POLICY SOLUTIONS

Click the policies below for more information and videos about each item.

Nika Elugardo is a State Representative, organizer, bridge-builder, lawyer, and activist. 

In her youth, Nika’s family overcame poverty, addiction and eviction. Their focus on shared faith and love set her on a path to becoming the difference-maker she has been in our city for over 30 years.

Throughout her career in service, Nika has worked to expand the strategic, economic, and political power of Black, immigrant, and disenfranchised communities. For decades, the communities of 2nd Suffolk have poured their time, sweat, and money into our neighborhoods. Our investment has been stolen from us, and redirected to other parts of our city and state. It’s time for a major reinvestment of resources to underserved communities – Nika has delivered on jobs, housing, corrections reform, and support for small businesses, and she is ready to fight for long-term systems change.

Learn more about Nika’s story

"There is no housing justice without climate justice, and climate policy is public health policy. Ecological justice recognizes the interconnectedness of our holistic system of life, livelihood, and health. While this concept is rich and broad, housing and climate justice are at the core."

- Nika Elugardo

Policy Platform

Housing Justice for ALL

  • Equitable Supply for All, Prioritizing People Forced into Housing Instability
  • Paired Inclusionary Zoning & Zoning Relief
  • Transit Proximity of New Development
  • Disability Accessibility 
  • Elder Housing Affordability & Tax Relief
  • LGBTQIA+ Elder Housing Access & Safety
  • Eliminating Housing Burden & Homelessness without Displacement
  • Anti-fraud protections & accountability
  • Predatory lending protections & accountability
  • Cash Revenue for Affordable Homeownership & Rental
  • Tenant & Vulnerable Landlord Protections  
  • Build Generational Wealth & Ownership through Reimagined Public Housing

Climate Adaptation, Conservation, Restoration & Justice

  • Adaptation: Boston can and should be a fossil fuel free city. Changing heating systems and infrastructure to be resilient to the reality of climate change– especially electrification of buildings, our biggest emitters locally. 
  • Conservation: Mitigation to reduce emissions by increasing renewables and using less energy. Pairing electrification (adaptive infrastructure that uses clean and renewable sources of energy) and efficiency (uses less electricity). Stewardship of land and equitable access to clean air and water.
  • Healing: Restoration of the ecological commons (all the nature stuff we share) by reversing the impacts of climate change through technological and natural solutions. Engaging communities most impacted, especially youth, elders, and individuals and families experiencing displacement or chronic homelessness. Animal protection.

Climate Equity in Public Resources

  • Air quality in public schools, publicly-funded housing and other public buildings
  • Universal high-speed broadband access
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in citing electric vehicle resources
  • Free, green bus access in every community
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in green jobs and entrepreneurship 

Champion the Better Future Project Legislative Agenda 

  • Housing, Energy & Efficiency
  • Vehicles
  • Food Justice
  • Labor & Climate
  • Electricity Generation
  •  

Track Record

DISTRICT NEIGHBORHOODS: Lenox, Heath Street, Dudley Street, Mission Main, Mission Park, Jackson Square, Back of the Hill, Jamaicaway, Mandela Homes, JP/Centre

Delivering with Community

  • Neighborhood Association Partnerships
    • Cross-Community Organizing & Strategic Planning for Neighborhood Wellness 
    • Local Development Advocacy
    • Greenspace, Play Space & Transit Access
    • Preservation & Wetlands Activism
    • Neighborhood Association-Tenant task force partnerships to meet needs of local residence (e.g., food, diapers, holiday toys)
  • Tenant Task Force Partnership
    • COVID Testing access for asymptomatic essential workers in public housing 
    • Main Streets jobs pilot connecting public housing residents to local jobs
    • Food access for seniors and people with disabilities
    • Housing for returning citizens
    • Closing education gap through neighborhood-based out-of-school time 
    • Street, sidewalk, and transit safety and accessibility for elder and disability communities
    • Forbes Housing for Elders
    • Back of the Hill Apartments for Elders and persons with disabilities
    • Tools for School initiative providing K-12 at-home school supplies, desks, and equipment for remote learning
  • Deed Restricted Homeowners Advocacy
    • Antiracism in city first-time homeowner program policies
    • Recovering equity from overburdened Deed Restrictions
    • Addressing shoddy publicly-funded renovations on deed restricted properties
  • Supporting Youth Leadership on Climate
    • Climate Strike & Activism
    • Particle Pollution Activism
    • Climate Fellowships on Renewable Storage and Portfolio Standards
    • Community based research training on climate impact in urban communities

