1995 DSA award
Boston Democratic Socialists of America's annual Debs-Thomas-Bernstein Dinner was held on June 1 1995, at the Dante Aligheri Center in Cambridge. 1995's honorees were Byron Rushing, a longtime civil rights activist who represents Boston's South End in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and Carin Schiewe, the direct or of the Commonwealth Coalition, a grassroots alliance working to elect progressive candidates to the State House.
In 2004, the Commonwealth Coalition endorsed Angus McQuilken went down to a narrow (300 votes) defeat by Republican Rep. Scott Brown in the March 2 special election to replace former State Senator Cheryl Jacques. (The Coalition comprises union, women's, environmental and community organizations including Democratic Socialists of America).
McQuilken, the Democratic candidate for the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex district, campaigned as a strong supporter of public education, universal health care, gun control, gay marriage and abortion rights. He walked with striking nurses at Brockton Hospital in 2001, and supported welfare extensions to those completing an education or training program. Brown opposed McQuilken on many of these issues, especially gay marriage, and had the active support of Governor Romney.
According to the Massachusetts Money and Politics Project, a CC spinoff, the GOP raised more than $2 million last year to back party candidates, mostly from financial, real estate and venture capital interests. Brown outspent McQuilken almost 3 to 1.
DSAers helped in phone banking efforts during the campaign, and may be called to do so again, since many anticipate a rematch in November. Those who wish to work on the McQuilken or any other Coalition endorsed state legislative campaign this year call Joe O’Brien.... DSA members who wish to suggest possible progressive state rep or senate candidates in their districts who might be endorsed by the Coalition should call us at....
The Commonwealth Coalition was an alliance of local progressive groups, including Democratic Socialists of America, whose Political Committee endorsed candidates in State legislative races. In November 2005 it was in the process of disbanding and re-forming under another name as yet unchosen.