Massachusetts Senate Hampden
The Senate is comprised of 40 members, with each Senator elected to represent a district of approximately 159,000 people and each elected for a two-year term. As required by the Massachusetts Constitution, the Senate meets year-round in either formal or informal session to consider legislation. The Massachusetts Senate is led by the President of the Senate who is elected by the members of the body at the beginning of each two-year legislative session. Base salary for each Senator is approximately $66,256
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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.
How is climate change impacting your district? How do you plan to address it?
What would you do to eliminate systemic racism in Massachusetts? In particular, what steps would you take to prevent police violence and promote fairness within the justice system?
I was called into politics as a grassroots activist and organizer with Neighbor to Neighbor, a member organization led by people of color, women, immigrants, low-income and the working-class that focuses on economic, racial, and environmental justice. Serving my 3rd term on the Springfield City Council I also serve as the Vice President of the council, the chair of Economic Development & hold positions on the committees for Casino Oversight, Finance, and Environment & Sustainability.
Fully fund public education by supporting the Promise Act. Our children are our future & the children of the Hampden district deserve a world-class equitable education & secure funding for it. Legislation that can strengthen criminal justice reform and restorative justice initiatives, this includes the opioid crisis. Creating a safe & healthy environment is important for not only resident safety, but for the health & economic success of their community, promoting active participation & pride.
I would support the Fair Share Amendment, repeal any tax breaks that have not cost-effectively lived up to its intended benefits & raise the tax on long-term capital gains from 5% to 8.95%, in-line with other states, and close corporate tax loopholes. We need to also acknowledge that a long-term comprehensive plan should be developed to offset this year's and future shortfalls. Such as, establishing a state budget stabilization fund to help states avoid cuts during recessions.
Springfield's asthma rate is the highest in the U.S. at over 18%. We have been hit with category 3 tornadoes, causing $90 million in damages & lost lives. We’ve also experienced tropical storm Irene & record snowstorms of 8-24 inches damaging power lines and impacting business. Hurricane Maria has also significantly increased our district population. I will push to develop the East/West Rail, ban plastic bags, put a price on carbon, support conservation & green legislation working w/local orgs.
Systemic racism has been a challenge for BIPOC communities since this country has been founded & requires a deep & holistic approach to eradicate it, more than what can fit in 500 words. As for fairness within the justice system, there should be an anti-racist & statistically backed educational requirement for all those involved in judicial procedures. Programs should be used to identify judges & officers that reflect their served community. We shouldn't combat addiction & poverty with prisons.
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