By now, nearly every American has seen the terrible images of children being torn from their families, heard the sound of children begging immigration officers to call their relatives. Those images and sounds are the truth of what has been happening at our border because of Donald Trump’s despicable and immoral immigration policies. Now, the Administration officials who said they could easily reunite children and parents are failing to meet a court order to do so, because it turns out they can’t do what they said. I traveled to the Texas border a few weeks ago to get more information about what the federal government is doing to families there. Along with Congressional colleagues, I traveled to the Centralized Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, where those who are detained at the border are first sent.
Pride Month is over, but a conversation is just beginning in our communities about what's being called the most controversial ballot question this Election Day: the question of whether to continue upholding our Commonwealth's transgender protections law. This weekend marks the anniversary of the law, which passed in the legislature two years ago and went into effect in October 2016. The law ensured basic protections for transgender people from discrimination in public places -- such as restaurants, stores, and doctors' offices -- and, yes, it includes protections in restrooms as well. Shortly after the law went into effect, a small but vocal group collected the small number of signatures needed to force it onto the ballot this November. Last week, dozens of local Jamaica Plain residents came together to have a very honest conversation here in our own backyard about what this law means and who it affects.
Prosecutors are so conditioned to win at all costs that they have lost their nerve to test the waters in the name of justice. Currently, when corporate executives steal we use civil statutes to punish with fines. These fines help but often employers treat them as a price of doing business, and go right back to the same behavior. They need to face consequences they fear, not ones that they can afford. As a progressive, I believe we need to criminally prosecute heads of companies, contractors, and subcontractors who willingly break the law for pure greed.
Two friends, Kristin and Kieran, were in a coffee shop on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain with two of their friends. Both sets of friends had kids who were two or three years old, and the kids were running around unchecked. Nearby sat an older man, who was rustling his newspaper. My friends were in the midst of a conversation with their friends about whether to stay in JP or move because their kids were getting old enough that they needed to consider schools. They talked on: “Oh my God, BPS, are we going to keep our kids here or are we going to just yank them and move?” As they talked, Kristin noticed the newspaper rustle more and more while the kids ran around.
I am marching in the Boston Pride Parade, and I’m both excited and sobered. I’m excited because the celebration of our LGBTQ+ communities is full of joy, laughter, and camaraderie. I'm sobered because in the face of anti-LGBTQ+ court decisions, slow-moving local LGBTQ+ legislation, and a state ballot initiative that’s only necessary because so many people want to reverse much-needed protection for transgender rights, I’m reminded that we have so far to go. What’s more, as we approach Pride, we also approach the anniversary of the Pulse Club shootings in Orlando. On June 12, 2016, 49 people’s lives were lost at the hand of hate.