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MASSACHUSETTS
2017 ELECTION CYCLE

 

 

MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS


November 2017

 

At Maria's List, we elevate progressive candidates, especially women and people of color, with the potential to address equity and opportunity gaps in education and job creation, government transparency, and the type of public leadership and progressive policies people aspire to see funded.


CANDIDATES


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Dr. Yvonne Spicer, Framingham, Mayor
Lydia Edwards, Boston, City Council - District 1

Jynai McDonald, Springfield, City Council At-Large

Dimple Rana, Revere, City Council At-Large

Ayanna Pressley, Boston, Councilor At-Large

Kim Janey, Boston, City Council - District 7

Nicole Castillo, Newton, City Council - Ward 1 At-Large

Stephanie Martins, Everett, City Council - Ward 2

Elizabeth Gervacio, Lynn, School Committee

 

Yvonne Spicer for Mayor website

 

Dr. Yvonne Spicer photo

Dr. Yvonne Spicer

Framingham

Mayor

Preliminary Election - September 26th

 

In 1985, Yvonne moved to Framingham from Brooklyn, New York for her first job out of college: to be a teacher at Farley Middle School. She "never left," she says, She worked in both the Framingham Public Schools and the Newton Public Schools as a teacher and administrator, and now serves as the Vice President of the Museum of Science, where she started and leads a division that focuses on building STEM education partnerships among school districts and business leaders, policymakers and nonprofits across the country.

 

Yvonne holds four degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Arts, a Master of Science in Technology Education, a Doctorate of Education from UMass Boston and an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

 

Yvonne serves in local Framingham government, as a Town Meeting member and on the Standing Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Key Priorities/Issues:

  1. Economic Development — "There hasn't been a lot of growth of new businesses, in terms of the innovation economy: green technologies and jobs that are looking forward that are not impacting our carbon footprint, for instance. We have to look at micro-businesses and think about ways we're building partnerships with businesses to employ our citizens. When people can invest in the community by buying homes, by living and working there, it makes for a more comprehensive economy," Yvonne says.

  2. Maintaining and Preserving Our Open Spaces — "It's important that we become very good stewards of the spaces we've been given because once we give up green spaces, we can't get them back. We have to also make sure they are safe places for families to go and enjoy."

  3. Education — "Framingham has a great school system and I want to work to keep that path and momentum, and make sure that there are opportunities for all children to excel and succeed in school," Yvonne says.

  4. Community Safety and Health — "We have to look to national and international best practices as well as look to local expertise to make Framingham the safest community it can be and to address health crises, like the opioid epidemic that has touched all of us in some way."

 

Seat Status: In April, residents voted to change Framingham from a town to a city form of government and so will be electing the first mayor of Framingham. Seven people are running for mayor, including former State Representative John Stefanini. Yvonne is considered to be a top-tier contender to become Mayor. The September 26th preliminary election will narrow the field down to two.

 

Dynamics of Race: The race took a nasty turn in May when mayoral candidate and former Representative John Stefanini apologized for removing Yvonne Spicer campaign materials and placing them behind a trash barrel in the Framingham Public Library. The incident was caught on library surveillance video and reported by the local press. View video

 

Analysis of Race/Spicer Campaign: Yvonne has a strong campaign structure, with a strategist, campaign manager and field director, all with prior campaign experience, on board. Her team has a strong field plan and sense of the numbers needed to win. Because of the historic nature of electing Framingham's first mayor, Yvonne's campaign expects a high turnout. The possibility of a progressive black woman as Framingham's first mayor has already energized Framingham progressives, and the campaign expects that to translate into votes on election day.

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Ayanna Pressley website

Ayanna Pressley photo

Ayanna Pressley

Boston

Re-election City Councilor At-large

General Election- November

 

EMILY's List honored Ayanna with its 2015 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award. The New Republic's Rebecca Traister said, "I was completely transfixed by her. The other people at my table were all saying, 'Holy crap.' It was like listening to Obama in 2004 - she was so clearly the real deal." Traister tweeted that night from he event: "I have seen the politics' future and it is Ayanna Pressley."

 

Raised by a single mother, Ayanna often talks about her mother as her inspiration. "I like to say [my mother] gave me roots, my wings and my voice," Ayanna says. "My mother was never cynical about the role that government, compassionate government, could play in our lives. On Election Day, from a very young age, I felt powerful." In 2011, her mother, Sandra Pressley, passed away from leukemia more than a year after her daughter became the first woman of color elected to the Boston City Council in its 106-year history.

 

Going against conventional political wisdom, Ayanna ran and won in 2009 and 2013 on a platform of "saving our girls" because, she says, "I believe broken girls grow up to be broken women. I know intimately the challenges of single parenthood, I'm a survivor of a near decade of childhood sexual assault. I didn't just run on my resume." (She was a senior aide to Congressman Joe Kennedy and political director for US Senator John Kerry.) "I told the totality of my journey. That resonated."

 

Key Priorities/Accomplishments:

  1. Girls and Women — Ayanna created and chairs the Committee on Healthy Women, Families and Communities. She spearheaded the passage of the Boston Public Schools' first-ever sexual education and condom availability policy.

  2. Safe and Healthy Communities — Ayanna held a first-of-its-kind hearing called Family Voices, in which families of homicide victims were given center stage to testify. She then worked collaboratively to implement several of the families' recommendations, including expanded trauma supports at Boston Public Schools and creation of monthly provider meetings to improve coordinated care for victims' families.

  3. Economic Equity — Ayanna successfully advanced a bill to reform the state's liquor licensing laws for Boston, retuning control of the Licensing Board to the City for the first time in 100 years and securing 75 new licenses for the City.

  4. Arts and Culture — Working with the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Ayanna helped establish designated Cultural Districts and a Literacy Cultural District, the first in the country. She has also fought to sustain and expand arts programming in the Boston Public Schools.

 

Seat Status: Eight people are running in the November election for four at-large seats. Will all four incumbents running, there are no open seats.

 

Analysis of race: Ayanna topped the ticket in her last election and it's important for her to do so again to show strength.

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Lydia Edwards website

Lydia Edwards photo

Lydia Edwards

Boston

City Councilor, District 1

Preliminary Election - September 26th

 

Lydia's mother, a 23-year veteran of the US Air Force, raised Lydia and her twin sister on her own. After her mother left the military, their family struggled to make ends meet; her mother had two jobs making $5.15/hour and both Lydia and her sister had to work as well.

 

Lydia has a law degree from American University and a post-graduate law degree in taxation from Boston University. She became a public interest attorney after volunteering at the Brazilian Worker Center in Allston. "My first day there, there was a line out the door...I started that day in the kitchen with two cardboard boxes." She went on to run the nation's first domestic workers' clinic there. "I say the pain and sometimes shame in people's eyes when they said, 'Yes I am undocumented but I did work and I should get paid.' I saw things I didn't even know happened anymore: people fired because they were pregnant, or people who were injured on the job and too scared to say anything."

