The Ward 5 Democratic Committee is responsible for the affairs of the Democratic Party in Ward 5. In this capacity, we endorse candidates, participate in campaigns, present public forums, and perform many other interesting functions.

If you'd like to learn more, please gro.smed5drawnotsob|riahc#hcuot ni teg or join us at our next Committee Meeting.

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Saturday May 30, 2015, 11:00 am Ward 5 Delegate Caucus for the September State Democratic Convention

Democrats in Boston’s Ward 5, which includes all of Back Bay, most of Beacon Hill, and parts of the South End, Chinatown and Fenway, will caucus on Saturday, May 30, 2015, at 11 a.m. at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street in Copley Square. The purpose of the caucus, which the Massachusetts Democratic Party has instructed the Boston Ward 5 Democratic Committee to organize, is to select delegates to represent the ward at the State Democratic Convention, which will take place in September.

Any Democrat registered to vote within Boston’s Ward 5 is invited to attend and participate in the caucus. Those needing to determine their registration status can
do so here and also find links to inactive-voter information and to contact the Boston Election Department.

“Ward and town committees are the most local parts of our democratic process, and the caucus will serve as a great introduction for many to grass-roots organizing,” said Ross Levanto, Chair of the Boston Ward 5 Democratic Committee. “Any state party convention is important, so I encourage all Democrats to attend their respective caucuses to understand the issues facing the party… and to be heard.”

For more information on the caucus, the state convention, and the Democratic party, visit the Massachusetts State Democratic Party website at http://www.massdems.org

Tuesday May 19, 2015, 7:00 pm Forum: Food Insecurity And more

This month we continue our series of stimulating, non-partisan policy discussions. Pat Amend has organized a fantastic forum for the meeting on the subject of Food Insecurity.


The Great Recession/mortgage crisis has ended for most of us. However, some of our neighbors continue to struggle to put food on the table. Congratulations, Massachusetts, in 2013, the latest year reported by the USDA, only 3 states did better regarding household food insecurity. Shame on you, Massachusetts, more than one in ten households suffered food insecurity.

In this forum, we'll probe these questions:
What's the current state of food insecurity in Greater Boston?
How does it affect children, families, and the elderly?
What are some of the causes, as well as potential solutions?

Confirmed panelists:

  • James Arena-DeRosa (moderator), Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor in 2014, who now teaches advocacy/international public policy and communications at Brandeis University's graduate program in Sustainable International Development.
  • Anne McHugh, Director, Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Division,Boston Public Health Commission.
  • Joshua Birdsall, Food Service Manager, the Women's Lunch Place shelter for women and children in the Back Bay.
  • Suzanne Battit, Vice President of External Affairs and Advancement, Greater Boston Food Bank.
  • Jean Terranova, Director of Food and Health Policy at Community Servings, a Boston-based non-profit that provides medically tailored, home-delivered meals to critically and chronically ill individuals.

Prior to the meeting, committee members may want to view, A Place at the Table, available from Netflix. Using personal stories, this powerful 2013 documentary illuminates the plight of the 49 million Americans who are struggling with food insecurity. A single mother, a small-town policeman, and a farmer, are among those for whom putting food on the table is a daily battle.

We will also hear from Annissa Essaibi George, who is running for Boston City Council at-large, and from Daniel Koh, chief of staff to Mayor Marty Walsh.

In our regular committee business, we will consider selecting a slate of State Democratic Convention delegate candidates to support for the during the Boston Ward 5 caucus to be held on Saturday, May 30 at 11am.

This meeting and the caucus on the 30th will be held at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street in Copley Square. The convention is scheduled for Saturday, September 19 in Springfield.

Tuesday April 21, 2015, 7:00 pm Forum: Race and the City, Yesterday and Today: Can we become "One Boston?"

This month we continue our series of stimulating, non-partisan policy discussions. As usual, the panel will count as a regular committee meeting.

This discussion will focus on racial equity in Boston—where we've come in the last 40 years and, more importantly, what needs to be done now.


Committee member Carole Bell will moderate. Panelists will include:

Attendees may wish to review the following related materials and links in advance of the meeting: :

The meeting will be held at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street in Copley Square.

See you on the 21st!

Tuesday March 17, 2015, 7:00 pm Forum: Gender Equity - It's Women's History Month!

Non-partisan, balanced and open to the public.

To "Promote gender equality and empower women" is one of the eight United Nations Millennium Goals. And should be. Seventy percent of those living in extreme poverty worldwide are women and girls.

