JOBS & THE ECONOMY
Secure and sustainable employment is the foundation of our economy. However, workers are being asked to do more with less. Wage growth has lagged behind productivity growth for decades and has been stagnant for most workers since the recession. Investing in jobs and workforce development can decrease crime and violence, as well as boost tax revenue that can be reinvested into the community. By providing opportunity for workers and business owners alike, we can create an economy that serves us all.
- Support raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour
- Reject a sub-minimum wage for teen workers, recognizing the financial impact that this has on families
- Restore funding to the Small Business Technical Assistance Program, which provides grants to community groups to support local entrepreneurs in opening, growing or stabilizing their businesses and in creating jobs
- Partner with local businesses to implement job training programs that are effective and accessible, especially for single parents
- Work to expand small business lending, funded by opposing big corporate tax breaks for companies like GE
Comprehensive healthcare is a right. While Massachusetts has made strides in expanding access and now has one of the lowest uninsured rates in the country, we have the second highest healthcare costs of any state – more than $10,000 per person. The coverage we have covers less and less. As a result, 17% of residents have an unmet medical need because they can’t afford care, and a similar share is struggling to pay off medical debt for care they did receive.
The rapidly rising cost of healthcare is consuming the state budget, reducing our already limited ability to fund other critical public goods, like education, the environment, human services, infrastructure, and public safety. To leave our healthcare system as is would be unjust and economically unsustainable.
- Champion a single payer, Medicare-for-All system for Massachusetts that will guarantee healthcare as a right for all residents
- Support regulations to guarantee coverage of essential healthcare services, such as cochlear implants
- Reduce the cost of care by negotiating lower drug prices and eliminating wasteful administrative costs
- Expand safety net programs for the uninsured and underinsured
- Continue the fight for expansion of behavioral health and addiction treatment services
Constantly rising real estate prices in our district and across the Commonwealth are a key driver of growing wealth inequality. Our current housing policy enables and encourages these rising prices, makes rents out of reach for the average resident, and shuts out an ever-growing portion of residents from the home-ownership, a key source of wealth creation. These effects most dramatically hurt people of color, young professionals, and lower-to-middle-income families, and exacerbate economic injustice in the system. We must maintain and expand affordable housing options for low- and very low-income residents in our district, and recognize that “affordable housing” as defined by the State is now too expensive, even for many middle-income families.
- Work to increase public housing funding, as well as investment in CDCs and nonprofits that build affordable housing
- Sponsor a repeal of the ban on rent control, returning this policy tool to municipalities to use at their discretion
- Create pathways to home ownership, including sponsoring a tenant’s right to purchase law, strengthening community land trusts that already exist, and creating paths towards cooperative ownership
- Help stabilize communities by supporting the Jim Brooks Stabilization Act and the Just Cause Eviction act
- Work to ensure that new developments and public housing renovations do not displace low-income residents.
- Work with advocates across the Commonwealth who are fighting to prevent and end individual and family homelessness in Massachusetts.
- Ensure my legislative autonomy by refusing to accept campaign donations from real estate developers
Our residents and police must have mutual trust to work together to keep communities safe. All Massachusetts residents, regardless of birthplace or documentation status, need to know they can rely on police to protect them. Police gain credibility and effectiveness in the community when they partner with the people living peaceful and productive lives in the Commonwealth.
- Support community policing initiatives led by officers from the communities they serve
- Stand with minority police officers and their allies in the fight against systemic racism inside the force and support increased resources for officer training on unconscious bias and on the decriminalization of mental illness
- Support the use of body cameras, recognizing there are privacy and training issues that need to be worked out at the local level. Even the presence of cameras has been shown to reduce use of force and complaints of misconduct.
Immigrants are crucial contributors to vibrant and prosperous communities across the Commonwealth. Immigrants make Massachusetts strong. As a community, we must stand strong with people who have TP status and DACA, as well as other individuals without documentation, fighting for the legal protections they need to live free and full lives in Massachusetts.
- Support pathways to jobs, healthcare, education and citizenship, regardless of documentation status
- Support providing drivers licenses for immigrants regardless of document status
- Support in-state tuition for all MA high school graduates, regardless of document status or DACA eligibility
- Support the Safe Communities Act, which upholds vital due process rights, prevents Massachusetts law enforcement agencies from deputizing for a xenophobic federal immigration agenda, and stops the diversion of scarce state and local tax dollars to federal responsibilities
TRANSPORTATION & MOBILITY
Our district and all residents of the Commonwealth deserve excellent modes of transportation, whether it’s biking, walking, driving, or public transit. Decades of neglect has led to degradation of public transit, roadways, and sidewalks, putting at risk the prosperity of all – but particularly those most in need. We need investment that will serve all of us, especially communities of color, youth, elders, and people with different abilities.
