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With cardboard boxes full of petitions with 52,307 collected signatures, I was honored to stand with volunteers Monday on the steps of the Massachusetts State House to confirm my place on the ballot for U.S. Senate.

More than 2,800 volunteers from around the state made it possible. They offered their time to talk to their neighbors and to gather signatures.

They signed up to organize events all across the state, from Pittsfield to Springfield to Cambridge to Lowell. And, in less than a month – just 25 days – they assembled a statewide coalition to help me officially add my name to the ballot for the upcoming special election.

It was wonderful to celebrate their efforts and to hand-deliver the product of this hard work directly to the Secretary of State’s office.

But to me, the signatures they gathered are about more than just meeting the deadline. These names symbolize the importance of this race for people all over Massachusetts. They represent the issues that people care about most, from reducing gun violence to protecting women’s rights to fighting climate change, to creating a clean energy revolution that creates new jobs and spurs growth. And these names exemplify how grassroots organizing can defy expectations of what’s possible.

Thanks to the volunteers who put their energy and time into gathering signatures, we cleared a campaign milestone yesterday.
But there is still work to do.

My commitment on this campaign is to follow our volunteers’ example by working as hard as I can to connect with voters. I want to share my passion for the issues that families are facing and the values that will guide me if I earn their vote for U.S. Senate.

Values like sparking an innovation economy to create jobs in clean energy and bio-tech so that we can fight climate change and propel economic growth. Values like standing up to special interests like the gun lobby to pass common sense gun safety measures. Values like defending a woman’s right to choose, even in the face of staunch opposition by the extreme Right.

At the onset of this campaign, I made known my deep appreciation for and my strong belief in the power of grassroots organizing, the very type of organizing that made this week’s signature drop-off possible.

We’ve gotten off to a great start by building on the foundation set by President Obama and Senator Warren’s efforts in the state. We’re giving volunteers leadership roles and responsibilities to organize among neighbors in their communities and regions. We’re conducting local team meetings, online trainings, one-on-one conversations and conference calls to continue to build support. And I’ll continue to talk directly with the volunteers who are running our efforts in the field.

As just an example, this past weekend, 680 volunteer leaders attended grassroots strategy sessions throughout the Commonwealth. The weekend before that, they organized 100 signature gathering events. Those efforts helped us exceed expectations for collecting voters’ signatures, and it was a chance for residents all across the state to get together and talk about the important issues facing Massachusetts and our nation.

I’m going to channel their enthusiasm at every campaign stop I make as we work to make sure our grassroots efforts continue to thrive. And, I look forward to talking and listening to voters out on the trail.

-Originally posted on 3/5 on Blue Mass Group