In the United States, the picture looks brighter. According to the Pew Research Center, the majority of Americans think "women are every bit as capable of being good .. leaders as men" and are "indistinguishable from men on key .. traits such as intelligence and capacity for innovation." But The Economist reports that while "Congress [now] includes a record number of women (104)" and "26 women now lead .. Fortune 500 companies", in percentage terms they are only 14% and 5%, respectively. And The New York Times, reporting on the Republican fight against the Paycheck Fairness Act, cited that nationwide in 2012, "women earn 77 cents on average for every $1 earned by men", with Massachusetts ranking 19th.

But while the aspects of the issue of gender equity cited above are enormous, there are many more, both locally and globally. Come prepared.

Speakers will include:

Also invited: Ayanna Pressley, Boston At-Large City Councilor and winner of Emily's List's 2015 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award.

The meeting will be held at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street in Copley Square.

Regular Committee business will also be conducted.

Tuesday February 17, 2015, 7:00 pm Forum: What's the Boston Housing Crisis? Or many crises?

Non-partisan, balanced and open to the public.

As evidenced by the cranes that rise through all parts of the city, it's clear that people want to live, work and play in Boston. However, many of late have criticized the focus on new luxury housing and the lack of affordable housing — especially for young families.

In this forum, we will discuss

  • Boston's current housing challenges,
  • suggested efforts that would avoid pricing families out of the city, and
  • what current housing challenges could mean for the future of the city.


  • Suzanne Lee (moderator): community advocate and former candidate for Boston City Council.
  • Matt Thall: advisor to many of Boston's community development organizations
  • Richard Taylor: Suffolk University Executive in Residence and director at the Suffolk University Center for Real Estate
  • Barry Bluestone: Director, Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Studies and Stearns Professor of Political Economy at Northeastern University

We will also be considering membership matters.

The meeting will be held at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street in Copley Square.

Tuesday January 20, 2015, 7:00-8:30 pm "School Daze", a Forum: Whither America's Public Education System?

Non-partisan, balanced and open to the public.

Location: Suffolk University Law School Auditorium, 120 Tremont Street, First Floor

A video recording of this forum, made by moc.smlifyawruomlif|bob#ehtomaL treboR of Film Our Way Films is now available on YouTube.

In response to widespread concerns regarding the state of public education in America, many states and cities, including Massachusetts and Boston, have experimented with charter schools. Charter schools operate with public money but can make changes to many typical practices within public schools. Charter practices around selection of students, treatment of teachers, uses of standardized testing, disciplinary policies, draw on public funds, and other issues have created intense controversy. Charter school advocates and those supporting non-charter public schools alike tout successes within current education settings.

This forum intends to inform the public on the intention of charter schools and their impact on students and the system as a whole.
These are among the issues to be addressed in this forum:

  • What are the goals of public education?
  • Are American public schools really failing?
  • What are costs and benefits of charter schools as a strategy for public education?
  • How would an all-charter American public education system operate?
  • What are the implications of privatization of public education?
  • If not charters — what?


  • David Tuerck, Professor at Suffolk University and advisor at the Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy
  • Jonathan Haughton, Professor at Suffolk University and Senior Economist at the Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy
  • Jennifer Berkshire, Former Editor, American Federation of Teachers, Massachusetts and Founder of Edushyster
  • Kathleen J. Skinner, Director of the Center for Education Policy & Practice, Mass. Teachers Association


  • Pasi Sahlberg, Visiting Professor of Practice in Education, Harvard University

There will be a 20-minute Question & Answer period.

In addition, the Committee will conduct its regular business.


Tuesday November 18, 2014, 7:00pm Post-election priorities Meeting

We have invited Democratic victors from the recent elections to share their policy priorities for the upcoming term! Having worked so hard in advance of the elections, we welcome an opportunity to turn our focus back to policy.

Also, as usual, we will be addressing membership matters.

The meeting will be held, as usual, at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street in Copley Square.


Tuesday October 21, 2014, 7:00pm Pre-election Meeting

At our October committee meeting we outlined activities taking place through election day and, after presentations & discussion, endorsed the following positions on the ballot questions:

  • Question 1: Vote No Eliminating Gas Tax Indexing "A no vote would make no change in the laws regarding the gas tax." A yes vote would eliminate indexing of the tax to the Consumer Price Index.
  • Question 2: Vote Yes Expanding the Beverage Container Deposit Law "A yes vote .. would require deposits on containers for all non-alcoholic non-carbonated drinks.."
  • Question 3: Vote Yes Expanding Prohibitions on Gaming "A yes vote would prohibit casinos, any gaming establishment with slot machines, and wagering on simulcast greyhound races."
  • Question 4: Vote Yes Earned Sick Time for Employees "A yes vote would entitle employees in Massachusetts to earn and use sick time.."

