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.
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.
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.
Addressing the crowd, Rep. Connolly talked about his background of growing up in public housing as well as the meaning of public service and a range of initiatives and accomplishments over the course of his first year in office. He highlighted "a small sample" of his first-term efforts, including:
- Co-sponsoring the Massachusetts Safe Communities Act and consistently being on the front lines of the effort to protect the civil rights of immigrants and refugees.
- Voting in support of the Fair Share Amendment; this will create a 4% surcharge on annual incomes in excess of one million dollars, with all of the proceeds going to bolster investments in transportation and education in our Commonwealth.
- Standing in support of organized labor and leading efforts to resist the privatization of the MBTA.
- Being a Pro-Choice champion and helping to lead the effort to protect and expand reproductive freedom in Massachusetts; filing legislation to advance priorities of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts.
- Pushing for 100% clean, renewable energy by filing ambitious renewable portfolio standard legislation.
- Strong, consistent advocacy in support of the Green Line Extension and the Somerville Community Path Extension, as well as the Grand Junction Path.
- Leading efforts to protect affordable housing as a member of the legislature's Joint Committee on Housing; working on the five-year Housing Bond Bill; co-sponsoring rent-to-own legislation and filing legislation to create a real estate transfer fee to support affordable housing; securing a budget-item to support housing voucher programs and helping grad students win a commitment from MIT to build 950 beds of new graduate student housing.
The Committee to Elect Mike Connolly is pleased to report that more than 250 supporters have already contributed to our end-of-year fundraising effort. If you would like to support Rep. Connolly's work with an end-of-year contribution, please visit our NationBuilder contribute page or our ActBlue page or make checks payable to the Committee to Elect Mike Connolly and send to 4 Ashburton Place, Unit #1, Cambridge MA 02139. Thank you!