 

Now fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, she went on to a fellowship at Greater Boston Legal Services, where she successfully led a diverse coalition of advocates in the effort to pass the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which put labor protections in place for house-cleaners, nannies and other in-home caretakers. The ground-breaking law passed in one legislative session and went into effect in April 2015, making Massachusetts only the 4th state in the country to pass this kind of law. For this, the Boston Globe honored Lydia as a 2015 Bostonian of the Year, calling her "the lawyer with the heart of an activist." "To human traffickers and employers who don't play fair with immigrant workers, a word to the wise: Do not mess with Lydia Edwards."

 

Lydia went on to lead the City of Boston's new Office of Housing Stability, setting up a weekly clinic to help renters at risk of losing their homes and lobbying lawmakers to strengthen tenant protections.

 

Key Priorities/Accomplishments:

  1. Housing and Development — Lydia wants to expand housing opportunity and create pathways to homeownership. "One of the ideas I have is that any time a building goes into foreclosure and there are tenants inside it, the tenants will be able to purchase it at the foreclosure rate before a developer can. It's the right of first refusal and it actually works. It puts people on the pathway to ownership and sometimes gives them a chance they wouldn't have. If they can't afford to purchase it, they can assign that right or give it to a developer who will work with them to help them stay in their home."

  2. Education — "I'm a proud product of public schools. Quality, free, local education is a necessity for any chance in today's world. Students, parents and teachers need funding and support from our city government. I will be a champion for public education across the district. The Boston Teachers' Union has endorsed Lydia.

  3. Transportation — "I will approach developers with an eye toward aligning new projects to meet city goals on quality transportation access and environmental sustainability."

  4. Environment — "I'll fight to implement stringent open space requirements for waterfront developers, maintain existing park space and create new green space, and push for an affordable ferry service to reduce transportation pollution.

 

Seat Status: Three people are running in the preliminary for this open seat, including Stephen Passacantilli, who worked for Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and the outgoing councilor Sal LaMattina. The preliminary will narrow the field down to two.

 

Analysis of race: Lydia is running for the East Boston, Charlestown and North End district city council seat after running for state senate last year and carrying East Boston, so she brings a proven East Boston base. She is running a strong grassroots campaign and is a top-tied candidate in this race.

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Kim Janey website

 

Kim Janey photo

Kim Janey

Boston

City Council - District 7

Preliminary Election - September 26th

 

"I was born into a large family of educators, artists, entrepreneurs and activists, and they taught me the importance of service, leadership and protest. At an early age, I became a community organizer and I've been fighting for my community ever since."

 

Married out of high school and then becoming teen parents to Kim, both Kim's parents were teachers and came of age during the 1960's Civil Rights Movement. Her dad attended Northeastern and led a protest and take-over of the President's Office to fight for Black Studies at college. Her mom went to a Freedom School when she was young and participated in boycotts here in Boston to stand in solidarity with those in the South.

 

The first school Kim attended was the New School for Children, a community school Kim's parent's helped start which was modeled after the Freedom Schools of the South. After that, she went into Boston Public Schools, and "they wanted to hold me back a year, because...they thought [the school I was coming from] was a lower quality school, but my parents stood up and fought and said: no, she needs to go in her right grade, and so that was an important lesson for me as a little seven year-old girl; to see my parents stand up taught me the importance of parent voice and advocacy and, again, protest and organizing."

 

In the Boston Public Schools, she was bused to Charlestown during the 1970's desegregation era where, she says, she "learned a different kind of lesson around the ugliness of this city. Going to Charlestown and facing angry mobs who were throwing stones at us and calling us names as young children was traumatic." She finished her education and graduated high school through the METCO program.

 

Kim is currently the senior project director at the Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC), where she leads advocacy for equity, opportunity and access for children in Boston, and particularly for children of color, children living in poverty, immigrant students and students with disabilities. "In my work at MAC, I have worked with a lot of folks in the community: community-based organizations, parents, students to help them develop their voice around an advocacy agenda that will help us eliminate opportunity and achievement gaps."

 

Key Priorities/Issues:

  1. Education — "I've taken all of the lessons in terms of my own education and have applied that in my own advocacy for children in Boston, fighting for them around closing the opportunity and achievement gap."

  2. Development — "There's a lot of development happening in my neighborhood of Roxbury and that creates a great opportunity to see what we want to see in the neighborhood, but I think people are also fearful about what this means for them in terms of displacement. It's really important we have someone in district 7 who can be a strong voice of the residents, making sure we have a seat at the table, making sure that the residents who live there now will benefit from the development that's happening and have a say in what it actually looks like."

 

Seat Status: The sitting city councilor Tito Jackson is leaving the seat to run for mayor. Thirteen people are running for this open seat, including Somali-American refugee and immigrant rights activist Deeqo Jibril and former state representative Carlos Henriquez who was expelled from the House after being convicted of assaulting a woman. The non-partisan preliminary election will narrow the field down to two.

 

Analysis of Race: Kim has deep family roots in Roxbury, Fenway, South End and Dorchester district, has raised the most money among the field of candidates (a key indicator of strength and viability), and is running a strong campaign. Even as a first-time candidate, she is rising about the pack in this crowded race.

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McDonald for Springfield website

Jynai McDonald  photo

Jynai McDonald

Springfield

City Councilor At-large

Preliminary Election - September 19

 

Jynai is a lifelong resident of Springfield. She's a single mother to three children: one seven-year-old son and twins who are four-years-old.

 

Committed to the community through her lifetime work in nonprofits, she currently works as the Western Massachusetts Regional Manager at Training Resources of America, an organization that helps people enroll in college and provides job training. She works with an at-risk population and helps them become self-sufficient, which is her story as well.

 

A long-time community activist and Neighbor to Neighbor member, Jynai has advocated to increase services for youth as a way to prevent crime and has advocated for increased diversity in hiring at the soon-to-be-built MGM Springfield casino. She sits on the 15-member appointed Springfield Police and Community Relations Committee and works to improve relations between police and residents.

 

Key Priorities/Accomplishments:

  1. Good Paying Jobs & Job Training — "MGM is coming into the city and it's important to ensure that residents are trained for these positions." Jynai also supports the "Fight for $15" minimum wage.

  2. Increasing Homeownership — "Springfield offers $2,500 grants for homeowners but it used to be $5,000. If Springfield could use that rainy day fund or extra money from the budget at the end of the fiscal year to get those grants up again, it would decrease blighted property and keep people here in the city."

  3. Strengthen Our Publics Schools — "It's important to increase parent engagement and clear the Pre-K wait list in the city. Many residents don't want to send their kids to Springfield Public Schools, but if there were more key stakeholders and influential people sending their kids to the schools, then the city itself would be more invested."

  4. Other Hot Issues in the City

    * Police Commission — Jynai supports and is pushing to replace the police commissioner with a policy commission body "so the hiring, firing and police accountability isn't left to just one person."

    * Residency Requirement — She also supports enforcing the residency requirement to work in the city. Five of the seven fire chiefs live in other cities. Their salaries and tax dollars could otherwise be reinvested in the city if they lived in Springfield.

 

Seat Status: One of the five at-large council seats are open. Fourteen candidates are running; only ten will make it to the general election. If elected, Jynai would be only the second black woman to serve on the Springfield City Council in it's history.

