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Saturday, September 13th, 2008
|my favorite candidates
Lots of posts on my friends' pages about the presidential election recently, not surprising. Right now, though, my focus is on several elections for state house & senate in Massachusetts. Our primary election day is this Tuesday, and state legislature is the most important level of government
in the US by far, in my opinion. For those of you in Massachusetts, here are some ways the state legislature has affected us in the past few years:
- Gay marriage
- New universal health care coverage law
- Access to emergency contraception at pharmacies
- Higher minimum wage
- New tax rebates for installing solar/wind energy
- Increased local aid, reducing property tax increases (after huge property tax increases a few years earlier)
- Green Line extension to Medford & Somerville will probably actually happen, after being on the rocks for a while
... and on and on.
In Massachusetts, there are very few house or senate districts where voters might elect any Republican. As a result, we get some fiercely contested Democratic primaries every year, and most of the elections that really matter in setting the direction of the state are in Democratic primaries. This Tuesday
is the election that matters most here
, much more than November.
Some of my favorite candidates running in contested elections on Tuesday are:
- Carl Sciortino, my favorite representative, whose district covers part of Somerville (Teele, Powderhouse, Winter Hill, some of Davis) and part of Medford (including the areas around Tufts). He's being challenged by Bob Trane, a Somerville ward alderman who I think is very sleazy, and has been trying to avoid even giving positions on most issues. Carl was key to reviving the Green Line extension, and his 2004 victory was key to saving gay marriage in Massachusetts. He's amazing, and we need him back.
- Patrick McCabe, running in the district that covers most of the rest of Medford. McCabe is an SEIU organizer, veteran of Kosovo, and strong progressive. He's challenging incumbent conservative Democrat Paul Donato, who is anti-choice and was one of the last few holdouts to vote to ban gay marriage.
- Sonia Chang-Diaz, running for state senate in Boston (Back Bay, South End, Fenway, JP, Mission Hill, Roxbury, Chinatown, bits of Dorchester & Mattapan) against incumbent Dianne Wilkerson. I first met Sonia when she worked for Pat Jehlen's run for State Senate in Somerville in 2005 and have often found her on the same campaigns as myself. She and Wilkerson actually agree on almost all the issues; however, Dianne Wilkerson has had multiple campaign finance & tax law violations over her career and as Sonia says, we shouldn't have to choose between the issues and ethics.
- Jason Lewis, running for state rep in Winchester & Stoneham, where incumbent conservative Democrat Paul Casey announced his retirement a few months after Lewis entered the race. Another Democrat jumped in, so it's still contested. Lewis is DFA-endorsed and my friend Ari Fertig from Brandeis DFA is working on his campaign.
- Doug Belanger for Ed Augustus' state senate seat in Worcester/Auburn/Grafton/etc.
I made an ActBlue page for contributions to Carl Sciortino and Sonia Chang-Diaz. A little bit of extra money coming in this weekend might allow them to adjust their strategy for the last few days in a helpful way. Give them just $10 or $20 each if that's all you can afford; in small races like this it matters!
Unfortunately the others aren't on ActBlue, but you can donate on their web sites. I'm going canvassing for Carl this weekend. Wanna join me at his office at 78A Cameron Ave (near Teele Sq, walkable from Davis) Sunday at noon?