Movement 34 was started in the fall of 2020 to carry on the mission of the Anna Callahan for State Rep campaign: to build a movement on the ground by engaging the community, bringing new people into the political process, and working together to achieve material, progressive change in the 34th Middlesex District and across the Commonwealth.
Anna Callahan founded The Incorruptibles in the wake of the 2016 election to train candidates and organizers in a model of deep organizing that focuses on seeking out people who are underrepresented and under-served to build electoral strength. In 2020, she decided to take her own advice and ran for office with the goal of bringing people into the political process.
Although the campaign did not result in an electoral victory, it unearthed a deep desire in the community to be engaged in state politics; hundreds of residents thanked our team for raising awareness of the anti-democratic practices of the Massachusetts State House. In the September 1st Primary, Anna received 4,278 votes (about 42%). We’re incredibly proud and encouraged that over 4,000 voters cast their ballots for a first-time candidate running on the issue of transparency and good governance — that number would have won us the election in any of the last eight state primaries in this district. While it wasn’t enough to elect Anna this time around, we on the team felt energized and fulfilled doing this important work and want to continue building the movement.
Anna believes that it is the duty of every elected official to engage people in the political process. Our team planned to do that immediately after winning the primary. The good news is that you don’t need to be in elected office to do that work — that’s where Movement 34 comes in.
We are at a unique and precarious moment in history. A fraught and historic presidential election is weeks away, wildfires are ravaging the west coast as climate change looms larger and more dangerous every day, and we are in the midst of an international pandemic. And that’s not the half of it; many people here in Somerville and Medford are struggling to make ends meet, made all the more dire in the time of mass-unemployment and an eviction crisis.
We believe that lasting change comes from the bottom up. The 34th Middlesex District (part Somerville, part Medford) is one of the most progressive districts in one of the most progressive states in the country. Movement 34 aims to bring the community together to lead the fight for democracy and progressive action at the state level, and to improve the lives of those in the district who are currently under-served.
We believe that the only way we can achieve a Massachusetts Green New Deal, Medicare for All, a Criminal Justice Overhaul, and housing as a human right is through deep organizing in our communities. This starts with us here in the 34th Middlesex.
We know you’re as passionate about progressive change as we are — and we can’t make it happen without you. Join Anna and some Movement 34 volunteers as we do “Walk n’ Talks” all around the district with the goal of engaging as many people as possible in the political process. Bring your ideas, your questions, your kids (Anna will have hers), and your walking shoes! And of course, bring your masks.
What Prevents us from Passing Progressive Policy?
The Massachusetts State House has the worst concentration of power of any state house in the country. A combination of rules, laws, financial incentives, and culture lead to a small number of people in backroom deals deciding which legislation is allowed to pass. The progressive community has honed in on transparency as the most important first thing to change — on most bills there is no way for us to know how any of our state reps are voting.
“What drew me to Anna was the breadth of knowledge she possessed, and moreover, the conviction she had about creating transformative change through electoral politics. After I and a Medford city council candidate attended a workshop based on The Incorruptibles model of organizing, we ran a slate of progressive candidates with great success. I can see the transformation happening here in Medford before my eyes, and Anna’s curriculum and support was the crucial care needed to sprout the seed that’s now blooming.”
– Jessica Farrell
“It didn’t take long after I started following climate legislation at the State House for me to realize that even in a state as blue as Massachusetts, progressive policies are nearly impossible to pass. We need courageous legislators like Anna to fight for important policies because, without them, Massachusetts will never be the progressive state I once thought it was.”
– Spencer Gallant
Somerville Tufts student
“If you want to be part of building our future, Anna is the candidate for you—she is so excited to help people in our district realize their visions. This is why dozens of young people have been inspired to devote so many hours every week to this campaign.”
– Susan Eldridge
“I am very impressed by Anna’s story and activism. Her progressive initiatives are exactly what I am looking for in an elected representative.”
– Karen Forest
“In Anna, I found a candidate who shares my progressive values and believes that change comes from the grassroots. I’m ecstatic to have someone like Anna who wants to represent me directly—who will fight to make our government as progressive as the people of Massachusetts.”
– Maila LaBellerose
“From the moment I first met Anna, I could see that she overflows—not only with good ideas—but with the skills, courage, and experience to make change in this time of turmoil. She’s bold. She’s brave. She knows how to build coalitions and to stand up to abuses of power. She will be good for our district, for the citizens of Somerville and Medford, and for everyone in Massachusetts.”
– Bob Massie
“Anna Callahan brings an engineer’s focus to the systemic problems that have seen the last three House Speakers, all Democrats, convicted of felonies. She understands that the culture there is toxic and that no progressive policy will emerge until there is new leadership and meaningful reform.”
– Greg Nadeau