The Haverhill Democratic City Committee (HDCC) supports Democratic candidates and elected officials from local to national levels, works to empower younger people in our party and brings you informative events about political and social issues.


July 15, 2018

HDCC announces date for Breakfast

The Haverhill Democratic City Committee Annual Breakfast will be held on Saturday, August 25, 2018, at 10 AM, at Maria’s Family Restaurant, Galleria Banquet Room, 85 Essex Street, Haverhill.

Candidates for the 3rd Congressional Seat, along with Democratic candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, and other statewide offices will be attending. 2018 Distinguished Democrats will be awarded and straw poll will be conducted on all contested races.

The breakfast is open to the public and tickets are $25. Advance ticket purchases are strongly recommended as this event will sell out early. For more info contact Roz McKeon, Breakfast Chairperson, at rbm521@comcast.net.

Trump’s Supreme Court Pick — Brett Kavanaugh

You may have read that Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh, is a great guy in a carpool — a great friend. You may have also read that he’s an influential judge and a loyal friend.  Should we be worried? Yes!

First, Kavanaugh was vetted and approved by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative body that approves judges who rule favorably for big business and against women’s right to choose. He is likely to rule to overturn Obamacare and the clause that protects preexisting conditions. Perhaps most consequential, he has written that he does not think that sitting presidents should be subject to lawsuits and criminal investigations.

With the confirmation of Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court will have a conservative slant for years to come. Many of the rights and freedoms held dearly by Democrats — universal health care, net neutrality, gun control, a woman’s right to choose, racial and gender equality — could be at risk. And the deck will be even more decidedly stacked toward corporations for decades.

If you have five minutes (or a little more time for some), you can do something to fight back. Please see our action items this week.

Senate passes automatic voter registration Massachusetts

 H4671 An Act automatically registering eligible voters and enhancing safeguards against fraud, passed the Massachusetts Senate unanimously.


June 11, 2018

Swing Congress holds second postcard event

About 8 HDCC members gathered on Saturday, June 9, at Panera Bread in Plaistow to flip the Congress (and other races as well) blue. Yesterday we wrote postcards for Eric Holguin, Democrat running for Congress in Texas, and Eileen Higgins, running for County Commissioner in Florida. Besides writing and decorating many postcards, we enjoyed conversation and Panera’s great pastries and coffee. This is a great way to meet fellow HDCC members and have an impact on important national races.

HDCC goes to the Democratic State Convention

On June 1-2, Haverhill sent representatives to the Democratic State Convention. This year the convention endorsed three state candidates — governor, lieutenant governor, and secretary of state. The convention opened on Friday, June 1, when the four candidates who do not have primary challengers addressed the convention: state Auditor Suzanne Bump, state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, Attorney General Maura Healey and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. But the main work of the convention — endorsing candidates with primary challengers — happened on Saturday.

The day started with sponsored breakfasts; this year, the MTA, SEIU, and Voter Choice Massachusetts held breakfasts. We went to the Voter Choice breakfast and were treated to pastries and talks by all the major candidates. As we munched chocolate croissants, Josh Zakim, Bill Galvin,  Jay Gonzales, Lori Trahan, Alexandra Chandler, Dan Koh, Quentin Palfrey,and Barbara L’Italien stopped by to speak about their candidacies and the importance of voter choice.

The convention itself kicked off with a rousing speech by Ed Markey. After the roll call, we heard the candidates speak: first governor — Bob Massie and Jay Gonzales; then lieutenant governor — Quentin Palfrey and Jimmy Tingle; and finally secretary of state — Bill Galvin and Josh Zakim. As each candidate spoke, supporters in candidate tee-shirts with signs gathered at the front, near the stage.

After the speeches, the roll was called again and we voted.  There was a major upset: newcomer Josh Zakim upset incumbent William Galvin for the secretary of state endorsement with 55% of the vote. The convention also strongly endorsed Jay Gonzales for governor, with 70% of the vote, to Bob Massie’s 30%. Quentin Palfrey won the convention’s lieutenant governor’s endorsement with 59% of the vote to Jimmy Tingle’s 41%. Although Jay Gonzales, Quentin Palfrey, and Josh Zakim won their party’s endorsement, Bob Massie, Jimmy Tingle, and William Galvin will all appear on the ballot, having achieved more than 15% of the vote.


