2016 Ballot Questions - Progressive Mass Endorsed Positions

[ARCHIVE/Please see updated page]

On the four November ballot questions, Progressive Mass recommends:



Vote NO on Question 1 to prevent the expansion of predatory gambling.

Question 1 would authorize a license for an additional slots parlor. The 2011 gambling law allowed for up to three resort casinos and one slots parlor. Penn National Gaming currently holds the sole slots parlor license, for Plainridge Park Casino, which has faced declining revenue. Five casinos are already expected to open in the state by 2019, with unproven benefits. Moreover, the ballot question was written by the very real estate developer who plans to benefit from it (Eugene McCain, who has proposed such a site by Suffolk Downs), attempting to bypass the legislature and setting a troubling precedent.

Facts on Question 1:

Read More: [No on Q1] [No on Q2] [Yes on Q3] [Yes on Q4]

Vote NO on Question 2 to protect our public schools.

Question 2 would allow the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to approve up to 12 new charter schools or enrollment expansions in existing charter schools each year, forever, without community input or additional funding. The charter schools authorized under Question 2 could open anywhere in the state, with no limits to how many could be opened in a single community. In 2017, charter schools will siphon off more than $450 million in funds that would otherwise stay in public schools despite serving only 4.2% of the state preK-12 public school population. Charter schools also tend to have harsh disciplinary practices, particularly targeted at students of color and students with special needs.

Facts about Charter Schools & Question 2:

Allies with No on 2

Allies with Yes on 2

Read More: [No on Q1] [No on Q2] [Yes on Q3] [Yes on Q4]

Vote YES on Question 3 to protect farm animals, workers, and public health.

Question 3 would ban inhumane practices of farm animal containment in the sale of eggs, veal, or pork, specifically practices that “prevent a covered animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending the animal’s limbs, or turning around freely.” Cramming animals into cages so small that they can’t turn around or extend their limbs is bad for animals, bad for consumers, and bad for workers. The practices of farm animal containment that Question 3 seeks to ban have been shown to increase rates of Salmonella, a lead cause of food poisoning, as well as to exacerbate air and water pollution. Moreover, better conditions for farm animals lead to better conditions for the workers.

Facts about Question 3:

Read More: [No on Q1] [No on Q2] [Yes on Q3] [Yes on Q4]

YES on Question 4 to end the drug war. 

Question 4 would legalize the possession, use, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana in limited amounts by persons age 21 and older and would provide for the regulation and taxation of commerce in marijuana, marijuana accessories, and marijuana products. Although Massachusetts has decriminalized possession, significant racial disparities exist in enforcement: in 2010, black individuals in Massachusetts were 3.9 times more likely to be arrested for possession than their white counterparts. The drug war has proven costly—in terms of lives ruined and heavy sums spent on policing and surveillance, and it’s time to render it a thing of the past, allocating money away from enforcing drug prohibition and toward investing in our communities.

Facts on Question 4 & Marijuana Legalization  

 Read More: [No on Q1] [No on Q2] [Yes on Q3] [Yes on Q4]

Our Members have also voted, overwhelmingly, to join the “No on Question 2” (Save Our Public Schools) campaign.

Our advocacy on these positions will kick into gear right after the September 8, Thursday, (yes, Thursday!) Primary. (We hope you’ll do what you can to support our progressive legislative endorsees). 

To do our work most effectively, Progressive Mass needs resources. The best way to contribute is to become a dues-paying member -- you'll support our work together and take part in our decision-making in the future. 

We hope to see you on the campaign trail!

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Showing 2 reactions

commented 2016-09-27 21:16:55 -0400 · Flag
I agree with all of these endorsements, especially Question 4. The war on drugs has caused immeasurable harm and it is time to try a new approach. I believe it starts with marijuana reform. This measure is sensible because it calls for very strict regulation.
commented 2016-09-11 17:41:55 -0400 · Flag
When I was in high school, I got into real (psychological) trouble with marijuana. Any legalization of gateway drugs must be accompanied by regulation, so that people know what substances they are putting in their bodies. Regulation would also bring the cost down.
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