JP Progressives endorsement decisions will be made through a two-step process including a recommendation by the JP Progressives Steering Committee and a vote of the voting members of JP Progressives. Since JP Progressives is a Chapter Member of Progressive MASS, the Candidate Endorsement Criteria listed below are based on Progressive MASS with a few minor changes to reflect the nature of our organization.
In the event of City, County, State, or National elections The Steering Committee of JP Progressives determines in which races the organization will choose to confer an endorsement to a candidate in the race, or may choose to withhold endorsement. The Steering Committee will endeavor to make a recommendation to the voting membership of JP Progressives regarding endorsement or no endorsement on all races where residents of JP are represented.
Any member of JP Progressives can request the steering committee consider an endorsement.
Endorsement Process Steps:
Once the steering committee makes a decision to engage in an endorsement process, the steps are as follows:
- Issue a survey to candidates (for state races that allied organizations such as Progressive MA or Our Revolution MA has issued a survey, we will piggyback on these existing processes for collecting information on candidate positions). We have established a set of criteria upon which we will seek candidate input (see list below). We welcome input on these surveys but may not always have time to engage in a deliberative process.
- Conduct a candidate forum in addition to or in lieu of a candidate’s response to our survey.
- Wherever possible, we will seek to host candidate forums. We strive to meet the candidates early, often and locally and we will work hard to find dates that will allow both candidates to be present. If one candidate does not agree to participate, we will still offer the remaining candidates an opportunity to engage the JPP community. In the absence of a forum, we will seek to share video footage or written responses to our questionnaire or from a like-minded organization.
- We will strive to host a post-forum discussion with the community to discuss candidate feedback. We strive to extend this conversation to the online community.
- The Steering Committee will make a recommendation to the voting membership along with a survey where our membership can ratify the steering committee recommendation or vote for their preferred candidate.
- In races where there are 3 or more candidates, we will employ ranked choice voting and the candidate that receives more than 60% of the vote will receive the JP Progressive Endorsement.
- In races where there are only 2 candidates, JP Progressives will only endorse if a candidate receives more than 60% support from voting members
- For all races, voting members will have the opportunity to vote for “no endorsement.”
- We will seek to give our members a minimum of 5 days, and ideally a minimum of 10 days, for the voting process whenever the timeline allows.
- We will issue three reminders to our membership for voting members to complete the vote.
Abbreviated Endorsement process:
JP Progressives will have an abbreviated endorsement process for Democratic Candidates that we have previously endorsed that are also uncontested. This abbreviated process will include an up or down vote by the voting members of JPP.
JPP Steering Committee may implement an abbreviated endorsement process for Candidates of lesser known offices (e.g. Registry of Deeds, Governor’s Council, etc.) which will include a recommendation by the Steering Committee and ratification by the membership.
Benefits to the Endorsed Candidate:
Candidates endorsed by the Committee may receive the following:
- A press release by the Steering Committee announcing its endorsement.
- Permission to cite the endorsement in campaign statements and in literature.
- Distribution of endorsement statements to the JP Progressive membership.
- Campaign activities organized by the Steering Committee (to be determined in consultation with the endorsed candidate’s campaign) that may include participation in phone-banks, door knocking, poll checking, fundraising, and other activities deemed necessary.
Candidate Endorsement Consideration Criteria
Though we use the term “criteria,” JP Progressives will institute no absolutes or litmus tests on candidates. Rather, this document states values, principles and factors to consider in determining an endorsement. The word “criteria” may be stronger than we intend, but it does emphasize the importance of the points stated below, even if no single criterion might be considered a “deal breaker” in a given circumstance. Note that we have differentiated the criteria listed below from specific issues to consider when endorsing, which are listed at the end without prioritization. These issues are intentionally broad, as each campaign will present unique considerations. When JP Progressives goes through its process to determine our issue priorities, this list may be revised and prioritized.
