MIT students to help shape Democratic party platform in Massachusetts

Party delegation from region encompassing MIT is revived after three years of inactivity

MIT students will voice their ideas as representatives of Cambridge's Ward 2 at the Massachusetts Democratic State Convention this June to help shape the party’s platform. It will be the first time since 2014 that Ward 2 has been active.

“I didn’t really consider myself a Democrat, until a few months ago,” Mariam Dogar ’20, a member of MIT Democrats and part of the committee that will organize the caucus to select delegates for the state convention, said in an interview with The Tech. “I’m still not 100 percent sure that I support everything. But then I realized you don’t have to 100 percent support everything to be part of a party. And that's why parties vote on platforms — because there are differing opinions.”

One region of Cambridge, composed of almost entirely the MIT campus, hasn’t sent any delegates to the Massachusetts Democratic State Convention for the past three years. This region is Ward 2 — one of the 11 wards into which Cambridge is split.

David Sullivan ’74, a member of the Ward 2 delegation while an MIT undergraduate, said in a phone interview with The Tech: “When I tried to register to vote as an MIT student in 1972, they wouldn't let me register to vote in Cambridge. The line I got from the Cambridge Election Office was ‘we don't register students here.’”  

During Sullivan’s time at MIT, he helped push for changes in state laws to make it easier for students to switch their voter registry from their hometowns to Cambridge.

In the past few weeks, MIT Democrats formed a committee representing Ward 2. The committee is currently organizing a caucus to be held this Sunday. At this caucus, Ward 2 voters will select up to nine delegates to go to the Massachusetts Democratic State Convention. These delegates will then have the opportunity to voice their opinions on what to incorporate into the state’s party platform.

“I’m really glad that I now have a hands on way to make a little bit of change,” Dogar said.

Update 03/09/17: The number of delegates to be sent to the state party convention from Ward 2 is nine, not twenty, as previously written. Also, the Ward 2 committee doesn't select the delegates for the convention, but rather organizes the caucus at which voters select the delegates.