March 25, 2019 

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Action Committee Plans First Meeting in 2019
The Action/Outreach Committee is planning its first meeting of 2019 on April 11, at 6:30 p.m., in the Haverhill Public Library Auditorium. The 2019 agenda is an exciting and challenging one: to increase voter participation, to increase the active membership of the HDCC, and to increase participation by young people and diverse people.
Last year the Action Committee identified several HDCC challenges:
  • Low voter turnout and interest.  Although the 2018 midterm election turnout was uncharacteristically high, most midterm and local elections see very low voter turnout.
  • Lack of young people and diversity in HDCC membership.
  • The need to increase the HDCC pool of active members.
Because committee goals this year involved reaching out to the community to increase membership and voter participation, the Action Committee has become for 2019 the Action/Outreach Committee.
Some ideas for increasing voter participation are to contact nonvoters and invite them to a “focus group”/potluck event (something fun), where committee members can find out some reasons for why they don’t vote. It might be lack of time or the need for childcare, or perhaps they don’t see the relevance or politics to their lives or the point of voting. What would change their minds?
Ideas for increasing young people and diversity in HDCC membership is to reach out to some of the MA3 candidates, who had a contingent of young supporters (Why did they join those campaigns? What excited them about their candidate?); to reach out to any political groups at Northern Essex and the High School; and to reach out to young and diverse people through the women’s movement.
The recent survey identified some possible ways to increase active HDCC membership:
  • Vary the meeting times between evenings and weekend afternoons.
  • Establish a ride share or carpool for night meetings.
  • Increase social media presence so members can be invited to HDCC events with Facebook invites; increase links between Facebook and website.
  • Offer training in social media, texting and Hubdialing voters, and canvassing for candidates.
  • Offer HDCC carpools to protest marches.
  • Set up an environmental/climate change subgroup.

As you can see, the Action/Outreach Committee has an ambitious agenda for 2019 to prepare for election year 2020. All are welcome; contact [email protected] for more information.


News from the Committees
The HDCC Events Committee has its next meeting on April 4 at 7 p.m. Please contact Joe LeBlanc ([email protected]) for location and to RSVP. 
As noted above, the HDCC Action/Outreach Committee will hold its first meeting of 2019 on April 11, 6:30 p.m., Haverhill Public Library Johnson Auditorium. 
Book Nook
Chere Bemelmans recommends White FragilityFrom 
Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively. 
This is an eye-opening book -- I encourage everyone to read it. At all levels of government, we have work to do. 
Readers, again a plea for you to help us out! What are you reading? Why do you think everyone else should read it too?  Whether it's the perfect romance novel (we all need to escape!) or socially relevant nonfiction, let us know why the book is important to you and link to the book's Amazon site. Send Book Nook  features to [email protected]. Please use the subject line Book Nook.
Action ItemsReturning soon! 
Coming Events

March 30, 2019, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m., Greater Haverhill Indivisible Group MeetingUnitarian Universalist Church of Haverhill. In the first hour there will be a presentation by “Ranked Voter Choice.” Currently, there are two bills in the MA state house to enact Ranked Choice Voting for all state and federal elections (except for President).  We can all help this legislation become a reality in 2019 by learning more about Ranked Choice Voting and spreading the word in our communities. (Note from the newsletter: this is an excellent presentation and I encourage everyone to attend. If you need a ride, please email [email protected]; use the subject line GHI.)


April 4, 2019, 7 p.m., Events Committee meeting; please contact Joe LeBlanc ([email protected]) for details.

April 11, 2019, 6:30 p.m., Action/Outreach Committee meeting, Haverhill Public Library Johnson Auditorium; please contact [email protected] for details and see the article above for agenda and 2019 goals. 
April 20, 2019, 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., join HDCC Events Committee at the Citizen's Center for our Earth Day cleanup project. There are tasks for everyone to do no matter age or ability.   

