Massachusetts Peace Action endorses the following candidates for State Senate in 2020.
Jamie Eldridge (Middlesex and Worcester — Marlborough, Acton, Ayer area) is an indispensable progressive leader in the State Senate where his efforts include the millionaire’s tax, $15 an hour minimum wage, climate change, criminal justice reform, peace, and more. He led the Senate opposition to the anti-BDS bill in both the 2015-16 and 2017-18 sessions and was lead sponsor of the Budget for All resolution in 2013-14. He was keynote speaker at our Building Sustainable Security conference in 2015, spoke at our Elephant in the Room conference in January and State Legislators Respond to Coronavirus webinar in April, and supported Bernie Sanders’ two campaigns for president. In 2019, Senator Eldridge cosponsored a majority of the bills that MAPA introduced to the State legislature, and was the primary sponsor of S.1516, a bill to divest state pension funds from nuclear weapons.
Pat Jehlen (Second Middlesex — Somerville, North Cambridge, Medford) is a true progressive. Her work for justice and her progressive agenda align with our goal of peace and justice for all. She believes in our cause to end wars and useless military spending, and instead to reinvest in our education, jobs, and crumbling infrastructure at home. Her history as a state representative and senator shows that she cares for the people and not just a handful of elites. She was one of only two Massachusetts state senators who opposed the military bond bill in 2014. She supported the Fair Share Amendment, the Budget for All resolution, opposed raising the cap on charter schools, and last year opposed the anti-Boycott bill. Her top legislative priorities are equitable and excellent education, universal and affordable health care, and jobs with decent wages and benefits, including earned sick time. In the current legislative session, Senator Jehlen has cosponsored three MAPA bills this session, and is the primary sponsor of S. 2165, resolutions to prevent the first use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. Pat has been an active peace and justice advocate throughout her life as an educator.
Rebecca Rausch (Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex — Needam area) is a mother and a strong progressive State Senator. Her legislative priorities reflect a progressive, compassionate agenda, such as her work on protections for the homeless. Senator Rausch has co-sponsored seven MAPA bills in 2019, including bills to divest the state pension from the War in Yemen, and from nuclear weapons. She exemplifies what it means to be a public servant by demonstrating close ties to her local community through town halls, promoting local small businesses, compiling COVID-related resources for local constituents and businesses, and platforming local voices such as teachers and students. During the current COVID19 pandemic, she led the State Legislature in pushing for vote-by-mail, to safely expand voting rights.
Jarred Rose (Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth — Braintree, Canton, Stoughton area) is challenging incumbent Walter Timilty for a State Senate seat. Jarred was previously an aide for State Senator Pat Jehlen, where he worked on climate and transportation issues. Jarred’s legislative priorities include environmental protections, 100% renewable energy, increased funding for public transportation, increased transparency in the State legislature, and more. When we met with Jarred, he expressed support for MAPA’s nine bills, including a particular interest in the bill to divest the state pension from the War in Yemen. Defeating Walter Timilty is a priority for Mass Peace Action. Timilty was the only senator in his committee to vote for an anti-free speech, anti-BDS bill. Timilty has held public office since 1999, having never previously been challenged. Such comfort has bred complacency, where Timilty’s office often does not respond to constituent’s concerns and legislative requests. Timilty has a poor track record on LGBTQ, reproductive-health, environmental, and transportation issues. In a district that is growing increasingly progressive, it is time that we replace a do-nothing careerist, with actual representation.
William Brownsberger (Second Suffolk and Middlesex — Back Bay, Belmont, Brighton, Watertown) is running for reelection as State Senator. He is a progressive Democrat and an attorney trained at Harvard Law School. In 2019, Senator Brownsberger co-sponsored two MAPA bills: a bill regarding the People’s Budget, and a bill to change the flag and seal of Massachusetts. Brownsberger spoke at our Watertown rally last summer protesting war with Iran. We look forward to continuing to work with Senator Brownsberger regarding issues of peace at the state level.
Jo Comerford (Hampshire, Franklin, Worcester — Northampton, Greenfield area) is a dream candidate for Massachusetts Peace Action. She worked for seven years as the director of the western Massachusetts office of the American Friends Service Committee, then at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. She subsequently was executive director of the National Priorities Project, an indispensable research office that documents the impact of the military budget on city, state, and federal budget priorities. For the past four years, Jo was a Campaign Director for MoveOn. She won an impressive write-in victory in the primary election. Senator Comerford has shown leadership on peace issues, for example, when she publicly protested US military escalation with Iran. This current session, Sen Comerford was a primary sponsor of three of our state bills, related to prohibiting nuclear weapons and more.
Jason Lewis (Fifth Middlesex — Malden, Melrose, Reading, Wakefield and more) is a State Senator who previously served as a State Representative. This session, Senator Lewis c0-sponsored two of our bills and is primary sponsor of S. 1877, to change the state flag and seal. His legislative priorities involve making healthcare and education both more accessible and affordable — he has introduced or supported numerous bills to this effect. Jason has also championed social justice by introducing bills which would expunge marijuana convictions, prevent employer discrimination of former prisoners, ensure gender parity on public boards, require women on private boards, and more.
Paul Feeney (Bristol and Norfolk — Attleboro, Foxborough, Mansfield area) previously chaired Bernie Sanders’ Massachusetts campaign in 2016 and became a State Senator after winning a special election in 2017. He is a strong progressive voice and was formerly legislative director of IBEW Local 2222. Senator Feeney has cosponsored two of our bills in 2019, including being a primary sponsor of S.1659, an act to create a commission to report on the People’s Budget.