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Growl #6: Sonya Bykofsky on the Dems, Elections 2020

Our guest is Sonya Bykofsky, Berkshires delegate to the (digital) Democratic National Convention.

This episode is an example one of those long delayed decisions that have really dogged the Greylock Glass. For five years, I’ve worked to earn the trust of you, my audience, while simultaneously trying to earn the respect of the local arts and culture elite. Now, I love the arts, I’ve been into theatre and music myself in another life, a little bit of fiction writing nowadays. I’m definitely enthusiastic about the visual arts offerings available in the area. So it only made sense that I’d cover the arts scene. But that’s where the local gatekeepers wanted it to stop.

Along the way, I discovered that if my reportage started delving into uncomfortable subjects and unflattering views of the lovely Berkshires, people in that clique of self-appointed power players were going to scratch a little mark next to my name in their address books.

If I came down on the side of the struggling, unwashed masses of working stiffs — of all colors, mind you — too hard or too often, the Greylock Glass, and yours truly, would not be on the A-list, or even the B list. I never meant to let the desperate, and very real, revenue needs of the newsroom put this show on the back burner. At least not consciously. Now I realize that the constant low-grade anxiety I was feeling over the risk of pissing off potential advertisers caused to do the exact thing I swore I’d never do — self-censor. Yeah, I just admitted to that. And only now that I’m actually saying it do I realize how sick the thought of it makes me. I don’t even want to look at myself in the mirror.

Sure, I covered a few controversial topics. Sure, I pissed off a few officials and politicians — maybe a business owner or two. But the news coverage I produced was nothing outside the window of what should be average journalistic courage at any local news outfit. And I mothballed the show that got me most excited to talk about the big issues — this one. Growl. I’m totally disgusted with myself about it.

Sonya Bykofsky
Sonya Bykofsky; photo via Facebook.

Fortunately, every day is a new day, bringing fresh outrages to address. New corruption and sleaze to confront. And I’ve still got this microphone. And enough of my First Amendment rights to call it like I see it that Growl can pick up right where we left off. And now that I know that I’m not going to get any support from the elites around here anyway, I can take the attitude that they can go fuck themselves. And I realize now that I’m grateful that they didn’t throw me a bone on the regular. I get to see them for who they really are. And I’ll be keeping an eye on them, with press creds in my pocket and a sizable chip on my shoulder.

So let’s fire up Episode number six of Growl. My guest is Sonya Bykofsky, Berkshires delegate to the Democratic National Convention, critic of corporate control of politics, and two-time supporter of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, welcome to Growl Sonya.

MA DTC/DCC Letter Regarding Alex Morse

August 28, 2020

Fellow Chairs and Democratic Committee Members:

Recent events and revelations regarding an intentional effort to influence the outcome of the Democratic Primary in Congressional District 1, by smearing Mayor Alex Morse, have raised concerns that top MA Democratic leadership may have behaved unethically. The integrity of our party leadership affects us all. Interference in a primary election – particularly in connection with a homophobic attack – is not in line with our Statement of Values.

State Committee Chair Gus Bickford has pledged to investigate the issues “after the primary,” but his alleged involvement calls into question the ability of the party to investigate itself, and the role leadership may have played. The damage already inflicted on Mayor Morse’s campaign by the actions of representatives from the Mass College Dems needs to be addressed immediately.

Here are the links to recent articles, which paint a clear picture of the questions at issue.
Note: late-breaking articles may be added to keep this list up to date. 