Don’t forget to follow the HDCC on Twitter! The newsletter is taking a brief summer break (we’ll be back in mid-July), and Twitter is a way to keep in touch. And be sure to re-tweet HDCC Tweets!

News from the Committees

Immigration Task Force

The Immigration Task Force meets next on June 18 at 5:30 in the Johnson Auditorium, Haverhill Public Library.  Note new location! Please contact Kathy Rurak (jarandkas@comcast.net) for more information about this committee.

Action Committee

The Action Committee meets next on June 18 at 7 p.m. in the Milhendler Room, Haverhill Public Library. Note new time! The committee to Swing Congress is holding postcard events at Panera Bread; stay tuned for the next event as well as Hubdialer parties. Please contact Gtraham Schwass (grahamsch@comcast.net) for more information about Swing Congress and Chere Bemelmans (chere.bemelmans@gmail.com) for information about the Action committee.

Events Committee

The Events Committee is taking a break in June! Please stay tuned for the next meeting information.  Please contact Rosemary Young (young01950@yahoo.com) for more information.

Upcoming Events

See the Calendar of Events.

May 28, 2018

HDCC holds lieutenant governor and secretary of state meet and greet

The HDCC held its second Meet and Greet Wednesday, May 23, at the Barking Dog. We had a chance to talk one-on-one with candidates for lieutenant governor Quentin Palfrey and Jimmy Tingle. A representatives from Josh Zakim’s secretary of state campaign, Grace Zakim, also spoke. Josh Zakim had another commitment and could not attend, and William Galvin, the incumbent, was held up at the state house and also could not attend.

Quentin Palfrey, candidate for lieutenant governor, was a senior advisor for jobs and competitiveness in the Obama administration, where he fought for economic opportunity for all. “The Republic has been hijacked by this administration,”  he said. “They are dismantling everything. We need to look to the states. Massachusetts has a history of leadership. We need to fight back. If we take the corner office, we can raise the minimum wage, combat climate change, and enact criminal justice reform.”

Jimmy Tingle, candidate for lieutenant governor, says that government matters — it can change people’s lives. “When someone needs help, he or she should be able to get it,” Tingle said. Tingle bases his platform on the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr.: feed the hungry, house the homeless, heal the sick, visit the prisoner, and welcome the stranger. “But we don’t just feed people hungry for food, but people hungry for education and opportunity. We don’t just house the homeless — we create a system of affordable housing.” He concluded by saying, “If you don’t like Trump — send a message: put a Democrat in the corner office.”

Grace Zakim spoke on behalf of her husband Josh, who is a candidate for secretary of state. Josh Zakim believes strongly in increasing access to voting: same day voter registration, early voting, and automatic voter registration. He believes that Massachusetts should be a leader in voting; instead, the state gets a C rating.

Besides hearing the candidates’ and representative’s presentations, we had ample opportunity to sit down and speak with each candidate one on one, which was definitely the most rewarding part of the evening. Kudos to the Events Committee for another great Meet and Greet!

Swing Congress holds first postcard writing afternoon

Swing Congress held its first postcard-writing event on Saturday, May 26, at Panera in Plaistow. Eight persons gathered to write postcards on behalf of Genevieve Jones-Wright, candidate for District Attorney in San Diego. With multicolored sharpies and pre-addressed postcards provided by Postcards to Voters, we let our creativity run wild as we encouraged voters a continent away to vote on June 5. The next postcard event will be on June 9 at 2:30, Panera in Plaistow. (Clockwise from far left, Ron Peacetree, Graham Schwass, Jean Longfellow,  Jean Sanders, and Penelope Davis.

Introducing Guest Posts

We’d like to hear what you think, so we’ve created a webpage just for you and your thoughts. Introducing Guest Posts — a chance for HDCC members to sound off about issues important to you. Posts will stay up for two weeks before being archived. Please email Guest Posts to hdccnewsma@gmail.com.