 

Analysis of race: Of the many amazing candidates running across the state this year, our friends at MassAlliance flagged Jynai as the candidate who needs our help the most and at the campaign this cycle where a donation would make the greatest impact. Western Massachusetts Politics and Insight says that, "the nature of Springfield's municipal electorate - older and whiter that the overall population - favors candidates from better-off neighborhoods in at-large races..., but and early look suggests McDonald could assemble a coalition broad enough to crack through, and presumable, govern."

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Nicole Castillo website

Nicole Castillo  photo

Nicole Castillo

Newton

City Councilor, Ward 1 At-Large

General Election - November

 

"I grew up in Pueblo, Colorado. Most of my family is from Southern Colorado and/or Northern Mexico so it's a pretty big deal that I'm in the Northeast. I attended the University of Colorado Boulder, then moved, first to Ithaca where I worked at a domestic violence shelter, and then to Boston to pursue a Masters of Divinity Degree at the Harvard Divinity School. My focus was on community organizing and advocacy from the perspective of engaged Buddhism."

 

"I had always known that I wanted to do some type of advocacy work related to social change, but it was really the experience I had when I was working in Ithaca that confirmed it."

 

In 2013, she moved to Newton to work as a domestic and sexual violence advocate at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. She is now the Public Policy Director at the Mass Alliance on Teen Pregnancy, where she "found herself at the front lines of repeated budget cuts at the state and federal level, and imminent threats to reproductive justice and women's rights." She is also a leader in the LGBTQ community and serves on the board of OUT Metrowest.

 

As a candidate, she sees her role as working on policy from her experience as an advocate.

 

Key Priorities/Accomplishments:

  1. Sustainable Growth and Development — "There is a need for more housing but it's unclear in the community on how to develop that. There is a significant aging population who can't afford taxes on their homes and who want to downsize but there are no options. There needs to be civic dialogue around that. I also support our efforts toward increased citywide use of renewable energy, more walkable and bikeable streets, and long-term solutions to our many public transportation needs."

  2. Welcoming City Ordinance — "I support Newton's Welcoming City Ordinance, which I believe is both a testament to the type of inclusive community we are, and also ensures that no family, regardless of their immigration status, will be afraid to reach out to law enforcement if they are a victim of a crime, to seek medical attention, or to register their children for school." The sitting city councilor and incumbent Jay Ciccone is the only Newton city councilor who voted against the ordinance.

  3. Opioid Crisis — The opioid epidemic is more severe in Newton than it is in Waltham, Brookline and Needham combined. "There needs to be a multi-organizational approach that addresses immediate and long-term needs."

  4. Infrastructure Improvement — "In my conversations with folks at the doors, it is clear that we all feel incredibly frustrated by the state of our roads. I am pleased to see that our city has invested in StreetScan technology, so that we can begin not just to repair our roads, but to put them on a maintenance system to disrepair and reduce future costs."

  5. Education and the Achievement Gap — "Latino and black students are achieving at 50% the rates of white and Asian-American students." (Latino and black students make up about 10% of students in Newton Public Schools.) "I will work with our school committee and teachers to ensure that there is funding to support our excellent public schools, and to address the achievement gap that persists among students of color so that all students have the best foundation to succeed. Excellent public education is how we ensure everyone gets the education the deserve."

 

Seat Status: There are two at-large Ward 1 seats (in which councilors represent the ward by vote is city-wide) and one additional Ward 1 councilor (in which the vote is limited to Ward 1). Three people are running for the two Ward 1 at-large seats, including incumbent Jay Ciccone. Current Ward 1 Councilor Alison Leary is leaving her seat to run for the Ward 1 at-large seat.

 

Analysis of race: Nicole is a recent addition to the race, which is not a problem; given that there's no preliminary, she has time to catch-up. In the short period of time she's been in the race, she's worn out two pairs of shoes door-knocking and shown strength and discipline in hitting her fundraising goals.

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Rana for Revere website

Dimple Rana photo

Dimple Rana

Revere

City Councilor At-large

Preliminary Election - September 12

 

Dimple grew up in Revere and attended Revere Public Schools. Her family has lived in the city for over 30 years.

 

Dimple is the first person of color to work at City Hall. She is currently the Director of Healthy Community Initiatives. "I've seen first-hand that City Hall is not accessible to everyone, especially if you don't speak English."

 

Before working at City Hall, she worked as a youth worker and immigrant right advocate. In the 1990s. she worked with at-risk youth in Revere as part of Roca, which aims to disrupt the cycle of incarceration and poverty by helping your people transform their lives. She also did HIV/AIDS outreach to youth of color in Boston and then moved to Cambodia to help refugees who were deported en masse from the US reintegrate into the country. She is also a Local 22 union member.

 

Dimple was diagnosed with cancer last year; she is currently in remission. It's not not an ideal time for her to run, but she watched a city council hearing in April in which two city councilors filed a motion declaring that Revere will never be a sanctuary city. One of the councilors said, "Those people [immigrants] multiple like cockroaches." After watching that, she felt like she had to run.

 

Key Priorities/Accomplishments:

  1. Youth — Revere needs a youth center (there currently isn't one) and a new high school, one that could also serve as a full-service community center. Current high school is on the verge of losing accreditation because its science facilities are out of compliance with the state. A youth center and a new high school were initiatives that the youth in Revere Youth in Action, an organization she co-founded, advocated for.

  2. Sustainable Economic Development and Not Displacement — "Revere is a gateway city and we need to create more empowerment opportunities ad stabilize households and neighborhoods. We need more rent-to-own housing programs and to adopt inclusionary zoning policy like Boston. It's important to make sure people who live here can stay here."

 

Seat Status: Of the five at-large seats, one is open. Twelve people are running, including former mayor Dan Rizzo. The top 10 will advance to the general election.

 

Analysis of race: Dimple can't afford to leave her job and run so it ties her hands in fundraising. (Election law says you personally can't fundraise for any political campaign, including your own, if you work in government. However, others can raise money for you.) In spite of this, her campaign is meeting their fundraising goals. Dimple is the first and only woman of color to run for city council in Revere. In this 39% immigrant city, she is the kind of candidate who could inspire new, non-traditional, immigrant voters to show up.

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Stephanie Martins website

Stephanie Martins  photo

Stephanie Martins

Everett

City Council, Ward 2

Preliminary Election - September 19

 

Born in Brazil to parents who divorced, Stephanie came to America to live with her father, a restaurant manager, when she was 14 years old. When she was 17, her father moved to Florida but she decided to stay so she could finish school. She had to work three jobs, making $5.25/hr. minimum wage, to support herself. Two weeks before she would graduate from high school, her mom passed away in Brazil. Eleven month later, her grandfather, who helped raise her, passed away. She started underage drinking and, one night, was arrested for drunk driving after running a red light. She says that it was her wake-up call. "I went back to church to find my healing, and then I started helping other kids to go through challenges the right way instead of doing thinks that will only hurt yourself." She started volunteering with a youth ground and became a Big Sister.

 

She attended Harvard Extension School, graduation with a college degree eight years later. While she was at Harvard, she tutored Harvard employees who were applying for US citizenship. She herself became a US citizen in 2009.

 

Currently, she is a realtor, and has a company with her husband who is in construction; together they build and sell properties. She also does legal work for an attorney in Boston. She wants to go to law school.

