August 10, 2020

CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENTS RESPOND TO GLOBE EDITORIAL BOARD

“What concerns us most, however, is that the board seems to dismiss its colleagues’ reporting that Senator Markey does not spend very much time in Massachusetts, as if it doesn’t matter. As leaders from the kind of communities he doesn’t show up for, let us stress in no uncertain terms: It matters.”

WATERTOWN, MA –– On Sunday, city council presidents from Springfield, Lawrence, New Bedford, and Chelsea took to social media to share their response to the Boston Globe’s endorsement of Senator Ed Markey.

In response to the Globe’s endorsement of Senator Markey, the city council presidents representing four gateway cities, wrote to the editors disagreeing with their endorsement choice, especially in regards to climate change, which has disproportionately impacted their communities. The Globe did not publish their letter so they chose to share publicly on social media over the weekend.

https://www.facebook.com/kendrysvasquez

https://twitter.com/joelopes_nb/status/1292541743896895491

Read the full letter here:

TO: Boston Globe Editorial Board

FROM: Massachusetts Gateway City Council Presidents

Dear Editorial Board,

We write today to strongly disagree with the editorial board’s decision to endorse Senator Ed Markey in his primary race against Congressman Joe Kennedy III.

We agree with the board that the degradation of our climate and our environment is one of the defining issues of our time. We represent cities that know this in painful, visceral, personal terms. More than most other Massachusetts communities, it is our lungs that fill with dirty air, our greenspaces that disappear to toxic infrastructure, and our skies that cloud with airplane fuel and noise. It is our seawalls that shake, our neighborhoods that overheat, our streets that flood, and our waterways that churn with poison and pollution.

And it has been our voices that have been left out of this country’s climate and environmental power circles for 50 years. Senator Markey knows that. Because he’s been sitting at the table the entire time, while our people were clawing for a chair.

We don’t dispute the Senator’s leadership on spectrum technology and nuclear arms. With due respect, those issues don’t come up very much in our communities. What does come up is the exploitation of the American worker, the continued segregation of Massachusetts schools, the vicious legacy of mass incarceration, and the inability of most families to afford health care, child care, groceries and rent. We wish Senator Markey had been a leader on any one of those.

What concerns us most, however, is that the board seems to dismiss its colleagues’ reporting that Senator Markey does not spend very much time in Massachusetts, as if it doesn’t matter. As leaders from the kind of communities he doesn’t show up for, let us stress in no uncertain terms: It matters.

It matters because, if he walked among us, maybe he would remember us when he sat down to write legislation.

If you operate in or near this state’s halls of power, it can be easy to get comfortable. To mistake good intentions for progress. To reassure yourself that, so long as you criticize the status quo, you hold no particular responsibility to change it.

This is a mistake. And communities like ours have paid the price for this insular civic leadership for generations.

Sincerely,

Kendrys Vasquez, Lawrence City Council President

Justin Hurst, Springfield City Council President

Roy Avellaneda, Chelsea City Council President

Joseph Lopes, New Bedford City Council President