Criminal Justice and Incarceration
While Massachusetts has one of the lowest incarceration rates in our country, we still incarcerate an excessive number of people in comparison to many countries throughout the world. Our incarceration rates are particularly egregious when it comes to racial equity, with African-Americans being disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system.
That is why I testified at the State House in support of the Criminal Justice Reform law that was passed in 2018, but I believe we must go further in making our justice system more equitable and effective.
As State Representative, I will continue working on addressing racial disparities in policing, incarceration, and sentencing. I will also advocate for effective educational programming and job training programs for those incarcerated, as well as regulations that curb the ability of private prisons to profit off of inmate labor and critical services. I will work to ensure that those who are struggling with addiction or mental health diagnoses have access to appropriate treatment rather than facing jail time. I will also advocate for programs that help prevent individuals from being incarcerated in the first place. This includes investing in pre-K, high-quality afterschool programming, youth job programs, adult education and workforce training, and mental health support systems.
Immigration and Safe Communities
As a mom I would do anything in my power to keep my kids safe. My heart goes out the many families seeking asylum and crossing the border in an attempt to provide a safer future for their kids. But family separations are not just happening at the border. Families are being torn apart in Massachusetts and we have the power to pass legislation to stop this.
That is why I have advocated for Safe Communities Act at the local and state level. Cities and towns that have enacted Safe Communities provisions locally have less crime than those that follow the rule of law of Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump. Equally important, passing this legislation will make sure that families in our state do no fear deportation when reporting a crime to the police, when dropping off their child at school, when seeking medical care, or when going to work. Passing Safe Communities means keeping families that love each other together. As your State Representative, I will work tirelessly to build political will among my colleagues, advocates, and families to make sure we get this legislation passed immediately.
I am the mom of a transgender son and I have seen firsthand the bigotry, fear, and misunderstanding that still exists in our state towards LGBT people. I am incredibly proud to live in Massachusetts -- the first state to pass marriage equality legislation, a state that hosts some of the best Pride Marches in the nation, and a state that is known throughout our country as a safe haven for LGBTQ individuals.
Yet, I know there is still work to be done.
That is why I support upholding the rights threatened by ballot question Question 3, which would repeal the hard-fought protections in public spaces for our transgender and gender non-conforming residents. As State Representative, I will advocate to ban conversion therapy which has been proven time and time again to be a fraudulent and harmful practice psychologically damaging to many queer youth. I will also ensure that every child, regardless of sexual orientation, has the opportunity to receive evidenced-based and inclusive sex education. Protecting and providing services for our LGBT members of the Commonwealth is an ongoing fight and it is one for which I will continue to be a leader as State Representative.
The Constitution guarantees every woman’s fundamental right to make choices about her own body. Women must have the power and ability to get the in
formation, care, and treatment to effectively plan for their futures and support their health. In a country where women are 35% more likely to live in poverty than men, women having full equity and ownership over their bodies is the solution, not the problem. Access to proper family planning services and agency allows women the opportunities to further their education and careers, as well as lead healthier lives both physically and mentally.
I have advocated for legislation on Beacon Hill that ensures that all Massachusetts women have access to affordable birth control and privacy protections when seeking reproductive care. As State Representative, I will continue fighting for the funding and legislation to ensure all women have safe, affordable, and effective reproductive services.
I am tired of hearing stories of women who are made to feel afraid and uncomfortable in their workplaces, when riding the subway, or when going to school. I am tired of seeing competent and confident women I know, women of all ages, races, and class backgrounds, who have had their confidence and self-worth diminished by a colleague, a professor, a classmate, or an employer.
Sexual harassment is not about sex. It is about power. To stop sexual harassment, we must first address implicit biases that perpetuate the imbalance of power between men and women in our society. This means making sure that women are paid equal wages, that incomes are not dependent on tipped wages, that women have opportunities to build and retain wealth, and that we have access to the health care, education, transportation that our families need to thrive.
We must also ensure that all women have the opportunity to be heard and have their allegations considered seriously and justly. That is why, as State Representative, I will fight to end the use of non-disclosure agreements, that ultimately allow abusers to continue their behavior while ensuring their victims are unable to speak out.