Delivering on Dollars

  • Managed statewide Foreclosure Prevention Project at the National Consumer Law center
  • Secured district earmark funding for Stable Housing And Reentry Pilot Program (SHARPP)
  • COVID Personal Protection Equipment for congregate housing for BHA residents
  • COVID Testing Funds for Essential Workers living in Public Housing BHA residents
  • Carve outs for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC unaccompanied homeless youth
  • Bonding for ADA accessibility, lighting, and repairs to local MBTA stops
  • Broadband access and digital equity across BHA inventory
  • Created and advanced legislation to enable scaling public housing-based services statewide 
  • Advocacy and funding for Mildred C. Hailey redevelopment

Delivering on Legislation

  • Priority bills and amendments: Land Equity Bill (components passed); Elder rent control and property tax bill (in calendar items for House floor); Tenant Protection Act; Justice 4 Housing bill to house formerly incarcerated (pilot passed); COVID housing bills (language incorporated); HERO bill for climate justice and affordable housing revenue; anti-homelesness provisions; BIPOC & LGBTQIA+ Unaccompanied Youth Supports (passed); Greening Environmental Justice Community Public Housing (passed); Public Housing building emissions reduction
  • 168 Co-sponsorships, including multiple versions of the following:
    • Real Estate Transfer Fee
    • Justice & Equal Eviction Sealing (HOMES)
    • Re-powering Massachusetts with 100 percent renewable energy
    • Environmental Justice Community Investments
    • Renewable Energy Innovations
    • Carbon Pricing Policy

Filed Legislation

  • H3925 An Act enabling municipal housing agencies to enter enforceable deed restriction agreements with small property owners in good standing as part of zo…
  • H3282 An Act to prevent unnecessary vacancies in foreclosed homes
  • H2851 An Act accelerating the renewable portfolio standard
  • HD5275 An Act providing for climate change adaptation infrastructure and affordable housing investments in the Commonwealth
  • H3579 An Act to protect elder housing
  • H3562 An Act enabling public housing authorities to borrow against real estate equity of publicly-owned properties
  • H3924 An Act enabling local options for tenant protections 
  • H4229 An Act to restore Boston’s governmentally-involved housing protection
  • H1378 An Act enabling local options for tenant protections
  • H2890 An Act providing for climate change adaptation infrastructure and affordable housing investments in the Commonwealth
  • H4071 An Act securing housing options for eligible tenants with a history of criminal justice involvement
  • H4205 An Act relative to certain affordable housing in the Jamaica Plain section of the city of Boston
  • H2891 An Act to protect elder housing
  • H1396 An Act enabling public housing authorities to borrow against real estate equity of publicly-owned properties
  • H775 An Act enabling the conservation commissions to consider climate change within their conservation plans

Filed Amendments 

  • #204 to  H5007 EcoDev 2022 An Act securing housing options for eligible tenants with a history of criminal justice involvement, 
  • # 230 to H5007 EcoDev 2022 (HERO) Sustainable Climate & Housing Revenue
  • # 260 to H5007 EcoDev 2022 An Act to Protect Elder Housing
  • 228 H4790 Infras Bond Bill Greening Environmental Justice Community Public Housing
  • 542 H4700 FY23 Budget Stable Housing and Reintegration Pilot Program
  • 11 H4219 ARPA 2021 Digital Equity for Public Housing Residents
  • 1133 H4000 FY22 Budget Promoting post-COVID digital equity in Boston’s public housing

"The most important thing we can do to recover from these years of exacerbated political and economic trauma is to honor every person’s right to work for a living wage, to pursue happiness, to have real freedom and opportunity, and to be protected by our government, and not harmed by it. No matter where you live, even if you are in prison, you have the right to be paid fair wages for your work. People of all ages and backgrounds should also have the opportunity to explore their economic and entrepreneurial dreams and prowess. Protecting the entrepreneurial journey from vision to investment to profit is at the heart of our cultural and economic healing as a Commonwealth. No matter what you look like, where you come from or what documents you may have in your pocket, a good wage for good work is your human right. When we deliver on that, we deliver on justice."