May 20, 2019,  6:30 p.m., Ward Committees 1 - 7 Caucus to elect delegates to the 2019 MA Democratic State Convention. Haverhill Public Library's Johnson Auditorium.  You must be a registered Democrat to be elected. As long as a person is 16 years old or older on May 11 and is a registered or pre-registered Democrat as of the day of the Caucus, the person can participate in a local Caucus.  There will be a short meeting preceding the Caucus.

June 2019: Summer Kickoff Cookout. Join us for an afternoon of excellent company, good food, and fun at Winnekinni Castle. Tentative plans include our local legislators working the grills. Stay tuned for details.  
September 7, 2019, HDCC Annual Breakfast, details to come.
September 14, 2019, Democratic State Convention, details to come. 
Look at what our elected representatives are up to! 
Thank them, nag them, beg them -- tell them how you feel! Until you have them on speed dial, find all of your representatives -- state, local, and national -- here! 


February 10, 2019 

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or email  [email protected].

March 25, 2019 

Find us:
Connect with us: Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
Communicate with us: Tweet (@HaverhillMADems
or email  [email protected].
Many thanks to Rosemary Young, Bill Cox, Joe LeBlanc, and Roz McKeon who wrote the newsletter this week. 
If you weren’t able to make it to the HDCC 2019 Kickoff, here’s your chance to take the survey online that we handed out at the Event! (Note: survey takes about five minutes to complete.)

Breaking News! Senator Elizabeth Warren announces her candidacy for president of the United States! Watch it here. Note that this is a video of the whole 2-hour plus event, and the link takes you to Warren’s entrance; scroll back in time if you want to see Rep. Joe Kennedy’s great introduction or any other of the inspiring speakers, including Senator Ed Markey and Rep. Lori Trahan.

HDCC Holds 2019 Kickoff Event
More than 50 people attended the HDCC’s 2019 Kickoff at the Haverhill Public Library's Johnson Auditorium on February 4, according to HDCC chair Bill Cox. A slideshow of the HDCC’s many accomplishments from 2016 through 2018 played throughout in the background, courtesy of Bob Young. The slideshow below shows some of the participants in the Kick Off.
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Many young persons attended, including many of the Chief of Staffs to our representatives, and they helped energize the meeting.  We were happy to get a few new members of the HDCC!
After a brief social hour, Bill Cox reported on the budget, and members heard from the Latino coalition, which was formed from our Immigration subcommittee, noted Bill Cox.  Ismael Matias summarized the successful meetings with U.S. Representative Lori Trahan and Mayor Jim Fiorentini; he also spoke about the priorities of the Haverhill Immigration Coalition. There will be a follow-up meeting with the Haverhill School Superintendent; details to come. People recommended that the Newsletter include some information translated into Spanish.
Members filled out a questionnaire to determine HDCC priorities for 2019.  This survey is available online for people who were not able to attend Monday night (survey takes about 5 minutes to complete).
Haverhill's House and Senate state delegation was on hand to talk about their priorities for 2019.
  • Representative Linda Dean Campbell's priorities are funding for education, health, prescriptions costs, and environmental issues.
  • Representative Andy Vargas said that the percentage of Latino voters doubled from 5 to 10 percent in the recent election.  This is very promising but leaves room for improvement. Vargas says that he wants to speed up the State funding of education, and that Haverhill is behind the Commonwealth in the recovery of available housing. Vargas is working on a bill to increase the excise tax on vaping products to help limit access to teenagers.   He is also working to appropriate more money for Haverhill schools and education programs
  • Representative Christina Minicucci has spent much time on gas line safety because of the Columbia gas explosions in her district.
  • Senator Diana DiZoglio's main emphasis has been passing the Senate Rules Package  for nondisclosure  agreements, which successfully passed the Senate but not the House.
“The HDCC event provided members an excellent opportunity to hear from their local Democratic legislators as well as to organize for 2019 in what looks to be an exciting year,” said Joe LeBlanc. 
Then we had a lively discussion about HDCC activities last year -- what worked and what we might want to do differently. Members discussed successes from 2016 to 2018, and then offered suggestions for 2019 including having a permanent HDCC office where people can meet and work on special activities.
Members then broke into three groups -- Events Committee, Outreach/Communications (Action), and the Campaign/Liaison with Elected Officials -- to determine priorities for 2019.  Here are a few of the identified goals:
  • Increase HDCC member participation by having more social events.
  • Raise funds for the HDCC campaign office
  • Create a permanent liaison with our State representatives and senator.
  • Update the Website.
  • Reformat the Newsletter.
  • Reach out to nonvoters.
Socialization continued.  “Wonderful upbeat and informative meeting!” said Roz McKeon. It was the first time that Library employees came up to tell us it was time to go.  A good sign of a successful event!
Book Nook
 Rosemary Young recommends Night of Camp David by Fletcher Knebel. From’s description:
What would happen if the president of the U.S.A. went stark-raving mad?” Back by popular demand, The New York Times calls the 1965 bestselling political thriller by the author of Seven Days in May, “A little too plausible for comfort.”  How can one man convince the highest powers in Washington that the President of the United States is dangerously unstable—before it’s too late? Read more and buy the paperback here.
Action Itemswill return soon! 
Coming Events
Look for committee meetings to be organizing soon! 
February 21, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m., Ranked Choice Voting Beer Election at Riverwalk, RiverWalk Brewing, 40 Parker St., Newburyport, MA  01950
Look at what our elected representatives are up to! 
Thank them, nag them, beg them -- tell them how you feel! Until you have them on speed dial, find all of your representatives -- state, local, and national -- here!

