different forms you can use to help register your peers. Consider partnering with a town clerk or a city official to help with the paperwork or the online form.


For more information, please visit our website (https://www.masshsdems.org/voter-registration/) and the resources provided or send us an email at massachusetts@hsdems.org.


 LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY 

The MAHSD Executive Board wants to know what advocacy work you are interested in doing over the next school year. Please fill out the first of two surveys to let us know what our organization should accomplish below.

Click Here to Complete the Survey
 

 CIVICS EDUCATION BILL 
 

The MAHSD is excited to announce that a civics education bill, An Act to Promote and Enhance Civic Engagement, has passed through the Massachusetts Senate! The bill, that would go into effect in the 2020-2021 school year, was supported by the MAHSD during a lobby day at the State House. On April 3rd, MAHSD members lobbied alongside members of the Massachusetts Teenage Republicans (MATARS) in a bipartisan effort to encourage civics education in Massachusetts public schools. This bill would require schools to have US history and civics classes with a curriculum that includes a hands-on civics project. Curriculum requirements include Massachusetts and United States history, including the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, as well as the functions of government and duties of citizens. The bill was created in hopes of encouraging civic service and to better prepare students for citizenship. The civic education bill also includes ways for the state to encourage high-school voters and voter registration drives. The bill has been sent to the governor for his signature.  

 CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT SERIES 

To be featured in future newsletters and social media posts, chapter chairs can fill out this form.
 

 CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT #5 
 FEATURING: BLS 
 

In the 17-18 school year, the Boston Latin School chapter grew from a small founding group to a chapter with over 40 registered members. The chapter had around a dozen meetings over the course of the year, many of which were devoted to calling and writing letters to legislators on behalf of MAHSD about a landmark civics education bill, which passed with MAHSD's support in April. They also took advantage of their location in Boston and had two meetings at the statehouse with Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and Rep. Chynah Tyler. Both legislators went on to support the bill. Furthermore, members took part in the Women's march, and the March for Our Lives. Members also used MAHSD's Walkout and Keep Moving guides to advocate for gun control. Although the walkout itself got snowed out, MAHSD did plan BLS' walkout, worked to get coverage with local media, and held a sign making event. The signs were later displayed around the school. In the future, they plan to grow the BLS chapter even more to a 100+ members. They have a plan already in motion to register every eligible student at Boston Latin to vote by working with the city elections department and restructuring the existing program. However, they plan to center a majority of their work in the next school around the midterm elections, seeking out campaign internships and volunteer opportunities.


 CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT #6 
 FEATURING: PCSS II 
 

The Pioneer Charter School of Science II chapter of the MAHSD has been incredibly successful in 2018. Chair Aoguzi Muhameiti and his team have worked tirelessly on voter registration. Through voting registration initiatives in their community and petitioning to legislators for automatic voter registrations, the PSCC II chapter has set themselves apart as advocates for voter accessibility. They plan to continue these projects into the upcoming midterm elections this November. With more than 20 active members, PCSS II has been able to attend multiple town hall events, including those of Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Ed Markey. They were also in attendance at Gubernatorial Debates this past May as well as District Attorney Debates. The PCSS II chapter was also involved in advocating for ‘An Act to Promote and Engage Civic Engagement’, a bipartisan, bicameral bill that passed in the state this year. The students at Pioneer Charter School of Science II plan to continue to advocate for voter rights and initiatives through letters to legislators and hope to help nearby schools’ MAHSD chapters.
 

 7/9 EXECUTIVE BOARD CALL MINUTES 
 

The 2018-2019 MAHSD Executive Board will release minutes for each recent Executive Board call. Minutes include member attendance,  topics discussed, and everything that the board has been working on. Click here to view the minutes for 07/09/2018 MAHSD Executive Board call.







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July 2, 2018

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 FACEBOOK GROUP 

We invite you all to join the official Massachusetts High School Democrats Facebook group. Please join to see new information from our leadership, resources regarding events and initiatives, and get a sense of what your fellow High School Democrats are up to. You can find the Facebook group here.

 CAMPAIGN OPPORTUNITIES 

Through our campaign bulletin board, members are able to volunteer their time on behalf of candidates running in local and state races. Volunteering for a campaign offers a variety of opportunities from developing critical thinking skills, logical reasoning, and problem solving. Members are able to gain insight on how to run for office and the inner workings of a political campaign, while building their political network. We highly encourage you to utilize this resource and hope it is of use to you!
 
CAMPAIGN BULLETIN BOARD
 CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT SERIES 


To be featured in future newsletters and social media posts, chapter chairs can fill out this form.
 

 CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT #2 
FEATURING: MEDWAY

 

The Medway High School Democrats, led by chair Mark Lannigan, has done extraordinary work pushing for greater civic engagement this year. They hosted Civics Day at their high school to teach their fellow peers about local government, and invited Rep. Roy and  town officials to speak. The chapter held a gun control forum after the March 14th walkout, where more than 40 attendees discussed the issue and proposed solutions. Members attended the Worcester March for Our Lives, where one member, Caroline Williams, had the opportunity to speak. Many members attended a town hall with Senator Warren where they asked her questions and spoke with her. In the future, they plan to hold more gun control forums and organize a town hall at their own high school.

 CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT #3 
 FEATURING: BEVERLY 

 

Led by Rory Devlin and Eliza Michaels, the Beverly High School MAHSD Chapter has had a year filled with great progress and activism. Their hard work and dedication flourished around Beverly High School and served to inspire many students to join their growing chapter. Focusing on local activism, students worked on Seth Wilbur Moulton campaign a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Massachusetts's 6th congressional district.Through their hard work effort, they created a campaign video for Seth Moulton that has over 300,000 views and led numerous people to vote for Moulton. The Beverly Chapter also recognized the importance of bipartisanism and organized a Q&A session with their local Republicans Club and town mayor, Michael P. Cahill.  Through rallies the Beverly MAHSD Chapter raised their voices, emphasizing the need for common sense gun laws and safer schools through the March for Our Lives movement and advocated legislation and policy creation in regards to women rights through the Women's Marches. In the future years to come, Rory and Eliza look forward to implementing voter registration initiatives as well as expanding their already growing chapter. They hope to push for more reform and creating a better society for everyone through attending more rallies and well as chapter field trips to sharpen their knowledge on politics and government. The Beverly High School MAHSD Chapter has been making big strides and look forward to creating change on the local, state, and national level.


 CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT #4 
FEATURING: ARHS

 

The Algonquin Regional High School Chapter of the MAHSD, led by Rianna Mukherjee, has been civically engaged from the start of the chapter. One of the chapter’s first initiatives was holding voting registration drives the week of the March 14th walkouts for gun reform, in which club members helped the town clerks register 135 students. Furthermore, they focused much of their efforts towards the passing of a civics education bill, An Act to Promote and Enhance Civic Engagement. Members called legislators and pushed teachers, other students, and members of their local Democratic Town Committees to show their support as well. After being informed of the bill’s passing through the MA House of Representatives, they decided to attend the bipartisan lobbying day at the Massachusetts State House for this bill. They spent the day with other MAHSD, MATARS, and generation citizen students talking to legislators about the importance of the bill. They were excited to see it pass and will continue to focus their efforts towards lobbying initiatives such as civics education, gun reform, and better sex education programs.  







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June 1, 2018

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THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO ATTENDED
NEW ENGLAND SUMMIT!

Thank you so much for attending HSDA New England Summit. We are so proud of our development of the largest HSDA gathering in history, but we couldn’t have done it without all of you. Your passion, commitment, and drive to improve the world is what keeps us an energetic, powerful organization. We hope you had a great time networking, hearing our incredible speakers, and learning from the workshops. It would not have been a success without you and we hope that you enjoyed your time at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute. If you have any feedback for us we would love to hear from you, so that we can organize events like this one in the future. When you have some time, please fill out our feedback survey.

EVENTS AND INTIATIVES

  • Democratic State Convention: June 1st - June 2nd, DCU Center in Worcester, MA. The Massachusetts Democratic Party is looking for volunteers to help them run the show. Volunteer to learn more about the voting process, listen to speeches from your favorite Democrats, and to be engaged first-hand!
SIGNUP TO VOLUNTEER

We are excited to share the introduction of rolling committee applications, in which members are welcome to submit applications to committees year-round. If you're interested in getting more involved in the internal dynamics of our organization, please check out the committees down below.

APPLY FOR MAHSD COMMITTEES
  • Communications Committee: please apply here to join Communications Committee/Graphics Committee. Members will be managing social media, working on projects such as chapter spotlights, as well as learning to create graphics.
  • Finance and Development Committee: please apply here to join Finance and Development Committee. Members will work on fundraising initiatives and organize tasks involving our growing infrastructure as our organization expands.

JUNE 8TH MAHSD CALL

We will be holding a statewide call on Sunday, June 8th at 7PM. All are welcome, but we ask that chapter chairs fill out this form, confirming their availability or that of whom will fill in for them. We look forward to hearing about what you’ve worked on over the past few months and welcome in new chapters as well! More information about the call will be dispersed closer to the date.

CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT SERIES

We would like to highlight and commemorate the work that chapters have done over the past year through our new Chapter Spotlight Series! Chapter Chairs, please send us a quick summary of the initiatives your chapter has worked on and provide us with pictures to post on our social media platforms using this link.
CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT #1
FEATURING: WEST SPRINGFIELD
The West Springfield Chapter of the MAHSD, led by Senior Joseph Callahan, had a year filled with action and political engagement. In September, members of the club began work on an environmental initiative to bring solar panels to their school. They encouraged discussion, and defined the savings that solar energy would provide to their school and town. The West Springfield High School Democrats also hosted a State Democratic Committee Meeting that was attended by many state committee members, as well as members of the MAHSD community. According to Joseph, hosting the State Committee Meeting was “definitely worth it and got our names out there.” In the aftermath of the Parkland shootings, the West Springfield chapter mobilized for gun violence reform. They worked with their school administration to plan a school walkout that was attended by over 800 students; Joseph maintains that the school walkout was a “peaceful and empowering moment” and that it “opened up people’s minds.” In addition, many students from West Springfield participated in the March for Our Lives march in Boston as well as State Senator Eric Lesser’s lobby day for East-West rail at the statehouse in October. Voter registration was also on their minds as they have successfully registered approximately 50 students so far this year. The West Springfield Chapter will be holding elections at their last meeting of the year, and is looking forward to continuing their engagement into next year.
 

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