Massachusetts Peace Action is proud to endorse a diverse and accomplished group of candidates for the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2020. The following list includes progressive incumbents, as well as challengers who are community leaders and progressive organizers.
Anna Callahan (34th Middlesex — West Somerville, parts of Medford) is the founder and director of The Incorruptibles. She is a software engineer who left her position to volunteer for Bernie Sanders. After Bernie’s loss, she channeled her energy into The Incorruptibles — a grassroots group focused on fixing a broken system by replacing corrupted, pro-business politicians with representation that will speak to the needs of regular people, not multi-billion dollar corporations. Anna’s platform includes Medicare-for-All, the Green New Deal, increased transparency at the State House, rent control and more. Watch Anna discuss progressive organizing with The Incorruptibles.
Nichole Mossalam (35th Middlesex — Malden, Medford) is a mother, community organizer, and activist. She has previously co-chaired Our Revolution (MA), organized interfaith events, and organized fundraisers for a student lunch program. Nichole’s platform prioritizes public transportation, education, affordable housing, and a clean environment. Mossalam is running against Paul Donato, a member of Robert DeLeo’s leadership team. Under DeLeo’s leadership, Massachusetts is one of the least transparent state governments; we don’t even record our representatives’ votes. Defeating Paul Donato sends an undeniable message by replacing a careerist with a progressive champion.
Erika Uyterhoeven (27th Middlesex — Somerville) is a Democratic Socialist, activist and organizer. She founded Act on Mass to increase transparency in the State Legislature (currently, votes are not recorded by default). Erika understands the connection between corporatism and militarism and is committed to removing both from our government. Erika will champion a Massachusetts Green New Deal, Medicare-for-All, and the Safe Communities Act – which would limit the amount local police are allowed to spend to enforce Trump’s immigration policies. Erika was involved in the successful campaign of another local, strong progressive, Nika Elugardo. Erika’s presence in the State House will make the Legislature more transparent and progressive.
Patricia Duffy (5th Hampden — Holyoke) is a strong labor advocate and a progressive running for office. She rose to leadership in her union at Umass Amherst and has negotiated contracts. Pat was an aide to current 5th Hampden Representative Aaron Vega where she helped write legislation and work on constituent issues. Currently she is working with him for their districts COVID response. Trained in sociology and an outspoken believer in fairness and equality, Patricia is a strong defender of the social safety net. One of her priorities is to address poverty in her district. Patricia endorsed Bernie Sanders in the presidential primaries.
Jordan Meehan (17th Suffolk — Allston) is an activist and a lawyer from Allston. As an environmentalist, Jordan chaired the Mass Sierra Club’s Political Committee. This experience has helped him develop a deep understanding of Massachusetts state politics, along with his experience with Maura Healey’s 2014 campaign. Jordan’s primary issues include the Green New Deal, housing justice, and protecting and expanding public transportation. Jordan is challenging Kevin Honan, an ally of Robert DeLeo, who has blocked progressive reforms.
Gretchen Van Ness (14th Suffolk — Hyde Park, Roslindale, West Roxbury) is an accomplished attorney with decades of experience as a civil rights activist. She is passionate about improving her local community, such as by installing trash cans in local parks where they are currently lacking. Gretchen believes strongly in public services such as public education and public transportation. She was previously Legislative Director for State Senator Becca Rausch. Gretchen is a progressive who understands how the system works and will fight to improve it for all of us.
Alison Leary (10th Middlesex — Newton, Waltham, Watertown) is a Newton City Councilor and Vice President of Newton Conservators. She also serves on the Board of the Newton League of Women Voters. Alison is running against John Lawn — a member of House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s leadership team. Alison is committed to increasing transparency at the State House as demonstrated by her signing the Act on Mass pledge. Meanwhile Lawn defends anti-transparency measures. Alison supports divesting the state pension from Raytheon while Lawn does not support divestment.
