Letter: Top Ten Reasons to Vote for Jeffrey Sanchez

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Here are my Top Ten Reasons to Vote for Jeffrey Sanchez.

1. As the newly appointed chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Jeffrey Sanchez is the highest ranking Latino politician in the history of Massachusetts. A recent report on Latinos from USA Today states: “By a number of socioeconomic measures – poverty, income, educational attainment, unemployment, and incarceration – Massachusetts has the worst inequality between its white and Hispanic residents of any state in the U.S.” We need Jeffrey in a leadership position to address this gross inequity.

2. Jeffrey Sanchez was a sponsor of the Safe Communities Act. He will continue to work with his colleagues, the immigrant community and activists to pass this legislation. (A recent social media post by the right-wing Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance which portrayed Sanchez as an enemy of the immigrant community was a cynical attempt by this conservative dark money organization to hurt Sanchez and unfortunately many progressives fell into the trap.) Mayor Walsh recently credited Sanchez as being a major factor in making Boston a sanctuary city.

3. As a Puerto Rican raised in the Mission Hill projects, Jeffrey understands the issues and needs of the thousands of residents in his district that live in public housing. He has made these residents his #1 priority. Social justice is not just a theoretical concept for Jeffrey.

4. In the last MA budget, with his clout, Jeffrey secured $48M in bonds for development projects in Hyde-Jackson Square, known as Boston’s Latin Quarter. These funds will go towards the redevelopment of the Mildred Hailey Apartments, hundreds of units of affordable housing in Jackson Square, and for projects related to the development of the Latin Quarter Cultural District. We need Sanchez in office to use his clout to release these bonds. If you want the Latin Quarter to be a vibrant, diverse cultural district and become a hub of Afro-Latin arts, Sanchez is your candidate.

5. Sanchez is the most progressive House Ways and Means chair in Massachusetts history who just led the passage of the most progressive budget in Massachusetts history, including $1.8 billion for affordable housing. When billion dollar decisions are being made at the State House, Jeffrey is often the only person of color in the room.

6. Sanchez has been endorsed by organizations such as NARAL-Pro Choice, Planned Parenthood, Mass Equality, and progressive women leaders such as Attorney General Maura Healey, City Councilor Michelle Wu, and Anne Rousseau, co-chair of JP Progressives.

7. There are over 25,000 youth of color living within a 1.5 mile radius of Jackson Square. For the past 16 years, these youth have been promised a recreation center. Rep. Sanchez has secured a $7 million bond which will complete the fundraising for a $30M+ state-of-the art facility. We need him in office to push for the release of this bond.

8. Sanchez has been endorsed by the Environmental League of Massachusetts. At a recent press conference a spokesperson from this organization said: “No one knows the impacts of climate change like Chairman Sánchez. He sees the impacts on public health and well-being. He’s spent his whole career working to increase renewables and energy efficiency.” Jeffrey has been a leader in making the local parks (like Jamaica Pond) safer for all users, promoting physical activity, cleaner air & water, healthy environment and healthy people.

9. Before taking the Chair of Ways and Means, Jeffrey was the House Chairman of the Health Financing Committee. John E. McDonough, former Jamaica Plain state rep who is now a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recently said, “We are number 1 in the nation in terms of the lowest rate of uninsured of the 50 states. We have an affordability structure in this state that is far better than what is in the Affordable Care Act because Jeff Sanchez has maintained the affordability that the state invests in.”

10. Jeffrey is a great salsa dancer!

Ken Tangvik is the Director of Organizing and Engagement for the Hyde Square Task Force.