Massachusetts Peace Action endorses these candidates for Congress in 2018.
Tahirah Amatul-Wadud (District 1 — Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke, Berkshires) is an African-American Muslim lawyer from Chicopee running against long-time incumbent Rep. Richard Neal. She has a record of supporting civil and immigrant rights, criminal justice reform and combatting Islamophobia. Tahira’s platform is unambiguously progressive, endorsing Medicare for All, debt-free public college education, a constitutional amendment to limit corporate campaign money in politics, progressive taxation and abortion rights. She has been endorsed by PDA, ORMA, the National Women’s Political Caucus and she pledges to join the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Amatul-Wadud has criticized Neal’s support for a “bloated Pentagon budget” and his votes in favor of increased Pentagon spending. She supports the repeal of the overly-broad Authorization for the Use of Military force (AUMF), limits on the president’s war-making powers, and opposes the first use of nuclear weapons. She is an ardent environmentalist. In contrast, the incumbent Rep. Neal has arguably the worst record in the Massachusetts delegation on peace, military spending, and Israel-Palestine. He is one of only two Massachusetts House members to cosponsor the Federal bill to criminalize BDS activities, takes money from corporate PACs and routinely supports Pentagon war-making spending. (tahirahforcongress.com)
Jim McGovern (District 2 — Worcester, Northampton, Greenfield, Leominster) is one Peace Action’s most valuable allies in Congress, a tireless and effective legislative leader for a range of peace issues. He is a key leader in efforts to end U.S. military engagements in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, and to repeal the 2001 Congressional authorization that has been twisted by successive administrations to justify endless war. He was the first Massachusetts legislator to sign on to the Palestinian Children’s Human Rights bill, HR. 4391. McGovern received the Peacebuilders Award from Massachusetts Peace Action after giving the keynote address at our 2016 annual meeting, and also spoke at our November 2017 conference on Presidential First Use of Nuclear Weapons. (www.jimmcgovern.com)
Barbara L’Italien (District 3 — Lowell, Haverhill, Acton, Marlborough) has demonstrated through her work as a State Senator that peace is a priority for her. She is a strong advocate of nuclear disarmament and of negotiations rather than war, and is state co-chair for WAND’s Women’s Legislators Lobby. She recently submitted a State Senate resolution calling on Congress to place limits on the President’s ability to launch a nuclear first strike. Her legislative experience, combined with her commitment to peace and human rights, make her a valuable ally. She has committed to vote for the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ People’s Budget, to restrict first use of nuclear weapons, remove United States Armed Forces from unauthorized hostilities in Yemen, support the right to boycott, and protect Palestinian children in Israeli detention.
The foreign policy positions and passion of Jeff Ballinger and Alexandra Chandler also impressed us, and it was not easy to make a choice. In this 10-candidate race for an open seat, we also give weight to experience in elective office and to the corresponding political experience and support that gives L’Italien a greater chance to compete with some of the candidates in the race whose peace credentials are less clear. Read her responses to our questionnaire. (www.teambarbara.com)
Katherine Clark (District 5 — part of Cambridge, Woburn, Lexington, Framingham) has been an activist progressive in the five years she has served in Congress. In 2015 she boycotted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress opposing the Iran nuclear deal, and in 2016 she was active in a sit-in in Congress on gun control after the Orlando shootings. She is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and consistently votes for its People’s Budget. She reliably votes to oppose military budget increases, nuclear weapons increases, and Middle East wars. While she tends to straddle on Israel/Palestine issues, she made a positive move recently by signing on to the Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Act. (katherineclark.org)
Michael Capuano (District 7 — most of Boston, part of Cambridge, Somerville, parts of Milton, Randolph, and Everett) has been a consistent voice to check US wars and military spending during 20 years in Congress. A member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, he consistently votes for the People’s Budget, against excessive military appropriations, against increases in US nuclear weapons, and to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan. He introduced a bill to forbid US military action in Syria, and sued President Obama to challenge his illegal intervention in Libya. His challenger has said little about foreign policy in the campaign and her positions on the Middle East and Israel/Palestine indicate that she is not yet ready to lead around a peace agenda. Read his reponses to our questionnaire and The Intercept‘s coverage of the race, including discussion of our endorsement. (mikecapuano.com)
Bill Cimbrelo (District 9 — Plymouth, New Bedford, Cape Cod) is a progressive who is challenging incumbent Bill Keating, who has a poor record on peace issues. Cimbrelo understands the destructive force of war and that it should be used as the absolute last resort. He opposes nuclear modernization and states that nuclear weapons should never be used. He challenges the continuous expansion of our weapon systems as a tool to enrich oligarchs, CEO’s and shareholders and questions the need for US bases in almost 150 countries. He refuses corporate and corporate PAC contributions. For these bold progressive stances, we wholeheartedly endorse Mr. Cimbrelo. (billcimbrelo.com)
We urge you to vote for, work for, and donate to the campaigns of these progressive, pro-peace leaders!
Register to vote by Wednesday, August 15; Primary Election Tuesday, September 4. What district am I in and where do I vote?