  1. https://theintercept.com/2020/08/11/college-democrats-alex-morse-richard-neal/
  2. https://theintercept.com/2020/08/12/alex-morse-college-democrats-chats/
  3. https://theintercept.com/2020/08/14/alex-morse-richie-neal-state-party/
  4. https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/morse-cites-link-between-allegations-state-party-volunteer,611391
  5. https://www.gazettenet.com/Investigations-launched-amid-Intercept-reporting-Alex-Morse-accusations-35739691
  6. https://www.gazettenet.com/Democratic-Party-members-demand-investigation-possible-party-involvement-Morse-allegations-35771008
  7. https://theintercept.com/2020/08/17/alex-morse-massachusetts-college-democrats-destroy-records/
  8. https://theintercept.com/2020/08/20/alex-morse-accusations-richard-neal-record-massachusetts/ 
  9. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/08/17/opinion/neal-v-morse-anatomy-political-attack/
  10. https://theintercept.com/2020/08/27/alex-morse-massachusetts-local-media/?fbclid=IwAR1MaSA9-_pS1qbg7F2ZVmsWKLBCTBcSEGJfitg3lq40rUVAERHgyKY5okQ

We stand with the Bay State Stonewall Democrats and fellow committee members in calling for an immediate, independent investigation of all individuals involved in any way in this series of events.

The full Bay State Stonewall Democrats letter can be found here: https://twitter.com/Stonewall Dems Maa/status/1294668760180285440/photo/1

This investigation should be conducted by individuals or an organization outside of the MA Democratic Party to ensure independence and transparency.  And, depending on the results of the investigation, we call for the immediate resignation, censure, or recall of individuals responsible for, or with participation or knowledge of, what appears to be a breach of party bylaws.  

Signed,

Chairs

Jim Thompson, Chair, Beverly City Committee
Bob Wallhagen, Chair Emeritus, Carlisle Democratic Town Committee (member, DSC)

Andrea Santos, Chair, Charlemont Democratic Committee

David Greenberg, Chair, Colrain Town Democratic Committee

Cheryl Rose, Chair, Dalton Town Democratic Committee

James T. Griffith, Chair, Dartmouth Democratic Town Committee

Stephen Linsky, Chair, Easthampton Democratic City Committee

Judith Conrad, Chair, Fall River Ward 8 Democratic Committee

Christine Noble-Droesehn, Chair, Hinsdale Town Democratic Committee

Anne Thalheimer, Chair, Holyoke Ward 3 Democratic Committee

Guy O’Donnell, Chair, Holyoke Ward 5 Democratic Committee

Kevin Towle, Chair, Lanesborough Democratic Town Committee

Sonya Bykofsky, Chair, and members of Lenox Democratic Town Committee

Barbara J. Tiner, Chair, Leverett Democratic Town Committee

Deborah Knight Snyder, Chair, Mansfield Democratic Town Committee

Sharon Matzek, Chair, Marion Democratic Town Committee

Alexander Williamson, Chair, Marlborough Ward 2 Democratic Committee

Sharon Guzik, Chair, Medford Ward 4 Democratic Committee

Bryan Cole, Chair, and members of Milford Democratic Town Committee

Jane Porter, Chair, Pelham Democratic Town committee

Frank Farkas, Chair, Pittsfield Ward 5 Democratic Committee

Ruth Suyenaga, Chair, Royalston Democratic Town Committee

Harley Keisch, Chair, Richmond Town Democratic Committee

Lorelee Stewart, Chair, Salem Ward 3 Democratic Committee

Penelope Kim, Chair, Shutesbury Town Democratic Committee

Bill Foley, Chair, South Hadley Democratic Town Committee

Susan Triolo, Chair, Sunderland Democratic Town Committee

Richard Fishman, Chair, Truro Democratic Committee

Alice Merkl, Chair, Salem Ward 2 Democratic Committee

Andrew C Hendricks, Chair, Westfield Ward 4 Democratic Committee

Jim Mahon, Chair, Williamstown Democratic Town Committee

Claire Townend, Chair, Windsor Town Democratic Committee

Robert Isadore, Chair, Yarmouth Democratic Town Committee

Other Committee members

Audrey Proctor, Amesbury Democratic City Committee

John Proctor,  Amesbury Democratic City Committee

Robin Bergman, Arlington Democratic Town Committee

Lynette Culverhouse, Associate Member, Arlington Democratic Town
Jordan Weinstein, Arlington Democratic Town Committee

