(ed. note: I’m anticipating a post on behalf of Cindy Friedman shortly, and I’ll promote. I have my private thoughts, but I want to treat all the candidates fairly. There are vigorous responses in support of Cindy Friedman in the comments here — anyone still making up their minds is encouraged to read. Primary is TOMORROW! — Charley)
I’m proud to endorse Representative Sean Garballey for the 4th Middlesex Senate seat, which is now vacant due to the tragic passing of my friend and colleague, Ken Donnelly. No one will be able to replace Ken, but it is important to elect another strong progressive voice to represent the 4th Middlesex district, reflecting the values and priorities of the district’s voters. The primary election is this Tuesday, June 27th.
I am endorsing Sean because he has proven himself to be a strong progressive voice in the House of Representatives. Sean has demonstrated principled leadership on key progressive priorities such as opposing casinos, opposing efforts to expand charter schools in Massachusetts, and was one of only five Democrats to oppose the 2013 regressive tax package which underfunded our state’s broken transportation system and necessary investments in our public schools. If the tax package that Sean was fighting for had passed, there would not likely be a structural budget deficit today. I served in the House with Sean, and I know how hard it is to be a progressive there. Sean has proven his commitment to his constituents through his independent voting record.
While remaining a progressive voice in the House, Sean has also shown his ability to get legislation passed to improve the lives of people across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He worked tirelessly in 2012 to pass the children’s hearing aid bill, requiring health insurance companies to pay for the hearing aids for deaf or hard of hearing children. His bill allowing for online voter registration was part of a 2013 election reform package, to make it easier for residents to vote, and legislation he filed in 2008 became part of an omnibus law to better support children in foster care.
Being a progressive legislator means not only going the extra mile to pass key legislation, but also to be bold in proposing new ideas or bills. Sean has filed legislation to tackle climate change, including a bill to ban fracking in Massachusetts. Recently, we filed a bill together to make Massachusetts move to 100% renewable energy by 2050. We have co-chaired the MBTA Caucus for the past 3 years, publicly opposing the recent privatization push of MBTA services and workers by Governor Baker, and calling for greater investment by the administration, in projects like the Green Line Extension. Finally, we have collaborated closely on criminal justice reform, including An Act Promoting Restorative Justice Practices, to expand a successful program in 14 communities, including Arlington, Lexington and Burlington, to make it statewide. Sean is also a cosponsor of An to Establish Medicare for All, to make healthcare a right in Massachusetts, and the Safe Communities Act, to protect immigrants and Muslim-Americans in our communities.
I have worked closely with Sean for many years and witnessed from his very first term what an incredibly hard worker he is. I am constantly impressed by the lengths to which he goes to help out his constituents who are struggling in life, and advocating for the communities that he represents. Making phone calls to get someone suffering from addiction a recovery bed, delivering food through Project Bread to needy individuals every week, driving constituents to the hospital because they have no other way to get healthcare treatment, and always being a cell phone call or coffee meeting away from meeting with every constituent who has a concern or request. Calling the state Treasurer directly to plead that the MSBA fund new schools, fighting in the budget for earmarks to fund community centers, and pushing for transportation investments to improve congestion and walkability in his district. If you think this is what every legislator does on Beacon Hill, you would be wrong. Sean goes above and beyond for his constituents every single day, and the communities he represents are the better for it.
I know that Sean will do an outstanding job as the next State Senator of the 4th Middlesex District, and I encourage you to vote for him in the Tuesday, June 27th Democratic primary.