As I crisscross the state of Massachusetts to talk to voters and campaign to be their next Senator, I’ve gotten to hear what matters most to the people of the Commonwealth – issues like combating climate change and defending fundamental rights.
One of my favorite stops on the campaign trail so far was an event with young professionals. Hundreds of folks, just starting their careers, packed into a restaurant to share their stories and their concerns about the future. They reminded me of why I was so motivated to first run for office at the age of 24.
This election, like every election before it, is about the future.
It’s about expanding access to affordable health care. I supported President Obama’s health reform law that ensures every child has coverage and that young people can stay on their parent’s insurance plan until they turn 26.
It’s about making sure everyone who wants to go to college has the opportunity to afford it. I’ve supported full funding of Pell Grants and fought against efforts to raise interest rates on student loans.
It’s about protecting our planet. I co-wrote a bill to cut carbon pollution by 80 percent by 2050. That bill passed through the House but was killed in the Senate. If I’m elected, I’ll bring a green agenda to the Senate.
It’s about the simple idea of fairness. In 1996, I was one of just 67 members of Congress to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act that discriminates against same-sex couples. We should repeal DOMA because everyone should have the right to marry the person they love.
In some ways, however, one issue precedes all of these. That’s because it strikes at the heart of our democratic process. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United allows unlimited, undisclosed money into our democratic elections. We need a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United so that our values and votes win elections, not out-of-state money.
All elections are about the future, but they are animated by the values of the past. My father grew up on the first floor of a triple-decker in South Lawrence — one of five children in the shadow of the mills. I went back there a few years ago and rang the doorbell to see who lived there now. The door opened and it was a Dominican-American family with their children. The accents were different but the aspirations clearly the same. They want for their children what the Markeys wanted for theirs.
I think that’s the responsibility of anyone who goes to the United States Senate: to make sure every child, not just in Massachusetts, but across our country is able to achieve the American Dream.
I hope you’ll join me in the cause to expand opportunities for all Americans. Join me in propelling President Obama’s progressive agenda forward.
Join me, because together, we can make sure your generation and the next is more educated, more healthy, more prosperous and more just.