- Nika Elugardo

Policy Platform

Resident and Contractor Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in jobs and projects

  • Boston Residents Job Policy
  • State Contract DEI access, tracking, reporting, and accountability
  • Union Leadership DEI

Jobs for Youth & Young Adults

  • STEAM job pathways
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Trauma-informed workforce development

Comprehensive Labor Protections

  • Living Wage adjusted for cost of living increase
  • Anti-Wage Theft Legislation & Accountability
  • Workplace Safety & Accountability
  • Paid Family Leave for All
  • Gig Economy Worker Rights, Benefits & Protections

Career and Education Recruiting for Neighborhood Residents

  • Union Locals
  • Keolis Commuter Rail Partnership for Community-Based Local Jobs Recruiting
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • MassArt
  • Other Local Tech and STEAM

Partnership with Unions and Trades

  • With trades educators across the district
    • Madison Park High School
    • Dearborn Academy
    • Roxbury Community College
    • Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
    • State Corrections Facilities

Investing in Trauma-Informed Pre-Apprenticeship

  • Boston Housing Authority
  • Community-based organizations and street workers

Neighborhood-Based Economic Development

  • Main Streets Organizations: Accessibility, Responsiveness and Investment in Main Streets Boards & Members
  • Small Business Startup: Eliminate disproportionate barriers to entry (e.g., startup costs, excessive permitting), targeted investment in underinvested neighborhoods, low-cost financing, and insurance products for small business owners who live locally. 
  • Black & BIPOC Food & Hospitality Business Leadership
  • Not-for-profit Sector Capacity Building
  • Investment Advocacy for Black & BIPOC developers: Life sciences, Nubian Square, Housing, Community Arts
  • Empowering Black & BIPOC Fashion Industry
  • Investment in Community Arts & Artists
  • Locally-driven and state-promoted BIPOC Culture & Neighborhood Tourism

Decriminalizing & Investing in BIPOC Hustle Economies

  • More equitable progressive corporate tax policy
  • Reevaluating permitting and licensing

Championing Cooperative MA Platform of the Coalition for Worker Ownership and Power (COWOP)

  • Technical Assistance and financing
  • Training and board development

Track Record

 

DISTRICT NEIGHBORHOODS: Nubian Square, Copley Square, Three Squares Main Streets; JP Centre/South Main Streets; Mission Hill Main Streets; Roslindale Village Main Streets; Blue Hill Ave. Corridor, Fields Corner Main Streets, Dudley Street not-for-profits, Uphams Corner, DSNI, Bowdoin Geneva, Codman Square, Lenox; Faith & Community Based Organizations along Columbus Ave. & Tremont St.; Mission Hill; (excited to expand throughout 2nd Suffolk!)

  • Funding for Main Streets organizations in Jackson and Hyde Square, JP Centre, Mission Hill, and Roslindale Village ($)
  • City-wide youth & young adult WFD and job program to Mains Streets businesses ($)
  • Briefing: Advanced Manufacturing investment in Grove Hall (community)
  • Founding Director of Statewide Financial Education & Asset Development Program (community, $)
  • Bonding for Black-Owned Development in Nubian Square Life Sciences ($)
  • Over 350 clients in organizational development and management, executive coaching, systems thinking, board development and movement building (community, $)
  • Support for Urban forests & food cooperatives/shared ownership ($)
  • Non-profit unemployment insurance (bills)
  • Family Paid Leave (bills)
  • Quarterly Small Business Tours (community)
  • Main Street coalition building (community, $)
  • Public Banking & Finance (community, bill)

Key Legislation, Funding & Amendments

  • H1223 An Act to establish a Massachusetts public bank
  • H2892 An Act relative to corporate board diversity
  • H2018 An Act relative to employment protections for victims of abusive behavior
  • Preventing youth depression and violence in public housing through youth employment
  • Protecting BHA Resident Essential Workers and Residents Returning to Work
  • JP Sibling Cities Youth Work Initiative 
  • Statewide Financing and Small Business Development Training 
  • Main Streets small business Training & Equipment 
  • Bridging the Gap in Workforce Development for Violence- and Crime-involved Youth and Young Adults
  • Preventing youth depression and violence in public housing through youth employment

Locally-controlled free public education and workforce training for pre-school, K-12, and both young and older adults forms the core of Education Justice. We will continue to expand quality and equitable education for all ages, including universal pre-K from birth and post-secondary training in trades and tech. Anti-racist and equitable curriculum will be a continued focus, including indigenous education, religious intersectionalism in education, LGBTQ+ curriculum, and increased parity for disabled students. We are not anywhere near meeting our constitutional obligation to equal education. I am committed to continue learning and educating, pushing for big budget line item increases, and sponsoring local district earmarks to push us toward full equity and justice.

