(*Note: This platform is from the 2020 campaign and may include some dated references or broken links)
Massachusetts is facing serious challenges that require bold leadership
Our public transportation system has been chronically underfunded for too long, leaving it unsafe, unreliable, and out of reach to too many communities. This forces more and more commuters on to our crowded and crumbling roads and bridges.
Housing costs are pushing an entire generation out of Greater Boston. Communities fiercely debate over individual projects while we miss the forest for the trees – mid-sized, modest housing is essentially illegal to build in most cities and towns.
Climate change is not a future problem, it’s today’s problem. Residents are already being impacted by historic storms and flooding, and escalating flood insurance costs. Sea level rise will impact our district within my lifetime. We need a thoughtful discussion about mitigation.
We also need to urgently move away from fossil fuels and push for 100% clean, renewable energy – a transition that will not only make our air and water cleaner, but will also create a new generation of good jobs.
The working class jobs of the future are arriving in Greater Boston, but community college, associate’s degrees and job training programs remain out of reach to too many people due to cost or lack of access.
Even during periods of economic growth, too many are left behind. Too many children, families, and veterans are homeless – and countless more are one stroke of misfortune away from being homeless. Our friends and neighbors who struggle with addiction face too many barriers to receiving services and support that we know work. Hard-working families are finding it increasingly challenging to keep up with the costs of healthcare, housing and education.
To tackle these challenges, we need ambitious leadership that pushes to change the status quo and leave behind a better Commonwealth.
We know Massachusetts is capable of rising to the occasion.
Massachusetts was the first state to commit to free public education for all; the first state to offer public libraries in the US; the first to guarantee health insurance as a right to all residents; and the first to say that anyone’s love, gay or straight, is equal in the eyes of the law.
We know we can address the challenges of the future. But meeting these challenges will require hard work and determined leadership. I am ready to deliver that leadership for Revere, Chelsea and Saugus.
On The Issues:
Building a Stronger Commonwealth
My commitment to the State House Transparency Pledge — committing making my votes public, and pushing for more transparency on Beacon Hill
My plan to create pathways to good, middle-class jobs by investing in vocational and technical education, eliminating the waiting list for vocational programs, strengthening workforce development programs, and expanding access to free community college.
In 2016, I was proud to be part of the team that pushed to open the Substance Use Disorder Initiatives office in Revere, providing additional resources to people in our community seeking treatment for substance abuse.
Since the office opened, overdose deaths in Revere have decreased by over 40%. But we still have more work to do – locally, and across the state, to reduce stigma and increase access to treatment.
Protect and Defend Women’s Health
At a time when a woman’s right to choose, birth control, and women’s reproductive health in general is under attack at the federal level, we need strong state-level leadership that commits to protecting access to women’s reproductive health in state law.
Protecting Residents with Disabilities
My plan to support seniors by tackling healthcare and housing costs, supporting mobility, and building community
My plan to support small businesses by investing in critical infrastructure, reducing barriers to competition and success, and strengthening job training
Seven policies I will fight for to protect labor rights – including cracking down on wage theft, building the pipeline to good jobs, and giving workers a stronger voice in safety regulations
We must ensure essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis don’t have to choose between keeping themselves and their coworkers safe and putting food on their family’s table
Let’s give teachers the tools they need to help every child succeed – including full implementation of the Student Opportunity Act, Universal Pre-K, and 20 minutes of daily unstructured recess time for kids age K-5.
I also stand with Revere educators who may be facing layoffs in the coming months due to the budget crisis, and call on the state to do more to ensure educators’ jobs are protected going into a fall semester where they will be more needed than ever.
My plan to reduce healthcare expenses by lowering prescription drug costs & ending surprise medical billing
I’m proud to be endorsed by Massachusetts Voters for Animals. With my partners in the animal protection movement, we’ll fight to crack down on the illegal ivory trade & protect consumers and animals from “puppy mills” and other cruel practices.
Supporting immigrant families
With the capricious and random policies of the Trump administration that have torn apart families and created fear even in immigrant communities that have done everything right, like foreign students studying at American universities, and Muslim families with legal status who found themselves subject to Trump’s attempts to create a ‘travel ban,’ Massachusetts needs to make sure our immigrant families feel welcome and included in Massachusetts civic life. This means supporting cultural and organizing initiatives to connect with immigrant neighborhoods; supporting the work of Human Rights Commissions in our communities; using our platform as State Representatives to fight for broader reforms to immigration policy at the national level; using our voice to protect DACA recipients and those who have received temporary protected status; and passing the Safe Communities Act and the Family Mobility Act so that Massachusetts resources aren’t squandered on backwards policies that reduce trust between immigrant families and law enforcement.
Addressing our Regional Housing Crunch
We need to take action to legalize in-law apartments. Many homeowners in our district already have in-law apartments that date back to before current zoning laws – let’s make sure our codes reflect that.
We must reform and fund our local housing authorities, so we can repair and strengthen our public housing stock, invest in workforce housing, and rethink our land use policies.
My thoughts on legislation we can pass to show our gratitude to nurses – including emergency paid sick time, safe staffing levels in hospitals, and ensuring taxpayer funds are going to supporting frontline medical professionals rather than profits and executive pay.
My plan to fight for clean air, clean water, healthier communities, and 100% clean, renewable energy
Revere, Chelsea and Saugus are three of the hardest-hit communities from COVID-19; here’s how I’ll fight for the resources we need from the state to recover
We can make our communities safer by investing in treating mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, and hunger.
My plan to improve voter turnout, protect our election from the impacts of coronavirus by making absentee voting available to all, and strengthen our democracy.
My plan to support veterans by working to end veteran homelessness, expand access to mental health services, and improve educational access for veterans’ families.
We need to modernize permitting, to encourage new businesses with creative ideas to flourish. Regulations designed to protect public safety are good and necessary; those whose purpose is to entrench the status quo are not.
Expanding Access to High Speed Internet
Now more than ever, internet service is a necessity, but consumers are faced with an expensive lack of options. Massachusetts needs to do more to ensure residents of all communities have affordable internet access, including exploring public broadband programs.
Every candidate fills out questionnaires when seeking the endorsements of unions and other groups. When I get permission to do so, I will post questionnaires I have filled out for public review, in an attempt to be as transparent as possible.
Progressive Massachusetts questionnaire: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/progressivemass/pages/5530/attachments/original/1591183674/16th_Suffolk_Questionnaire_-_Joe_Gravellese.pdf?1591183674