 

Key Priorities/Accomplishments:

  1. Making City Hall Accessible — She wants to make City Hall accessible to everyone, not just to those with friends in City Hall. She notes that nothing is translated into other languages.

  2. Fighting for Everett Workers — Stephanie supports the Fight for $15 minimum wage campaign. "It was hard enough for me to make it on minimum wage when I was 17 and working three jobs, and I didn't even have kids."

  3. Food Security — Hunger is an issue in Everett. The city has a food pantry but it's under-utilized because of the shame people have around others knowing they are without food. "We need to re-imaging how to provide food to the hungry."

  4. Education — "Kids get lost and don't get to the other side in terms of getting their degree. It's important that kids have a strong support system of teachers and mentors." Stephanie voted against the charter school ballot initiative last year. "If we can do something better, why not do it for the public schools. There's no need to continue to segregate."

 

Seat Status: Three people are running for the city council seat, including the incumbent Stephen Simonelli. He lost his tongue to cancer and has a hard time speaking, so his nephew accompanies him and handles speaking duties. Though it is a ward council seat, the vote is citywide. Two people will move forward to the general election.

 

Analysis of race: In this 41% immigrant community, Stephanie is the only person of color running for city council and she would be the city's first Latina city councilor. Though voters in local races here are traditionally more white and older, Stephanie can win if she's able to inspire more no-traditional, progressive voters to turn out. She has gotten good press (a feature article in the Metro section of the Boston Globe in June."

Elizabeth Gervacio website

Elizabeth Gervacio  photo

Elizabeth Gervacio

Lynn

School Committee

Preliminary Election - September 12

 

Elizabeth was raised in Lynn, attended Lynn Public Schools and graduated from Lynn English High School. She then graduated with a Business Management degree from Salem State University and recently got a Graduate Certificate in Gender, Leadership and Public Policy from UMASS Boston.

 

She currently works as an Immigration Specialist for Elizabeth Warren, also worked in similar role for former Congressman John Tierney. She serves on the Boards of the Lynn Community Health Center and the Lynn Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

 

Elizabeth has a teenage daughter and a 4-year-old son with special needs enrolled in the Lynn Public School system.

 

Key Priorities/Accomplishments:

  1. Fully Funding Our Schools —"Our schools haven't been fully funded since 2010 so the gap keeps getting bigger and bigger. We need funding to make sure teachers are getting the professional training they need," among other things.

  2. Investment in Infrastructure — Lynn's school buildings are deteriorating and there hasn't been a lot of upkeep. Overcrowding is also an issue. When there was an effort to override Prop 2 1/2 to get a new middle school built, it didn't pass, in large part, because it wasn't an open process. Transparency is a problem.

  3. Family Engagement — It's important to reach out to families and give them information they need to support their children in their education. Based on her experience growing up in Lynn with immigrant parents who didn't know how to help and now raising her own special needs child in the Lynn Public Schools, Elizabeth realizes that she was only able to advocate for her child because she knew people in the system who could help.

  4. On Charter Schools — Elizabeth was against last year's ballot question to lift the cap on charter schools in the state.

  5. On In-State Tuition — "Undocumented kids who live in the state should get in-state tuition."

 

Seat Status: Ten candidates are running for six seats, including four incumbents, which leaves two open seats. Long-time School Committee member Maria Carrasco is one of two current members not running again, which could leave the body with no women of color and no Latina members.

 

Analysis of race: Lynn held a preliminary election for School Committee despite all 10 candidates automatically moving to the finals. Elizabeth came just 400 votes shy of the top 6, which would secure her a seat. As is also the challenge for other women of color running, the electorate is mostly older and white but Elizabeth is dynamic and compelling, and has the potential to inspire less traditional voters in the general election when turnout will be higher.

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2016

  Natalie Higgins, Leominster, State Representative

Barbara L'Italien, Andover/Lawrence/Dracut/Tewksbury, State Senate

Elect Natalie Higgins

 

Natalie Higgins photo

Natalie Higgins

 

After a 38-vote primary victory over a long-time city councilor, Natalie, a third-generation Leominster resident, is running for the open Leominster state representative seat against a Republican State Committeeman in November. Many credit Natalie's close primary win to her campaign's sophisticated and disciplined ground game, which her campaign continues to build on for the November election.

 

Natalie's dad has a 9th grade education and worked his way up from mechanic to owner of the family auto-part store. Her mom worked various jobs, including as a school lunch lady and at the local plastic factory, before she had to leave to take care of Natalie's grandparents, who both died of cancer. Paid family leave, and the impact it can have on a family when it isn't available, is very personal to her.

 


"For my family, our experience was that government is not where you go for help, it's where they close the door."

 

Starting in college, Natalie became a dogged advocate for victims of sexual and domestic violence, from serving as a teem counselor at a rape crisis center to Legal Fellow with the Governor's Council to Address Sexual and Domestic Violence. And, in running for state representative, she hopes to bring that same commitment to women's rights to her work as a legislator, from championing comprehensive healthcare to the elimination of all forms of gender discrimination and violence.

 

A graduate of UMass Amherst, Natalie currently works as the founding Executive Director of PHENOM (Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts) where she works to fight the privatization of public higher education. On the Question 2 ballot initiative, she says, "we're not against charters, we just don't want to lift the cap." Already, Leominster is losing $800,000 a year to charters and doesn't have a charter school in the city. "This is the line in the sand," she explains. "Are we going to keep defending the public school system or are we going to let it go?"

 

Team Barbara

Barbara L'Italien photo

Barbara L'Italien

 

Barbara L'Italien is the sitting state senator for Andover, Lawrence, Dracut and Tewsbury. Before being elected to the senate in 2015, she was the state representative for Andover, Boxford, and Tewksbury for eight years before losing to a Republican in the Massachusetts House. Barbara served on the Andover School Committee for two years before then successfully running for state senate. Barbara's state senate seat leans Republican and Governor Charlie Baker has targeted it this November as on the the Republican's top two senate seats to flip.

 

A legislative champion for people with disabilities and a leader on eldercare issues, Asperger's and her mother with Alzheimer's who has lived with her family for 20 years. As a state representative, Barbara authored the bill that is now law, requiring Massachusetts insurance companies to cover autism care, making Massachusetts the first state in the country to do so. In the senate, Barbara successfully pushed to expand access to home healthcare aides for the elderly, so that more seniors could afford to age with dignity with their families in their communities.

 

A dogged champion of public schools over her entire career, Barbara led the fight against the State Senate's controversial charter school bill this year that would gradually lift teh cap but tie in to an increase in funding for public schools. "The funding lost to charted schools can hollow out a community," Barbara says of her opposition to the bill. Her campaign is working in tandem with the No on 2 ballot initiative campaign, sharing resources and canvassing together. "Charter schools only educate 4% of students in the state. We need to make it better for 100% of our students."

Gerly Adrien, Everett, State Representative            Monica Cannon, Roxbury & Fenway, State Representative

            Andrea Harrington, W. Mass, State Senate            

Gerly Adrien

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kim Rivera photo

Gerly Adrien

 

The daughter of Haitian immigrants, Gerly Adrien grew up in Everett, where she is running for state representative against the sitting Republican Joe McGonagle. Gerly describes feeling, early in her childhood, that her parents never truly felt that they were accepted or belonged in America. And despite Everett recently being named the most diverse city in Massachusetts by the Boston Business Journal, it has never elected a person of color to represent the city at any level. Gerly would be the first.

