By Cynthia Richie Terrell on May 29, 2020
Voter Choice for Massachusetts 2020 announced Wednesday that it has smashed the signature requirement to get ranked-choice voting on the November ballot. Campaign workers say they are on pace to collect the most signatures for a ballot initiative in Massachusetts history.
In an email to supporters, the campaign said it has collected 17,084 raw signatures, and is averaging over 800 new signatures per day. It needs 13,347 verified signatures by June 17 to go before state voters in the general election.
If approved, Massachusetts in 2022 would become the second state, after nearby Maine, to adopt the system for electing all state executive officials, legislators and members of Congress.
"Thanks to our amazing volunteers, we're right on track to meet and exceed our campaign goal of 25,000" the campaign said.
According to the campaign, the signature validity rate is around 73 percent. This means it appears likely that the campaign has already cleared the necessary bar it needs to get to November, and should have more than enough cushion by the deadline.
Ms. Ardern visited a Wellington mosque in March 2019, two days after the Christchurch attacks.Credit...Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images
In 1965, New Zealand was the world’s sixth-wealthiest country per capita, but by 1980, when Ms. Ardern was born, it had slipped to 19th. And that was before free-market reforms led to major job losses in manufacturing, public service and farming.
Ms. Ardern, the daughter of a police officer and a cafeteria worker who were Mormon, has often recalled seeing forestry jobs disappear in the small town where she grew up, leaving behind suicides, poverty and illness — including a case of hepatitis for her babysitter.
Alongside the country’s economic frustration, the electoral system seemed to have broken down. Several elections produced results widely seen as unfair, with the popular vote going to one party and the majority of legislative seats to the other.
New Zealand adopted a German-style system that lets people cast two ballots: one for a local member of Parliament and one for a party. Ms. Ardern was in high school when the first election under the new system produced what would become a trend: gains for smaller parties, and a coalition government.
Whether it is the world’s best-designed democracy, as some government geeks claim, Kiwis have been clear about what they want. No single party has won a majority since 1996, encouraging a culture of cooperation, moderation and openness.
“Gender sensitive” urban design projects have been few in number, with little time for long-term analysis. These efforts, however, provide useful insights to what future egalitarian cities may include in order to prioritize the needs of both men and women.
The ongoing transformation of Barcelona into a so-called “feminist city” illuminates the importance of having women at the forefront of the planning process.
Feminization of Politics
In 2015, Ada Colau was sworn in as Barcelona’s first woman mayor. On that day, all members of Colau’s newly appointed government declared themselves feminists. From the beginning of her term, Colau ignited a “feminization of politics,” which the Barcelona Council website describes as “incorporat[ing] the gender perspective in every area of politics and society.” For all decisions regarding the city budget, urban planning and public services, implications for both women and men must be considered.
The city in many ways has come to embody its leader. Under Colau’s guidance, Barcelona has passed landmark legislation and implemented progressive urban design initiatives to improve women’s urban experiences.
Pedestrian Super Blocks
Although over 80 percent of trips in Barcelona are made by foot or public transit, over 60 percent of Barcelona’s public space is dedicated to cars (source: Physical Activity Through Sustainable Transport Approaches). Since women are more apt to walk than men, women are disproportionately impacted by the city’s lack of pedestrian space.
Recognition of the principle of gender balance in decision-making and its role in nations’ commitment to empower women are reflected in the Beijing Platform for Action adopted by UN member states at the IV World Conference on Women (Beijing, China, 1995). The platform decided that the problems that society as a whole faced are solvable if only at least 30 percent of all the genders participate in their solution.
In accordance with the accepted UN obligations, the planners in Kazakhstan set a specific task for the government – to give at least 30 percent of decision-making high-level positions to women. This is in keeping with the guidelines set by the Beijing Platform for Action, including in the government, the Parliament, akimats (mayoral offices), maslikhats (local representative bodies) and the judiciary.
Today, thanks to all the efforts made to clear positions for women in politics, women in leadership positions are no longer an exception. Among the latest governmental appointments, Gulshara Abdykalikova as Akim (Mayor) of the Kyzylorda Region, Aida Balaeva as Minister for Information and Public Development, Tamara Duysenova as Assistant to the President, Head of the Department for Monitoring the Consideration of Appeals to the Presidential Administration, Nurgul Mauberlinova as Head of the Internal Policy Department of the Presidential Administration and Aliya Rakisheva as Head of the Senate Office of the Kazakh Parliament all received their positions because of the new policy.
As results continued to trickle in, Fagan’s lead grew, but both candidates have still been reticent to declare victory or call it quits.
The latest results from Thursday showed Fagan leading by 3,212 votes with 564,976 votes cast.
Political scientist Jim Moore, with the Tom McCall Center for Civic Engagement, said he also would have called the race in Hass’ favor Tuesday night.
“He was ahead in Washington County, where he lives; he won it clearly,” Moore said of the initial results. “Fagan, who should have been doing well in the Portland area, was losing to him and in Democratic primaries that means pretty much you’re gonna lose statewide.”
But late election results surged in Fagan’s favor.
Born into slavery, Harriet Tubman became a symbol for freedom and a fearless leader in the abolition movement. The famed abolitionist is perhaps best known and remembered for her incomparable work on the Underground Railroad. After escaping from slavery on the Underground Railroad, Tubman went on to make a total of 19 trips between 1850 and 1860, leading more than three hundred slaves to freedom.
Following the end of the Civil War, Tubman continued her social activism working with the women’s suffrage movement and with lauded suffragist Susan B. Anthony. Tubman used her notoriety and oratory abilities travelling the North-east and delivering speeches in favor of women winning the vote.
In 2015, the Treasury Department under former President Obama, announced Harriet Tubman would become the first woman to be depicted on American currency, solidifying Tubman as a symbol of abolition and suffrage. While the textbook understanding of Tubman and her lifetime of fighting for social justice is well-known, there remains more below our surface-level understanding of Harriet Tubman, the figure of fighting for freedom. Kimberly Szewczyk a Park Ranger for the Harriet Tubman Home emphasizes the importance of learning about Tubman from her family members and descendents; saying, “each one has a very unique and difference relationship with Harriet Tubman, so by relatives telling their stories we get a richer, more broad view of Harriet Tubman and who she was.”
Michele Jones Galvin, Harriet Tubman’s great-great grandniece, co-authored the book Beyond the Underground: Aunt Harriet Moses of Her People with her mother, Joyce E. Jones. The book marries family stories and historical reconstruction with Harriet Tubman’s biography, showing the world the rich tapestry of Tubman’s life. In addition to her work bringing Tubman’s biography to life, Galvin has had a long career in public service and community activism and works closely with the Seneca Falls Revisited Conference, hosted by Civically Re-Engaged Women (CREW).