State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz was the first-ever Latina elected to the Massachusetts state senate. Will she be the first-ever Latina governor? Time will tell. On Wednesday morning, Chang-Díaz (2nd Suffolk District), who was first elected in 2009, announced she was running for governor in the election slated for 2022. She would not be the first woman to be governor of Massachusetts, but she would be the first woman elected to be governor because Jane Swift became governor after Paul Cellucci became U.S. Ambassador to Canada.
Jamaica Plain's state senator and mayoral candidates teamed up together to pack gift bags for seniors in celebration of Mothers Day to help a local nonprofit. Volunteers of America of Massachusetts (VOAMASS), a nonprofit that creates opportunities for individuals through residential and outpatient behavioral health treatment, re-entry for justice-involved individuals, veteran services and senior living, hosted the 26th Annual I Remember Mama on May 8, 2021. The event is a signature fundraiser that supports VOAMASS’s substance use recovery programs.
While the event traditionally includes a hotel ballroom brunch for roughly 200 senior mothers living in public housing throughout Boston, because of COVID-19 restrictions, VOAMASS packaged and delivered 200 gift bags to the women as a reminder of how much the community cherishes them. Two mayoral candidates John Barros and state Rep. Jon Santiago, joined state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz to help VOAMASS assemble the bags at Shiloh House, a residential recovery center for women with co-occurring behavioral health and substance use disorders in Jamaica Plain.
106 and counting. That's how many citizens, so far, have signed on as cosponsors to the Vaccine Equity Act after state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz implored people to do so. Chang-Díaz (D-2nd Suffolk) is a lead sponsor of the bill with Sen. Becca Rausch. People of color account for 51 percent of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts, but only 15 percent of those who’ve received vaccines to-date, according to statistics cited by Chang-Diaz. The bill would do the following things:
Require the governor to appoint a vaccine equity director whose sole focus is addressing vaccination disparities rooted in racism, government mistrust, and disparate access to information and resources
Require a robust outreach and communications campaign, both via mass media and direct grassroots tactics (like door-to-door canvassing), aimed at hardest-hit communities
Create a mobile vaccination program for communities with highest COVID rates
Expand Stop the Spread sites to all Gateway Cities
Require transparency about vaccine distribution and implementation plans, including tracking the 20 percent additional doses committed to most-vulnerable communities, the number of unused doses, and key demographic data on vaccinations
The coalition petition also asked Governor Charlie Baker to immediately direct $10 million to trusted community organizations for outreach and engagement in communities of color.
Since Jan. 6's attempted coup at the Capitol a lot has happened in Washington DC, and at our state capital. Our Congressional representatives impeached the president, and our local state officials fought for a climate change bill vetoed by the governor. This is the last week in social media. Both of Jamaica Plain's Congressional Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Stephen Lynch voted to impeach President Trump for inciting insurrection.
State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz was one of the two senators who led the new police reform legislation from the Senate that Governor Charlie Baker signed into law on New Year's Eve. Along with Chang-Díaz (D-2nd Suffolk), State Sen. William Brownsberger (D-2nd Suffolk and Middlesex) was the other lead sponsor of the bill that the Senate proposed. Massachusetts' House and Senate had separate bills, and the governor came back with changes to their proposed legislation. Ultimately, Massachusetts' legislative and executive branches worked together to create legislation that creates numerous firsts to defeat structural racism. Chang-Díaz commented on the bill after Baker signed it into law.