News in Brief

Markey Campaign Shows Its Grassroots Reach 

The Ed Markey for U.S. Senate campaign demonstrated its grassroots power and statewide reach over the past weekend as it hosted an evening of virtual house parties with over 300 supporters and volunteers, joining from 35 different Zoom locations organized by supporters, for supporters, including in Dorchester, Somerville, Cambridge, Tufts University, Harvard University, and Northeastern University. 

Senator Markey spoke to the virtual grassroots group as Suffolk County District Attorney Rachel Rollins, State Representative Nika Elugardo, and State Representative Tricia Farley Bouvier–all of whom have endorsed the Senator–also made appearances throughout the event. The house party also featured live music from Wheatus lead singer, and progressive activist, Brendan Brown. 

“This is another example of our grassroots organizing success,” said Campaign Manager John Walsh. “Our campaign is based on relational organizing — friend-to-friend and neighbor-to-neighbor engagement. During this challenging  time, we continue to organize in new and innovative ways, and our house parties are part of the enthusiasm and dedication of our supporters. And while we can’t yet have house parties in the traditional sense, we can still come together.”

The Markey Campaign’s grassroots organizing has adapted to the public health crisis through social media, livestreams on the work Senator Markey is undertaking to combat the coronavirus pandemic, benefit concert, and digital outreach. 

After winning 70 percent of the support at local city and town caucuses earlier this year–a significant grassroots achievement–the Markey campaign then turned in over 27,000 nomination signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office. 

The campaign’s digital team has also designed a breakthrough grassroots tool allowing anyone interested in becoming involved with the Markey Campaign to create and distribute their own supporter page at: After launching the tool earlier this spring, hundreds of supporter pages identifying thousands of supporters have been created.

Animal Rescue League Safety Campaign

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) annual safety campaign, Too Hot for Spot, reminds pet owners about the dangers pets face when temperatures begin to rise. Even when it’s below 80 degrees, the threat for heat stroke still exists.

5 Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe

1. Prevention is best. Whenever possible, leave your pet at home in a cool humidity and temperature-regulated room.

2. If your pet must be outdoors, find a shady spot with ample air flow to prevent overheating.

3. Hydration is key, so keep a bowl of cold water accessible at all times.

4. Limit exercise to the morning or evening hours when temperatures are coolest.

5. Never leave your pet alone in a parked car—even with the air conditioner on or the windows cracked.

If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heat stroke, seek immediate medical attention from a veterinarian!

Spot an animal in imminent danger or distress? Call 911 or contact your local Animal Control Office, Fire Department, or Police Department.

Insulators Local 6, Roofers Local 33 Endorse Joe Gravellese for State Representative

Two more building trades unions have endorsed Joe Gravellese for State Representative in the 16th Suffolk District Democratic Primary on September 1: Heat & Frost Insulators Local 6, and Roofers and Waterproofers Local 33.

“I’m grateful for the endorsement of Local 6 and Local 33,” said Gravellese. 

“Local 6 represents specialists in mechanical insulation, firestopping, and hazardous waste remediation. Local 6 fights for the wages, benefits, and safe working conditions of their members – advocacy needed now more than ever with labor rights under attack at the national level.”

“Local 33 has been a leader in the Helmets to Hardhats program, helping returning veterans move into apprentice training programs upon returning home.”

The list of endorsements for Gravellese now includes:

-Massachusetts Teachers Association

-Boston Teachers Union

-Roofers and Insulators Local 33

-Heat and Frost Insulators Local 6

-International Union of Operating Engineers Local 4

-Bricklayers Local 3

-Tunnel Workers Local 88

-Iron Workers Local 7

-Sunrise Boston

-Massachusetts Voters for Animals

“We started this campaign with no big financial backing or big names behind us, but voters and organizations across the district are responding to our message,” said Gravellese. “This campaign has laid out an ambitious agenda to protect workers’ rights, invest in education, improve transportation, and fight for a cleaner environment. I’m proud to partner with great organizations like Local 6 and Local 33 in this fight.”

Joe Gravellese to Host Live Stream with State Representative Lori Ehrlich

On Thursday, July 2 at 6 PM, Joe Gravellese, a candidate for State Representative in Revere, Chelsea and Saugus, will host a Virtual Town Hall on Facebook Live with State Representative Lori Ehrlich (D-8th Essex), one of the Legislature’s leading energy and environmental policy experts, and a lead sponsor of a several bills that are now law that tackle the issue of gas leaks in terms of public safety, labor, environment, and consumer protection.

“Every year, leaking gas pipes add to our utility bills, kill trees, and needlessly put methane into the atmosphere, contributing to pollution and climate change. Thanks to the work led by Rep. Lori Ehrlich when I worked in her office, utility companies are accountable to track these leaks publicly, and work to speedily repair some of the most dangerous leaks. But even under Massachusetts’ aggressive law, thousands of leaks across the state remain unrepaired every year,” said Gravellese, who was legislative director in Ehrlich’s office from 2013-2016.

“The new 2019 gas leaks map is out, and it shows that there are 271 gas leaks that we know about that remain unrepaired in Revere, Chelsea, and Saugus. There are actually a few in Revere that date back to 2003, including one on Washington Ave and one on Park Ave,” he continued.

