A well-functioning criminal justice system should be grounded in evidence and science, operating on fact rather than fear and treating all who encounter it equitably, without regard to race or income. I have a comprehensive plan for criminal justice reform that includes updating our approach to juvenile & young offenders; reversing the trend of over-incarceration; making incarceration more productive & expanding programming; and giving victims and ex-offenders the services and support to succeed.
High-quality early education and childcare is one of the most impactful, cost-effective investments that we can make in our children and in our Commonwealth. These early investments in our children pay dividends on multiple levels and across generations. Working families deserve our best efforts to support their children getting the start they need toward academic and career success and to support their own workforce participation and economic prosperity. These families and children deserve better access and more affordable options, the most talented teachers and caregivers, the most engaging curriculum, and the most robust family engagement supports we can provide.
Our health care is under siege in Washington and our system here in Massachusetts is broken – it needs to be simpler, cheaper and better. The cost of health care is crushing families and businesses and crowding out other important priorities in the state budget – nearly 40 percent of the state budget is consumed by health care spending. Our health care system does not work for people, and it is not sustainable.
It’s time to get serious about our transportation system. We need a Governor who will be honest about what needs to be done, and who will be courageous enough to do it. If all we do is rearrange the chairs on the deck of the Transportation Titanic, all we will get is more efficient seating on a sinking ship.
That’s why I support the Fair Share Tax, which would ask people who make over $1 million a year to pay more in income taxes to fund investments in transportation and education. The tax would generate an additional $2 billion per year.
Despite the economic recovery and low unemployment, too many Massachusetts families are falling behind. While those at the top have done well, middle class and low-income families are struggling to get ahead. The income gap here in Massachusetts is one of the worst in the country and is growing. We need to do all we can to give everyone a fair shot. That’s why I support raising the minimum wage and paid family and medical leave.
President Trump has disparaged and discriminated against people of different ethnicities, backgrounds, religious beliefs and genders, and he has stoked fear in their communities. President Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim travel bans and increased raids to detain and deport immigrants have been particularly harsh, disruptive and fear-provoking for immigrant communities across the country and across Massachusetts.
Access to government records, documents and meetings allow the public and the media to more fully understand the work of government and how and why our elected leaders make the decisions they do. Our public records law invites the public to participate fully in our democratic institutions, promoting openness and transparency and engagement for all, not just the few, the powerful, the insiders.
Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet and to our future. President Trump is taking us in the wrong direction on climate change. As President Trump and the Republicans continue to take the country backward, it’s more important than ever that we have leadership here in Massachusetts that moves us forward. Massachusetts should be the first state in the nation to adopt carbon pricing, we should accelerate our transition to clean energy sources, and we should oppose any new gas pipelines that further our dependence on fossil fuels.
Massachusetts has a long history of national leadership on gun control. Our Commonwealth is widely recognized for having some of the toughest gun laws in the country, strengthened even further in a bill signed by Governor Patrick in 2014. In large part due to these laws, Massachusetts has the lowest rate of gun deaths among all states.
However, even one gun-related death is too many. There are also too many other tragic impacts of gun violence in our communities. The status quo is not good enough, and Massachusetts needs to aim higher in its efforts to address the root causes of violence and reduce access to guns. We need leaders who will stand strong and speak clearly about these issues. I pledge to work hard to combat gun violence across our Commonwealth.