Steve Owens (29th Middlesex — Cambridge, Watertown) is a progressive who has worked on campaigns including for Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren. He was previously chair of the Watertown Democratic Town Committee for over a decade and was elected to the State Committee in 2016. Steve’s legislative priorities include affordable, green transportation, immigrant protections, and affordable housing. Steve has also signed the Act on Mass pledge to increase transparency at the State House. Steve supports divesting the state pension from Raytheon.
Damali Vidot (2nd Suffolk — Charlestown, Chelsea) is a community activist and Chelsea City Councilor. Damali is an outspoken advocate of the most marginalized, and her policy platform reflects it. She champions single-payer healthcare, a Green New Deal, union protections, and reforming our broken criminal justice system by demilitarizing the police and repealing racist laws.
Marianela Rivera (17th Essex — Lawrence, Andover, Methuen) is an activist and public servant, born and raised in Lawrence. She was elected to serve on the Lawrence School Committee for two terms, and is currently the Table Coordinator for the Greater Lawrence Education Justice Alliance. Marianela organized the public for the “No on 2” campaign to save public education. Marianela is running against Frank Moran — a state representative with a poor record on transparency and constituent outreach.
Nika Elugardo (15th Suffolk –Jamaica Plain, parts of Brookline, Roxbury, Roslindale) is a movement-oriented, progressive young attorney and advocate, running for reelection. Representative Elugardo sponsored eight of MAPA’s peace-oriented bills this session. She has been tremendous in her outreach, speaking at MAPA’s annual meeting this year, and many of our talks. Representative Elugardo is a champion of progressive priorities such as Medicare-for-All, the Green New Deal, rent control, pro-immigrant policies, and much more.
Mike Connolly (26th Middlesex — Cambridge) is a singularly committed, energetic, and progressive political leader who, with our support, defeated a do-nothing incumbent in 2016. Representative Connolly was the primary sponsor of our Revenue, Information and Accountability Act, and testified against the anti-BDS bill, in the current legislative session. He was MC of the Mass. People’s Budget Campaign’s Tax Day events in April 2017 and April 2018, and has spoken at many rallies and conferences we organized. Representative Connolly has sponsored all nine MAPA peace-bills. He has been a leader on issues such as rent control, and the state’s COVID response.
Natalie Higgins (4th Worcester — Leominster) is progressive champion who is a lifelong resident of Leominster and an attorney. Representative Higgins is a strong advocate for victims of domestic assault and sexual abuse. She is an attorney, and a champion of working-class families. Rep Higgins is a demonstrated ally of peace, as seen by her support of all nine MAPA bills introduced this session. Rep Higgins is a primary sponsor of S. 2165, resolutions to prevent the first use of nuclear weapons by the US. Other aspects of her platform include single payer healthcare, protection and expansion of labor rights, strengthening and expanding public school access, and other progressive priorities. She is committed to increasing transparency in Massachusetts.
Kay Khan (11th Middlesex — Newton) is a nurse running for reelection. Representative Khan has shown leadership on peace issues, by sponsoring all nine MAPA bills in 2019. She has been the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities since 2009. She is also the founder of the Mental Health Caucus. Rep Khan is a champion of diversity and equality, introducing a host of legislation promoting LGBTQ protections. She has drawn on her background in nursing, to improve conditions for nurses — improving the healthcare system for us all. She has also shown leadership in criminal justice reform, working to reform a harsh, punitive system which disproportionately harms minorities and the poor.
Jack Patrick Lewis (7th Middlesex — Ashland, Framingham) was elected with our support four years ago. He has done a superb job of representing the progressive values of Ashland and Framingham and he is a much needed voice on Beacon Hill. He supports nuclear disarmament, cuts to the military budget, and welcomes refugees. In the current session, Representative Lewis has sponsored all nine of MAPA’s peace-bills. Jack has a diverse working background. The common thread linking all his previous work, is his passion for social justice. We can see this through Jack’s history as an ordained minister, prisoner teacher, and director of a camp for people with disabilities.
David Rogers (24th Middlesex — Cambridge) is an attorney who has been State Rep since 2012. He has shown himself to be an ally of peace, by sponsoring all nine peace-related MAPA bills in 2019. Representative Rogers has a platform which centers climate issues and social justice. He understands the intersection between systemic issues which impact poor and minority communities — which is why, prior to this pandemic, he was already promoting a bill to reduce asthma in low-income communities and schools.
