The mission of the Massachusetts Policy and Organizing Leadership Academy (The Academy) is to help leaders and organizations effectively and confidently participate in public life and influence the advancement of social, economic and racial justice.
Celebrating National Adoption Day - Like many women in this lobbying business I started as a volunteer 45 years ago.

Celebrating National Adoption Day – Like many women in this lobbying business I started as a volunteer 45 years ago.

Like many women in this business, I started as a volunteer. I belonged to an adoptive parent group. We had decided to “do something” about an existing law that forbade the adoption of children across religious lines. Through our parent support network we had learned that more than a thousand...
What People Are Saying

What People Are Saying

More important than ever – positive policy change on the state level. Here’s what professional and volunteer lobbyists and organizers are saying about the newly-released 2018 edition of Lobbying on a Shoestring, by Judith C. Meredith and Margaret E. Monsell: Making effective and lasting change is harder than ever but...
New! 4th Edition of Lobbying on a Shoestring Is Here!

New! 4th Edition of Lobbying on a Shoestring Is Here!

Lobbying on a Shoestring offers a common-sense, practical approach to political action. Premised on the idea that real people should have a real impact on the development of public policy, this powerhouse of a paperback conveys truths about the legislative process and hard-won, strategic insights. The 2018 Revised Edition gets you...
A Found Poem:  from an official training PowerPoint for workers  who screen shelter applicants.

A Found Poem: from an official training PowerPoint for workers who screen shelter applicants.

THE CHILDREN AND I NEED SHELTER – LAST NIGHT WE SLEPT IN A CAR ( Massachusetts found poem)* Where were you sleeping before you slept in the car? How many nights have you spent in the car? Were your children with you? Do you own the car? Do you have the...
Organizing for Change - Reorganizing Your Internal Resources

Organizing for Change – Reorganizing Your Internal Resources

I bet you can think of 10 MORE reasons why your organization might not want to spend the time and energy to reorganize you existing resources in order plan and implement a campaign to promote positive policy change in your town, in your county or in your state. I can...
New Videos from Freedom House + past Highlights

New Videos from Freedom House + past Highlights

Parents on the March: Organizing for Quality Education in Boston Public Schools, June 2012   Gail Snowden, from Freedom House, hosted the recent session on organizing for quality education in Boston and introduces two of Boston’s greatest education advocates and organizers Rep. Byron Rushing and Sarah-Ann Shaw.      ...
The most fun message training ever.

The most fun message training ever.

What kind of story do you tell?  So far, the most “fun” on-site coaching event is a very lively, interactive message development session which  helps volunteer activists and professional advocates learn how to turn a Chicken Little story that people ignore, into a Little Train that Could story, that makes people want to...
What Does it Take to Promote Positive Change in Our Communities?

What Does it Take to Promote Positive Change in Our Communities?

Answer: One person or organization, willing to be a part of a greater network, fueled by a common vision for the right solution.  Individuals, organizations, communities learning from each other, drawing from a comprehensive library of public policy resources and organizing tools.  Leadership Academy Training Programs: Be part of the Academy’s...
Do you have Real Clout?

Do you have Real Clout?

There’s no secret for how to win the policy change you’re looking for, just a series of planning and organizing activities that add up to a campaign.  Start by learning how the policy-making process works: the Real Clout textbook was written to serve as a how-to manual for community activists who,...
Latest entries
On the Agenda at Last Linsky Files Gun Violence Legislation

On the Agenda at Last Linsky Files Gun Violence Legislation

From the Brookline Patch in part The bill looks to close loopholes in existing state laws, require mental health background checks, strengthen gun storage requirements and require liability insurance for gun owners. The following is a press release sent by the office of state Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick. State Rep. David P. Linsky announced today...
Refocusing Our Lens: Domestic Workers' Rights Are a Neglected Feminist Issue

Refocusing Our Lens: Domestic Workers’ Rights Are a Neglected Feminist Issue

Fom RH Reality Check     Domestic Workers Rights The attention gap for this issue is particularly unfortunate in light of how hard domestic workers are toiling not just in their jobs, but also to advocate for themselves. The successful campaign for a New York Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights which passed in 2010, and the campaign in California which...
A First Look at the Governor's Proposals on Education, Transportation, and Revenue January 18, 2013

