Rep. Mike Connolly welcomes Senator Bernie Sanders to Boston Common

Hello Boston!

My name is Mike Connolly, and I have the honor of representing Cambridge and Somerville up there in the Massachusetts State House.

As one of the Co-Chairs of the Massachusetts campaign for Bernie Sanders — I want to welcome you all to Boston Common!

Thank you for being a part of our multiracial, multigenerational, working-class movement to defeat Donald Trump. Together, we will transform our country to make it work for the 99% of us.

Are you as excited as I am to have Bernie Sanders in Boston this afternoon?

Boston is known as the cradle of liberty — the birthplace of the American revolution. And three days from now, on Super Tuesday — we are going to go to the polls to make the political revolution a reality here in Massachusetts!

Boston Common is known as the world‘s first public urban park. This Common has hosted revolutionaries from John Adams to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — so it’s very fitting that we gather here today in support of Senator Sanders, for Bernie is both a revolutionary leader and a true champion for public good.

Bernie is fighting for guaranteed housing for all. Bernie will cut the military budget so we can afford to invest in public transportation (like the Green Line). Bernie is standing up for public education — for free public college and university and for the cancellation of all student debt. Bernie will fight for a federal jobs program and a Green New Deal. And last, but not least, when we win this election, we will fight with Bernie to implement Medicare for All.

My commitment to Bernie's agenda — and my commitment to this movement — stems from my personal background.

I was raised in public housing in Norwood, Massachusetts. I spent time in foster care as a kid and benefited from government programs like Head Start. As I grew up, I came to believe that government would play a central role in helping all those who are on the margins of society. 

But like many of you, as I got a little older and as I lived through the Great Recession — and I watched as the Wall Street banks got bailed out but the foreclosure crisis and the homelessness emergency continued to get worse — I started to doubt whether those ideals that I grew up believing in were really possible. I started to wonder — maybe I’m too naive? Maybe I’m a little too optimistic...

I distinctly remember the day when all that changed.

It was October 4, 2015, when I went down to the Boston Convention and Exposition Center, and I walked into a room with 21,000 people there for Bernie Sanders. And perhaps the most impressive part of that evening was how there were another 4,000 people standing outside in the rain because they couldn't even get in the room. Senator Sanders spoke to us in that room for about an hour that evening — and then he went out into the rain and gave another speech to those people...

And it was in that moment that I became convinced that real change is possible. Not because of the words of any one individual politician — but because of our collective power as a movement.

That evening changed my life. I decided to run for State Representative — I was endorsed by Our Revolution and the Democratic Socialist of America — and with the help of hundreds of volunteers in my community, I was able to take on the local political establishment and win.

Now I’m working up there in the Massachusetts State House and in a few minutes you’ll hear from one of my colleagues and fellow Bernie co-chairs, State Representative Nika Elugardo. Rep Elugardo and I are advancing legislation called the Tenant Protection Act, which would lift the statewide ban on rent control. 

And that's what this is all about — it’s not about one individual voice. It’s about us coming together to change the system. 

In conclusion, I just want to say that from the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, to the movements for a Green New Deal and Housing for All in this decade, Senator Bernie Sanders has always been on the front lines of the fight for social justice in this country. And this is precisely what makes him the candidate best positioned to defeat Donald Trump in November.

Super Tuesday is the most important day of the Democratic primary process. So when Bernie’s done speaking today, I'm going back to Cambridge to knock on doors and to Get Out The Vote for Bernie Sanders! And tomorrow, I’ll be in Somerville knocking on doors for Bernie Sanders! And if everyone who is in this audience joins me — and if we all knock on doors, make phone calls, and send text messages, we will win the Massachusetts primary for Bernie Sanders!

Not Me, Us. Not Me, Us. Not Me, Us. Not Me, Us. Not Me, Us. Thank you.

Photo by Phyllis Bretholtz.


Rep. Connolly earns an A+ on NARAL's 2017-2018 Reproductive Freedom Scorecard

Representative Mike Connolly was recently named a "Pro-Choice Champion" for the 2017-2018 legislative session by NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, the political leader of the state's pro-choice movement.

Last month, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts released a detailed scoring document that considered actions such as lead sponsorship, co-sponsorship, roll call votes, and leadership efforts to advance legislation supporting reproductive freedom in the Bay State. Rep. Connolly earned the highest possible grade (A+) on the scorecard; he joins a group of 26 Representatives (out of a total of 160 Representatives statewide) to earn the highest possible grade for the 2017-2018 legislative session.

