Kickin’ Ass in Massachusetts is the title of a major political gathering on the campus of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, this weekend, Nov.12-13th. The event, sponsored by the UMASS College Democrats, will focus on the economy, health care, public education, the environment — and the politics of the 2006 elections in the Commonwealth.
The conference is notable because, among other things, it models the way that college democrats can collaborate with Democratic town committees to boost their electoral fortunes.
Here are some Saturday highlights from the full schedule, available on the Web site of the UMASS College Dems.
10:15 — 11:15 am: U.S. Rep. Barney Frank
11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Massachusetts AG Tom Reilly
12:45 — 1:45 pm: Candidate for Governor, Deval Patrick
3:30 — 4:45 pm: State Rep. John W. Scibak, Committee on Health Care Financing
3:30 — 4:45 pm: State Sen. Stan Rosenberg, Committee on Higher Education
3:30 — 3:45 pm: Governor’s Councilor Peter Vickery
Download the conference flyer.
The event is also notable because not only does it feature speakers from such organzation as Planned Parenthood, Common Cause, and the United Auto Workers, but is also features MA political bloggers Michael DiChiara, Michael Wilcox, and me.
Here is some of what the UMASS College Dems have to say about the event:
Our College Democrats chapter has been working with our parent organization, the College Democrats of Massachusetts, and the Amherst Town Democratic Committee to organize a Massachusetts-specific policy-oriented Student Activist Conference…[to]… give over 200 students from 36 College Democrats chapters from across the Commonwealth the policy information they need to be effective grassroots activists. The programming at this conference has been designed to help College Activists as they interface with the general public in the cities and towns of Massachusetts to answer the fundamental question of why people should vote Democrat. This policy-oriented conference will complement the Campaign Corps training workshop for College Dems held at Clark University in late October…. Expert panelists in two plenary sessions and several smaller workshops will discuss the issues of tax policy, jobs and the economy,education, and healthcare — all with a Massachusetts-specific slant…. At least half of Massachusetts College Democrats have not grown up in this state, and so we are arranging a “Massachusetts Politics 101” discussion session. This will give grassroots activists the information about local and statewide political dynamics that they need to be effective as they operate within the Commonwealth. For those students who will go on to work in other states, a Massachusetts Politics panel discussion will serve as an illustrative case study in how strengthening Our Party starts with tenacious involvement in local and state-level politics – from the grassroots up…. the outcomes of local and state-wide campaigns and ballot initiatives have immediate and lasting effects on the nation’s political landscape. Come and learn about the fights that need to be taken up and won in Massachusetts. College Democrats from across this state are prepared to offer their insight and energy, their time and their shoe leather to help build a lasting Democratic majority.