All 200 duly elected members of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Court are sworn in at once, for two years, on the first Wednesday in January following an election. Today being that day, 30 new legislators took their places, 25 of them in the House. Big challenges lie ahead, particularly for House Legislators, who must work together to challenge leadership, and for activists, who must hold House members’ feet to the fire.
Activists must articulate what we stand for at a gut level and Legislators have a responsibility to respond. Voters want to know how legislation will help us and we need to be listening for policies that explicitly say, “This is what this legislation does”. This isn’t the time for *the common good*. This isn’t the time for *we’re all in this together*. Legislation needs to be specific: This bridge. This road. This community.
Politics in 2019 demands proactive engagement from all of us, elected and non. It insists that we not play small, that we drive urgency on the critical issues before us:
- Revenue, for the short- and long-term
- Adequate funding for K-12 education, including improving vocational education, expanding early childhood education, and providing debt-free college options
- Safe communities for immigrants and the undocumented
- Stronger protections for the environment
- Healthcare for all
- Affordable housing
- Ballot access, i.e., same day registration and ranked choice voting
- Campaign finance reform
A progressive government will operate with transparency and the highest ethical standards. It will ensure fair debate of issues and accountability to constituents, provide a decent standard of living, affordable housing as a human right, and fair work schedules for all, as institutional racism is also addressed.
Freedom. Opportunity. Security for all.
It’s an ambitious list and by no means exhaustive. For legislative action to be truly effective, issues would be prioritized and informed by the needs of the citizenry.
Image credit: Sheila Pepe’s “Women Are Bricks”, 1983, remade 2017. Handmade bricks, rug, cement. Currently on exhibit at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum through March 10, 2019. Photo by Mary Ann.
Members of the 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may be found HERE. As of this writing, membership of House, Senate, and Joint Committees have yet to be determined. New House and Senate Legislators are listed below.
|11th Bristol||Christopher Hendricks|
|12th Bristol||Norman Orrall|
|11th Essex||Peter Capano|
|14th Essex||Christina Minicucci|
|16th Essex||Marcos Devers|
|18th Essex||Tram Nguyen|
|1st Franklin||Natalie Blais|
|1st Hampshire||Lindsay Sabadosa|
|2nd Hampshire||Daniel Carey|
|3rd Hampshire||Mindy Domb|
|6th Middlesex||Maria Robinson|
|14th Middlesex||Tami Gouveia|
|15th Middlesex||Michelle Ciccolo|
|19th Middlesex||David Robertson|
|30th Middlesex||Rich Haggerty|
|15th Norfolk||Tommy Vitolo|
|4th Plymouth||Patrick Joseph|
|7th Plymouth||Alyson Sullivan|
|12th Plymouth||Kathleen LaNatra|
|4th Suffolk||David Biele|
|5th Suffolk||Liz Miranda|
|9th Suffolk||Jon Santiago|
|15th Suffolk||Nika Elugardo|
|8th Worcester||Michael Soter|
|17th Worcester||David LeBoeuf|
|1st Essex||Diana DiZoglio|
|1st Middlesex||Edward Kennedy|
|2nd Essex, Middlesex|| Barry Finegold|
|Norfolk, Bristol, Middlesex||Becca Rausch|