- Nika Elugardo

Policy Platform

    • Implementation of SOA: Making sure we are on an accelerated path for implementation, and being a legislative champion for any corrective or implementation fixes along the way.
    • Anti-racism & Equity Engagement:  Pairing educator diversity initiatives with anti-racist and culturally competent curricula and training for students, families and educators. Ensuring all schools have readily available libraries, athletic facilities, music programs, and STEAM labs and resources. Inclusive equitable curriculum accurately represents and provides culturally relevant age-appropriate education to all language backgrounds, indigenous communities, LGBTQIA+ identities, ability statuses and ethnic groups in the student body. Social-emotional learning in all schools is a form of equity for all ability statuses.
    • Mental & Physical Health & Wellness Investments: Making sure we continue to fund and support districts on COVID mitigations like ventilation and PPE, as well as making social emotional health a pillar of how we return to “normal” with healing for students, families and staff at the core of education practice. This includes working to cover medically necessary treatment in schools by insurance. (I have a bill on this).
    • Place-based Education: Using location and community for learning. Investing in student-centered, place-based and problem-based educational models in every high school and increasingly in K-8. Connecting students to diverse career pathways and partnerships, training and demographically/culturally competent workforce development in schools and communities. 
    • Collective Autonomy at the Local Level:  Top down transactional management doesn’t work, in general and especially in schools. As I have done throughout the pandemic, I will stand with you against state executive actions that threaten district local control and disproportionately disenfranchise BIPOC communities. Schools should be empowered to understand, develop and activate the skills and expertise of their educators. This includes investment in educator and school capacity-building to improve or amplify models for outcomes-rich, educator-led professional learning. Well-trained peer-learning gives teacher’s voice and skills to positively and more strategically impact the conditions and policies that shape teaching and learning. It may take fundamental restructuring of the school day to create time for teachers to build and collaborate with each other. The ability to do this should not be dependent on schools resourced by wealthy parents or principles with creative collaborative development skills. Students and teachers learn better in a collaborative environment. 
    • Cradle to Coffin Public (free) Education: Fully-funded Free Education from Pre-K to Community College and Public University begins with universal pre-K on the youngest end and debt forgiveness for older students. Inclusive and equitable education meets the educational needs of people who are incarcerated and their families and people with disabilities, regardless of age.
    • Supporting Student Voices: Continuing to support the leadership of Boston Student Advisory Council and to amplify and expand their voice and leadership in the community and on Beacon Hill.

Track Record

DISTRICT NEIGHBORHOODS: Nubian Square, Moss Hill, Forest Hills, JP/Centre, Hyde Square, Egleston Square, Uphams Corner, Madison Park High School, Roxbury Community College, Roxbury Prep, Nativity Prep, Parkside Christian Academy, Fenway High School, Margarita Muñiz Academy, English High

  • Advocacy & strategic planning for FUTURE Act: Debt-free College (bills, community)
  • Advocacy for Common Start: Universal Early Childhood Education & Care (bill)
  • Student Opportunity Act low-income school district and ELL student funding advocacy (bill)
  • Secured fair Charter School Reimbursement policy in Student Opportunity Act (bill,$)
  • Advocacy for insurance coverage for medically necessary treatment in schools (bills, community)
  • Increased State Aid to Public Libraries ($)
  • Indigenous Education Agenda Champion: Native American Mascot Ban; Native American Education Commission (bills, community)
  • Strategic planning & leadership for An Act relative to anti-racism, equity, and justice in education (bills, community)
  • Educator diversity language passed the House (bill)
  • Funding for Steps to Success program closing the education gap for public housing residents (Over 90% of CSI students are on track to graduate college in 4-6 years – eight times the national average for low-income, first-generation college students)
  • Pro-educator and student advocacy in Governor and 
  • Big Picture Learning Schools (community)
  • Out-of-School Time Outcomes Evaluation (community)
  • Advocacy for STEAM investment in-district: Roxbury Community College, Madison Park High School, Dearborn Academy, Benjamin Franklin Institute (community, $)
  • Bonded money for Black Development in Life Sciences in Nubian Square ($)
  • Broadband, air quality, and emissions reductions targeting schools in EJ communities (bill)
  • Organizational development, strategic planning, and outcomes assessment support to metro Boston area faith and community based out-of-school-time and college readiness programs (community)

Additional Legislation: 

  • H443 An Act prohibiting the use of Native American mascots by public schools in the Commonwealth
  • H444 An Act providing for the creation of a permanent commission relative to the education of American Indian and Alaska Native residents of the Commonwealth
  • H3874 An Act establishing a commission to review health insurance coverage for medically necessary treatment in public schools
  • 52 Cosponsorships

"I learned some things about numbers and equity and business management in that environment, that I didn’t have any other environment to learn that in growing up."

Nika Elugardo

"It is important for us to define not just public education, but all the rights associated with it."

Nika Elugardo

"When children are properly educated they can do anything."

Nika Elugardo

"Making sure that every student has the opportunity to try things out, to fail, to learn, to thrive, and to grow alongside their educators."

