Speak

Speak is a monthly publication consisting of articles written by the College Democrats of Massachusetts’ membership. The mission of Speak is to encourage productive political discourse by providing members a platform in which to voice their opinions, and in turn, establishing an understanding of each other.

Rebuilding Trust in the Democratic Party

by Santiago Nariño, Northeastern University, CDM President and Emily Stetson, UMass Amherst, CDM Communications Director These last few months have been a period of mourning for our peers. Many of us are just starting to come to terms with the reality of Donald Trump’s administration as the first few executive orders are signed, and as more and more cabinet members’ appointments are confirmed. Even in a reliably blue-state like Massachusetts, we’re beginning to feel the weight of what it’s like to be a Democrat under a Republican e ...

The Intrinsic Failure of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

By Hannah J. Smith | Clark University ‘19 | CDM Vice President The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, granted former slaves the rights to equal citizenship under the constitution[1.], this came after the 13th Amendment, which freed them from slavery. It also came before the 15th amendment which granted all persons the right to vote. You and I both know that it did no such thing, but that is a topic for another day. The Reconstruction Era essentially re-enslaved[2.] those who had recently become free and subjugated their bodies.. During the ...

What Comes Next?

by Emily Stetson CDM Communications Director   The January 21st Women’s Marches across the world drew in unprecedented numbers of people, including approximately 500 thousand in Washington, D.C. and 125 thousand in our very own Boston. After what is shaping up to be one of the biggest protests in history, many are wondering; what comes next? How can we capitalize on the momentum that this event has started, and how can we translate that energy into effective change? The following suggestions are just a few of the ways that ...

The 46th President of the United States

by Jordan Choy Northeastern University   Donald J. Trump made his entrance into the arena of American politics with a lie. In the face of all evidence, social norms, and common decency, Mr. Trump erupted onto the national stage with the false assertion that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya and therefore not a legitimate President. His opposition to the first President of color stemmed not from legitimate policy differences or genuine grievances. Rather it stemmed from a place of visceral disgust and vitriol for a man who d ...

Energy and Environment Under Trump

by Casey Pease CDM Environmental Caucus Chair   Donald Trump has been inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America. What many of us feared has now become a stark reality. Everyone around the world is wondering what a Trump presidency will mean, and what policies Trump will pursue, and which campaign promises he will follow. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to determine exactly what is going through Trump’s mind and what, if any, ideologies he follows, but we can get a good idea of what to expect ba ...

Planting My Roots: Fighting for Community

by Jeremy Ornstein Chair, Massachusetts High School Democrats   Almost a month has gone by since President Trump has taken office, and he has already (tried to) put in place several of the promises he made during his campaign. Responding to fierce anti-globalism sentiments, he railed against the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the campaign trail, a deal lobbied for by former president Obama that would significantly lower barriers to trade. As one of his first executive actions on the job, he officially pulled the U.S out of the deal. ...

Justices

by Samuel Hockenbury University of Massachusetts Amherst   There is no such thing as strict constructionism. Despite the popular belief, such a judicial practice does not nor could not exist.  The notion persists because it is easy to latch onto if only because we say we want our judges to have an impartial adherence to the law.  People crave the impartial arbiter in all manners and walks of life. We are obsessed with fairness and preserving the sanctity of our ideals.   Before getting into Supreme Court Justices let me use ...

Our Children’s Future is At Risk: The Fight for Public Education

by Meghan Feely Stonehill College   In just a few short decades, the leaders of tomorrow, our youth, will become symbols of hope, innovation, and change leading the United States and the world toward a more promising and prosperous future. Every child’s ambitious aspirations begin at an early age with a solid educational foundation, upon which they build their unique framework on their path to success. Currently, our education system, particularly public K-12 schools are in jeopardy of losing federal funding given the recent con ...

Trump, the Working Class, and the Future of the Democratic Party

by Anna Stroinski [CDM Labor Caucus Vice Chair] Donald Trump’s billionaire persona and his campaign message are as antithetical as they come. A billionaire mogul, having made a lot of his wealth off the backs of his own hotel and casino workers, Trump paradoxically clenched the republican nomination and the subsequent office of the presidency on a crashing tidal wave of working-joe economic populism. He preached anti-trade, pro-coal and manufacturing, isolationism, industry first. And though there is some merit to some of those ideas, a ...

