June 6, 2017/Press Releases

Chairman Bickford’s Opening Remarks at 2017 MDP Convention

Good morning.

I would like to welcome you all here today to our Platform Convention.

Let me begin by expressing my appreciation for the dedication and activism that has brought us here today.

As Chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, I look forward to working with each and every one of you to actively organize and mobilize, fight for our democracy, for the common good, and for all the residents and working families of the Commonwealth.

You can follow along today using our social media sites:

And make sure to use the hashtags throughout today:

  • #MDPConvention
  • #ResistanceSummer
  • #CharliesCuts
  • #SpeakUpCharlie
  • #ScienceIsReal

This is our biggest Platform Convention ever!

And to the over fifteen hundred first-time delegates here today – thank you for joining us and I am honored to welcome you to your first convention.

We are here to chart our course to unify and actively engage new, old, no longer, and never-been Democrats across the state.

We are facing very dark times – both in Massachusetts and nationwide.

We have a Governor who lacks both the vision for our state and the courage to stand up to members of his own Party.

He’s flying under the radar. Missing in action. Some days I expect to find Governor Baker’s face on a milk carton.

While members of our Congressional delegation and Constitutional Officers are holding community meetings across the state to engage with and speak to concerned constituents, where has Governor Charlie Baker been?

What have we heard from Governor Baker while Trump dismantles our country and our standing in the world?


Why? Because he’s scared. He’s afraid to face his constituents and answer for his failures and for his unwillingness to confront the worst President in our nation’s history. He’s frightened that he’s going to be booed like the Republicans in red states across the nation.

It’s time to speak up and stand up, Governor Baker.

We need to reclaim the Corner Office and have a Governor with the values and convictions we expect of our Massachusetts leaders.

We need a Governor who doesn’t treat riders of public transportation like second class citizens.

We need a Governor who will fight the repeal of the Affordable Care Act with all his being – instead of one who does nothing more than send anemic letters to his fellow Republicans.

Letters are not enough. Letters are not a plan of action.

We need a Governor who will work toward finding real solutions to the state’s budget problems, instead of one that cuts vital programs people depend on and nickels and dimes taxpayers with fare and fee increases and accounting gimmicks.

We need a Governor who won’t slash the budget for critical opioid abuse prevention programs across the state and one who will finally give us a plan to address the deadly influx of fentanyl on our streets.

We need a Governor who won’t dump a bunch of his buddies in jobs they aren’t qualified for. And we’ve called on the Inspector General to investigate Governor Baker’s pay to play hiring practices.

We need a Governor who won’t make us pay for his management failures.

And, until Governor Baker speaks up against Trump and the regressive agenda of his fellow Republicans, he will remain complicit:

  • Complicit when 23 million Americans lose their healthcare.
  • Complicit when the most egregious federal budget in history destroys the lives of working families and our most vulnerable.
  • Complicit when being a woman becomes a pre-existing condition.
  • Complicit when the needy go hungry.
  • Complicit when the money cut from these vital programs go to building some stupid border wall.
  • Complicit in the acceleration of climate change and the destruction of our planet.

And this body can already take credit moving the Governor to act.  We can take credit for Governor Baker’s flip-flop yesterday on the U.S. Climate Alliance. First, he wouldn’t commit to joining.

But he caved to all of our pressure yesterday and your presence here today. We – all of us – we’re not going to let him be silent, we created a petition, we tweeted, we posted and – late yesterday afternoon he announced he would join the Alliance and take protecting our environmental health and security seriously.

We need to keep this kind of movement going – we need to continue to keep Governor Baker’s feet to the fire. He is reacting to us and that is where we need him.

We have witnessed a great surge of Democratic activism since the train wreck that is the Donald Trump presidency – as seen here in this packed room of over 5,000 delegates.

With a President under investigation for collusion with the Russians and hell-bent on moving from one crisis to the next, we are seeing the Democratic turnout and energy continue to grow.

We are going to channel this energy and move forward with the strong leaders you are going to hear from today.

Today also serves as the official kick-off to our Resistance Summer – where we will organize, work with community groups, and do everything in our power to RESIST the regressive Republican agenda at home and in Washington.

As you will hear today, we are actively pursuing a forward-thinking, progressive agenda of our own to prove that Massachusetts can and will be the leading alternative to Trump’s dire plan for America.

Thank you for joining us and for your commitment to our values as a Party and as a Commonwealth.