The Democratic candidates for the primary election for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by former Sen. John Kerry were asked to provide a 500 word or less statement for voters.
They are presented here in alphabetical order based on candidate’s last names.
By Congressman Stephen Lynch
Bringing your voice to the Senate
When I was a kid, my dad used to joke that sometimes things were so bad we, “had to save up to be poor.” We lived in the Old Colony housing projects in South Boston, and my parents often struggled to provide for my five sisters and me. We were short on material wealth, but we always knew we would be OK, because we were raised to believe in a better future.
For too many families in Massachusetts and around the country, that better future is slipping further out of reach. Unfair trade deals create foreign markets for American jobs, but not American products. The cost of higher education prices kids out, or burdens them with tremendous debt. Insurance premiums keep rising, while income levels are stagnant. Even Social Security – the safety net that provides a basic retirement for our seniors – is under attack.
Unfortunately, Americans looking for help cannot rely on the Washington establishment. Partisan gridlock has ensnared Congress, and party politics push members to further extremes of the left and the right, leaving no room for common sense solutions in the middle. During my time in Congress, I have tried to vote in the best interest of my constituents, and that has sometimes put me out of step with party leadership. But I don’t work for Nancy Pelosi, and I won’t work for Harry Reid. I work for the people of Massachusetts, because I understand your concerns.
For 18 years, I strapped on my work boots and climbed the iron as an ironworker – I know what it’s like to stand in an unemployment line, never knowing when that next job will come. I put myself through college and law school – I know what’s it like to struggle under the weight of student loans. My parents live just down the block – I know what it’s like for seniors to worry if Social Security will be enough to protect them in retirement. Like many working families in Massachusetts, I spent many days worrying about jobs, schools and paying the bills.
The U.S. Senate is called the world’s most exclusive club. The average Senator is worth $13 million. Very few of them have worked in the real world. Fewer still have ever struggled in life. The Senate is in desperate need of people who have shared the burdens of the people they represent and understand what average Americans are facing in their daily lives.
In the Senate I will work to create jobs by investing in infrastructure and supporting fair trade deals that eliminate incentives for companies to ship jobs overseas. I will lead efforts to establish universal preschool and make college more affordable. I will ensure that our veterans have the services they need when they come home. And I will fight to defend Social Security and Medicare against any cuts.
Most importantly, I will work to restore your faith in a better future. I am Stephen Lynch, and I will bring your voice to the Senate, and make sure it’s heard.
For more information on Stephen Lynch go to www.stephenflynch.com
By Congressman Ed Markey
As voters go to the polls for the special election primary on April 30 to fill Secretary of State John Kerry’s vacant Senate seat, they also will decide who they believe will best deliver action on the issues that matter most to Massachusetts.
I’ve been honored to represent Somerville’s neighboring congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives to take on the tough issues to move the Commonwealth and the country forward.
I believe we should invest in our roads, bridges and transit systems – the building blocks that make businesses grow and communities thrive. I agree with Mayor Joseph Curtatone that our economy here in Massachusetts can’t reach its full potential without a first-class transportation system to support it.
In the Senate, I will advocate for transportation projects, including the Green Line extension that Mayor Curtatone and the community have fought so hard to make a reality.
Nothing demonstrates transit’s importance to economic development more than the new Orange Line station at Assembly Square, which has unleashed $1 billion in private investments, adding 23,000 permanent jobs and thousands more construction jobs.
I believe health care is a right and not a privilege, which is why supporting President Obama’s health care bill was the proudest vote of my career. The historic law cracks down on insurance company abuses, like denying Americans health coverage based on pre-existing conditions and charging women more than men for the same health plan. It ensures all kids have health coverage and that families aren’t bankrupted with medical bills if a loved one gets sick.
I also believe we owe it to the next generation to protect our planet. That’s why I’ve led the fight in Congress on climate change. I co-wrote a bill to cut dangerous carbon pollution by 80 percent by 2050. That legislation passed the House of Representatives, but with influence from Big Oil and corporate polluters, it failed to advance in the Senate. If I’m elected, I will champion comprehensive climate legislation in the Senate.
I believe women’s rights are human rights. I have been a cosponsor of the Violence Against Women Act and was proud to vote for the Lily Ledbetter Act that addresses inequalities in pay for women. I support a woman’s right to choose and expanded access to preventive health care services like contraception.
The act of terror we endured at the Boston Marathon was horrific and a senseless tragedy for our community, state and nation. As we continue to send our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families, I hope that, together, we will renew our resolve to move forward with a common purpose to create a safer and more secure future for generations to come.
That will be my mission in the United States Senate, and that’s why I ask the residents of Somerville for their vote on April 30.
For more information on Ed Markey go to www.edmarkey.com