2014 - Meet the Progressives of November 4


It’s an open Massachusetts secret that despite our marquee liberals on the national stage, when it comes to the state level, we’re not nearly as progressive as we could be. When you look at our skewed tax burdens, austerity budgeting and legislation attacking the poor, one can credibly make the case that the State House governs as if the Commonwealth were center-right.

What IS true is that there’s a strong progressive sentiment in Massachusetts residents. It’s just that we’ve got a ways to go to get the Legislature to govern like Elizabeth Warren.

This is why our work together pushing legislators through grassroots to take bold progressive action, and our legislative efforts, highlighting votes in our scorecard and lobbying at the State House, is so important.

This work isn't quick or easy. Progressives clocked in some wins last session, but we are still waiting to see the kind of great, bold legislative leadership that should come from Massachusetts. Last session we had to play bruising defense against punishing legislative attacks on the poor. And, our advances on the minimum wage and election reform were harder fought than it should’ve been, and we didn’t quite get far enough (no indexing on minimum wage, no same-day voter registration).

Improving our prospects at the State House requires herculean reforms for long-term change -- including increasing transparency and leveraging a wholesale shift in the culture of power under the Golden Dome.

In the short term, what we can do is help to elect MORE progressive legislators -- to strengthen the fighters already there, and show the power-brokers on the Hill and in the press that the voters want bold progressive change.

Engaging at the Legislative level has challenges, however. While most voters have had at least some exposure to the high-profile races via television ads, it’s a lot harder to get a fix on legislative races.

But, just as we know the national figures and races -- like Bernie Sanders or Zephyr Teachout -- who champion our values and wage insurgent progressive campaigns, we should know the names and faces of their counterparts on Beacon Hill. That’s why we’re doing this “get to know” series.

Check in here weekly as we highlight critical races important to progressives, no matter where you are in the Commonwealth.

 

Mike Day for Representative (31st Middlesex)

While we were happy to see Jason Lewis elected to the state senate, his progressive presence will be missed in the House. That is why we are proud to support Mike Day, who has been a staunch advocate for civil rights and civil liberties for the past decade. Mike will bring his strong legal background, and commitment to economic justice to Beacon Hill and ably fill Senator Lewis’ shoes representing Stoneham and Winchester. 

Mike is not accepting contributions via ActBlue - please donate via his website, here.

Barbara L’Italien for Senate (Second Essex and Middlesex)

Barbara, a former 4-term state representative from Andover, will be new to the Senate, but her life-long experience as a social worker, and her experience passing important legislation on Beacon Hill will give her a head start as a forceful champion of Massachusetts’ most marginalized populations. In her professional life, and through her extensive community service work, Barbara has first-hand knowledge of the needs of the elderly, the intellectually disabled and our residents with Aspergers or Autism. In the House, Barbara was the lead author of a bill to require insurance providers to cover Autism therapy, so she has a track record of taking on big business and winning important results. Contribute here.

Michelle DuBois for Representative (10th Plymouth)

As city councilor in Brockton, Michelle has dedicated her career to protecting her constituents. Michelle has been an active leader fighting against a proposed natural gas power plant in a city already over-burdened by air pollution. Michelle drafted and passed city ordinances to increase transparency in Brockton. Her commitment to transparency and accountability will make her an important voice on Beacon Hill. 

Michelle is not accepting contributions via ActBlue - please donate via her website, here.

Denise Andrews

Re-Elect Rep. Denise Andrews (2nd Franklin)

Denise is in a tight race because she has been such a strong champion of progressive values. On almost any issue, progressives can not only count on Denise's vote, but we can count on her to be a full-throated advocate for shared prosperity.  Her race is a crucial test-case for our theory that when progressives don't shy-away from their values, we win - even in 'swing' districts. Contribute today to put Denise over the top on election day.

Matt TerryMatt Terry for Representative (5th Barnstable)

Matt Terry knows that progressive values have paved a way to better our society. It was Progressive values that spurred the abolitionists, the women's rights movement and the civil rights movement. Matt realizes that the work is not done. We must continue to move society further and fight for equal rights for all citizens of Massachusetts.  He will continue to believe in this state's proud tradition of support for LGBTQ communities. Matt will fight hard for equal pay for equal work and to ensure a livable wage for full time workers. Help Matt Terry get to the State House.

Matt Patrick

Matt Patrick for Senate (Plymouth and Barnstable)

Matt Patrick is a former 5-term state representative who has dedicated his career to progressive causes, and cleaning up our environment. Matt will be a key ally in the Senate to support public education, universal pre-K and single-payer health care. Matt's opponent voted with progressives only 4 out of 20 times last legislative session. We need Matt to fill this crucial seat to ensure a progressive Senate. Click here to give to Matt Patrick.