 

Concerned that low-income, immigrant families are being pushed out of Everett because of rising rents, Gerly is running to ensure Everett stays affordable and wants to work to increase home ownership opportunities in the city. Benefiting herself from programs like Teen Empowerment growing up, Gerly's other key priority is fighting for more youth and after-school programming in Everett, where options are limited.

Andrea for Senate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrea Harrington photo

Andrea Harrington

 

Andrea is running for the open Western Massachusetts state senate seat representing over 50 cities and towns in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties. She is the only woman in the race.

 

Growing up the daughter of a carpenter and housekeeper in Western Massachusetts, Andrea remembers, in the third grade, cleaning houses with her teen mom because they couldn't afford childcare. She was the first in her family to go to college, and the first to go to law school. She spent her years right after law school fighting death penalty convictions in Florida and came back to Western Massachusetts to start a family and worked to defend poor defendants in the criminal justice system.

 

Rooted in her own experiences as a daughter of working-class parents, as a mom, and as a lawyer helping clients navigate a broken criminal justice system, Andrea champions progressive policies around criminal justice reform like ending mandatory minimum sentencing and policies supporting working class families like the Fight the 15 and state-funded childcare.

Monica Cannon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monica Cannon photo

Monica Cannon

 

A shooting at her doorstep in Roxbury and "watching someone try to murder [her] son on two separate occasions" spurred Monica to organize peace walks in her community and organize her neighbors to push for increased security measures at her public housing complex. Because of those efforts, shootings in the neighborhood dropped 80% in one year.

 

An organizer at heart who currently works at the community organization ROCA with at-risk young men in low-income neighborhoods, Monica emphasizes the need to "realize that public safety is directly connected to the housing issue and it's directly connected to everything happening in the district."

 

As a candidate for the open state representative seat representing Roxbury and parts of Fenway in Boston, Monica's focus is on safer streets for her community, through engaging nonprofits already doing the work and pro-actively working to improve relationships between police and residents. She also champions the need to create more affordable housing and develop more career training programs for the residents in Roxbury and Fenway.

 

Monica has been endorsed by eight major unions, including the SEIU State Council, the Massachusetts Teachers Associations and the Massachusetts AFL_CIO; by major progressive organizations like Mass Alliance; and by community leaders like Sheriff Steve Tompkins, Reverend Liz Walker and Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson.

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2015

City Council        Attorney General Candidates         Lieutenant Governor Candidates         State Treasurer Candidates


CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES

Kim Rivera, Springfield            Ayanna Pressley, Boston            Damali Vidot, Chelsea

Kim Rivera for Springfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kim Rivera photo

Kim Rivera

 

A single mother of three who's survived homelessness, Kim Rivera now works as a parent facilitator in the Springfield Public Schools and also as a personal care attendant.

 

In March, Kim came home from a Citizens Police Academy training to find there'd been a shooting outside her home. "This is why I'm running for City Council," Kim said. "We need to build trust between police and our communities to make the city safer, so people aren't afraid to live in our neighborhoods. Some of our elected official are afraid to come into some of our communities. We need to make sure everyone's involved...because we have to work together for safe and vibrant communities," she said.

 

In addition to working to curb violence, Kim is campaigning to bring more assistance to small businesses in Springfield, to ensure every community in Springfield has a neighborhood center, to provide more support for families stricken by violence, and to revitalize her neighborhood's commercial district.

 

She's running against the sitting Ward 6 City Councilor, who endorsed Republican Scott Brown for US Senate against Elizabeth Warren and Republican Gabriel Gomez over US Senator Ed Markey.

 

Ayanna Pressley website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayanna Pressley photo

Ayanna Pressley

 

Honored this March with Emily's List's "2015 Rising Star" Award, Ayanna delivered an acceptance speech at the organization's 30th anniversary gala in Washington, DC that floored the high-profile, national audience. She told her story of being raised by a single mom whose voice still guides and inspires Ayanna today, four years after her passing. She talked about being sexually abused as a young girl and then sexually assaulted again as a young woman. She talked about her journey to City Hall and why she refuses to stay silent: "Because there are countless girls and women across the country who have no voice...who live silent existences in homeless shelters and suburban split level homes. Girls and women who have had their voices stolen away by violence and exploitation. Girls and women who have had their voices legislated away." After her speech, the Twitter world was on fire with comments from those who had seen Ayanna speak. "I have seen politics' future and it is Ayanna Pressley" tweeted the New Republic's Rebecca Traistor.

 

Undoubtedly, she has been a relentless advocate on behalf of women and girls in Boston, creating and chairing the Committee on Healthy Women, Families and Communities and successfully pushing for change with the passage of the Boston Public School's first-ever sex education and condom availability policy. She's worked collaboratively to focus law enforcement's approach to combating human trafficking on those who exploit vulnerable women and girls rather that on the women and girls themselves. And, she convened and led hearings on sexual assault, working with advocates to push local colleges to change their policies and incorporate more support services for victims.

 

Ayanna has also spearheaded reform on Boston's liquor license policy and co-sponsored policy to require the city's insurance to cover gender reassignment surgery, among her many other accomplishments.

 

Ayanna Pressley is running for re-election as a Boston City Councilor At-Large. Five candidates are running for four seats in November and Ayanna herself says that she is taking nothing for granted.

Damali Vidot Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Damali Vidot photo

Damali Vidot

 

A lifelong resident of Chelsea, Damali is a former youth worker and currently runs a small business in Chelsea. After seeing her property taxes rise and development projects initiated without any attempts at community engagement, Damali led her neighbors in organizing a push for greater transparency from City Hall and greater community input in decision-making.

 

Damali says that her nine-year old daughter Nina is her biggest inspiration in running to become the first Latina elected to the Chelsea City Council and to work to end violence in her city as a Councilor. "I know what it's like to live in an area where crime is too high," she says.

 

Her other priorities include ensuring that development projects do not displace longtime residents from their homes and investing in Chelsea's young people by increasing youth service and programming in the City.

 

Of the three candidates we're endorsing, Damali is the only one with a primary battle. There are eight candidate hoping to earn enough votes to win a spot in the top six in September 22nd. Of the six who make it past the preliminaries, Chelsea will vote to elect its three at-large city councilors in November. With a strong field campaign fueled by some of the best volunteer organizers in the state, door-knocking and calling voters every day and night, we believe she has a strong change of making history with our help.

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STATE TREASURER


Deb Goldberg, Treasurer            Tom Conroy, Treasurer            Barry Finegold, Treasurer

Deb Goldberg.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deb Goldberg photo

Deb Goldberg

 

Deb Goldberg's family grew a small neighborhood grocery store into the original Stop & Shop supermarket. The family eventually brought in the unions themselves and strived to provide fair working conditions and a valuable service to the community. Although the business was eventually sold, this experience exposed Deb at a young age to management challenges, taxation issues, and the retail economy. It shaped her understanding of creating opportunities for everyone.

