Last week, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts joined with Ayanna Pressley, Planned Parenthood, MassEquality, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, Casa Myrna and a growing list of Boston-based organizations making up the ELEVATE Boston Coalition to ask the Boston Mayoral candidates: why aren’t you talking to us? With only a week left until the preliminary, the mayoral candidates have been mum on what they will do for women, girls and LGBTQ communities.
Now, we understand that charter school caps and casinos have been raging in the news—and the candidates have been tripping over themselves to please all on these issues. But there have been a number of other issues in the news that our potential next mayor can’t ignore. How about Amy Lord? Or Jennifer Martel? Why aren’t candidates talking about the high rates of drop outs due to teen pregnancy? Or the exorbitantly high rates of Chlamydia in Mattapan?
As Ayanna put it so eloquently last week in our press conference, “People told me not to run on these issues. People told me that I couldn’t win on these issues. But I made history by running on these issues—becoming the first woman to ever top the ticket for city councilor. As City Councilor for 4 years, I have made a point to speak specifically to issues women and girls face in my city.”
In the Planned Parenthood online voters’ guide, the leading mayoral candidates mostly look the same. They seem to all support sex education, condoms in high schools, and access to legal abortion. We are asking the candidates to differentiate themselves for us so that we know who will be the best leader for reproductive and sexual health care for the city.
At NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, we advocate to guarantee every woman the right to make personal decisions to prevent unintended pregnancy, raise healthy families, and choose safe, legal and accessible abortion.
Our mission goes far beyond the clinic door to ensure that every woman has the ability to choose her life. Without access to medically accurate health care, without access to economic security, and without access to the city services they need, the women of Boston don’t have any choice.
There are so many ways to move the city forward. We could follow the lead of San Francisco, which offers transgender health care as part of the city’s new health care plan. Or we could look to our neighbors north in Newburyport who are creating the best practices to prevent domestic violence from turning into homicide. Our next mayor could join the growing fight to make sure that workers have a livable minimum wage and benefits like earned sick leave—an issue that we know disproportionately helps women and single mothers.
If these issues aren’t sexy enough for a campaign, shame on you.
ELEVATE Boston expects that our next Mayor will act as a leader on these issues. Candidates for Mayor have begun to answer our questions and we appreciate those who have. Throughout the final week of the preliminary, we will be publicizing their responses.
See what they say on our Facebook page!