Edward P. Witham, Jr., Associate Member, Arlington Democratic Town Committee

Michael Lavery, Becket Town Democratic Committee

Shelley Chanler, Vice Chair Becket Democratic Town Committee

Chris Gittins, Treasurer and former Co-Chair, Bedford Democratic Town Committee

Cabell Eames, Vice Chair, Belmont Democratic Town Committee

Linda Sophia Pinti, Cambridge Ward 6 Democratic Committee

Joyce Isen, Concord Democratic Town Committee

Bridget Neale Paris, Concord Democratic Town Committee

Garret Whitney, Concord Democratic Town Committee

Jennifer Gitlitz, Secretary, Dalton Democratic Committee

Richard Johnson, Dalton Democratic Town Committee

Mary Turner, Treasurer, Dalton Democratic Town Committee

Henry Rose, Dalton Democratic Town Committee

Aileen Joachim-L’Etoile, Fall River Ward 7 Democratic City Committee

David DeSmith, Secretary, Hinsdale Town Democratic Committee

Cheri Rodriguez Jones, Holyoke Ward 5 Democratic Committee

Sarah Oelker, Holyoke Ward 5 Democratic Committee

Jason Proctor, Holyoke Ward 5 Democratic Committee

Martha Freedman, Vice Chair, Lanesborough Democratic Committee

Russell Freedman, Lanesborough Dem Committee

Andy Gordon, Lenox Town Democratic Committee

Rinaldo Del Gallo, Lenox Town Democratic Committee

Mabel Amar, Lexington Democratic Town Committee (member, DSC)

Joel Walsh, Lowell Ward 6 Democratic Committee

Anna Geoffroy, Malden Ward 2 Democratic City Committee

Warren Lynch, Vice Chair, Malden Ward 2 Democratic City Committee

Mats Holmqvist, Malden Ward 8 Democratic City Committee

Vinh Holmqvist, Malden Ward 8 Democratic City Committee

Jeffrey Taylor, Malden Ward 5 Democratic City Committee 

D. Austin Horowitz, Secretary, Mansfield Democratic Town Committee

Dana Hourigan, Mansfield Democratic Town Committee

Mark Vigorito, Mansfield Democratic Town Committee

Barbara Gordon, Mansfield Democratic Town Committee

Rosalind Greenstein, Treasurer, Maynard Town Democratic Committee

Janice Jones, Maynard Town Democratic Committee

Alex Place, Milton Democratic Committee

Randal J. Divinski, member of Natick Democratic Town Committee

Bob Burke, Newton Democratic City Committee

Tom Duke, Northampton Ward 6 Democratic Committee

Vicky Smith, Pittsfield Ward 6 Democratic Committee

Allen Young, Vice Chair, Royalston Town Democratic Committee

Lynne Kellner, Royalston Democratic Town Committee

Carla Barringer Rabinowitz, Royalston Town Democratic Committee

Meryl Mandell, Treasurer, Shutesbury Deomcratic Town Committee

Michael DeChiara, Secretary, Shutesbury Democratic Town Committee

Elaine Puleo, Vice-Chair, Shutesbury Democratic Town Committee

Charles Miles, South Hadley Democratic Town Committee

Susan Newton, South Hadley Democratic Town Committee

Nate Therien, South Hadley Democratic Town Committee, Member

J. Michael Gilbreath, Wayland Town Democratic Committee

Nora A. Watts, Westborough Democratic Town Committee

Robert V. McCarthy, Weymouth Democratic Town Committee

Lyn Newkirk, Associate Member, Weymouth Democratic Town Committee

Laura Bentz, Vice Chair, Williamstown Democratic Town Committee

Parvin Hajizadeh, Williamstown Democratic Town Committee

Mark Reinhardt, Williamstown Democratic Town Committee

Keren Oberfield, Williamstown Democratic Town Committee

Jeanne Marklin, Williamstown Democratic Committee Member

Jerry Caprio, Williamstown Democratic Committee Member

Marilyn Meyers, Windsor Democratic Town Committee

Robert Meyers, Windsor Democratic Town Committee

Other Concerned Democrats

Silvia Dominguez, Arlington district 4 Town Meeting Member, Justice Democrats 

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