 

Deb also has experience as an elected official in Brookline, where she was a member of the Board of Selectmen. As Chair of the Board, she championed initiatives to revitalize commercial areas and develop affordable housing. In addition, she is the President of Adoptions with Love and an Advisory Board member of the Greater Boston Food Bank, among other nonprofit, civic and community endeavors. For instance, she was one of the founders and the treasurer of a school for kids with severe cognitive disabilities. Deb holds a law degree from Boston College and an MBA from Harvard.

 

In her race for Treasurer, Deb’s platform includes a focus on wage equality (she publicly recognizes even greater gaps for African American and Latina women), college savings plans for kindergarten students and financial literacy. In addition, she will explore the creation of a state-owned public bank “which could provide critical funding for our transportation, infrastructure, schools and local economies statewide” following a North Dakota model. Finally, she plans to continue with the current Treasurer’s practice of leveraging the power of the pension fund to push for more diversity in corporate boards.

 

CONSIDERATIONS:

 

Deb Goldberg could potentially become the fourth female elected as a constitutional officer in the Commonwealth this cycle. Deb demonstrates a strong capacity to listen and point to issues of inequality and fairness. She has built a strong campaign to reach voters across the state and she appears first in the polls conducted by Suffolk University and in second place in the polls conducted by The Boston Globe. A good number of progressive legislators, mayors, women organizations and labor unions are supporting her candidacy and she placed first among delegates at the Democratic Convention. The strength of her campaign can also be seen through her remarkable fundraising this season. She started with $117,000 in the bank and has raised $1 million for this race, considerably more than her competitors. Unfortunately, her published proposals are not as detailed or innovative.

 

Campaign Contributions:

Make checks payable to The Deborah Goldberg Committee, c/o Keith Lowey, Treasurer, 37 Hyslop Road, Brookline, MA 02445.

Tom Conroy.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Conroy photo

Tom Conroy

 

Tom Conroy has been a State Representative since 2007, representing Wayland, Sudbury and parts of Framingham and Marlborough. He has a diverse set of skills, with experience in the finance, management consulting, and risk management industries as well as in international development providing aid to refugee communities.

 

As co-chair of the Labor and Workforce Development Committee in the House, he led the increase in the Commonwealth’s minimum wage and was instrumental in the passage of the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights. Early in his career, he also worked for U.S. Senators Gary Hart and Barbara Mikulski. Conroy holds a B.A. from Yale, a master’s degree in international economics from Johns Hopkins and an MBA in finance from Boston University. Some accomplishments that speak to his skills and track record in financial management include new laws that have helped improve Massachusetts’ credit rating to AA+ and lower borrowing costs, direct Commonwealth’s funds toward trusts and savings and “helps cities and towns reduce their pension liabilities by granting access to the state’s investment management expertise.”

 

Among his priorities, Tom indicates he will push for “smart and experienced fiscal management to prioritize education and job training; provide additional support to cities and towns to aid in their financial management; and to make smart investments in local banks so small businesses have access to the capital they need to grow and create new jobs.” In the education arena, Tom is committed to “invest in and build the infrastructure to support universal preschool education, increase funding for our K–12 public school systems by advocating for a re-evaluation of the Chapter 70 formula, continuing to protect local aid, ensure the schools our children attend are safe, modern, and energy efficient; and, expand funding and eligibility for the Commonwealth Covenant Fund, an innovative program that repays the loans of undergraduates at Massachusetts public universities who are pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math fields.”

 

CONSIDERATIONS:

 

Among the three candidates, Conroy probably has been exposed to a broader set of complex issues and challenges in the corporate and public sectors. He possesses the analytical and managerial skills and qualifications to address issues related to inequality, but sometimes he is challenged to communicate what he has accomplished and what he wants to do to a lay audience. A number of labor unions and state legislators are supporting his candidacy. Although he placed second at the Democratic Convention last June, he consistently polls in third place. Fundraising is his weak spot: he started with $28,000 in the bank and has only been able to raise $260,000 this season.

 

Campaign Contributions:

Make checks payable to Committee to Elect Tom Conroy, P.O. Box 176, Wayland, MA 01778.

Barry Finegold.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barry Finegold photo

Barry Finegold

 

Barry Finegold has a long record of public service as a State Representative for 14 years and as a State Senator since 2010. He started his career in elective office as a Selectman in Andover, where he owns a law practice. He points to his working class family, their experience in public housing, and working from a young age with instilling in him a sense of hard work and civic responsibility.

 

As State Representative, Barry claims to have championed renewable energy policies that have made Massachusetts a leader in clean energy. As Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Election Laws, he led efforts to modernize our election laws and worked with colleagues to create the ongoing Financial Literacy Pilot Program in ten Gateway Cities. Barry is well regarded by his colleagues for his loyalty, dedication, hard work and ability to forge alliances. He has a business degree from Franklin & Marshall College, a law degree from the Massachusetts School of Law and an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

 

Barry’s platform contains interesting ideas, such as exploring an “increase in the distribution of funds to communities purchasing the most lottery tickets to ensure there is equity and balance, especially for communities” in greater need. He also wants to double the amount of pension fund investments that go to Massachusetts-based small businesses and implement financial literacy education in the Commonwealth based on the lessons from the Financial Literacy Pilot Program. Another interesting idea is to partner with “the Federal Small Business Administration (SBA) to create a Massachusetts Linked Deposit Pilot Program in Massachusetts for Minority- and Women-owned businesses,” in order to place “state funds with community banks to provide below-market interest to borrowers.” Finally, Barry would like to scale up “proven programs such as Mass Challenge and the Merrimack Valley Sandbox” that work “with startup companies to provide funding, expert mentors, and marketing and media resources to facilitate the growth of local companies.”

 

CONSIDERATIONS:

 

Barry Finegold has detailed proposals to expand economic opportunity and maintain the Commonwealth’s fiscal health. However, the way he is introducing himself to voters focuses mostly on his personal story and character instead of his proposals or addressing his track record in the diverse district he represents, which includes the embattled city of Lawrence. He is a strong fundraiser, starting with over $430,000 in the bank and raising $786,000 this season. He has been splitting the polls with Deb Goldberg, placing first in the Boston Globe poll and second in the Suffolk University poll, although he finished last at the Democratic Convention last June.

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LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CANDIDATES


In a very crowded September primary, the Lieutenant Governor's race is not getting any front page coverage. However, a wise choice for this top office should propel the type of public leader who will continue pushing for a progressive agenda in Massachusetts after Governor Patrick leaves office.

 

The Lieutenant Governor is the second-highest constitutional office, charged with assuming the role of Acting Governor in the absence of the chief executive, and playing a lead role in the administration through the Governor's Council. The Lt. Governor also has the opportunity to place important issues on the public agenda and advance strategic initiatives to benefit the entire Commonwealth. Can you imagine what it would mean to have a progressive ally elected as Lieutenant Governor? We invite you to learn more about the three fine candidates that will be on the September 9th primary ballot, engage with their campaigns, and help shape the very important role of our second-highest constitutional officer.

 

You should know this race is attracting the attention of conservative donors, as we can see by the Republican candidate's cash-on-hand at the end of July 2014, which is double the amount of funds all three Democratic candidates have combined at the end of the same period.

