On Justice, Equity & Civil Rights
Racial justice is both a moral imperative and a practical necessity if our Commonwealth hopes to live up to its full promise.
I support comprehensive state criminal justice reform to stop mass incarceration, which disproportionately impacts people of color, in the Commonwealth. The legalization of adult-use marijuana in Massachusetts was the first step in undoing the damage caused by the prejudicial War on Drugs. However, the state’s cannabis licensing program has not lived up to its equity goals, and entrepreneurs of color continue to be disadvantaged. We must make deep reforms at the state level to our licensing, financing, and Covid-19 recovery programs so that entrepreneurs and small business owners of color have equal access to and are fairly considered for economic development opportunities.
To promote educational equity, I support the apportionment of state funds for the creation of equity advisory committees in all school districts, similar to the one I spearheaded in Revere. Such committees solicit community feedback to make critical changes to curriculum, disciplinary practices, and resource allocations that help close the opportunity and achievement gaps in schools.
We must also combat racial wealth inequity by closing the digital divide and making Massachusetts the first state in the nation to offer affordable, reliable broadband internet for all residents. People of color in Massachusetts disproportionately lack access to a reliable Internet connection, which is critical to success in the 21st century economy. Additionally, we must build more pathways to homeownership for people of color in Massachusetts, who have historically been excluded from home financing opportunities. We must likewise safeguard tenants’ rights and take swift and decisive action against discriminatory landlords.
Anti-discrimination laws must be rigorously enforced in every context, and we must make real efforts to increase the representation of people of color at all levels of government in the Commonwealth.
I am a strong supporter of equal rights for the LGBTQ community. As the first state in the United States to legalize same-sex marriage, Massachusetts has often led the way on LGBTQ equality, but we must remain vigilant to safeguard this hard-won progress. At the state level, we must protect public accommodations for transgender people and rigorously enforce anti-discrimination laws. Sex education, as led by the Commonwealth’s curriculum framework, and reproductive health resources in schools must be inclusive and reflect the needs and lived experiences of all students. We must also make real efforts to increase the representation of LGBTQ folks at all levels of state and municipal governments.
Closing the Gender Pay Gap
I support equal pay for equal work as well as the rigorous enforcement of the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act to close the gender pay gap in the Commonwealth for good.
Transparency & Good Governance
I believe transparency and accountability are fundamental to restoring the people’s trust in government. At all levels of government, we must push for more transparency and public oversight, not less. I strongly support proposals to make records of committee votes in the Massachusetts House and Senate public and to extend the amount of time that bills are publicly viewable before they are voted on. It was disheartening to see so many state representatives vote against transparency this year, elevating their own fears of being “misconstrued” over the public’s legitimate right to be informed of how legislators are acting on their constituents’ behalf.