It is impossible to ignore the dire need of our state to step up and protect immigrants across the Commonwealth. I have heard it from colleagues and constituents alike: we cannot wait any longer. We must do what we can right now. In spite of roadblocks and hateful rhetoric, I have remained dedicated to using my office to oppose racist and xenophobic policies that hurt our communities and bolster the efforts of tenacious advocates fighting every day to let immigrant voices be heard.
Last session, I was one of the first co-sponsors of the Safe Communities Act, a bill that would strengthen protections for immigrants and keep the work of local police departments separate from ICE. I believe that this legislation was a pragmatic and meaningful way to ensure trust in police in our communities while also creating safer communities. I was pleased that so many of you agreed with that goal and pushed me to advocate as hard as I could.
I worked within the legislature to organize the Progressive Caucus and meet with the Speaker. I had a one on one meetings with the Speaker to encourage him to bring the legislation to the floor. I took formal steps to push for the legislation (letters, meetings, etc…) and I took less formal approaches (conversations with colleagues and organizing). Your persistence and perspectives really helped guide me through the process of pushing the bill along.
Unfortunately, as many are aware, the bill ultimately did not come to a vote in the House. I was disappointed at our failure to ensure protections to our immigrants who are especially vulnerable under the Trump Regime.
But I don’t give up easily, and I know that you don’t either. I am going to continue to push for this piece of legislation to be voted on as soon as the 191th Formal Session begins in January. I’ll continue to push my colleagues and do whatever I can to be an advocate for immigrant families.
If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment below or email my office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. – Here is a letter that I penned to the Speaker encouraging him to move the Safe Communities Act to the floor last session.