- Committed to building the progressive movement. An endorsed candidate’s vision of success extends beyond winning elections and being in power. An endorsed candidate sees it as an essential part of their role to take leadership in strengthening civic engagement and leadership, inspiring commitment to progressive values, and broadening people’s access to power and decision-making at all levels.
- Committed to taking leadership. An endorsed candidate is consistently willing to take bold leadership actions to advance progressive values and policies. That includes sponsoring legislation, public advocacy, and organizing colleagues around progressive legislation. An endorsed candidate should not have a track record of actions or votes that directly contradict stated progressive values.
- Committed to expanding democratic discourse. An endorsed candidate participates in candidate debates and cooperates with constituent requests for meetings or positions on policy questions.
- Committed to advancing the goal of racial justice. An endorsed candidate understands the economic and social importance of advancing leadership of color at all levels of civic participation and governance. An endorsed candidate takes leadership in addressing racial inequities during their campaign, within their district, and in society at large. An endorsed candidate sees advancing racial justice as a cornerstone of what it means to be progressive.
- Committed to advancing economic justice. An endorsed candidate takes leadership in standing up for middle class and low-income families and individuals. A candidate takes leadership in advancing equitable economic, monetary, and tax policies that benefit the vast majority (the 99%) of our residents.
- Committed to advancing systemic reform. An endorsed candidate understands that many of our society’s problems stem from flaws in underlying systems, values, and popular beliefs that cannot be addressed by short term measures that merely postpone or conceal an underlying problem. An endorsed candidate expresses long- and short-term strategies that prioritize and address these problems.
- Has a viable campaign. An endorsed candidate is running a serious campaign and can express a realistic — even if difficult — path to victory or whose participation is important to shaping the issues of the race. Serious candidates should be able to explain their reason for running, the reasons that voters will support them, and how they’re superior to other candidates. They should also have the basic campaign infrastructure in place, e.g. website, social media, online donation capabilities, OCPF report filings, etc.
- Endorsement meeting. An endorsed candidate is willing to meet with JP Progressives in person.
- Background, history, and/or track record aligns with our values. An endorsed candidate is able to point to specific examples in their past to show how they have advanced stated progressive values.
- Is able to articulate progressive positions on issues. An endorsed candidate will be able to express an understanding of progressive positions on specific issues.
- Expands the voting base. An endorsed candidate has the ability to expand the base to those voters who often choose to stay home, rather than participate in elections. Preferably, said candidate will also have the track record to prove the point.
- Is running for an important seat. An endorsed candidate will be running in an election JP Progressives deems important.
- Is measurably better than other candidate(s) in the race. An endorsed candidate can be shown to be significantly different from others in the race in terms of level of progressiveness, proven track record, and seriousness as a candidate.
- Candidates who are “card-carrying” members of JP Progressives will be given greater consideration.
- Candidates who publicly support the JP Progressives agenda will be given greater consideration.
- Incumbent has taken tough votes and built a strong track record over time. It is often far easier to fall for the candidate who talks a good game but has not shown they can do it once in office. A strong incumbent earning JP Progressives’ endorsement has shown that they are willing to fight for, take leadership on, and vote in support of progressive values, even in tough circumstances. JP Progressives recognizes that to be effective, legislators may occasionally need to compromise to accomplish goals. JP Progressives will take that into consideration; however, JP Progressives generally will not look kindly on incumbents who act against previously espoused progressive values for the sake of expediency or to please leadership.
Issues to Consider When Endorsing Candidates:
- Progressive Taxation
- Universal, Quality, Affordable Health Care
- LGBTQ Rights
- Abortion Rights
- Environment/Energy Crisis
- Safety Net Programs (including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid)
- Civil Rights
- Just Wages
- Labor and Union Rights
- Immigration Reform
- Corporate Accountability
- Peace Issues
- Criminal Justice Reform
- Progressive Foreign Policy
- Veterans’ Issues
- Investing in Infrastructure
- Judicial Appointment Philosophy