On Ideological Bubbles

by Viraj Ayar [CDM Education Caucus Chair] Politics has always been a challenging subject for me. I’ve moved around so many places that I practically know people throughout the entire political spectrum. But pinpointing my own preferences has been a difficult journey because I have been exposed to so many different sides of the same issue that, at times, I don’t know what’s right. Why does my Republican friend in Alabama oppose free healthcare and gun control when my progressive friend in Toronto goes to every rally and protest to s ...

Thoughts on the Flag: The Controversy at Hampshire College

by Emily Stetson [CDM Communications Director]   Look, I get why everyone seems so worked up about Hampshire College’s decision to the issue hits close to remove their flag from their campus flagpole. It hits home in more ways than one; the flag has symbolic meaning to so many of us, and so much national attention has been directed towards an institution in such a close proximity to myself, and my peers. It’s hard not to get caught up in the sensationalism of it all. On the most basic level, I think many have framed the de ...

Remove the Electoral College

by Sam Hockenbury [UMass Amherst Democrats' Communications Director] Remove the Electoral College and replace it with a popular vote where in you need 50%+1 votes to win. The system gives undo balance to smaller states.  Smaller (in terms of population) states are more rural and in theory would protect them from the larger more populous states.  This is a nice sentiment from a geographic perspective and if you believe that the President should represent the states.  But if you believe the President is supposed to represent the p ...

It's Not 'Race or Class'

by Will Beaman Since Donald Trump surprised the world by beating Hillary Clinton, the tired debate among liberals pundits about whether his supporters are motivated by economic circumstances or racial animus has received new energy to continue going in circles. This is in part because of its strategic implications for the Democratic Party going forward: does the party ease up on political correctness or does it refuse to change its course at all just because of some racist "whitewash"? This discussion goes in circles because it is a false di ...

Contextualizing Identity Politics

by Nina Henry Before the sun came up on Wednesday morning, news outlets were already publishing autopsies of the Democratic Party. A dominant narrative emerged- white working class men felt forgotten, and the Democrats were too busy hosting Lady Gaga concerts to listen to “real America.” All over my Facebook feed, I saw liberal colleagues claiming that the working class had been cast aside in favor of social issues and “identity politics.” That characterization didn’t sit right with me. There is unquestionably genuine suffer ...

Violence Against Women and Girls: A Worldwide Epidemic

by Katie Langford [Assistant Director of the Latinx Action Group]   The versatility of violence is expressed through its various forms: physical, mental, and sexual. Neglect and maltreatment are also forms of violence. What do these multiple areas of violence tell us about the issue itself? Violence is present in many communities, relationships, and family households today in ways that numerous cultures deem as cultural norms. The fact that in 48 countries spousal rape is not a criminal offense exhibits the issue of judicial offic ...

Fidel Castro's Death & The Left: What We Can Do Better

by Ibis Valdés [BA in Political Science, minors in Int’l Affairs & Gender Studies, Northeastern University (2015) International Law and Human Rights MA candidate, UN-mandated University for Peace (anticipated June 2017)] 2016 has certainly been a year for the books. Although we’ve made great strides as a world to tackle issues regarding visibility around various points of inequality, we’ve also experienced great losses and unprecedented political shifts. Among the highlights of this year is the death of Fi ...

The Dynamics of Privatization

by Will Beaman The most exhausting thing about the Charter School debate for everyone involved is the certainty that there will be another similar conflict soon, regardless of the outcome of Question 2. After November 8, there will still be a budget crisis in Massachusetts and various public services will be identified as points of inefficiency requiring tough cuts and reforms. And if we limit our focus to state politics and budgeting, this isn’t completely false. Massachusetts doesn’t have a lot of spending flexibility. But that’s not ...

#NoDAPL

The Dakota Access Pipeline Thalia Carroll-Cachimuel Northeastern University (NU) As Vice-Chair of the Latinx Caucus for the College Democrats of Massachusetts, our caucus understands the detrimental factors of environmental racism and the negative repercussions these issues have on modern day forms of oppression. Marginalized communities are the most vulnerable and often the most targeted in our society. As an Indigenous Kichwa woman I am standing in solidarity with other Indigenous Nations opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. #noDAPL #Dives ...

What Do We Do About Bill Clinton?

by Emily Stetson We need to talk about Bill Clinton. As you might recall, on October 9, 2016, the night of the second Presidential debate, Republican nominee Donald Trump held a pre-debate panel including three women accusing former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault, citing Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as a facilitator in this behavior. Immediately following, a slew of articles began popping up online defending the former President and ‘debunking’ the accusations. [EXAMPLES: 1 2 3 4] I get it. We have a lot at s ...

