I have voted in every Presidential election since I’ve turned 18 years old but this year I participated in early voting for the first time. I have to compliment Mayor Marty Walsh, The Boston Red Sox and all the volunteers at Fenway Park for how they managed early voting last weekend. According to Boston’s public radio station, WBUR-FM, 4,000 people voted there.
I wanted to vote early and the opportunity to do this at Fenway Park was just too tempting. Early voting was available at Fenway Park last Saturday and Sunday and turnout was through the roof. When I arrived at Fenway Park just prior to the polls opening, the line nearly wrapped around the entire ballpark. I was unsure what to expect and was pleasantly surprised that I was able to vote in less than 1 hour despite the hundreds of people queuing.
There is a common saying in Boston that “Fenway is where I pray”, and I did although this time my prayers were not focused on the Red Sox. My prayer went something like this, “I hope Donald Trump loses by historic proportions and the Republican party loses seats in the US House of Representatives as well as their control of the US Senate. Lastly, I prayed Americans will not look away after November 3rd and will remain engaged to hold our politicians accountable for their actions, because elections matter.“
Over the weekend thousands of gay men launched a savvy online campaign using the the hashtag of the white supremacist group “Proud Boys”, depicting proud gay men of all ages in a variety of poses. The online activity resulted in making the hashtag #proudboys a top trend on sites like Twitter.
For those unfamiliar with Proud Boys (as I was prior to last week), the group formed during the last Presidential campaign in 2016. The group is considered a far-right, neo-fascist and male-only organization and are labelled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group actively promotes and engages in political violence in the US and Canada. While the group officially rejects racism, their composition and the words of their members suggest otherwise.
Because of the recent attention and what this violent group propogates, some social media channels have reportedly been blocking this hash tag and mention of the group but as of today, #proudboys was still trending on Twitter so if you have a moment, share with the world how proud you are.
Voting by mail has suddenly become politicized with unfounded claims of voter fraud. At the same time the Postmaster General has been accused of intentionally underfunding the US Post Office and removing mail sorting machines to slowdown mail processing. All of this makes me feel sick to my stomach. I will admit I’ve taken my right to vote as a given, but now I feel like that is being tampered with, and I really don’t like it. Considering our history of setting up barriers to minorities and immigrants to vote, I suppose I’m getting only a taste of what some have had to deal with for generations.
I will admit in the past I’ve taken my right to vote as a given.
I don’t really care who you plan to vote for, but I do hope you will vote. If you have decided to vote by mail, I suggest you vote early. The State of Massachusetts recommends voters submit an application for a November ballot no later than October 20th. You can register online here. It only takes a couple of minutes and is easy to do online. If you know people who plan to vote by mail, follow up and encourage them to vote early (mail your ballot by Tuesday, October 20th if possible). By mailing your vote in two weeks prior to election day it stands a better chance of being tallied on election day.
For those of you in Massachusetts, bookmark this early voting – in person or by mail web page. Additional guidance on voting locations will be updated no later than October 9th. In-person, early voting in Mass. will be held October 17 – 30.
Share this information with anyone who may find this helpful.
If you read or watch only one thing today, watch this five minute excerpt from Michelle Obama’s 2020 DNC speech last night. The quiet one-on-one setting gave an intimacy to her words and hit home. Below, I’ve included text from part of her speech, that really resonated with me and I hope inspires you.
If you plan on voting by mail this year, do so now or as early as possible, then follow up to make sure your vote is counted. Speak to your friends and family and encourage them to vote in this election because, to quote Mrs. Obama. “if you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can; and they will if we don’t make a change in this election. If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.”
“Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.”
I believe that voting is a civic responsibility incumbent upon all of us. However, voting during a pandemic can be tricky so I apprerciate that Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law earlier this month, allowing all registered voters in Massachusetts to vote by mail in the primary and general elections this fall.
How to vote by mail in Massachusetts
Voting by mail in Massachusetts is easy, requiring you to do the following:
2 – Send the ballot back via postal delivery, email or fax. For the Sept. 1 State Primary, your application must arrive at your local election office by Aug. 26 and for the national election on Nov. 3 it must arrive by Oct. 28.
Note: Your signature must be visible and everything legible and complete to ensure your ballot is not disqualified.
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201
Massachusetts legislature is currently considering an important bill that will help provide relief for the arts and culture sector in Massachusetts, which includes organizations large and small that enrich our life and need your legislators support to provide funding for artists, local museums as well as students to gain access and experiences from our local arts and cultural organizations.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Write or call your legislators at the State House today to voice your support for H.4879, An Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth.
Late last month the city of Boston announced it would form a “Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission” to review racial inequities, police violence and misconduct in the legal system.
Boston becomes one of just three cities to convene and pilot such a commission with the hope that more shall follow. District attorneys in Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco have all pledged to create the commissions with a goal of starting work as early as this fall.
Inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation commissions formed when apartheid ended in South Africa in the 1990s, these groups will be overseen by district attorneys who could decide to prosecute
Lately, public health and health policy has become politicized. There are several reasons this has happened in my opinion, but I’d rather not dwell on it and focus more on the fact that science – unlike political science – doesn’t give a [insert explative of your choosing here] what you believe.
I cannot believe that I feel compelled to write that no matter how strongly you believe in individual freedoms or conspiracy theories about wearing masks and social distancing, you are not impervious to the coronavirus. But it seems like there is a large segment of our society that has embraced the notion that if you say something often enough (no matter how wildly inaccurate) it must be true. A good example of this is President Trump’s insistance that the virus will go away if we stop testing for coronavirus.
“If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any” President Donald Trump (June 15, 2020)
Placing faith in political and religious leaders over the recommendations of scientists and medical professionals will not protect you, your loved ones or your communities. Following health guidelines as outlined by the medical community is both a personal and civic responsibility that supercedes personal preferences and inconveniences. To put it more simply, SCIENCE > YOUR BELIEFS.
Tomorrow (Saturday, July 4th) hundreds of people have confirmed that they plan to mark America’s Independence here in Boston by taking to the streets to voice their frustration with systemic racism and social inequities.
The protest and rally organized by Black Lives Matter Boston is intended to recognize and support black women. The “Say Her Name” march will begin at 4PM in Nubian Square (formerly Dudley Square) and make its way to Boston Common. For more details about the march, visit their Facebook page.
If you cannot join but would like to show your support, consider making a donation (all amounts are welcome) here: SAY HER NAME.
Did you know that prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling it was legal to fire someone because they are gay or transgender in 28 states? Well no more… Earlier today the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) surprised pretty much everyone when conservatives Chief Justice John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch joined the court’s four liberal justices in the majority, 6 to 3 vote, affirming the language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
As a result of this ruling, there are potential implications for addressing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and seeking to have this applied to other Federal civil rights legislation. According to CNN, this ruling may be as significant as the Court’s 2015 ruling, recognizing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. You can read more about the ruling and the implication, here.
I have not supported Joe Biden in any of his previous Presidential campaigns nor did I vote for him on Super Tuesday this year. However, I will support Joe Biden without any hesitation, and I hope you will as well.
This November, you have the opportunity to tell Donald Trump, “Goodbye”. For more information about voting and to check your registration, visit vote.org and make a plan to ensure this is Donald Trump’s last year in office.
The logo is based on original artwork by political cartoonist Mike Luckovich and can be purchased on everything from t-shirts to bumper stickers to coffee mugs to buttons like the one shown above at, byedon.store.
Tomorrow is Super Tuesday. Fourteen states and American Samoa will all participate and more than 1300 delegates are up for grabs. As a result, I’m sure that by the end of this week the field of Presidential hopefuls will have narrowed.
Elections and especially our primary process can be frustrating because most people’s first choice for candidate do not receive the Party’s nomination. Only twice in my life have I supported a candidate who went on to get the Democratic Party’s nomination; Barrack Obama in ’08 and again in ’12.
The sad truth about our two party system is that most of the time one votes for the lesser of two evils rather than someone they wholeheartedly support. The two front runners for the Democratic Primary, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, are what I deem to be the lesser evil. While I have no idea what to expect from Super Tuesday and in the months that follow, I do know that I’ll be #VotingBlueNoMatterWho.
New Yorkers are getting quite creative to trolling President Trump. Keep in mind, more than 70% of residents in NYC say they do not approve of the job Trump is doing – so much for being a hometown favorite. One way New Yorkers are showing their disapproval is by creating a petition to rename the block of 5th Avenue where the Trumps call home.
An online petition that has been signed by more than 290,000 people seeks to officially rename the block on Fifth Avenue where Donald and Melania’s NYC home is located. The address would officially change from 721–725 Fifth Avenue to 721-725 Barack H. Obama Avenue.
Is it petty? Absolutely, but that pretty much defines the current political climate exacerbated by the king of petty, Donald Trump. It appears that the efforts may be for naught according to a recent article in the NYT but it still made me laugh. I’d love to know what el Presidente’s reaction was when he learned about the movement to change the address.
It is easy to get caught up in American politics, but there is a world outside of the US and many in the LGBTQ community have it far worse. I was struck by this creative response by husbands Jakub and David who decided to respond to the Polish government’s recent decision to create “LGBT-free zones” by asking people to record themselves singing the Taylor Swift song “Calm down”.Approximately 350 videos from 140 people were submitted to the couple to show their disapproval of the Polish government and in response to the uptick in attacks and assaults targeting the Polish LGBTQ community.
At the end of the video, they explain how Poland is becoming one of the most homophobic countries in Europe. Take a listen and watch.