Disclaimer: This is my personal endorsement. I serve on both the Milford Democratic Town Committee as co-chair of the Elections Committee, and I am the Outreach Coordinator for the Greater Blackstone Valley Democrats, this should not be construed as an endorsement from either of those organizations, which are constrained in their by-laws from making endorsements during a primary. Also, I am not associated with the Berwick campaign, other than as a door-knocking, phone-calling and blog-posting volunteer.
Earlier this year, shortly before the state convention, I ran into that rarest form of Bay State Democrat, a Joe Avellone supporter, at a Bellingham Democratic Town Committee event and fundraiser. She urged me to read a letter Joe had just released, where he was imploring delegates not to “make a mistake” at the convention. I told her that I was supporting Don Berwick, and she said that Don only cares about health care, he doesn’t have a stand on any other important issues. I told her that she needed to take a look at Don’s web site, where she would see just how mistaken she was.
There is not a single issue in the race for Governor of the Commonwealth where I find myself disagreeing with Don. On his web site and in his answers to the Progressive Mass candidate questionnaire, he has staked out position after position where I find myself in complete alignment with his views – there’s no need for me to have to hold my nose on anything when I go into the voting booth on September 9.
Please join me over the fold for a look at the best candidate in the race…
Quotes are from BerwickForGovernor.com
Jobs and the Economy
Job creation and economic development are key issues facing our country and our Commonwealth. Any candidate for Governor who says that a single policy proposal or program is sufficient to create the jobs we need simply isn’t telling the truth; creating jobs is a complex process. As Governor, I will focus on the following five areas:
Those five areas are Stong Communities, Education, Innovation, Making Massachusetts an Attractive Place to Do Business, and Making Massachusetts an Attractive Place to Be a Worker. Don has a complete plan of action for a strong economy and a bright future for all citizens, please click on the link above to get the full picture.
Education is the cornerstone of a successful Commonwealth. No matter what you care most about – health care, job growth, civic responsibility, livable communities, or public safety – they all lead you back to our schools. And the core moral values that I want to help nurture – social justice, equality, fairness, responsibility, mutual respect, and compassion – find foundation in the way we educate ourselves and our children.
From Universal Pre-K to Higher Ed, Don has staked out the progressive position on this vital issue. Again, please click on the link above to get the full picture.
I believe deeply that health care should be a human right, not just in Massachusetts, but throughout our nation. Our state is almost there: almost 98% of our adults and over 99% of our children now have health insurance.
One minor quibble here – the web site needs to be updated! Clearly, this was written before the Affordable Care Act began enrolling folks. Currently, over 99% of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have health insurance.
Climate change is the most pressing concern to the health of our planet and to future generations. Rising sea levels, droughts, wildfires, and unprecedented climate change-induced storms threaten our livelihood as a Commonwealth. As Governor, I will double down on efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and protect our precious natural resources.
After Superstorm Sandy slammed New York and New Jersey, I attended a session with Ed Markey in Fanueil Hall where he described what it was like in New York, and what it would have looked like had that storm hit Boston instead. Climate change will have devastating impacts world-wide and it needs to be dealt with, and Don has an action plan for that.
We have three challenges associated with the energy that powers and heats our homes and businesses: reliability, cost, and protecting the environment. All of them matter. This is one of the great challenges of our time.
Coupled closely with the environmental aspects of his candidacy is Energy Policy, and Don has a five point plan here: expand renewable energy, end our addiction to fossil fuels, utilze efficiency, participate in an 8 state plan to put 3.3 million electric vehicles on the road, and support clean energy as a major sector for economic growth and development.
I am running for Governor because I believe that all the people of Massachusetts have a right to equal treatment, dignity, and compassion – from their government and from each other. Those values have informed my work as a pediatrician and an executive for over 30 years. In the Massachusetts that I envision, there are no second-class citizens, there are no tolerated forms of discrimination, and there is no concession to disparities that deny people the full benefits of citizenship.