Here’s an article from The New Yorker for your Memorial Day reading pleasure:  In the Trump Era, We Are Losing the Ability to Distinguish Reality from Vacuum.

News from the Committees

Immigration Task Force

The Immigration Task Force has been focusing on the passage of the Safe Communities Act. Things happened quickly after our Monday (May 21) meeting but thanks to everyone that was able to get in a call to Senators.  Now it will go to the House.  I will be talking to several people in MIRA, Rep. Matias office, and Sen. Warren’s office this week to get a sense of where this might go in the House and what we should try and do.  Thanks again to everyone who attended on Monday.  A good meeting with important new ways we might reach our elected officials. Please contact Kathy Rurak (jarandkas@comcast.net) for more information about this committee.

Action Committee

The Action Committee met on May 21 at the Haverhill Public Library. Victoria Nader, from the Josh Zakim for Secretary of State campaign, gave a short talk on his candidacy. The Voter Registration sub-committee reported on plans to register voters throughout the summer.

The committee to Swing Congress has been meeting on Fridays at the Artist’s Cafe to plan post carding and Hub dialing events to contact voters across the nation to unseat Republican members of the US House and Senate.  We had our first Post Carding event on Saturday at Panera’s in Plaistow. We had 8 people who turned out over 60 postcards for a race for District Attorney in San Diego, California.  Our next postcarding event will be on Saturday, June 9, from 230p – 4p, at Panera’s in Plaistow. Come join us – lots of political discussion (and lots of fun too!). Please contact Gtraham Schwass (grahamsch@comcast.net) for more information about Swing Congress and Chere Bemelmans (chere.bemelmans@gmail.com) for information about the Action committee.

Events Committee

The Events Committee meets monthly and plans HDCC meet and greets and other informative events. Please contact Rosemary Young (young01950@yahoo.com) for more information.

Upcoming Events

See the Calendar of Events.




HDCC Holds 3rd Congressional District
Meet and Greet

The HDCC held its Meet and Greet (aka “Political Speed Dating”) for the Third Congressional District Democratic candidates on May 7 at Maria’s Galleria Banquet Room. Eleven of the twelve candidates running to replace Niki Tsongas attended:

Jeff Ballinger Dan Koh Juana Matias
Alexandra Chandler Barbara L’Italien Keith St. John
Beej Das Patrick Littlefield Lori Trahan
Rufus Gifford Bopha Malone

Absent was Leonard Golder.

Each candidate gave a two-minute opening statement. Going in alphabetical order, Ballinger, a labor watchdog, said that Republicans have demonized regulations; we need to show they work. Chandler will fight for lower-cost childcare, universal healthcare, gun safety, and high-quality education for all. Das is in favor of legislation that protects the independent council, and Gifford believes that government needs to earn back people’s trust. (Mouse over photo for identifying caption.)

Koh says that the American Dream is under attack, and L’Italien highlighted her work on Hunking School, the Rail Trail, and advocating for people with autism. Littlefield is running to improve the lives of working- and middle-class Americans, and Malone praised her parents, teachers, and mentors who helped her achieve the American Dream and says it is out of reach for many.

Matias talked about growing up in Haverhill and says that there’s too much at stake to sit back: the president does not believe her story makes America great. A newcomer to the race, St. John advocates for environmentally friendly jobs. Trahan will fight for working families — too many are struggling for a shot at the American Dream.

After the opening statements, the fun began. Each candidate spent five minutes (not enough time!) at each table, where we had prepared questions waiting for them. Our table’s question was,  “Is there a cause that you are most passionate about?”

It was enlightening to hear these intelligent, committed candidates speak about what drives them to run for office. It was exciting to be able to ask follow-up questions and have conversations with them.

We are truly fortunate here in the Third District to have an amazing group of candidates running for Tsongas’ seat. If you want to know more about these candidates, please follow the links above to their websites. Once you’ve got a favorite, donate some time or money to help him or her get elected!