Dan WolfRe-Elect Senator Dan Wolf (Cape Cod and Islands)

Seeking his third term, Dan’s progressive influence in the Senate is already profound. As founder and CEO of Cape Air, Dan brought his business acumen and progressive values to bear as a leader on the minimum wage fight in the Legislature, where we passed the highest minimum wage in the US, and worked to ensure that reforms to Unemployment Insurance would not hurt workers. We need voices like Dan Wolf’s in the Legislature, fighting for economic justice for all. In a district with a high percentage of registered Republicans, and a Teaparty challenger, he needs to your help to continue to lead. Contribute to Dan today.

Re-Elect Representative Ken Gordon (21st Middlesex)

Ken Gordon

Ken has been a reliable progressive voice in the Legislature since winning (as one our first endorsees) in 2012. Ken’s background as an employment rights attorney, commitment to economic justice, and policy expertise and was on display last session with his leadership in passing the Uniform Wage Compliance Act, making it easier for workers underpaid by their employers to sue for back wages and reducing the likelihood of wage theft in Massachusetts. Among Progressive Mass’s earliest members, re-electing Ken will help further progressive priorities in the conservative-leaning House. Rep. Gordon comes from a strongly independent suburban district, and he could really use your support. Contribute to Ken now.

Dylan Hayre for Senate (Norfolk, Bristol, Middlesex)

Dylan is a fighter for those who don’t have a strong voice in our community. He advocated for low-income families and volunteered in housing projects throughout college, and volunteered at a legal services firm to defend low-income families from eviction and foreclosure. He founded his law practice, Lawyer for Soldiers, to represent veterans and military families in court. Dylan is running a strong grassroots campaign, and this district matters to progressives everywhere. Scott Brown held the seat until his election the US Senate, and it’s since been occupied by Republican Richard Ross, who’s voted to keep the minimum wage low and sponsored voter ID laws that would suppress the vote. Picking up a progressive seat here would dramatically shake up the Senate. With strong progressive communities in the district, and a bit of help from progressives statewide, Dylan has a clear path to victory. Contribute to Dylan Hayre today.

Steve Ultrino for Representative (33rd Middlesex)

Steve believes that government should be about all people, not just the connected and the wealthy. Steve’s experiences as a city Councilor and an educator have shaped his commitment to strong communities. He will fight for affordable pre-K, quality schools, healthy and safe transportation system while taking care of our seniors and the hardworking people who are the cornerstones of our communities. He firmly supports earned sick time for all, and will always have the back of the public servants, from firefighters to teachers, who serve our communities.  This seat has been a reliable vote for the conservative Democrats; Steve’s election would be an important pick-up, adding a needed new member to the progressive bloc, where numbers are essential to standing up to the status quo. Contribute to Steve here.

Christine Barber for Representative (34th Middlesex)

Christine has been working alongside Progressive Massachusetts members for years as part of Cambridge Somerville for Change. Her health care expertise and dedication to progressive values make her an ideal candidate to fill progressive champion Carl Sciortino’s seat. She is running a terrific field program, out-organizing her primary opponents, but still faces a general election challenge. It's rare that we can elect a fellow grassroots progressive organizer-activist.  Even more unusual: we can elect a progressive with experience working in the state house and crafting legislation. As much as we're sad to lose Carl Sciortino, Christine Barber is a unique candidate who can have a real, immediate impact in the legislature. Contribute to Christine here.

Re-elect Senator Jason Lewis (5th Middlesex)

First in the House and since his special election to the Senate, Jason Lewis has been a champion of universal single-payer health care, fair funding for public schools, and protecting women's health. He helped establish the Health and Wellness fund in the 2012 Health Care Cost Control Act and is one of the leading sponsors of single-payer healthcare. His special election to the Senate is one of the key reasons that the Senate moved to the left in the 2013-2014 legislative session, and his re-election is important to make even more progress next session. He's facing his teaparty challenger again, and in a higher turnout election in a swing district -- which was won by Scott Brown in 2010 -- Senator Lewis needs all the help we can give him. Contribute to Jason here.

 


We hope you will get to know Mike, Barbara, Michelle, Denise, Matt T., Matt P., Dan, Ken, Christine, Jason, Dylan and Steve even better after they’re elected (or re-elected!) on November 4th! When progressives pull together, we can win.

Pitch in a little today to help make that happen.

 

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