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Rep. Connolly kicks off 2018 re-election campaign!

Friends and supporters gathered at PA's Lounge in Somerville's Union Square on Monday to help first-term State Representative Mike Connolly kick-off his 2018 re-election campaign.  

More than 100 local supporters showed up to enjoy Middle Eastern food and to hear from some of the most exciting and promising new voices in local government and in progressive politics, including Boston City Councillor Lydia Edwards, Somerville Alderman JT Scott, and Cambridge activist/organizer Beth Huang. Also included among the attendees was U.S. Congressman Mike Capuano, State Senator Pat Jehlen, State Representative Denise Provost, State Representative Christine Barber, South Middlesex County Register of Deeds Maria Curtatone, and Somerville Aldermen Matt McLaughlin, Ben Ewen-Campen, Jesse Clingan, Stephanie Hirsch, and Bill White, as well as former Cambridge City Councillor Nadeem Mazen.

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Supporters turn out in droves to celebrate Rep. Connolly's first year in office

Nearly 200 supporters showed up for State Representative Mike Connolly's Winter Celebration and Fundraiser at Sonia in Central Square on Monday evening.

The event featured remarks by State Senator Pat Jehlen, State Representative Jay Livingstone, Cambridge City Councilor-elect Sumbul Siddiqui (pictured below, with emcees Nancy Ryan and Frank Gerratana), and Harvard Law professor and political reformer Lawrence Lessig.

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Senator Pat Jehlen spoke about Rep. Connolly's strong constituent services; she told a story about how he was able to help resolve a situation for the seniors at Cobble Hill Apartments in East Somerville when their elevator needed an expedited inspection. She went on to highlight the fact that Rep. Connolly secured funding in the FY2018 state budget (and in a recent bond bill) to help mitigate I-93 air pollution.

Video from Senator Jehlen's speech is available here

Rep. Jay Livingstone spoke about how Rep. Connolly has been an active colleague in the House Progressive Caucus, working with other legislators to deliver results for constituents. He also talked about how Mike has been willing to file bold legislation, even when powerful interests are lined up on the other side. 

Councillor-elect Sumbul Siddiqui spoke about how she played a role on Mike's campaign last year as an active and early volunteer, and how in turn, Mike supported her and other municipal candidates in the city elections this year. 

And finally, Professor Lawrence Lessig delivered inspiring remarks about the need to get big money out of politics. He made the point that people on the Left and people on the Right are frustrated and disillusioned by the corrupting influence of money in politics, and how grassroots efforts help offer a way forward.

A clip from Lawrence Lessig's speech is available here.

The event was also attended by State Representative Denise Provost, State Senator Jamie Eldridge, Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, Cambridge City Councillor Jan Devereux, Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, Middlesex Registrar of Deeds Maria Curtatone, Democratic State Committee member and Democratic National Committee Woman Kate Donaghue, Cambridge School Committee Members Patty Nolan and Emily Dexter, former Cambridge City Councillor Minka vanBeuzekom, Somerville School Committee Member-elect Emily Ackman, Cambridge City Councillor-elect Quinton Zondervan, Somerville Aldermen-elect Will Mbah, Jesse Clingan, and Ben Ewen-Campen, Candidate for Governor Bob Massie, and recent Cambridge City Council candidate Vatsady Sivongxay.

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The Next Four Years

On December 3, I had the honor of speaking at The Next Four Years: Building Our Movements In Dangerous Times, an all-day conference organized by Massachusetts Peace Action. Our goal was to identify opportunities for organizing in the wake of this year's presidential election, in what has become an increasingly undemocratic, hawkish and xenophobic environment.

With hundreds of activists in attendance at Simmons College — and a diverse group of powerful speakers followed by interactive working group sessions — it was an inspiring experience for everyone involved.

I was asked to be the first speaker on the opening Issues Panel. Our discussion covered a range of topics, including racial justice, climate justice, economic justice, political reform, and peace. The video is posted above. Also featured are Joseph Gerson of the American Friends Service Committee, Emily Kirkland of 350.org Massachusetts, Elena Letona of Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts, and Rev. Paul Robeson Ford of the Union Baptist Church in Cambridge.

