Health care, immigration, universal preschool and the Pilgrim nuclear power plant were all topics for discussion Sunday when an overflow crowd turned out for a talk with the two Cape and Islands state legislators.

“This looks like a Patriots rally,” said Rep. Dylan Fernandes, who led the forum at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center along with his colleague state Sen. Julian Cyr on Super Bowl Sunday. Between 200 and 300 people attended the event, organized by We Stand Together, a newly-formed group on the Vineyard to promote civic engagement, and the Hebrew center social action committee.

"We are all immigrants," Rep. Dylan Fernandes said. — Steve Myrick

And while the freshmen state legislators were openly astounded at the standing-room-only crowd on a day when lots of attention was focused on a football stadium 1,600 miles away, they quickly took up the serious message.

“There are rooms like this across our state filled with people looking to get involved, looking to fight back against these really unAmerican things that are going on,” said Mr. Fernandes.

We Stand Together promotes nonpartisan political activism, but on Sunday the crowd was clearly motivated by opposition to the actions of the new Presidential administration. Topics chosen for discussion included the Affordable Care Act, budget cuts to opioid addiction and elderly programs, the pay raise for legislators, LGBTQ issues, immigration, universal pre-kindergarten, and the Pilgrim nuclear power plant.

The Affordable Care Act was the first topic.

Representative Fernandes said the state could face a $2 billion deficit if the act is repealed, in the form of reduced Medicaid reimbursement from the federal government.

“We just don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “The good news is Massachusetts had a framework in place before Obamacare.”

He also said: “I’m a big fan of single payer health care. We have a multi-billion dollar middleman between us and our health care.”

Changes in immigration policy also sparked discussion. The legislators came down squarely against the recent executive orders issued by the President that have roiled the national news in recent days.

Sen. Julian Cyr defended recent pay raises for state legislators. — Steve Myrick

“We are all immigrants,” Mr. Fernandes said. “Our country was founded by refugees. It doesn’t get more fundamental.”

A number of Brazilian Islanders attended the forum, and arrangements were made for translation into Portuguese through the use of a mobile phone application.

The legislators addressed recent budget cuts that affect government programs to battle opioid abuse. The cuts also target programs that help provide long-term home care and nurse visits that could affect older residents of the Island. Senator Cyr laid blame for the cuts on Gov. Charlie Baker.

“Budget cuts were not made by the senate, they were not made by the house,” he said. “They were unilaterally made by the governor. Another big chunk is tourism. This is something that is completely unnecessary.”

The governor’s budget reduces the $8.9 million budget for the Massachusetts Budget for Travel and Tourism to $1.3 million, a cut of more than 85 per cent.

Mr. Fernandes and Mr. Cyr, who both voted for a package of pay raises for state legislators and other elected and appointed officials, took some heat on the subject, but also received some applause. Senator Cyr conceded that the timing of the pay raises, coming on the heels of budget cuts, has generated a negative perception.

“This is something that looks awful,” he said. “Governor makes cuts, legislators pad wallets. The perception is our public servants are very well compensated, which is not the case.”

Representative Fernandes pointed out that the pay raises replace a system of per diem payments which covered the cost of travel to the state house. Legislators who live farther away received higher per diem payments. Mr. Fernandes said the loss of his per diem payments is roughly equal to the size of his pay increase, resulting in a negligible pay hike.

The session ran three hours, an hour longer than planned, to cover all the topics up for discussion and questions from the audience. Organizers said they hope to bring the two legislators back for more discussion at a future date.