Note: Quoted vote summaries are taken from the Secretary of State's ballot question descriptions. Follow the links for full descriptions.

A two-thirds vote of eligible members present is required to endorse a position.

The meeting was held at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street in Copley Square.

Saturday October 18, 2014, 9am Bus to Manchester, NH to Support Jeanne Shaheen

SHAHEEN EXPRESS: The Boston Ward 5 Democratic Committee is hosting a bus trip on Saturday, 10/18/14, to Manchester NH to support Senator Jeanne Shaheen. As you know, Senator Shaheen is being challenged by Scott Brown. We will be canvassing targeted voters in the Manchester area. If you are unable to canvass, there will be phone banking and other support tasks with which the campaign can use your help.
WHEN/WHERE: The bus will depart from Cheers (84 Beacon St) at 9AM sharp and will arrive back in Boston at approximately 5:30PM.
FREE EVENT: The chartered bus is being provided compliments of the Boston Ward 5 Democratic Committee.
SHAHEEN CAMPAIGN: We will be providing background information on the campaign to those on the bus, and we will receive a briefing from the campaign upon arrival in NH.
BRING: Please pack a lunch and some snacks.
RAIN OR SHINE: The bus trip will take place rain or shine. Election day is too close to have a rain date!
JOIN US: We hope that you will join us on the Shaheen Express on 10/18/14. Good company and all-around good cheer are guaranteed.
CONTACT: Katherine Judge, member of Boston Ward 5 Dems. moc.oohay|egdujak#moc.oohay|egdujak (617)367-8434

Boston Ward 5 Delegation to the 2014 Democratic State Convention


Tuesday September 2, 2014, 7:00pm Pre-primary Meeting

During our September meeting, the day after Labor Day and a week before the State Primary on the 9th, we will hear from the Democratic candidates running for Suffolk County Register of Probate. We will consider endorsements in this race. We also will be considering endorsements in the Democratic primary for District 3 Governor's Council. The meeting will be held at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street in Copley Square.


Saturday August 9, 2014, 10am Talk up our Endorsed Candidates followed by Strategy Session*

The committee joins forces with the State Coordinated Democratic Campaign to visit with neighbors, talking with them about all of our endorsed candidates, as well as U.S. Senator Ed Markey. We will meet at the corner of Charles and Beacon Streets (by the Starbucks on Beacon Hill) at 10 a.m. Afterwards, there will be a nice "strategy session" (meaning we will grab lunch and beers) to catch up on our summer activities. Please gro.smed5drawnotsob|riahc#wonk riahc eht tel if you'll be joining us.


Wednesday July 30, 2014, 7-9pm Roofdeck Meet & Greet Fundraiser for Mike Lake

Committee member Pat Vinter is hosting a roofdeck reception for Mike Lake, who has been endorsed by the Boston Ward 5 Democratic Committee to be our next Lt. Governor. We would love for you to attend and hear Mike's vision for the Commonwealth, and if you are so moved, donate to his campaign. The location is in the South End at 79 Chandler Street, between Clarendon and Berkeley Streets, very close to the Back Bay T station. Do come, Pat's roofdeck is amazing! Please gro.smed5drawnotsob|riahc#wonk riahc eht tel if you'll be attending.


Tuesday June 17, 2014, 7:00pm Endorsements in State-wide and other contested races

At our June meeting we will consider endorsements in the state-wide races for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General and Treasurer—as well as endorsements in other contested races, including 7th Suffolk State Representative, Suffolk County Sheriff, and 3rd District Governor's Councilor. Candidates for these latter offices will be allowed to address the committee, with the exception of the 7th Suffolk incumbent, who spoke during our May meeting.

The meeting will be held at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street in Copley Square.


Tuesday May 20, 2014, 7:00pm Ward 5 Legislative Delegation & Bill Galvin Address the Committee

At our May meeting we will hear from the state representatives and senators representing the Ward who are seeking re-election this year and from Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin. During the policy portion of the meeting, we will discuss the meaning of being a progressive, with invited guests exploring the topic with us.