January 29, 2019

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Communicate with us: Tweet (@HaverhillMADems) or email [email protected]

Happy New Year, HDCC!

After an extended winter break, the Newsletter is back, and the HDCC is ready for 2019 -- full steam ahead. Democrats have the House, we have a new Congresswoman, and the Trump Shutdown is over.
We have a lot to celebrate, so lucky for all of us, we've planned just that -- the HDCC 2019 Kickoff! Mark your calendars:

Monday, February 4, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
Haverhill Public Library's Johnson Auditorium

As befitting all celebrations, we are starting with a social hour -- please bring a friend and -- if you can -- a treat to share (cookies, cheese and crackers, etc.). Our state legislative delegation -- State Senator Diane DiZoglio and State Reps. Linda Dean Campbell, Andy Vargas, and Christina Minicucci -- are invited to mingle and then later speak.

We will also hear from Rory Devlin, the North Shore Coordinator for the MA High School Democrats, and get information on the 2019 Democratic State Convention. Finally, we'll open it up to everyone as we discuss our three active subcommittees. What are your thoughts about our 2018 activities? What would you like to see in 2019?

Don't miss this great opportunity to share ideas and mingle with fellow Haverhill Democrats as we head into 2019. Looking forward to seeing you on February 4!

For more information, please email Bill Cox at
[email protected] or Rosemary Young at [email protected]
Action Items: will return soon!
Coming Events
February 4, 11 a.m. - 1.p.m., Lawrence Paid Family and Medical Leave Listening Session, MassHire Career Center, 255 Essex St., 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
February 4, 6:30 p.m., HDCC 2019 Kickoff, Haverhill Public Library, Johnson Auditorium. Bring a friend and a snack to share!
February 21, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m., Ranked Choice Voting Beer Election at Riverwalk, RiverWalk Brewing, 40 Parker St., Newburyport, MA 01950
Look at what our elected representatives are up to!
Elizabeth Warren
Ed Markey
Lori Trahan
Thank them, nag them, beg them -- tell them how you feel! Until you have them on speed dial, find all of your representatives -- state, local, and national -- here!
Chere Bemelmans contributed to this newsletter.