Nika Elugardo

"Temporary loss of freedom in a rehabilitative, restorative and transformational environment is the right response to serious violent crimes. Prison as we know it, however, must be abolished. It doesn’t work, and it harms those incarcerated, their families, and their communities. Correctional officers and staff don’t consistently receive the mental health support required for trauma endured on the job or sufficient training to understand and provide anti-racist and trauma-informed service. Contemporary models for criminal justice over-incarcerate people in general and disproportionately over-incarcerate and over-sentence Black, immigrant, and poor residents for the same criminal acts committed by others who go free. Constitutional rights are routinely interpreted to allow for legalized abuse of black people by officials behind the walls and in society. To achieve true freedom and justice for all, corrections reform will prioritize diversion programming, restorative justice, antiracist data tracking, and transparency and accountability for corrections and public safety officials and institutions."

- Nika Elugardo

Policy Platform

 

1. Violence Prevention & Trauma Response

  • Youth jobs and career pathways 
  • Neighborhood-based trades apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programming
  • Trauma-informed Workforce Development
  • Outcomes-based Investment in Street Worker Coalition 
  • State investment in neighborhood-based trauma response
  • Peer-based Mental Health First Aid training in schools and places of faith
  • State & private sector investment in summer and out-of-school time sports, nature, and STEAM activities
  • Funeral expense relief fund for survivors
  • State-sponsored PSAs and peer training for sexual and domestic violence and suicide prevention
  • Official coordination between law enforcement, corrections, and elected officials to support violence survivors, including families of the incarcerated
  • Deep investment in restorative justice circles and programming for survivor families of persons harmed by community violence and those who caused harm

2. Eliminate Prison Pipelines

  • Eliminate debt-based incarceration
  • Nurses, Social Workers & Behavioral Healthcare in every school
  • Eliminate discriminatory “gang databases”
  • Healthy food access in schools and homes (hunger is a driver of youth criminal activity)
  • Decriminalize nonviolent crimes
  • Decriminalize Poverty
  • Decriminalize mental illness and Substance Use Disorder
  • Mandate diversion for youth up to age 26, people with substance use disorder, people experiencing homelessness, and people with developmental disabilities
  • Educational and transitional support to incarcerated families who opt to partner with re-entry in order to prepare in concert with the incarcerated family members

3. Officer Training & Accountability

  • Public outcomes assessment of Peace Officer Standards & Training
  • Mandated reporting on detailed race, language, and income data for stops, arrests, sentencing, classification (min, med or max security), corrections programming
  • Civil Service Preference for local residents in law enforcement hiring
  • Trauma-informed response, antiracism, and historically contextualized anti-bias training

4. Fairness in Sentencing 

  • Eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing
  • Eliminate life without parole
  • Standardize data collection for anti-racism accountability in sentencing

5. Decarceration 

  • Sentence reduction policy reform
  • Pardon reform
  • Exoneration policy development and damages reform

6. Health, Wellness, & Antiracism in Corrections

  • Outcomes- education programming, living wages, paid leadership development opportunities; culturally equitable canteen 
  • Evidence-based comprehensive health care with behavioral health parity
  • Mental Health First Aid for corrections staff and incarcerated persons
  • Mental health resources and evaluation for staff experiencing trauma on site

7. Probation and Parole Reform

  • Reassess probation violation decisions (people get sent back to jail for some stupid sh*t)
  • Address Financial Obstacles: includes eliminating ID fees for incarcerated individuals eligible for parole, and establishing a state tax incentive to match the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit tax credit given to employers that hire ex-offenders
  • Eliminate parole violations that are not demonstrated by data and evidence to be not relevant to public safety 
  • Diversify Parole Board 
  • Increase transparency: including mandated yearly reporting of  parole violations broken down by race/ethnicity, gender, and type of violation, parole revocations and cause of revocation and demographics of the individuals, and the race/ethnicity of the individuals on parole who are returned to prison for a preliminary hearing on an alleged technical parole violation
  • Improve protocols and processes

8. Prison Reentry Investments in Returning Citizens & Families

  • Reinstitute furloughs
  • Build stronger employment connections in community through furlough, job, & volunteer opportunities
  • Invest in more robust and diverse education options, classroom space, and resources in reentry (e.g., STEAM, trades, life sciences training)
  • Transparent and outcomes-measured reentry planning beginning at intake
  • Priority for formerly incarcerated persons in state housing programs
  • Trades and jobs certification during sentence
  • Decoupling sentencing from jobs and program access behind the walls
  • Degree opportunities behind the wall for incarcerated persons and COs
  • Family reentry preparation

9. Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Public Safety

  • Community & Officer engagement and trust building 
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) ombudspersons for supporting inmate and staff requests for cultural, linguistic, LGBTQ+ or race equity inquiries and policies
  • Citizen review board for correctional staff and inmates racism and DEI reports

10. Socioeconomic Determinants of Health Policy: Poverty and inequity drive crime, and addressing that through Housing, Public Health, Jobs and Community & Economic Development increases safety and justice in corrections and law enforcement

Track Record

DISTRICT NEIGHBORHOODS: MCI-Norfolk, Souza-Baranowski; Mass & Cass; Pondville; Cedar Junction; Framingham; Concord; Shirley; South Bay

  • Filed Bills: Structural Racism Commission in Corrections; Suffolk County Jail-based Ballot Box Pilot
  • Cosponsored 48 Bills, Including: 
    • Peace Officer Standards & Training
    • Civil Service Reform
    • Use of Force Reform, including no-knock warrants
    • Visitation Rights
    • Life without Parole 
    • Prison moratorium
    • Jail-based Voting
    • Data Collection & Accountability in Anti-racism in traffic stops   
  • Funding Behind the Walls Programs: Building Responsible Adults through Validation and Education (BRAVE), Educational Programming, Workforce Development ($)
  • Partnership with incarcerated activist groups: Speaking, legislative drafting, training, culture shift strategy and planning, advocacy for higher wages and better jobs with administration
  • Over 2 dozen Tours, Focus Groups, Interviews and Dialogue Sessions at 7 State Facilities with incarcerated activists, people in restricted housing, corrections officers and superintendents (over 80% with the African American Coalition Committee: a Board of Incarcerated activists at MCI-Norfolk)
  • Tours of Mass & Cass (Community)
  • Led on data security and anti-bias research & training elements of traffic stops legislation (bills) 
  • Site visits interviewing incarcerated women and men (community)
  • Planned and Unannounced visits to Residential Housing (community)
  • Correctional Officer interviews and focus groups (community)
  • Announced and unannounced administration interviews (community)
  • Co-drafted components of 2020 corrections reform legislation (bills)
  • Codrafted and advanced 3 pieces of legislation with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated persons (bills)
  • Successfully advocated for millions in re-entry workforce development and a re-entry housing pilot program for formerly incarcerated ($)
  • Advocated for funding for Medically Assisted Treatment inside the walls ($)
  • Principal Author of Report Structural Racism in Corrections (draft in circulation, release pending) (community, bill)
  • As House Chair of Structural Racism Commission successfully advocated for research and analysis to be performed by currently incarcerated persons (community)
  • Secured district earmark funding for STABLE HOUSING AND REENTRY PILOT PROGRAM (SHARPP) ($)
  • Partnered with Suffolk County Sheriff to model Ballot Box Voting Pilot program in jails and advocated successfully for scaling throughout the state (community, bill)
  • Training COs and Incarcerated leaders in systems analysis and mapping (community)
  • Negotiating proposal for living wages for advanced consulting performed by incarcerated persons and COs to advise on policy, culture shift and equity reforms in corrections (community)
  • Successfully Advocated for Restorative Justice Practices position at Department of Correction and that it be filled by a Black staff person (community)
  • Advocate for BIPOC Correctional Officers experiencing workplace discrimination (community)
  • Advanced Act securing housing options for eligible tenants with a history of criminal justice involvement (community, bill)
  • Partnered with incarcerated activists to establish program for district constituents to learn civic engagement for dismantling structural racism and corrections reform from incarcerated trainers (community)
  • An Act relative to discharge plans across the Commonwealth (Re-Entry) (bills)
  • An Act to eliminate debt-based incarceration and suspensions (bills)
Additional successes:
  • Co-drafted components of 2020 corrections reform legislation
  • Co-drafted and advanced 3 pieces of legislation with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated persons
  • Successfully advocated for millions in re-entry workforce development and a re-entry housing pilot program for formerly incarcerated ($)
  • Advocated for funding for Medically Assisted Treatment inside the walls ($)
  • Principal Author of Report Structural Racism in Corrections (draft in circulation, release pending) (community, bill)
  • As House Chair of Structural Racism Commission successfully advocated for research and analysis to be performed by currently incarcerated persons (community)
  • Secured district earmark funding for Stable Housing And Reentry Pilot Program (SHARPP) ($)
  • Partnered with Suffolk County Sheriff to model Ballot Box Voting Pilot program in jails and advocated successfully for scaling throughout the state (community, bill)
  • Training COs and Incarcerated leaders in systems analysis and mapping (community)
  • Negotiating proposal for living wages for advanced consulting performed by incarcerated persons and COs to advise on policy, culture shift and equity reforms in corrections (community)
  • Successfully Advocated for Restorative Justice Practices position at Department of Correction and that it be filled by a Black staff person (community)
  • Advocate for BIPOC Correctional Officers experiencing workplace discrimination (community)
  • Advanced Act securing housing options for eligible tenants with a history of criminal justice involvement (community, bill)
  • Partnered with incarcerated activists to establish program for district constituents to learn civic engagement for dismantling structural racism and corrections reform from incarcerated trainers (community)
  • An Act relative to discharge plans across the Commonwealth (Re-Entry) (bills)
  • An Act to eliminate debt-based incarceration and suspensions (bills)