- Support investing MBTA infrastructure
- Support greater investment in protected bike lanes
- Support greater investment in crucial road and sidewalk improvements
- Work to ensure that all modes are physically accessible to everyone
Just as Massachusetts was first, from public education, to integrating courts and churches, to enacting marriage equality, we must remain a leader to the nation for protecting equal rights and demanding justice for all. This means firmly enforcing equal services and non-discrimination, especially in jobs and housing, regardless of race, age, religion, sex, gender-identity or sexual orientation. Our leaders work harder when more people vote and elections are competitive. We need competitive, non-gerrymandered districts drawn by a non-partisan commission and validated by mathematics. We must eliminate regressive barriers to voting.
- Support expanding early voting
- Support implementing automatic voter registration
- Support Election Day registration
- Support the use of Ranked Choice Voting, which allows more progressive candidates to run without splitting the progressive vote or “spoiling” elections
As the #metoo movement has brought to light the sexual harassment and sexual violence that has been long-standing and even systemic in our communities, I will speak out and take action that ensures the safety of individual women while creating systemic change that guarantees opportunity and prosperity for all women. Women and girls must thrive in their homes, at school, in workplaces, and in the halls of government. Our common good depends upon it. Women’s issues are not limited to reproductive health care, pay equity, and services for survivors of sexual harassment and violence. Education, workforce development, criminal justice reform, LGBTQ+ rights, and housing are all women’s issues.
- Support comprehensive health care for women which includes advocating for access to reproductive health care. This means taking legislative action to eliminate antiquated anti-choice laws, removing barriers for young women seeking abortions, increasing confidentiality in health care laws, and ensuring that schools provide age-appropriate, culturally competent, medically-accurate sex education.
- Join with advocates who continue to hold the line on no-copay birth control
- Enforce the new Massachusetts Equal Pay Act and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act while effectively advocating for comprehensive paid family leave legislation.
- Reject all forms of punitive welfare “reform”
Research shows the most powerful indicator of academic achievement is the socioeconomic status of a student’s family. The second most powerful indicator of academic achievement is the socioeconomic status of a student’s peers. (Kahlberg, 2012). If we truly want to eliminate education gaps based on race and geography, we must start by looking at the way students are assigned to schools through socioeconomic indicators.
- Support updating the 25-year-old Foundation Budget education funding formula. Massachusetts is underestimating statewide education costs by $1-2 billion every year, preventing schools from providing all students the resources needed to succeed.
- Support universal kindergarten and early education
- Reject efforts to raise the cap of charter schools
- Support greater access to bilingual education
Our criminal justice system, which could be focused on providing opportunities and creating second chances, instead further hardens and harms promising young men and women. Massachusetts has made small strides through CORI reform, but we have not gone far enough.
Despite attempts at reform, the criminal justice system still perpetuates systemic racism, sexism, and generational poverty.
To break these cycles, I will:
- Support eliminating excessive fines fees that criminalize poverty
- Support the elimination of mandatory minimum sentences, which take discretion away from judges and fuel mass incarceration
- Support mandatory training for unconscious bias and mental health first aid training for POs, etc.
- Support raising the felony-larceny threshold to $2,500, as even some conservative states have done
- Support the abolition of solitary confinement
- Support increased health and mental health access and services in state correctional facilities
- Support transformative justice legislation and incarceration reform by addressing racial and income inequalities
- Support greater investment in education, job training, and other re-entry services
- Support treating addiction as a public health issue, rather than a criminal one
A coastal state like Massachusetts is particularly at risk due to global warming, and we are already feeling the effects today. Such risks exacerbate existing inequalities, as low-income communities, both locally and globally, face the brunt of climate impacts. Massachusetts must lead the nation by mobilizing communities, including for those most in harm’s way, and we must champion legislative positions that create positive environmental change and readiness.
- Support legislation to transition to 100% renewable energy with an energy infrastructure supporting it
- Support rewarding creative cooperatives that promote and generate solar energy in urban areas
- Support implementing the structural engineering to make sure Massachusetts is ready for the infrastructure challenges climate change will pose
- Reject new fossil fuel infrastructure
In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. Over a decade later, much work needs to be done to ensure that our diverse LGBTQ friends, family, and neighbors are safe, welcome, and included in all aspects of life in the Commonwealth. Justice will not be achieved without inclusive education, progressive advocacy, and bold legislative action. My commitment to LGBTQ rights is longstanding and evidenced in my work to create understanding and acceptance within my own evangelical Christian faith community – this has not been an easy task. I will not waver on rights for transgender people. I will continue, with the same level of commitment, to educate, fight, and build coalitions in the State House. Discrimination, disparities, and hardship must be replaced by opportunity, prosperity, and pathways to leadership.
- Support a ban on harmful “conversion therapy” for minors
- Support awareness training that ensures that our elder LGBTQ community members are treated with dignity and respect
- Support sex education in our schools that is LGBTQ inclusive
- Support legislation and programs, as well as legal enforcement, that address the healthcare and housing issues that LGBT homeless youth continue to face in our district and throughout the Commonwealth
- Passionately fight against the repeal of the 2016 Transgender Anti-Discrimination law