To the Editor:
Many have made the Massachusetts Democratic Senate primary race a referendum on progressive versus moderate Democrats. But Congressman Kennedy is just as, if not more, progressive than Senator Markey. In truth, this primary is also about much more.
Any serious look at the facts show that Kennedy is a progressive champion. He was an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, has a 95 percent lifetime rating from the League of Conservation voters, and speaks about the intersectional nature of climate change on a routine basis.
He has filed multiple environmental justice bills that focus on our frontline communities of color. There is not a single vote in Kennedy’s history that suggests he is a friend to the fossil fuel industry, and his family trusts have divested from investments related to it. Kennedy is also undoubtedly a leader on health care and mental and behavioral health, economic, and racial justice, and LGBTQIA+ rights and protections. He is the chair of the Congressional Transgender Equality Task Force, and demands civil rights for all.
For his relentless fight for justice, Kennedy has earned the endorsements of Martin Luther King III, the late Congressman John Lewis, Dolores Huerta, Reverend William Barber II, local activist Monica Cannon-Grant, and many other leading Black and brown elected officials. He has been endorsed by over 60 labor unions and is a proponent of Medicare for All, and a career-long advocate for mental health care.
Kennedy has the energy, will, and tenacity to lead change on the streets of Massachusetts, in the halls of Congress, and across the country. A review of Senator Markey’s record shows that it is littered with votes that have been to the right of the Democratic mainstream. To name just a few, Markey did not adopt a pro-choice stance until a decade after Roe v. Wade, he voted for the ‘94 Crime Bill that the ACLU condemned, and voted for the invasion of Iraq (when 60 percent of House Democrats, and 8 of 11 members of the Massachusetts delegation rejected it). And Markey touts the Green New Deal, but that was obviously powered last year by a superstar freshman — Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. What about the last 45 years?
These times demand another bold, strong senator from the Commonwealth. We should send Joe Kennedy to the US Senate, and watch a progressive champion lead the Commonwealth and the country forward.