“Side by side correctional officers, incarcerated individuals, and administrators mapped out the answer to the question: what would a Department of Corrections look like if it were free of structural racism?”​

- Nika Elugardo

"Public spaces– libraries, parks, athletic fields, courts & rinks, sporting facilities, community centers, transit lines, roads, benches, and sidewalks- form the core infrastructure for our shared democracy and livelihood. Creating meaningful opportunities for shared visioning, evaluating, and co-designing public space. Sharing this power with frequent users of all incomes and ability statuses is core to a functioning and just democracy and economy."

- Nika Elugardo

“Everything around us is systemically killing us. Even everything you are eating is slowly going to kill you. It’s a slow trickling genocide. When you cross the line at Roxbury Crossing the life expectancy drops drops by about 30 years. We all know the orange line is about to close. There are 4 lines in Whiter neighborhoods and only one serving Dorchester and Mattapan.”
- Brianna Revanche, Youth leader from Afrimerican Academy

"To go to Fields Corner you have to go all the way to Downtown Crossing and come back into the city. It’s built that way. We don’t have access.”
- Mya Bentick, Youth leader from Afrimerican Academy

Policy Platform

  • Equitable Green & Play Space
  • Equitable Transit for Youth & Elders
  • Safe and Equitable Libraries & School Infrastructure
  • Safe Cycling and Walkways (Vision Zero & Slow Streets)
  • Ecological Justice (see above section on Ecological & Housing Justice for All)

Track Record

DISTRICT NEIGHBORHOODS: Brigham Circle bus routes, Green E-line, Roslindale Village and Bellevue Commuter Rail Stops, Jackson Square Orange Line, South Huntington bus routes; Casey Overpass

  • District “Walk n Rolls”: Coordinating residents from different neighborhoods to walk, wheelchair, walker and cycle shared pathways together, and organize for increased public accountability to safe and accessible public spaces and streets
  • State Aid to Public Libraries
  • Free Bus Fellowship Research & Presentation (transit as socioeconomic determinant of health)
  • Mission Hill Link Shuttle Bus funding for Elders & the disability community
  • Rate Hikes Protest Action
  • Casey Overpass advocacy for inclusive community engagement
  • Walsh Administration Transition Team
  • Walsh Administration Advisory Board

Policy Platform

Leadership with Community

  • Integrated Holistic Care Centers touching every neighborhood
  • Mass & Cass Relief and Restoration 
  • Healing from Community Substance Use Disorder Trauma
  • Representation & cultural competency in healthcare providers
  • Child & Youth Behavioral Health
  • Trauma-informed Workforce Development
  • Healthy food production access, ownership and the right to food security
    • Destroying Food Deserts
    • Ending Food Apartheid
  • Silent Killers in BIPOC & immigrant communities (eating disorders, PCOS, maternal and infant mortality, racism, HIV)
  • Healthy Public Spaces for Learning, Working & Play
  • Supportive advocacy for in-district housing and medical care for Mass & Cass residents
  • Community Arts as Healing
  • Medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education
  • Reproductive Healthcare Access in schools and prisons
  • Ending Youth Violence
  • Ending Violence against Trans community, especially against BIPOC Trans
  • Ending Domestic & Sexual Violence

Leadership through Funding Advocacy

  • Public Housing building emissions reduction
  • Community Health Center Funding
  • Healthcare for the Homeless
  • Food System Health
  • Socioeconomic Determinants of Health research for Transportation Revenue bill
  • Child & Youth Behavioral Health
  • Period Care in Public Institutions  

Leadership on Bills

  • Healthcare Race Equity Reporting & Accountability
  • Youth Mental Health, Nutrition & Trauma Response
  • Substance Use Disorder (Housing, Localized Medical Care, and In-state Transportation)
  • Elder Care
  • LGBTQIA+ Youth & Elders Housing, Healthcare & Education
  • Mental Healthcare Parity
  • Reproductive Justice for all ages and diverse genders
  • Medicare for All
  • Nutrition, Sport & Fitness
  • COVID Equity
  • Incarcerated Family Care
  • Ending Sexual, Domestic, and Community Violence
  • Provider Employment Protections
  • Food & Nutrition Justice