Leland Cheung for Lt. Governor                     Mike Lake for Lt. Governor                     Steve Kerrigan for Lt. Governor

 

Leland Cheung

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leland Cheung

Leland Cheung

 

Leland Cheung has served as a City Councilor in Cambridge since 2009, where he lives with his infant daughter and his wife, an attorney in private practice. He is the only minority candidate on the primary ballot and the first Asian American candidate to run for statewide office in Massachusetts. Born to an immigrant engineer from China and a Canadian mother, he credits his family for instilling in him a sense of responsibility for building community, giving back and valuing democracy. Leland says: "With occasional trips to visit relatives in China to compare my life to theirs, [my father] showed me the importance of a community that governs for the future, catches people when they fall, and helps people create a better life for their children. I soon realized the dual nature of democracy - giving us on the one hand freedom, but on the other the responsibility to participate in shaping our government."

 

Leland, 36, has become known in the Cambridge City Council for supporting economic development, university-town relations, labor protections, immigrant workers, and the social safety net. He is running on an equitable economic growth platform. He wants to develop economic growth incentives that encourage startups to build their businesses in communities across the Commonwealth, not only in certain cities or regions of the state. Leland pioneered this program in the City of Cambridge by requiring that all new development in Kendall Square set aside 10% of space for short-term, flexible leases for startup companies. He wants to "make the innovation economy work for everyone." He has also committed to "double down on the investments in education, infrastructure, and innovation that Governor Patrick has made," calling himself "fiscally progressive" for assuming this position. His interests in economic development and local and regional growth have evolved through his appointment to the Board of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, one of the Commonwealth's economic development agencies, and as Massachusetts State Chair of the Democratic Municipal Officials. He has also held leadership positions in the National League of Cities and Youth Cities.

 

Before his work as a City Councilor, Leland worked at a venture capital firm in Cambridge focusing on digital media, mobile, and internet infrastructure and also served as a Summer Fellow at the Department of Energy ARPA-E. Previously, he was Chief Information Officer for Space Adventures, a firm promoting private space tourism based in Virginia. Leland earned academic degrees from Stanford University (BA, BS), Harvard Kennedy School of Government (MPA) and the MIT Sloan School of Business (MBA).

 

CONSIDERATIONS:

 

Considering his campaign's late start, Leland has raised a considerable $266,820 this season. At the Democratic Convention, he finished third with 16.2% of delegate votes. It will be challenging for the campaign to raise significant amounts of cash to underwrite statewide organizing through the September 9th primary with little cash-on-hand at this stage, but Leland is working hard to garner support in all regions of the Commonwealth.

 

For some communities outside of Greater Boston and without technology corridors, it may seem that Leland is focused only on "high-tech" and far removed from other economic realities and industries. How about the support needed to expand family, community-based or rural businesses, as well as those that are less high-tech and more artisanal? It remains to be seen how Leland's campaign can spread a message about fairness and equity in economic development that resonates across all Massachusetts' communities when so many of them have become disillusioned by income disparities. To some of the more partisan voters, Leland may also need to explain again how he is a Democrat by choice and personal conviction (he explains how he ended up switching parties in a recent Blue Mass Group blog post).

 

Campaign Contributions:

You can contact the campaign or send checks to: Committee to Elect Leland Cheung, 137 Lewis Wharf , Boston, MA 02110. Their phone number is (617) 444-9080 and email address is: leland@lelandcheung.com.

Mike Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Lake

Mike Lake

 

Mike Lake, 36, is a native of Melrose and the President and CEO of Leading Cities (formerly World Class Cities Partnership at Northeastern University), which works with city leaders from around the United States and the world to exchange and leverage a domestic and international set of best practices to address issues confronting cities. Mike has promoted Massachusetts as a gateway for European-based business through a cooperation agreement signed by Governor Patrick and President Mas of Catalonia, Spain. Mike built upon this success with a partnership between Massport and the Port Authority of Lisbon, Portugal, and is currently developing an agreement with the Republic of Ireland to create more jobs in Massachusetts. Mike was raised by a single mom after the death of his father at age 5. As a result, Mike grew to appreciate the value of community, public education, government programs and public service.

 

Mike is running on a platform to promote access to the Massachusetts Promise, which means advancing economic and social justice through a job that pays a livable wage, high quality education, and safe neighborhoods for our families to grow and thrive. He believes in expanding the economic pie by creating an ecosystem that attracts and retains employees and employers in Massachusetts. Mike sees the Lieutenant Governor's office as the point of contact to attract and retain businesses and to support cities and towns in expanding their economic base. He says: "My vision for a 21st Century Lt. Governor's office is to be the point person for out-of-state or international businesses interested in bringing new jobs, economic opportunity and investment to Massachusetts. I will serve to champion Massachusetts as the best place in America for businesses to locate an office or headquarters."

 

Early in his career, Mike was appointed as President Clinton's Special Assistant for White House Operations and also became the youngest bank examiner for the Boston Federal Reserve Bank. As Director of Development for United Way of Massachusetts Bay and the Merrimack Valley, Mike raised $5.8 million in an effort to end family homelessness and the cycle of poverty. As part of his commitment to public service, he also sits on a total of 17 boards and committees in the Greater Boston area. He was the first in his family to graduate from college, earning his bachelor's degree on five different majors from Northeastern University. He ran unsuccessfully as a Democratic candidate for State Auditor in 2010 against Suzanne Bump.

 

CONSIDERATIONS:

 

In this campaign, Mike's fundraising has been slowly but steadily picking up. He started with $36,000 in the bank and has raised $117,187 this season. At the Democratic Convention in June, Mike finished in second place with 35.4% of delegate votes. He has a big challenge ahead reaching out to voters across the state, although the broad grassroots organizing strategy and the energy of his young volunteer base can make a real difference.

 

Anyone who meets Mike can see that he is a bundle of energy and enthusiasm and extremely personable. However, sometimes the stump speech gets in the way of him connecting to communities that are not frequent or expected Democratic voters. Can the stories of those less-than-mainstream communities take center stage in his Massachusetts Promise? There are others who like what Mike has done internationally to promote Massachusetts but can't see the economic progress of their local community linked to his economic development strategy. Holding deeper conversations with a diverse cross-section of voters may prove fruitful in his campaign across the Commonwealth.

 

Campaign Contributions:

You can contact the campaign at: Committee to Elect Mike Lake, 103 Gainsborough St. #101, Boston, MA 02115. Their phone is (978) 704-1776 and general email address is: info@electmikelake.com

Steve Kerrigan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Kerrigan

Steve Kerrigan

 

Steve Kerrigan has been in public service for the past 25 years, in elected, appointed and nonprofit leadership positions. He worked for Senator Ted Kennedy for more than 10 years as political director and policy advisor. From that intense learning and service experience, Steve carries principles about fighting for what is morally right and just, and pushing government agencies and elected leaders to focus on serving their constituents and solving problems facing communities. From those days in the Kennedy office, Steve also gained an invaluable network of connections in the nation's capital, Massachusetts' state agencies, the Democratic National Committee, and the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

 

Steve wants to revamp the office of Lieutenant Governor as an ombudsman for residents, business leaders and local officials to help them navigate the state bureaucracy. He wants to become an advocate and expert connector to ensure constituents, investors, and community leaders have more access to opportunities and less red tape. In a recent interview with the Berkshire Eagle, Steve said: "For me, this isn't about promises or pledges. This is about results and getting things done. It has never been about showboating for me. It has been about finding a problem, tackling it, getting the right folks in the room and moving our Commonwealth forward." He said: "I don't care if the job title is 'chief cook and bottle washer' as long as I get a chance to make a real difference in people's lives." Steve, 43, holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland at College Park. He lives in Lancaster with his partner.