The meeting will be held at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street in Copley Square.


Tuesday April 22, 2014, 7:00pm Gubernatorial Candidates Address the Committee & Community

At the committee's regular April meeting, Boston residents in Back Bay, Beacon Hill, South End, Fenway and Chinatown will have their best chance yet to see all the Democratic candidates vying to become the next Governor of Massachusetts. All five Democratic candidates will address the committee and members of the community. Ten minutes will be given for each candidate to speak and at least 3 minutes for Q&A. The candidates are: Joe Avellone, Don Berwick, Martha Coakley, Steve Grossman, and Juliette Kayyem.

The committee will not consider endorsements in statewide races until after the State Convention in June at a date to be determined. However, we will consider endorsements during the June committee meeting in races where candidates are running without opposition in the Democratic primary.

Following the candidate forum we will discuss the Elevate Boston Agenda, which focuses on issues that specifically impact women and girls, while affecting all residents of the city. Celia Segel from NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts will talk about the Agenda and City Councilor Ayanna Pressley has been invited to summarize some Elevate Boston initiatives she is advancing.

Ahead of the meeting, you can read about the Elevate Boston agenda here.

The meeting will be held at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street in Copley Square.


Tuesday March 18, 2014, 7:00pm Ward Committee Officers Election Meeting

This is an important meeting for Committee members to attend. With current terms expiring for officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) and executive committee members, we will be holding elections for the new term. (Click here to see the new roster.)

Following those elections, we will hear from all the Democratic candidates running for Lieutenant Governor and from other special guests.

As always, we will be discussing membership matters as well, adopting a new budget and setting dues.

The meeting will be held at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street in Copley Square.

Please also note the dates of our upcoming meetings: April 22nd (4th Tuesday) and May 20th (3rd Tuesday), both at the usual 7PM.

Results State Party Convention Delegate Election Caucus

The Boston Ward 5 Democratic Caucus held February 8th elected the following delegation to the Democratic State Convention:

Female Delegates Male Delegates
Pat Amend George Alex
Nina Bollag Alex Bok
Fran Burke David Crossman
Stefane Desmond Mike Dash
Emelia Encallado Rich Davey
Kate Gallivan Paul Demakis
Kathy Judge Mike George
Elizabeth Leary Dave Greenwold
Pat Vinter Pat McDonough
Marty Walz Amit Shah
Hale Yazicioglu Rob Whitney
Josh Zakim
Female Alternates Male Alternates
Anna Goon Chris Donnelly
Helen O'Connor Ramon Trinidad


Tuesday February 18, 2014, 7:00pm Regular Monthly Meeting

Three items are on the agenda for the meeting:

  • All candidates for Treasurer and Attorney General have been invited to address the Committee and to take questions. No endorsement vote will be taken.
  • We will discuss Membership matters.
  • Finally, we will discuss Councillor Michelle Wu's recent vote for City Council President and whether the Committee needs to take action in response.

The meeting will be held at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street in Copley Square. Please note: the church is striving to make the building more energy efficient and more comfortable. Consider making a donation to help their efforts.

Saturday February 8, 2014, 10:00am State Party Convention Delegate Election Caucus

Democrats in Boston’s Ward 5, which includes portions of Back Bay, Beacon Hill, South End, Fenway and Chinatown, will caucus on Saturday, February 8 at 10 a.m. at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street in Copley Square. The caucus will elect delegates to represent Democrats in the ward at the 2014 Massachusetts State Democratic Convention, scheduled for June 13 and 14 in Worcester.

Any Democrat registered to vote within the ward (verify here) by January 31, 2014 can be a delegate candidate at the caucus, but must be present to qualify.

For more information on the caucus, the delegate selection process, or the state Democratic party convention, visit www.massdems.org.

CONTACT: Ross Levanto, 617-510-4340, moc.liamtoh|otnavelr#moc.liamtoh|otnavelr


Tuesday January 21, 2014, 7:00pm Welcome-the-New-Year Meeting

The committee will be selecting a slate of delegate candidates for the State Nominating Convention during this meeting. Please note that in order to be elected as a delegate, you must attend the caucus on February 8. If you are interested in being on the slate, please let the gro.smed5drawnotsob|riahc#riahc know. Be sure first that you can attend the convention at the DCU Center in Worcester on June 13-14!

The meeting, and the caucus on February 8, will be held at the Community Church of Boston, above The Globe at 565 Boylston Street in Copley Square.

For prior years events, see the News Archive

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