A First Look at the Governor’s Proposals on Education, Transportation, and Revenue January 18, 2013

Just enough for you to know  from the venerable Mass Budget and Policy Center:  An (actually easy to read) analysis of the Governor’s proposals:  Watch here for a detailed report when the Governor files his budget on January 23.   In recent days, the Governor has introduced three major policy initiatives. 1) Increased funding for...
Commonwealth? 0f Mass. to end placing of homeless in motels - But you can't do something with nothing

Commonwealth? 0f Mass. to end placing of homeless in motels – But you can’t do something with nothing

According to the Globe  The state government plans to eliminate a controversial emergency shelter program that places about 1,700 homeless families in motels and hotels paid by taxpayers, but housing advocates are worried officials will not be able to come up with better alternatives. The money quote came from Chris Norris, executive director of the...
16 Candles and a Ballot in Lowell

16 Candles and a Ballot in Lowell

Vote 17 Lowell — still working at setting an example for the rest of the country. We were very happy to be featured in the The New York Times Upfront magazine for students all across the country to read about our efforts to lower the voting age in Lowell! from the Free Library In 2009, city...
And Then We March!

And Then We March!

A Call to Action from our friends at Rosie’s place – Let’s take it to the streets!  On Wednesday, December 12, at 12:00 noon we will gather at the (closed) gate of the  Massachusetts State House, right across from the famous Robert Gould Shaw Monument, and march around the block to the DHCD office, 100...
Taxes for Transportation -- Human Services Chopped Liver?

Taxes for Transportation — Human Services Chopped Liver?

News : Nearly six years after a bipartisan commission sounded the alarm about a transportation system in a crisis so severe that it carried a shortfall of nearly $1 billion a year, Governor Deval Patrick will ask lawmakers to solve the problem with a plan that includes higher taxes.  Comment: Are we serious about fulling funding...
Dance the Aadvo- cats 2 Step for the Homeless  on Black Friday

Dance the Aadvo- cats 2 Step for the Homeless on Black Friday

You remember Tommy Finneran? He was forever complaining about the “aadvo-cats two step” that started off by lobbying to create new public programs that helped our poor elderly and disabled “clients”  get health care, affordable safe housing, job training and placement, nutritious food and warm clothing for their families, and then — and THEN — taking...
New Coalition: We Need Quality Schools in Every Boston Neighborhood

New Coalition: We Need Quality Schools in Every Boston Neighborhood

All parents can agree that they want their children to attend quality schools. But while there is strong sentiment by some for neighborhood schools, many neighborhoods do not have access to quality schools. Parents and community leaders have asked for Boston education officials to focus on improving quality. Will Boston finally respond to parents’ demands...
Speak Up to Protect Children Experiencing Homelessness:  Participate in Public Hearings in Springfield and Boston!

Speak Up to Protect Children Experiencing Homelessness: Participate in Public Hearings in Springfield and Boston!

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has adopted “emergency” regulations barring most homeless families with children from emergency shelter unless they first sleep in a place “not meant for human habitation.” Families are being left with no safe place to stay as a result of this restrictive policy. AcrossMassachusetts, families are sleeping in...
The Remarkable Redistricting Coalition of Color Works Hard and Wins!!

The Remarkable Redistricting Coalition of Color Works Hard and Wins!!

Here they are, led at this event by the remarkable Cheryl Crawford of Mass Vote Back in June , they sent this memo ““Stop the Packing and Cracking in Boston” From:  The Redistricting Coalition of Color: Chinese Progressive Association, MassVOTE, NAACP, Oiste? and Project Hip-­‐Hop Chairmen and Members of the Redistricting Committee: There is no ...
Renee Loth on the Value of Public Sector Jobs

Renee Loth on the Value of Public Sector Jobs

In an excerpt from her excellent op-ed in the Sept 1 Globe Renee Loth reported If public employment had held steady during the recovery period, according to some estimates, today’s unemployment rate would be 7.8 percent instead of the current 8.3. Why is a tennis pro at a private club any more useful to the...

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