October 25, 2018

The Haverhill Democratic City Committee (HDCC) presented Ballot Breakdown, a discussion forum on the three ballot questions that will be voted on during the November 6th election. The forum took place at Haverhill’s HC Media Center in Harbor Place.  Speakers discussed the Yes and No vote on Question 1, and one speaker each spoke for a Yes vote on Ballot Questions 2 and 3.  The Massachusetts Democratic Party has endorsed Yes votes on Ballot Questions 2 and 3.

More information on the forum discussion can be found by clicking here.

October 10, 2018

The Haverhill Democratic City Committee officially opened its 2018 campaign headquarters last Sunday night. More than 70 people attended the open house, and they were treated to pizza, snacks and one-on-one conversations with many of the local candidates.

Click here for more photos

Attending were candidates John O’Brien, Registrar of Deeds; Diana DiZoglio, State Representative and candidate for State Senate; Quentin Palfrey, candidate for Lieutenant Governor; Andy Vargas, State Representative (unopposed); Christina Minicucci and Christina Eckert, candidates for State Representative;  and Lori Trahan, candidate for MA Third Congressional District.

All spoke, citing the importance of getting out the vote and making sure we turn the Congress blue this November 6. All stressed the need for volunteers and the importance of canvassing because the best way to increase voter turnout is one-on-one conversations. Other volunteer opportunities include postcard writing, phone banking, talking to friends and neighbors, and helping staff the campaign office.

The office is filled with yard signs (they all need a home, so come by the headquarters at 306 Main Street in the Walgreen’s Plaza), bumper stickers, and campaign literature. The Headquarters is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. most days and is staffed by volunteers.  If you would like to help staff the office, please contact Roz at [email protected]

And if you want to volunteer to help with any of the campaigns, all of the links above lead to candidates’ websites; candidates not at the Grand Opening are linked to below. Please sign up and get involved!

Elizabeth Warren

Jay Gonzales

Maura Healey

All of these candidates need your help. Election Day is less than four weeks away, so commit to an hour or two every weekend and help drive the Blue Wave.

What do you mean, you don’t vote!!??

We all vote -- right? And we know how important voting is. But do you ever run into someone who doesn’t vote? I was canvassing recently, and a young man told me that he and his girlfriend just weren’t going to focus on politics now -- they were going to focus on school and getting her small business going. He wasn’t registered; she didn’t vote. Of all people to not vote -- students and small business owners -- two groups with a huge stake in who’s in charge.

Obama said recently, “In the last midterms election, in, fewer than one in five young people voted. One in five. Not two in five, or three in five. One in five. Is it any wonder this Congress doesn't reflect your values and your priorities? Are you surprised by that?” At the beginning of the 114th Congress, which ran from January 2015 to January 2017, the average age of House members was 57.0 years; of Senators, 61.0 years. You can guess which demographics have the highest voter turnout -- right?  


The bottom line: if you want the government to work for you -- not the 1%; not the corporations; not the gas and oil companies -- you need to vote. I guarantee that if the bottom and top lines in that graph were switched -- if the 18-29 age group were the ones showing the 70% turnout -- we’d have a very different government.

The next time I go canvassing and I run into someone who can’t be bothered to vote, I'm going to play them this ad. I’m also going to tell them what Emma Gonzales said in a recent New York Times editorial:

People say, “I don’t play the politics game, I don’t pay attention to politics” — well, the environment is getting poisoned, families are getting pulled apart and deported, prisons are privatized, real-life Nazis live happily among us, Native Americans are so disenfranchised our country is basically still colonizing them, Puerto Rico has been abandoned, the American education system has been turned into a business, and every day 96 people get shot and killed.

You might not be a big fan of politics, but you can still participate. All you need to do is vote for people you believe will work on these issues, and if they don’t work the way they should, then it is your responsibility to call them, organize a town hall and demand that they show up — hold them accountable.

Bottom line: VOTE; use the above inspiration to convince those nonvoters in your life to get out there and make a difference.  


