The mad frenzy that comes to characterize election season has at long last come to a close, and the College Democrats of Massachusetts look to join Democrats and Republicans across the Commonwealth in moving forward this spring with the goal of working to keep Massachusetts squarely in the leadership business.
CDM’s membership will be working on an agenda as ambitious and diverse as the organization, and one of the first items on the docket is to support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The #PWFA, to be introduced to the Massachusetts General Court by Democratic Rep. Ellen Story of Amherst, would provide drastically needed health benefits for a large portion of the Commonwealth’s workers and is a policy update whose time has come. Members of CDM were proud to stand in solidarity with pregnant workers in the commonwealth when we joined state legislators on January 15 in a public show of support for the #PWFA.
The Environmental Caucus is committed to one of the most pressing policy issues of our time: fossil fuel divestment. Supporting efforts to #DivestMA, in both the state legislature and on college campuses, the Environmental Caucus will work to free state pension funds and university investments from the dirty energy industry. The recent announcement of the UPass trial program is another welcome development that will work to reduce students’ carbon footprint and encourage increased usage of public transportation.
Working towards the inclusion of public accommodations for non-binary people will remain one of the LGBT Caucus’ highest priorities in this coming session. We are proud to have Senator Ben Downing of Pittsfield, CDM’s Honorary Chair, as a supporter of this effort. Along with the Women’s Caucus, the LGBT Caucus will work for comprehensive sex education in Massachusetts public schools. The Healthy Youth Act, which will set a standard for MA public schools to teach comprehensive, medically accurate, and age-appropriate sexual education, will be a high priority of ours this spring.
Another collaborative effort between two CDM caucuses will be the Black Caucus and the Labor Caucus working together to remove the “previously convicted” line that job seekers must currently answer on applications for employment. Removing this institutional barrier is an important part of confronting the oppression that black people and working families face in Massachusetts and the country at large.
Tying together these diverse initiatives is a belief that permeates this entire organization–that everyone should have a seat at the table and that smart policy should empower and promote growth for all citizens, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation, economic status, or religious affiliation. Until that egalitarian goal is met, the work of CDM and Democrats everywhere must go on.