Sunday, August 29, 2010

Endorsement: Sonia Chang-Diaz

With the State House in the background, the hosts of a recent meet and greet for State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz gather around the candidate. From left to right: Myrialis Moran-Nieves, Dave Greenwold, Kim Jennings, Khadijah Britton, Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, me, Pat McDonough and Pat Amend.
On a Beacon Hill rooftop
August 26, 2010

It's hard to be an elected official right now. It's especially hard to be a first-term elected official. I kind of get the feeling when State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz took office less than two years ago, she realized she didn't have time to rest on her laurels. It's been a whirlwind several months, during which time my State Senator has not stood still. Just this summer she stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Gov. Deval Patrick when he signed into law CORI reform, something desperately needed. CORI is a process by which information about arrests is kept available to potential employees; the reform bill shortened the time such information is kept.

There's so much more for the young Chang-Diaz to do, and she has the same energy level as when I first met her back in 2008. I am voting to send her back for (at least) two more years, most immediately in the Mass. State Primary on September 14.

What I have learned while Sonia has been in the Senate is that while her district is the most diverse in the state, its residents really do share a lot of similar priorities and concerns. We all want better schools. We all want safe streets. We all want an economic environment where everyone who wants a job can find one. We all want to raise families in the city.

A former schoolteacher, Sen. Chang-Diaz shares these priorities. She has ideas for improving public schools throughout Massachusetts, and in Boston specifically. She is focused on the root causes of youth violence in the city. On a much more tactical level, Sonia is against casinos in Massachusetts, because she knows they draw revenue disproportionately from the poor and do not spur economic activity outside of the casino walls.

Beyond her stances on issues, Chang-Diaz represents a new type of elected official in Boston. She has the courage and integrity to say what she believes and stand by her beliefs, even if this "say it like it is" approach doesn't make everyone happy. I think we need to see a lot more outward courage in our elected officials, especially when the cause is right. For Sonia, her causes are ones I agree with. And I like that she will be on Beacon Hill fighting for them on my behalf.

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