Massachusetts Peace Action has endorsed candidates this year for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, State Senate, and State Legislature.
Mass. Peace Action proudly endorsed Bernie Sanders for President and worked hard for his election. Since he suspended his campaign on April 8 and endorsed Joe Biden, we have focused on defeating Trump in November and supporting crucial down-ballot candidates. Members’ thoughts on the race can be found at masspeaceaction.org/2020-presidential-race.
Ed Markey for Senate
Sen. Ed Markey, the leading voice in the US Senate for nuclear disarmament, the Green New Deal, net neutrality, and environmental protection, is engaged in a tough reelection contest against challenger Joe Kennedy III. Your help is needed leading into the Sept. 1 primary! Watch for MAPA e-alerts on the campaign this summer.
Read more on why we support Ed Markey
House of Representatives
Mass. Peace Action proudly endorses five candidates for the US House of Representatives this year who are advocates for peace and justice: two incumbents, Ayanna Pressley and Jim McGovern, and three new candidates, Alex Morse, Ihssane Leckey, and Robbie Goldstein. They will add to the growing progressive voice on Capitol Hill.
In a race of national significance, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse is challenging 31-year incumbent Richard Neal of Springfield for the Massachusetts First Congressional District seat. Neal is chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and one of the highest-ranking Democrats in Congress.
During Morse’s eight years as mayor, he has demonstrated courage and commitment to progressive values. When a Black Lives Matter group was marching in Holyoke several years ago, he asked the police not to interfere. That action prompted a “no confidence” vote from his police force, but Morse stood by his principles. When Hurricane Maria was ravaging Puerto Rico, he offered refuge to displaced families.
Morse is committed to a peace agenda. He supports reallocating federal funds from the military budget to domestic needs. He opposes criminalizing First Amendment-protected boycotts, including those aimed at changing Israel’s behavior. He accurately points out that we fuel the refugee crisis at the southern border by supporting authoritarian regimes in Central America with weapons and money.
Neal, on the other hand, uses his Ways and Means post to advance corporate interests at the expense of working-class people. During the fight over H.R.3, he shielded pharmaceutical profits by blocking amendments that would have lowered prescription drug prices for more people. He has accepted more than $708,000 from the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries. In the current election cycle, his largest donor is the Blackstone Group – a controversial private equity firm and fossil fuel profiteer. In contrast, Morse has sworn off corporate donations altogether, including those from companies that profit from fossil fuels, weapons manufacturing or our health ailments. Read more about why we support Alex Morse.
Ihssane Leckey is running in the Mass. Fourth Congressional District, for a seat being vacated by Joe Kennedy III. (The 4th district runs from Newton and Brookline to Foxborough and Fall River.) As an immigrant, an abuse survivor and a single mother, Leckey knows firsthand the struggles of minorities and the marginalized. After putting herself through school, she went to work for the Federal Reserve to hold Wall Street banks accountable in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
Leckey’s values and beliefs are closely aligned with Mass. Peace Action’s mission. She has attended a number of our events and is committed to fighting for a more peaceful world. She supports reducing nuclear weapons, negotiations to end the war with North Korea, reinstatement of the Iran nuclear deal, stopping intervention in the Middle East, and ending arms sales to authoritarian governments. She opposes the border wall and calls for fair pricing for DOD purchases and tighter regulations on Overseas Contingency Operations.
Leckey supports Universal Family Care, Medicare for All, and the Green New Deal. See her thoughtful and impressive platform. One of the central themes of her campaign is the need to remove the corrupting influence of corporate money from our political system. As a former regulator of Wall Street banks, she understands the intersection between unregulated corporate greed and the many ills in our society, including militarism, an inhumane health care system, climate change, environmental degradation and more. Unlike many in Congress, Leckey is not beholden to big business. She has pledged to reject all corporate PAC money, both in her campaign and in office. Read more about why we support Ihssane Leckey.
Jamie Zahlaway Belsito
Jamie Belsito is running in the Sixth Congressional district against Seth Moulton. Jamie has lived in the 6th congressional district her whole life. She was born in Wakefield and raised in Reading. Jamie attended Salem State University. In earlier days she interned in Rep Moakley’s Office under the supervision of Jim McGovern.
In her professional life, she is well known for her advocacy for maternal and child health. She served as a commissioner to the Ellen Story Postpartum Commission of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and advocated for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, the End to Child Marriage and passage of maternal mental health grants.
Jamie’s responses were generally aligned with Mass Peace Action’s positions. In response to a question on skipping the AIPAC-sponsored trip to Israel, Jamie says: “ I do not support any racist or segregated agenda that aims to lessen human lives or one’s value based on language, religion and/or skin color.” Jamie has said she would support reductions in the military budget. She is well informed about current immigration policy, listing it as one of her priority areas of concern, noting the way U.S. foreign policy over decades has contributed to the current situation.
Massachusetts Peace Action also believes it is important to challenge Representative Moulton, who prides himself on his military experience but who has proven to be hawkish on foreign policy and out of step with the goals of Mass Peace Action: Robust diplomacy between North and South Korea, ending sanctions against Cuba, Venezuela and Iran, the reduction of the military budget, cancellation of nuclear weapons upgrade, among many other issues of peace and justice.
Robbie Goldstein is running in the Eighth Congressional district against Stephen Lynch. Dr. Goldstein is an internist and infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, where for the past five years, he has been the medical director of the Transgender Health Program. He cites healthcare as his primary issue, drawing contrast with Lynch, who was the only member of the Mass. delegation to vote against the Affordable Care Act.
Goldstein supports reducing the military budget and nuclear weapons. Both Goldstein and Lynch are strong supporters of Israel; Goldstein has stated he is against conditioning US military support to Israel. However, he came out against moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and said we have an obligation to speak up when Israel uses our resources “in a way that goes against our values.” Lynch, for his part, voted for legislation to punish the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, and has supported unconditioned support for Israel in the form of money and weapons.
Lynch has often disappointed supporters of peace and justice. He voted to go to war with Iraq and Afghanistan and has repeatedly voted for increased funding of our forever wars. Last summer, Lynch was one of the few Democrats nationwide who voted against the “No War with Iran” provision in the National Defense Authorization Act. Passing the NDAA without this provision allowed funding for the Trump drone strike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, risking war with Iran. In contrast, Goldstein, with his progressive foreign policy views, will be a welcome addition to the Massachusetts delegation.
Massachusetts Peace Action endorses Ayanna Pressley for re-election in Massachusetts’ 7th district. Her commitment to peace is beyond question. She supports repealing the 2001 war authorization so we can finally put an end to endless war. She opposes what would be a dangerous and destabilizing military intervention in Venezuela. She knows we can afford real investments in our communities if we stop squandering taxpayer dollars in war after war. Our nation is safer and better off when we elect leaders like Rep. Pressley who prioritize human needs over the needs of the military industrial complex. Read more about why we support Pressley.
Jim McGovern 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, to repeal the 2001 Congressional authorization that has been twisted by successive administrations to justify endless war, and to roll back new nuclear weapons and achieve nuclear disarmament. McGovern received the Peacebuilders Award from Massachusetts Peace Action after giving the keynote address at our 2016 annual meeting (left), and spoke at our November 2017 conference on Presidential First Use of Nuclear Weapons and at the Massachusetts Peace and Justice Network’s conference in June 2019. Read more about why we support Jim McGovern for re-election.
Massachusetts Peace Action has endorsed a diverse and accomplished group of candidates for the Massachusetts Legislature in 2020. Read about our endorsed candidates for the State Senate and State House of Representatives and learn how you can get involved.