September 23, 2018

After a vigorous primary campaign among exceptional candidates, the HDCC congratulates Lori Trahan on becoming our candidate for the Third Congressional District! Now we must unite together to support her and get out the vote on November 6th. 

HDCC Opens Haverhill Campaign Headquarters

The HDCC is opening campaign headquarters in the Walgreen’s Plaza on Main Street, across from Kenoza Ave. We need volunteers to help staff the headquarters, so if you’re interested, please contact Peggy Toomey at [email protected] and Roz McKeon at [email protected]. While headquarters is open, we’ll be having committee meetings, canvassing, post carding, and other events there.  The headquarters is convenient to Giovanni’s, Walgreens, and an urgent care clinic.

HDCC Unity Event Held Sunday, September 16 (Photos)

The Haverhill Democratic City Committee held its Unity Event on Sunday, September 16. Candidates Lori Trahan, Dan Koh, and Alexandra Chandler attended, as did Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Quintin Palfrey; former candidate for governor Bob Massie; Haverhill State Representatives Linda Dean Campbell, Andy Vargas, and State Senate candidate Diana DiZoglio; Governor’s Council candidate Eileen Duff; State Representative candidate Christina Eckert; and John O’Brien, candidate for Register of Deeds.

All speakers stressed the need to unite behind our nominees. Bob Massie said that he was dedicating his time and energy to make sure Democrats took back the corner office. Alexandra Chandler expressed the importance of uniting behind our Congressional nominee, although at the time of the Unity Event, the results of the recount were not known. Speakers also emphasized the need for individual action. Candidates can’t win by themselves – we need to get out there and help them.

Speaking on behalf of Senator Elizabeth Warren, Field Organizer Lorenza Ramirez stressed the importance of volunteering. There are 2,000 voters in Haverhill who do not vote in mid-term elections, and the best way to motivate these people to vote is by talking to them one-on-one. She encouraged us all to start knocking on doors! Check out this video that Lorenza’s team made about canvassing. Lorenza said that in her last weekend of canvassing, she talked to many voters who had never heard of Jay Gonzales.

Canvassing Opportunities for Warren and Other Democratic Candidates

Now that the primary is over and we have a solid slate of Democratic candidates, we can all start going in the same direction! Here are opportunities to canvass from the Massachusetts Democratic Coordinated Campaign:

We encourage folks to sign up online as soon as they can because 1) we can make sure we have enough literature for all the candidates (a coordinated lit piece is in the works) and 2) the canvasses with the greatest sign-ups before the weekend are the ones most likely where we can get a surrogate to kick it off!

Here is the information for the rest of September. More dates to follow:

Saturday, September 29Coordinated Campaign Canvassing in Haverhill with shifts at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm.  Launch Location: Haverhill Field Office
Sign up link:

Swing Congress Plans Canvassing in New Hampshire

Swing Congress is planning a leaf-peeping canvassing event on Saturday, September 29. Come enjoy the fall colors in the Granite State while we get out the vote for our Sister District New Hampshire 1. Look for more details coming soon but mark your calendars now.

News from the Committees

Immigration Task Force

Please contact Kathy Rurak ([email protected]) for more information about this committee.

Action Committee

The Action Committee met at the Barking Dog on Monday, September 17. We discussed staffing the headquarters, which Peg Toomey is organizing. We also talked about ways to get out the vote and how to reach people who just don’t pay attention. We are tentatively planning a brainstorming session about voter engagement at headquarters; stay tuned for more details. Contact Chere Bemelmans for information about the Action committee. The Action Committee meets next on October 15 at 6:30  p.m. at the HDCC Campaign Headquarters (Walgreens Plaza on Main Street across from Kenoza).

The committee to Swing Congress is holding postcard events at Panera Bread Saturdays from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Panera Bread in Plaistow, just over the state line, but is planning to canvass in New Hampshire on September 29. Stay tuned for information about Hubdialer and post carding at headquarters. Please contact Graham Schwass ([email protected]) for more information about Swing Congress.