All means all. As governor, Don will:
- Guarantee that state government is an ally in the fight for LGBT rights
- Provide support services and housing for unaccompanied homeless youth
- Invest in anti-bullying programs
- Fight to maintain full funding for programs that provide supports to victims of domestic violence
- Adopt a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination against transgender individuals
Massachusetts deserves a safe, convenient, responsive, and reliable transportation system—one we can count on. We will have that if, and only if, we treat the system with respect, like we would our own car.
Here again, Don’s plan is fully fleshed out and workable. I can’t do it justice without making this already long post WAY too long, please click on the link above to get the full picture.
I am the only 2014 Democratic Gubernatorial candidate to oppose continuing to allow casinos to enter our Commonwealth, and the first to endorse the ballot initiative now proposed to repeal the casino law
This is an issue near and dear to my heart. Many of you will remember the work I did last year to defeat the casino referendum in Milford, and my post-mortem wrap-up I posted here at BMG. Don has the correct position on casinos, unlike either of his opponents in the primary.
Even though Massachusetts is one of the wealthiest states in the country, homelessness persists here. Massachusetts has almost 20,000 homeless individuals, and the problem is getting worse. The homeless population in Massachusetts has grown by 8.7% in the last year, even while rates have fallen nationally. This need not be the case. Massachusetts can – and should – end homelessness.
Several months ago I read a post on DailyKos that talked about how the state of Utah had essentially ended homelessness within its borders by doing something quite novel: they gave homeless people a place to live, and assigned them a social worker! They found it was cheaper than leaving them on the streets, and the program turned things around for many of them, rehabilitating them into rpoductive members of society again. Don’s vision is similar, I urge you to click the link above to learn more.
The battle for equal rights for women has led to important advances, but it is not over. I am thoroughly committed to protecting and enhancing the rights of women to the same opportunities and pay as men, and to guaranteeing them reproductive health care and reproductive rights.
As the father of a 21 year old woman, the battle over reproductive freedom is very important to me. My mother, her grandmother, fought for these rights already, we shouldn’t be having this battle today! The link above outlines a six point action plan on this issue, again I urge you to click through and read more of Don’s own words on this topic.
Our state’s correction system ought to be world-class, assuring the public that its practices are safe and effective in reducing criminality and risks of recurrent offense. It ought to view incarceration not just as punishment, but also as a key opportunity to give offenders on-ramps to social responsibility once their time is served.
Like homelessness, rehabilitating prisoners and returning them to a productive role in society serves everyone’s needs. There’s yet another six point action plan at the link above – I’m sensing a theme here…
We are a country of immigrants. An inclusive, welcoming community that encourages integration and celebrates diversity has been, and will continue to be, a key ingredient for a strong state and nation. At a time when Congress—particularly House Republicans—has failed to address a broken system that tears families apart, undermines our economy, and violates the principles on which this country was founded, the next Governor must take meaningful action to ensure that immigrants can thrive in our state.
Don lays out a seven point plan on immigration at the link, please take the time to click through and read it. If immigration is your main concern, I’m sure you’ll like what you see.
The next Governor has an economic and moral imperative to substantially increase the availability of affordable housing in the Commonwealth. Affordable housing is a centerpiece in the fight against homelessness and a prerequisite to social mobility for low and middle-income families. It is also critical to the state’s economic competitiveness, and can be a powerful tool to promote public health, protect the environment and revitalize urban communities.
There’s yet another five point plan on affordable housing at the link, incorporating his plan to end homelessness as well, as the two issues are interrelated.
Preventing Gun Violence
Gun violence is a serious public health issue. Guns killed over 30,000 Americans in 2013, and firearm homicide is the second leading cause of death for people under 19 in America. This is unacceptable. We should be proud to have some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and the recent gun bill passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives is a sign of continued progress. But we can do more to protect people and communities from gun violence.
Here again, Don has staked out the progressive position on ending gun violence while protecting Second Amendment rights. If it’s important to you, please click the link and learn more.
I realize that this is a very long post, but all of these issues are vital, and I find myself in complete agreement with the person I see as our best choice on September 9th. If you don’t have time to do all of that reading, please consider watching my hour long interview with Don on YouTube:
Thanks for reading – see you on the campaign trail!!