Track Record

DISTRICT NEIGHBORHOODS: Lenox, Heath St., Mission Main, Alice Taylor, Cathedral, Roslindale Square, JP/Centre, Uphams Corner, Dudley Street, Blue Hill Ave, Dorchester Ave, Washington Park, Hyde Square, Mission Park, Back of the Hill, Villa Victoria, Bowdoin Geneva, Codman Square, Nubian Square, Jackson Square, Forest Hills, Lower Roxbury, Roxbury Tenants of Harvard, Fields Corner, Chinatown, Front of the Hill, Longwood, Mildred C. Hailey (Bromley Heath); Healthcare for the Homeless

  • Filed 22 bills & amendments  
  • 160 Cosponsorships
  • COVID Food & cash assistance for elders (community, $)
  • COVID Toys & Diapers ($)
  • COVID Personal Protection Equipment for congregate housing (community, $)
  • COVID Testing Funds for Essential Workers living in Public Housing (community, $)
  • Community organizing for food access (community)
  • Healthy Incentives Program funding for fresh, healthy, local foods for SNAP recipients ($)
  • Child & Youth Behavioral Health ($)
  • Midwife & Doula Access & Fair Wages (bills)
  • DV Survivor Employer Accommodations & Protections (bills)
  • Inclusive definition of family in foster care and social services (bills)
  • Provider Rate Increases (bills)
  • An Act relative to establishing a COVID-19 funeral and burial assistance fund (bills)
  • Funding for urban gardens, urban food forests and food security programming (community, $)
  • Trauma-informed Violence Prevention (community, $)
  • Trauma-informed Workforce Development (community, $)
  • Mental Healthcare Parity (bills)
  • LGBTQ+ healthcare (bills)
  • Anti-child sex trafficking organizing and research (community, bills)
  • Youth Violence Systems Project (community)
  • Boston Capacity Tank Train the Trainer (community)
  • Ending Sexual Violence in Places of Faith (community)
  • End of Life Care (community)
  • Racism Against American-born Blacks in Healthcare (community)
  • Reproductive Care Access (bills)
  • Tours of Mass & Cass facilities, including ER, Healthcare for the Homeless wrap around service model, and various Substance Use Disorder Resource Centers (community)
  • Telehealth accessibility for people experiencing homelessness (bills)
  • Public Housing building emissions reduction (bills)
  • Community Health Center Funding ($)
  • Healthcare for the Homeless ($)
  • Food System Health ($)
  • Socioeconomic Determinants of Health research for Transportation Revenue (bill, $)

Additional Filed Legislation:

  • H4697 An Act providing for cash assistance to certain persons over 65 years of age who stopped working as a result of COVID-19 or stay-at-home advisory 
  • H3781 An Act establishing a commission to review health insurance coverage for medically necessary treatment in public schools
  • H3735 An Act designating September as PCOS awareness month
  • H583 An Act ensuring diversity in public education
  • H2017 An Act relative to paid family leave coverage for quarantine
  • Behavioral Health Services for Vulnerable Children
  • An Act to Protect Elder Housing, H5007 EcoDev 2022 #260
  • #569 H5007 EcoDev 2022 Envision Hotel for former Mass & Cass Residents
  • Cash ARPA I H.4802 124 Preventing youth depression and violence in public housing through youth employment 

"Public Health policy relates to the aspect of Ecological Health (see above) that provides for equitable access to quality healthcare. Strong public health policy is grounded in understanding the impacts of social determinants like housing, transit, food access, ageism, ableism, misogyny, gender/queer phobia, and racism on individual, family, and community wellness. The Mass & Cass epidemic in Boston represents the presenting face of a city wide problem. Supportive housing, treatment when ready, and continuous sweeping of needles and trash (NOT human beings) are some core components of a healthy response that has worked in pockets throughout Boston and needs to be replicated statewide."

- Nika Elugardo

"Structural racism can be reversed by law just as it is perpetuated by it. I use an anti-racist approach to elevating the concerns of disenfranchised populations, especially formerly incarcerated, elders, youth, LGBTQ+, and disability communities. Championing the Indigenous Agenda is a critical part of furthering true justice in the Commonwealth. My legislative initiatives bring their voices and an intersectional approach to both drafting and building partnerships."

- Nika Elugardo

Policy Platform

See above sections. More coming soon!

Track Record

See above sections. More coming soon!

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