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.


Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards made the trip across the river to share the work she is doing to tackle the housing crisis, emphasizing how it was created by policy decisions and how we can have bold, inventive policies to address it, including land trusts, vacancy taxes, land disposition ordinances, and PILOT reform with academic and nonprofit institutions. Councillor Edwards went on to explain that having strong allies in the State House is critical to her success: "We need progressives in the State House who are not just progressives in name but will advance a true agenda. And when we know we have Mike there, it’s a relief. It allows us to be more bold. It allows us to be more creative.”  Edwards re-iterated her support for keeping Mike in the State House, saying she is "proud to support Mike one-hundred percent because...he has a solidarity understanding."

Somerville Alderman JT Scott talked about housing issues from the local perspective, sharing that during his first four months in office, "right there by my side every step of the way has been Mike." Alderman Scott told the story of the largest condo conversion in Somerville history at the Millbrook Lofts, where the developer of a 100-unit apartment building suddenly decided to "go condo," putting 15 units of affordable housing at risk. JT said, "When we called Mike, he did not hesitate for a moment to join the fight, and I will tell you we won that fight." After engaging in negotiations with the tenants, other local officials, the developer, and legal service attorneys, Rep. Connolly and Alderman Scott were proud to support a compensation deal for tenants that will include protecting all of the affordable units in perpetuity as well as moving expenses and $10,000 for every market-rate tenant who moves.

Cambridge Resident Beth Huang spoke about how thankful she is to have a strong progressive, democratic socialist representing her on Beacon Hill.  As one of the leaders of the Raise Up Massachusetts campaigns for a $15 minimum wage and Paid Family and Medical Leave, she has works closely with many members of the legislature, and was effusive in her praise for Mike: "On every issue that I work on, from raising the minimum wage for all workers across the Commonwealth, to ensuring safety and security for immigrant communities, Mike Connolly is with us one-hundred percent. He is a champion of working people, of marginalized communities and our districts’ values."

Mike concluded the event by offering a "small snippet" of some of his accomplishments and priorities during his first-term in office. Some of the highlights include:

  • Transportation. Mike talked about how, when he entered office, the Green Line Extension was "in a state of limbo," but now, as a result of the consistent advocacy of the state delegation and our community, the GLX is finally happening. Likewise, he talked about how the Somerville Community Path Extension was saved from proposed cuts by the Baker Administration.

  • Housing: As part of the Housing Committee, Mike helped advance a $1.8 billion housing bond bill which will fund programs that have already successfully helped support 100% affordable housing at Port Landing and Bishop Allen Drive.  Additionally, his bill to enable municipalities to impose a Real Estate Transfer Fee was reported favorably out of committee, clearing the crucial first legislative hurdle.

  • Education: Mike talked about his visit to the UMass Boston campus and highlighted legislation he co-sponsored which would bring universal Pre-K to the Commonwealth, as well as legislation he supports to implement the Foundation Budget Review Recommendations of increased funding to local schools.

  • Criminal Justice Reform:  Mike reported on the tremendous step forward that was accomplished when the legislature passed comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform, including the elimination of ten different mandatory minimum sentences, as well as progressive changes to virtually all aspects of the criminal justice system.

  • Worker Rights:  Mike highlighted the victory of the Local 264 Machinists’ Union against the Baker Administration’s plans to to privatize MBTA jobs.  Mike and his colleagues stood up and succeeded in getting the Baker administration to back down, saving hundreds of good jobs and ensuring better service for the riding public.

  • Economic Justice:  Mike was proud to cast one of his first votes in the legislature to support taking the Millionaire’s Tax to the ballot, which would raise $2 Billion per year to support education and transportation by increasing the tax on incomes over a million dollars a year.



Photo credit:  Paul Brymer 


Congressman Mike Capuano, Photo Credit Paul Brymer



Photo Credit:  Paul Brymer



Photo Credit:  Paul Brymer



Photo credit:  Paul Brymer




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