“The fact that we even know about these leaks at all is in part thanks to the law Rep. Ehrlich wrote. She and I will continue to fight on Beacon Hill to make sure that even the leaks the utility companies deem to be “low grade” and supposedly not dangerous to buildings are repaired, because even the ones that aren’t at risk of imminently blowing up buildings still cause pollution and increase your gas bills.”

The video will be streamed live on Gravellese’s Facebook page,, on Thursday at 6 PM, and will later be shared on YouTube.

Winthrop High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee Postpones 2020 Induction

John Domenico, President of the Winthrop High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, regrets to inform members of the public that the 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony scheduled for Saturday, November 20, 2020, has been postponed due to the tenuous situation caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic

“Any nominations that have been submitted will be considered for the next Induction Ceremony,” Domenico said.  “Voting on any nominees already received, as well as additional ones submitted in the future, will not take place until after the date for the next Induction Ceremony has been established.”  A tentative date in November of 2021 is being explored.

Membership in the WHS Athletic Hall of Fame is open to those individuals who have made significant contributions to the Winthrop High School athletic programs, either through their participation in athletics or their association with Winthrop athletics as a coach, faculty member, or through exceptional service.

To be eligible as an individual athlete or as a team, the individual or team members must have graduated from Winthrop High School, and must have been part of a class that was graduated at least ten years prior to the nomination.

The WHS Athletic Hall of Fame also recognizes other significant individuals, such as administrators and others, who have made special contributions to the Winthrop High School Athletic Program.

In addition to President John Domenico, the WHS Athletic Hall of Fame Committee members are: Peg Bailey, Howard Conley, Robert DeGregorio, Dale Dunbar, Susan Freedland, Jim Lederman, Bill Schmidt, Richard Thibeau, and Chris Tsiotos.

Frontline Workers Endorse Ryan: Nurses, Teamsters & Firefighters

State Rep. Dan Ryan begins to rack up endorsements in his re-election effort in the Second Suffolk District in the Massachusetts Legislature. His campaign got a boost last week from unions that represent some of the very frontline workers that are at the heart of the COVID-19 response.

•Teamsters Local 25, has endorsed Ryan. His leadership in last year’s passage of the post-Janus protections for public service union members’ right to organize is just the tip of the iceberg in Ryan’s advocacy on labor issues.

“From day one, Rep. Ryan has been a leader on issues concerning working families. Collective bargaining rights, workplace safety, paid family leave…you name it, he has been at the forefront,” said Sean O’Brien, president of Teamsters Local 25.

The Teamsters are well known for representing truck drivers and warehouse workers. Their membership also includes many public sector employees, such as Department of Public Works employees and private sector employees who provide municipal services such as sanitation workers.       

“These are the workers that are on the frontlines today. They deliver our food. They clean and repair our streets and ensure that our society functions during this shutdown,” Ryan said. “They have my back today. I will continue to have their backs in the legislature. I will work to ensure that these men and women have the protections and rights they need to get safely home to their families after providing critical services for the rest of us. I am honored to have the Teamsters, Local 25 endorsement.”

•The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) also announced their endorsement of Ryan this week.

“When it comes to proper staffing and safety precautions for nurses and health care professionals, Representative Ryan has demonstrated his commitment and leadership by filing legislation for workplace development for nurses and keeping patients safe in the Commonwealth,” said Donna Kelly Williams, RN, president of MNA.

“This current crisis has shown us all how delicate our healthcare system is,” said Ryan. “Nurses and other healthcare workers need to have a seat at the table as we climb out of this pandemic. I am honored that the MNA has put their trust in me to continue to fight for patient safety and workplace protections, which go hand in hand.”

•Ryan’s passion for workplace issues stems from his strong organized labor background. His Dad, Charlie ‘Carlo’ Ryan, and three of his uncles, were members of Boston Firefighters, Local 718. Ryan himself was a Teamster in Local 122 before getting laid-off in the economic downturn of the early 1990s; prompting him to pursue a career in non-profit work and eventually government service where he worked on federal labor policy.

“I understand, first-hand, the importance of organized labor and workplace protections. I also understand what it is like to have a parent on the frontlines, going into places that most people are avoiding,” Ryan reflected. “These workers are the people I fight for, because they are me. They are my family. They are the backbone of an increasingly fragile society.”

Ryan adds these endorsements to those announced earlier in the campaign, including the Chelsea Firefighters, Local 937 and the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts.

“Like so many instances when we need them, the firefighters were the first ones in on my re-election,” he said. “I can’t thank Local 937 and PFFM enough for what they do, day in and day out, to protect all of us. I am equally proud and honored for their support as I am to be a member of their family.”

Ryan’s support of all workers throughout his career has made him a leader on Beacon Hill on labor issues. Ryan took the legislative lead in helping to end the Tufts New England Nurses and the National Grid gas workers lockouts. He has taken courageous stands on behalf of teachers’ unions, airport workers, hotel workers and the Fight for Fifteen. 

“In what is becoming an increasingly unjust and unequal economy, the one principal value that remains strong here in Massachusetts is the right for workers to organize for better wages, healthcare and working conditions,” he said. “My record on these issues speaks volumes. I thank these essential workers for what they do everyday. With their help, I will continue to be a voice for them on Beacon Hill.”

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