Massachusetts House 29th Middlesex
The Massachusetts House of Representatives is comprised of 160 members, each representing a district of approximately 40,000 people and each elected for a two-year term. As required by the Massachusetts Constitution, the House meets year-round in either formal or informal session to consider legislation. The Massachusetts House is led by the Speaker of the House who is elected by the members of the body at the beginning of each two-year legislative session. Base salary for each representative is approximately $66,256.
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Steven C. Owens
State your relevant background.
What are your top two legislative priorities for the next session, and why?
Coping with COVID-19 has resulted in decreased state revenues and increased expenses in unexpected areas. Name two specific steps the state should take to balance the budget.
What specific initiatives would you support to address housing inequality in Massachusetts?
What steps would you take to ensure the future of public transportation and how would you fund these?
For 12 years I was the chair of the Watertown Democratic Town Committee. I’ve been on the ground working for progressive candidates and causes. In 2016, I was elected to the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee where I have worked to make the party more responsive. In my day job I am a transportation consultant, where I work with states to develop their freight plans. I have served as a member of the Watertown Transportation Task Force, advocating for better local transit options.
My top priority is fighting for environmental legislation to fight climate change. We need to transition away from fossil fuels and towards 100% clean and renewable energy. We should fight for environmental justice and invest in green jobs. We also need to make it a priority that our transportation policy reflects the importance of climate. We need to encourage transit use by making it safe and reliable. We should have incentives to move to electric vehicles in both public and private sectors.
We need to make sure that our Congressional delegation is working as hard as they can to deliver Federal aid to states to help them fill their budget gaps. We cannot balance the budget on the backs of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable, who are already suffering due to Covid. I support raising revenues via the Fair Share Amendment on income over a million dollars and ending the corporate tax loophole that lets companies hide profits overseas.
We need to increase the supply of housing while also making sure that we take steps to address affordability and make sure people can stay in their homes for the duration of the pandemic. I support efforts to increase housing density near transit nodes and reduce parking minimums. I support continuing the eviction and foreclosure moratorium as well as establishing a fund to help individuals who missed rent payments and risk eviction due to COVID-19.
I will stand up for more support for the MBTA and pursue creative solutions to increase transit options including regional rail. We need to make sure that our stations are clean, and our trains and buses are safe and frequent. The pandemic has shown us that our buses are heavily utilized by our frontline essential workers and we should move to make them fare-free. We should encourage bus lanes to improve reliability and reduce crowding. I support the funding framework passed by the House.
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