Our region is losing the most effective, experienced and progressive legislators our state has probably ever known. The biggest issue in this election is how we begin to replace the extraordinary leaders we are losing. Beyond that, we have a deep need for state investment in public education, transportation, clean energy, and our safety net.
Nothing is more important than our public schools. We need to ensure all our students learn in well-equipped child-centered schools. That means fully funding our schools, investing in new facilities, reforming our state's misguided charter school law, and launching universal preschool. We need to pass the Fair Share Amendment and get to work, investing in our children.
UMass Amherst & Public Higher Education
UMass Amherst is the backbone of our local economy, and the gateway to opportunity for thousands of students. Our community colleges are the essential educational resource for the 21st Century. We need to invest in world-class public system, and eliminate student debt. This is critical to reducing inequality.
Economic Development & Justice
Our region needs new job opportunities and tax revenue that can relieve our town budgets. That means a regional strategy that leverages our strengths - UMass and our talented workforce. Too many people work jobs that don't pay the bills. We need to pass a living wage and support paid leave, affordable housing, and low-cost public transit.
Public Transit, Rail & Infrastructure
We are not investing enough in our public transit and roads. We all live the result with unreliable buses and potholes. We need more funding - and a vision for high-speed rail, electric charging stations and buses that can green our economy while it brings our regions closer together.
Healthcare & A Reliable Safety Net
We need medicare-for-all/single-payer healthcare to bring costs down and make medical care truly available for everyone. We also need to expand opioid treatment and support community health centers. The continued GOP assault on women's reproductive freedom also means that the state should back fill any federal funds lost for women's health and family planning.
Climate Change and Climate Justice
Massachusetts should be carbon-free by 2050. To get there we need a carbon pollution fee that protects low-income households while raising revenue for green infrastructure. We need to expand wind and solar, accelerate energy-efficiency, and focus investments on the low-income communities and people of color who have born the brunt of environmental justice.
Civil and Human Rights
The Trump era is frightening. Immigrants, women, LGBTQ people and people-of-color are under assault by a Republican-led Congress that fears a diverse America. We must resist in Washington DC and here at home. Massachusetts should pass the Safe Communities Act, repeal state laws banning abortion and ensure proper funding for women's reproductive health, and defeat a ballot initiative this fall that would roll back rights for transgender people (Vote YES on Question 3). We should also take the next step in criminal justice reform and expand job opportunities for people who have served their time in prison and need a new start.