Group calls for new leadership at the Massachusetts Democratic Party in wake of damning investigation
Press Release November 6, 2020
[BOSTON] The Bay State Stonewall Democrats released the following statement in response to the final investigation and report conducted by independent investigator Attorney Cheryl Jacques into allegations of misconduct by Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford and Executive Director Veronica Martinez :
“The report is extensive and conclusive: Gus Bickford and Veronica Martinez violated the policies of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee prohibiting staff from participating in contested primaries, lied to members of the Democratic State Committee, and attempted to cover up their actions, all to spread homophobic rumors and tropes about a gay elected official and rising star in our party.
“Not only are we outraged by the extent of the unethical actions from these two Party leaders, but we are extremely disappointed in their refusal to acknowledge and apologize for their actions in perpetuating a homophobic attack from within the Democratic Party.
“We are calling for a new Chair to take the helm of the Party to ensure the recommendations in the report are properly implemented, but also provide for an avenue to repair the relationship between the party and the LGBTQIA+ community. It is clear from his public statements to the media that Bickford is unwilling to take on this task.
“We would like to thank Attorney Jacques for conducting a thorough and independent review into the unethical behavior of party leaders. We would also like to thank Vice Chair Deb Kosikowski, Leon Braithwaite, and Personnel Committee Chair Mark DiSalvo for guiding this process during difficult times within our Party.
“Now is the time for uncomfortable conversations and decisions within our Party. We look forward to being a part of those conversations and discussions and stand ready to play a role in the healing process that has directly impacted our LGBTQIA+ community. But, these discussions cannot begin until the current Chair and Executive Director take responsibility for their egregious behavior and step aside — for the good of the party.
NOTE : The author is a longtime proud member/activist of Bay State Stonewall Democrats.