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Help our neighbors displaced by the fire

A 10-alarm fire ripped through the Wellington-Harrington neighborhood in the vicinity of Berkshire, Plymouth, and York Streets yesterday — affecting some fifteen buildings and displacing over 100 of our neighbors from their homes. Among the displaced are more than 60 affordable housing tenants at the former St. Patrick's Church.

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I was speaking at the Massachusetts Peace Action conference at Simmons College when my wife texted a photo from our street (seen here), showing a giant flame and an enormous plume of smoke at the other end of Donnelly Field. I quickly left the conference and made my way to the scene and spent the rest of the evening with other city officials and victims of the disaster at the War Memorial Center.

It was the largest fire in Cambridge since the 1980s. According to Chief Gerald Reardon, it was miraculous that there wasn't any loss of life. 

We are grateful for the incredible response from the Cambridge Fire Department, Cambridge Police Department, Somerville Fire Department, American Red Cross of Massachusetts, City of Cambridge staff, administrators, and officials, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and all of the other fire crews that were called in from around the region. It was a remarkable demonstration of courage, coordination, and professionalism by hundreds of first-responders in what was described by Chief Reardon as a "war zone."

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Thank you + our next steps

15036456_10101949217209897_2428999488426094693_n.jpgThank you to the 15,714 people who voted in Tuesday's election to make me the next State Representative for the 26th Middlesex District. It is an honor to be able to serve the public and the neighborhoods I love here in Cambridge and Somerville.

I want to say thank you to my wife Kacy and to the hundreds of friends, supporters, activists, organizations, staff and volunteers who all worked together to help make our people-powered campaign such a big success this year. Thanks as well to everyone who continued working for our successful No On 2 and Yes On 4 campaigns.

That said, these victories are overshadowed by the outcome of the presidential and congressional elections. For my part, I will remain committed as an activist and ally in my opposition to the racism, misogyny, xenophobia, ignorance, abusiveness, and hatred that has largely characterized the Trump campaign. His ascension to the presidency makes the work we are doing on the state-level and in our community all the more important.

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Endorsed by Massachusetts Nurses Association

MNA_logo_.pngThe Massachusetts Nurses Association is proud to announce its endorsement of Democrat Mike Connolly for State Representative in the 26th Middlesex District of Cambridge and Somerville. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8.

"Mike Connolly represents a new generation of leaders bringing fresh ideas to the State House," said Donna Kelly-Williams, Massachusetts Nurses Association President. "I am especially excited about his strong support of single-payer healthcare and his commitment to ensure safe staffing limits in all hospitals in Massachusetts. Mike will be a hard worker on Beacon Hill and the MNA is very pleased to support him," Kelly-Williams added.

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Endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund

C4_Massachusetts_Logo_Horz_Action_Pink_-_500px.pngPlanned Parenthood Advocacy Fund, the advocacy and political arm of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, recently announced their endorsement of Mike Connolly for the 26th Middlesex District seat of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8.

“Mike Connolly understands that access to sexual and reproductive health care and comprehensive sexuality education are essential for building healthy communities. We need allies like Mike Connolly in the State House to push the state forward with policies that put patients first, strengthen reproductive rights, and eliminate barriers to vital health care for women, men, and young people," said Jennifer Childs-Roshak, MD, MBA, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts.

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Thank you Cambridge and Somerville

In the first contested Democratic primary in the 26th Middlesex District in over a decade, our campaign won with 54% of the vote.

Thank you to the friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, organizations, staff, and volunteers who came together to make this victory possible. Most importantly, thank you to the voters of Cambridge and Somerville who have placed their confidence in me to be our next State Representative. I still have a general election in November, but I will be the only name on the ballot. 

I am so, so proud of our grassroots campaign and all of our staff and volunteers. Our success was only possible because of your efforts and constant support.

I also want to express my deepest respect for Representative Tim Toomey. His lifelong commitment and continued service to the people of Cambridge and Somerville is without comparison. We are all so very fortunate to live in a diverse community where the spirit of civic engagement and concern for our neighbors is so incredibly strong. We must continue working together to make progress for everyone.

To everyone who came together to provide me with this opportunity to serve in the state legislature, I am so incredibly grateful. I cannot wait to get started working for you. I know — now, more than ever — that when we work together and stick to our principles, we can accomplish great things!


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