Events Committee

The next HDCC Events Committee will be meeting on Tuesday October 9, 2018, at Roz McKeon's home at 7 Myles Standish Drive, Haverhill MA 01835 at 6:00. Contact Rosemary Young if you would like to attend. After a successful Unity Event last Sunday, the Events Committee is planning the Ballot Breakdown, which will be held on October 25, 6:30 p.m., at Harbor Place. Ballot Breakdown will feature speakers on both sides of the three ballot questions. Please contact Rosemary Young here for more information.

Upcoming Events

See the Calendar of Events.

September 10. 2018

After a busy summer supporting and campaigning for our favorite MA3 candidates, the HDCC is back in full swing planning events to educate, entertain, and enlighten.

HDCC Unity Event

On September 16, the HDCC will hold a Unity Event at 1 p.m. at the Barking Dog Alehouse. We are inviting all Democratic State and Congressional candidates who ran in the September 4, 2018, Primary to thank them for their hard-fought campaigns and their dedication to public service.

We will join in unity to offer our support to all candidates who won their races. They will need our total support to win in the general elections on November 6, 2018.

Ballot Breakdown!

And speaking of elections, are you confused by the 2018 ballot questions? Do you read the descriptions and still ask yourself, “Do I vote yes? Or no?” The HDCC is coming to the rescue -- join us for Ballot Breakdown! October 25, 2018, from 6:30 – 8:30 at Harbor Place. We’ll have speakers on both sides of the three ballot questions so you can get information, ask questions, and finally make up your mind.

MA3 Race Too Close to Call

Continuing with the election theme, our own MA3 race is still too close to call! With 84,872 total votes cast, 52 votes separated Lori Trahan and Dan Koh, with Lori Trahan slightly in the lead, the day after the election. Here are the complete Massachusetts election results. Dan Koh collected the correct number of signatures to petition for a recount, so it looks like the recount will start on Monday. Stay up-to-date with the results of this nail-biter by following the HDCC on Twitter and Facebook!

HDCC Holds Annual Breakfast

The HDCC held its annual breakfast on August 25. Between 175 and 200 persons attended; 132 voted in the straw poll. Because it was a week and a half before the primary, many candidates attended, spoke, and hung around to chat with breakfast goers.

We heard from both Democratic candidates for governor, Jay Gonzales and Bob Massie, and both Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor, Quinten Palfrey and Jimmy Tingle. Democratic candidate for secretary of state Bill Galvin and Josh Zakim’s wife Grace also spoke. Haverhill’s state representative delegation Linda Dean Campbell, Andy Vargas and Diana DiZolgio spoke next; they were uncontested in the Democratic primary (Diana DiZoglio is running for State Senate). We heard from some new voices: Christina Eckert (Democratic candidate for the 2nd Essex House seat), Lisa Ferry (Democratic candidate for the 14th Essex House seat), and Alice Merkel (Democratic candidate for Register of Deeds).

Next, the awards for Distinguished Democrats were given by Bill Cox to Rosemary Young and Kathy Rurak, who received two standing ovations from the breakfast crowd! Rosemary Young heads up the Events Committee and has organized meet and greets and forums – she’s hard at work once again organizing the Unity Event and the Ballot Breakdown. Kathy Rurak heads up the Immigration Task Force. The task force meets monthly, and meetings feature speakers like Juana Matias and Trevor La Fauci. She also keeps us aware of immigration action items and ways that we can all help. Congratulations, Kathy and Rosemary!

The HDCC also gave special recognition to Roz McKeon. Roz has headed up the breakfast committee every year, and every year it is a huge success.

We then heard from the MA3 candidates, in ballot order: Alexandra Chandler, Beej Das, Rufus Gifford, Leonard Golder, Dan Koh, Barbara L’Italien, Juana Matias, and Lori Trahan.