 

Steve has extensive executive experience, having served as CEO of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Senior Advisor of the 2004 DNC Convention held in Boston, and President of the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Committee. He also served as Chief of Staff for then Attorney General Tom Reilly, where he managed hundreds of staff and a significant agency budget. Currently, Steve is President of the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, a private non-profit organization he founded to pay tribute to the Commonwealth's service members. Steve also served in the Lancaster Board of Selectman, including a few years in its Finance Committee.

 

CONSIDERATIONS:

 

Steve's fundraising has been significant and positions him very well to reach out to voters across the Commonwealth. He started with a healthy $150,000 in the bank and has raised $261,129 this season. At the Democratic Convention mid-June he finished first with 37.6% of delegate votes. The extensive network he has built with Democrats across the state and the nation definitely helps his campaign be the most viable on paper.

 

However, precisely because he has been part of insider circles for so long, some think Steve may be less willing to explore radical new ideas. For instance, he has said he will vote against the repeal of the casino law. Nobody questions his ability to use the bully pulpit to support progressive ideals, but questions arise about what position he will take when compromises need to be reached on unpopular or popular issues championed by established political leaders.

 

Campaign Contributions:

You can contact the campaign or send checks to: The Kerrigan Committee at PO Box 52095, Boston, MA 02205. Their phone number is (617) 945-1899 and general email address is: info@stevekerrigan.org.

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ATTORNEY GENERAL CANDIDATES


In the current race for Attorney General, you have an opportunity to invest early and shape the conversation about the highest state law enforcement office that has a significant impact on the lives of all Massachusetts residents. Attorney Generals are critical in defending ordinary citizens against banks with predatory lending practices, unscrupulous employers who rob workers their hard-earned wages or for-profit colleges that trap students into debt. This office addresses all sorts of civil matters and brings to the forefront critical law reform initiatives, from consumer protection issues to the enforcement of environmental regulations and civil rights. Having progressive candidates win this office is important in order to defend everyone's right to have our laws promote safe, prosperous and healthy communities.

 

This year, two outstanding progressive candidates with notable credentials have stepped into the race for Attorney General. We encourage you to learn more about them, consider meeting them one-on-one or volunteer and donate to their campaigns.

Maura Healey for Attorney General            Warren Tolman for Attorney General

Maura Healey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maura Healey

Maura Healey

 

Maura headed several of the law enforcement divisions and bureaus at the Attorney General's office from 2007 to 2013 (overseeing close to half of the AG's staff by the end of her tenure.) Before that, she worked as an attorney at the law firm of Wilmer Hale, as a Middlesex County Prosecutor, and as the point guard for a professional European basketball team. The first of five siblings, Maura, 42, has family roots in Newburyport. Her father was a Navy captain and engineer, her mother a school nurse, and her stepfather a high school teacher and coach. She lives in the Boston neighborhood of Charlestown with her partner. Maura emphasizes her experience as a lawyer, advocate and prosecutor, along with her drive and vision for the office, as her best qualifications for the job. She wants the next Attorney General to fight for a level playing field to address the challenges faced by the state and its residents.

 

Maura has her fingerprint on several landmark cases led by the Attorney General's office in the last six years, including spearheading the state's successful challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a first in the nation. She also worked on the regulation to explicitly prohibit egregious sales tactics from predatory vendors, from bank lenders to for-profit schools, including the program to allow for loan modifications for families facing foreclosure.

 

Among Maura's issue priorities we find the following:

 

As a first-time candidate, Maura has been actively campaigning across the state and building an organization that will most likely get her on the primary ballot in September. She has found support in the legal and LBGT communities as well as outside of established political networks. She has been expanding the reach of her campaign through a steady stream of opinion pieces on the media that shed light on her values and policy priorities. Although she trails her opponent in fundraising and in startup funds, Maura has raised an impressive $378,322 as of mid-May.

 

In Maura's case, it would also be significant to see her champion issues like immigration that directly affect communities or constituencies she herself is personally not a part of. Instead of dealing with worker abuse cases on a piecemeal fashion, immigration workers need greater protections and investments that are proportional to their share of the workforce. Moreover, we would like to hear specific plans from the candidate about how she plans to hire more diverse staff so the office is able to meet the demand for counsel and assistance from multi-ethnic and multi-lingual communities.

 

Campaign Contributions:

You can contact the campaign or send checks to: Committee to Elect Maura Healey, P.O. Box 440223, West Somerville, MA 02144. Their phone number is (617) 982-2889 and general email address is: campaign@maurahealy.com.

Warren Tolman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warren Tolman

Warren Tolman

 

Warren is a former state representative and senator (1991-1999), as well as a candidate for Lt. Governor (1998) and Governor (2002). His long and distinguished legislative career has made him a well-recognized figure, mentor and commentator in Massachusetts politics. Warren, 54, has been an attorney in private practice at Holland & Knight in Boston for the last decade while also teaching at area law schools. Warren's father was a Navy veteran and railroad conductor and his mother a part-time telephone operator and full-time mother of eight children. He is a resident of Watertown, where he lives with wife Carolyn and three children. Warren highlights his political and legislative leadership and commitment to progressive values as his best qualifications for the job. He wants the next Attorney General to be the voice of fairness and equality for all families.

 

Warren presents himself as a candidate with "big ideas" and the proponent of nationally-recognized legislation who is not afraid to take on powerful interests, from tobacco companies and pharmaceuticals to insurers and hospitals. During his time in the legislature, he stood up to big tobacco to make it harder to sell cigarettes to kids, promoted clean election laws and extended recycling incentives. Many of his legislative initiatives became national models, such as the Tobacco Disclosure Bill, the near universal health insurance for children and the expanded prescription drug coverage for seniors.

 

Among Warren's issue priories we find the following:

 

Warren clearly is an experienced candidate with a robust infrastructure given his previous races and extensive political network developed over two decades. He astutely recruited State Senator Linda Dorcena-Forry and Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll to co-chair his campaign. He is finding support among environmentalists, labor groups and experienced political operatives and leaders. Warren started the race with a significant amount of funds in his campaign, and he leads his opponent after raising over $516,200 as of mid-May.

 

In Warren's case, we would be interested in seeing how he plans to flex his muscle against big developers, construction companies, development financiers and labor unions to play fair and be more socially responsible by addressing displacement, gentrification and lack of local hiring in construction. The promise of job creation in lieu of taxes is not being realized, affecting the long-term health of working families and communities. Furthermore, we would like to hear more specific plans from the candidate about how he plans to hire more diverse staff so the office is able to meet the demand for counsel and assistance from multi-ethnic and multi-lingual communities.

 

Campaign Contributions:

You can contact the campaign at: Committee to Elect Warren Tolman, 125 Walnut Street, Suite #102, Watertown, MA 02472. Their phone is (617) 744-8351 and general email address is: contact@warrentolman.com

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