As a proud Massachusetts progressive and a passionate environmentalist, I’m enthusiastically endorsing Joe Kennedy III in the 2020 Senate primary—he shares the values, urgency, and commitment to social and economic justice that define my generation. Joe is the progressive leader we need because he will fight for the systemic changes necessary to save our planet and achieve our values.
I chair the Boston City Council’s Environment, Sustainability, and Parks Committee, and see combating climate change as not only a legislative priority, but also an urgent moral obligation we all share. Here in Boston, we are increasing themunicipal renewable portfolio standard(RPS) and advocating to incentivize the construction ofnet zero carbon buildingsfor a healthier and cleaner environment. Joe has always supported our efforts in Boston, statewide environmental policy in Massachusetts, and the most impactful legislation in Congress.
Joe is an original co-sponsor of both the Green New Deal and the 100% Clean Economy Act, which set aggressive agendas to reach net-zero emissions. He supports the recent House Resolution to declare a climate emergency. On both the House Science and House Energy & Commerce Committees, Joe has a consistent record of fighting for climate action and holding fossil fuel companies accountable, working to keep the Clean Power Plan intact, prohibit oil and gas drilling off of New England’s coast, maintain strong fuel efficiency standards, and eliminate exemptions from the Clean Air Act.
In the Commonwealth, Joe has championed offshore wind, not only to reach our renewable energy goals, but also to mobilize our local and regional economies to deliver good jobs to Massachusetts. He has spearheaded efforts to create a ‘Blue Economy’ hub in his district, which would allow Massachusetts to lead in renewable energy while protecting vulnerable coastal communities, preserving ocean ecosystems, and tackling marine pollution.
Don’t just take it from me. Joe has a 95 percent lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters, a 100 percent voting record with Clean Water Action, and has been endorsed by the Sierra Club in all of his past elections. His progressivism is intersectional and its merits extend beyond environmental groups: he has a 100 percent record with both Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice, and 89 percent with the ACLU.
I’m lucky to be part of a legislative body in Boston that understands the urgency of the climate crisis and has voted unanimously for environmental initiatives like my plastic bag reduction ordinance. In contrast, we all know the GOP-controlled US Senate is where climate legislation goes to die. Republican senators representing a minority of Americans have held up climate and other progressive legislation that America and the world needs.
Joe’s commitment to overcoming that systemic barrier is the reason he will be the best fighter for our values. Joe understands that big, progressive reform can only be achieved if we tackle the old systems that have stunted change for generations. He has called for eliminating the filibuster, ending the electoral college, and instituting term limits for the Supreme Court. He has taken the lead in ensuring that corporate influence stays out of this race, calling for a People’s Pledge and rejecting corporate PAC donations. For our rising generation, these systemic reforms are not just a good idea in a laundry list of progressive ideas—they are the change that makes all other change possible.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Joe shows up. That’s why I will show up for him every day of this campaign. His vociferous critiqueof the GOP’s attempt to strip health care away from millions roused the entire nation. When news broke about child separation, he was there at the border reminding us that “humanity does not require a green card.” He stood on the frontlines here in Massachusetts with transgender kids and their familiesto fight against discrimination. He urges this country to confront its legacy of economic injusticeand build a system measured “not just by how much it produces but how widely it shares.” At home in his district, he is known for being everywhere. He calls. He emails. He checks in. He responds. Progressive change is about people who are willing to get in the trenches, wrestle with the tough stuff, and fight even when national attention is elsewhere. That’s the kind of U.S. senator Massachusetts deserves – and the kind of U.S. senator I know Joe Kennedy will be.