Finally, it was time to complete the Straw Poll. For full results, please click here.

The HDCC thanks everyone who participated, whether you were a candidate speaking or there for the breakfast and conversation.

News from the Committees

Immigration Task Force

Please contact Kathy Rurak ([email protected]) for more information about this committee.

Action Committee

The Action Committee meets next on September 17 at 6:30  p.m. at the Barking Dog Alehouse. The committee to Swing Congress is holding postcard events at Panera Bread every Saturday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Panera Bread in Plaistow, just over the state line. Stay tuned for information about Hubdialer parties. Please contact Graham Schwass ([email protected]) for more information about Swing Congress and Chere Bemelmans ([email protected]) for information about the Action committee.

Events Committee

The Events Committee is back in full planning mode. The Unity Event and Ballot Breakdown are two upcoming events. Please contact Rosemary Young here for more information.

Upcoming Events

See the Calendar of Events.


August 18, 2018

The HDCC’s Annual Breakfast is coming up fast – August 25, 10 a.m., Maria’s Family Restaurant Galleria Banquet Room (85 Essex St.). If you don’t have your tickets yet, you can print the form here.

If you haven’t been to an HDCC Annual Breakfast, you’re in for a treat. Where else can you hobnob with Democratic candidates up and down the ballot? (I once had a long conversation with Martha Coakley as I waited for my mother to come out of the bathroom.) If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the state of the country, what better place to get inspired and fired up and ready to go? If you’re already fired up, you’re in the right place!

This year we’re in for a treat: the amazing candidates running for the Third Congressional District will be at the Breakfast! If you haven’t had a chance to meet these wonderful candidates or hear them speak, don’t miss this Breakfast. We will also hear from other candidates for state and local races. Remember: the primary is on September 4!

A highlight of the Breakfast is honoring our Distinguished Democrats. This year the HDCC is recognizing Rosemary Young (left) and Kathy Rurak (right). Rosemary Young heads up the Events Committee. She has organized meet and greets and forums with Sheriff Coppinger and Eileen Duff on gerrymandering, and on the opioid crisis. Kathy Rurak heads up the Immigration Task Force. The task force meets monthly, and meetings feature speakers like Juana Matias and Trevor La Fauci. She also keeps us aware of immigration action items and ways that we can all help. So come to the breakfast to say “thank you” to these awesome committee leaders! See past Distinguished Democrats here.

Another highlight of the Breakfast is the straw poll. Don’t miss the chance to cast your vote for your favorite candidates!

So come for the bacon, the balloons, or the Democrats – see you at the Breakfast!

Swing Congress Meeting Weekly as Election Draws Near

Join Swing Congress every Saturday at Panera, just across the line in Plaistow, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. So come to get out of the heat, enjoy an iced coffee and, unleash your creativity writing to your fellow Democrats. Contact [email protected] for more information and look for email announcements of more Swing Congress events.

News from the Committees

Immigration Task Force

The Immigration Task Force is on summer break. Please contact Kathy Rurak (jarandk[email protected]) for more information about this committee.

Action Committee

The Action Committee meets next on August 20 at 6:30  p.m. in the Milhendler Room, Haverhill Public Library. The committee to Swing Congress is holding postcard events at Panera Bread every Saturday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Panera Bread in Plaistow, just over the state line. Stay tuned for information about Hubdialer parties. Please contact Gtraham Schwass ([email protected]) for more information about Swing Congress and Chere Bemelmans ([email protected]) for information about the Action committee.

Events Committee

The Events Committee is on summer break. Please contact Rosemary Young here for more information.

Upcoming Events

See the Calendar of Events.



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 [email protected]

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 ([email protected]) 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 ([email protected]) for more information about Swing Congress and Chere Bemelmans ([email protected]) 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 ([email protected]) 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 [email protected].

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 ([email protected]) 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 ([email protected]) for more information about Swing Congress and Chere Bemelmans ([email protected]) 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 ([email protected]) 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!