Mindy Domb (3rd Hampshire — Amherst) is a longtime resident in Amherst. Prior to holding public office, Mindy worked to improve policy and education regarding the HIV epidemic by fostering a holistic view of caring for people. For over five years, Mindy was also the director of the Amherst Survival Center, a community center providing food, clothing, healthcare, shelter and companionship to those in need. Representative Domb’s theory of government is centered on protecting the most vulnerable. Indeed, we can see this reflected in both her life work and her public service. This session, Representative Domb has cosponsored six MAPA bills, including ones to divest the state pension from nuclear weapons. Rep Domb champions Medicare-for-All, labor unions, shoring up our public schools, debt-free public universities and trade schools, and other priorities which would uplift the most vulnerable among us.
Tommy Vitolo (15th Norfolk — Brookline) is a first time progressive representative, running for reelection. We are proud that in his first term, Representative Vitolo has cosponsored six of our bills, including bills to divest from nuclear weapons, the War in Yemen, and more. Representative Vitolo has voted to protect disenfranchised groups, including working-class families, women, young people, LGBTQ people, and more. He has voted in favor of environmental protections, paid sick leave, increased funding for schools and transportation, and other progressive priorities.
Lindsay Sabadosa (1st Hampshire — Northampton) is a true progressive organizer. She began organizing as early as nine-years-old to protest the announced closure of her local library. That experience has helped her internalize the lesson that our budgets are a reflection of our values. Representative Sabadosa has brought her organizing skill to MAPA, speaking at our webinars such as Fund Healthcare not Warfare, because our budget reflects our values. She is an ally of peace and has sponsored four MAPA bills in 2019, including being the primary sponsor of three of them. Rep Sabadosa showed leadership by introducing the Massachusetts Medicare-for-All bill long before this pandemic — it is her key issue. She accurately points out that this pandemic is highlighting pre-existing flaws within our healthcare, criminal justice, and environmental policies. She has signed on to the Act on Mass pledge to increase transparency in the State House.
Jay Livingstone (8th Suffolk — Back Bay, Boston) is an attorney who has served in the House since 2013. He was the lead House sponsor of the Budget for All Resolution in 2015-16, which advocated for a shifting of federal spending from the military to social domestic programs. He then attended Mass Peace Action’s Tax Day rally in Cambridge to support this same concept as well as a fairer tax system. In 2019, Representative Livingstone introduced one of our bills, H.3220, a bill to study The People’s Budget — a progressive budget which shifts funds from warfare to domestic needs. Rep Livingstone has worked to reduce mass incarceration, expand the safety net, expand voting rights, and more.
Tami Gouveia (14th Middlesex — Acton, Concord, Chelsmford) comes to public service from a background in public health. Indeed, addressing substance abuse disorders is one of her legislative priorities. In 2019, Representative Gouveia has cosponsored two Mass Peace bills, including H. 3211, resolutions to prevent the first use of nuclear weapons by the US. Tami has championed other progressive legislation, including expanding voting rights, removing Native American mascots from schools, mobilizing the state to analyze public health more holistically and accurately. Representative Gouveia is a signer of the Act on Mass pledge to increase transparency in our state government.
Ruth Balser (12th Middlesex — Newton) is serving her 11th term as Representative and running for reelection. She is the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs. She is also an environmentalist who has introduced bills to preserve our lands and natural resources. In 2019, Representative Balser cosponsored H.2776 to change the state’s flag and seal — which lionize violence and are culturally inappropriate.
Sean Garballey (23d Middlesex — Arlington, Medford) has been an active and consistent supporter of social justice. On the first day of the Poor People’s Campaign 50 days of action, he came out to greet and support everyone. He’s highly accessible to constituents, listens, and helps when he can. A lifelong resident of Arlington, he was a high school representative to the Town Meeting and has continued his community service ever since. In 2019, Sean cosponsored four MAPA bills, including to divest the state pension from the War in Yemen.