Issues

Opioids Marijuana and Opioids
Marijuana is no more likely to be a “gateway” than alcohol, but using it puts people in contact with drug dealers who may be promoting more dangerous products as well as marijuana with unregulated quality.  Prohibition didn’t work with alcohol; it doesn’t work with marijuana.  We are most concerned with adolescents using marijuana because of their immaturity in brain development and judgement.  Colorado has seen no increase, and even a small decline in use among young people since legalization.  http://...
Energy and the Environment Energy and the Environment
Climate change is a real and serious challenge for the commonwealth. One of the best ways to fight climate change is to switch to renewable energy as quickly as possible. It is vital that we invest in renewable energies, especially solar and off-shore wind. Investing in renewable energy not only decreases our impact on the environment, but the industries created to support these investments produce innovative jobs for the Massachusetts economy.   In order to further grow the solar industry, net metering must expand. Stability and...
Jobs, Economic Inequality and Fair Pay Jobs, Economic Inequality and Fair Pay
Too often, those at the bottom of the economic ladder are not given the opportunity to raise themselves up to a better life. I believe in investing in our working class, by ensuring a fair wage, access to proper sick and parental leave, and ensuring that people working in our homes have the same protections as people working in our offices. We have had some recent victories in these areas, by enacting in law an increase in the minimum wage to $11 and protecting domestic workers with a bill of rights. In addition, after years of work, one of...
Transportation and Green Line Extension Transportation and Green Line Extension
An efficient and reliable transportation system is critical to the continued growth of my district. I have fought for years for the Green Line Extension (GLX) as a major benefit and necessity for my constituents and the progress we have made should not be tossed aside. Somerville and Medford have suffered from the exhaust, traffic and debris spread across our cities as a result of using Somerville and Medford as the pathway to Boston. The GLX represents an equitable investment in our communities as valuable places to live and raise a family and we...
Supporting and Protecting our Older Adults Supporting and Protecting our Older Adults
I have been honored to serve as co-chair of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs for over 10 years as well as the co-chair of the LGBT Aging Commission and the Elder Economic Security Commission. Older adults (60+) currently represent 22% of the state’s total population and that percentage is growing.   We all aspire to have the opportunity to live to a “ripe old age,” but the path each of us takes there differs greatly.   The question becomes: what must we, as policymakers and as a community, consider in order...
Criminal Justice Reform Criminal Justice Reform
Criminal justice reform has long been a top priority of mine.  I will continue to fight to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences, reform solitary confinement, increase programing and drug treatment to prepare individuals for reentry, and end the practice of locking up individuals awaiting trial just because they can’t afford a minimal cash bail.  While we still have a long way to go before our criminal justice system is truly just, we have been making progress.  So far this year the Senate has passed two of my bills, one that...
Education Education
Excellent and equitable education for all children has been my top priority for my entire career.  I served on the Somerville School Committee, helped found a successful and popular program at the Healey School, was the Senate President’s designee to the Foundation Budget Review Commission in 2014, and currently serve as vice-chair of the Joint Committee on Education as well as chair of the Special Senate Committee on Innovative and Alternative Education.   I have fought hard for increased investment in education, yet our recent...