SPEAK Original: An Interview with Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson

SPEAK: To start with, how would you frame the charter school question? The discussion that question 2 brings up is being misframed and mischaracterized. It's not "Do you support charter schools?" The question is should we allow 12 additional charters in Massachusetts with no additional funding into the future forever. Currently, Boston gets $215 million in state funding for education. $160 million of that goes to charter school students. $15 million also goes to them for transportation. That leaves $40 million to be split amongst 57,314 BPS ...

Children of the Diaspora

by Gabriel Montresor En Español Children of the diaspora. Children of the diaspora. That’s what we are, really. I mean, how else would you describe a city where pretty much every one of your friends is either an immigrant themselves, or the child of immigrants? This was normal for us, and we didn’t realize how different the rest of the world would see us. I grew up in Everett, Massachusetts. This working class city is a mere 3.6 square miles. It is home to around half-a-dozen scrap metal yards, trucking routes, several Dunkin ...

Why A Trump Republican Nomination could be a good thing for (most) Latinos

by Peter Laboy Donald Trump has vowed to build a wall. He has called Mexicans “criminals” and “rapists” and has vowed to deport 11 million immigrants if elected. Trump has successfully taken advantage of the perceived betrayal felt by the Republican constituency at the hands of their party and now could potentially become the most powerful person in the world come November. I am one of those Latinos who is ecstatic that Trump has become the Republican nominee…just not for the reasons you might think. Trump’s candidacy will me ...

Hijos de la Diaspora

by Gabriel Montresor English Version Hijos de la diaspora- Hijos de la diáspora. Eso es lo que somos, de verdad. Lo que quiero decir, es como más podemos describir una ciudad la cual casi todos tus amigos son inmigrantes ellos mismos, o hijos de inmigrantes? Esto es normal para nosotros , y ni nos damos cuenta de lo diferente que nos ve el resto del mundo. Yo creci en Everett, Massachusetts. Esta es una ciudad trabajadora con menos de 3.6 millas cuadradas. Es el hogar de alrededor de media docena de vertederos de chatarra, rutas d ...

Clinton's Nomination through an Intersectional Lens

by Tori Kroeger On the last Thursday of July 2016, I sat on my family’s couch watching Hillary Clinton take the stage at the Democratic National Convention. After months of being an avid supporter of Bernie Sanders and being critical of Clinton’s policies, I had to take a step back and allow myself to watch history unfold without my opinions getting in the way. For the first time in American history, a woman has won the nomination of a major party and is one step away from being President of the United States. Despite my own criticisms o ...

Why the Democratic Platform is the Only One That Can Protect Our Planet

by Lilly Strieder It is estimated that the state of Florida will be subaquatic in as little as a few decades. Extreme weather has prevailed in recent years more than ever before: we have polar vortexes, earthquakes, bigger hurricanes in unusual places, longer-lasting blizzards, flooding, droughts, etc. Yet Congress has done little to address climate change, the man-made cause of this madness. Instead, Congress is following its familiar approach of prolonged fighting with barely anything to show for it—tried and tested on gun control, unequ ...

The Progressive Case for the 2016 Democratic Party Platform

by Nathan Worob The Democratic Party began as a vision of a political platform for homegrown ideas. It launched politicians like Andrew Jackson, Frederick Douglas, and Franklin Pierce, all notable figures among a vast plethora of others who supported American Conservatism, Slavery, Small Government, and other ideals. If any of them were to look at the official platform of their party today, they would be in total shock and mortification. Every single idea they fought to preserve, every national standard and traditional mechanism that their c ...

Not Enough

by Will Beaman Watching the Democratic National Convention play out on television was a bit like watching an overture of the next few years of Democratic politics. The Sanders movement was based entirely on rejecting the democratic establishment, while Clinton tied her political vision to the legacy of Barack Obama and a unifying fear of Donald Trump. As Clinton and prominent Democrats tried to put the fractious primary behind them, Sanders used his speech to publicly tie Clinton to the democratic platform measures that her side was opposed ...

Opinions presented in these blog posts are not necessarily those of the organization, the College Democrats of Massachusetts.

Unless specified, the College Democrats of Massachusetts do not own any of the thumbnail pictures used to accompany articles. All photos can be located through Google search.

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