With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, protests around racial justice, and the presidential election all dominating headlines, the Massachusetts Democratic primary for U.S. Senate has flown under many people’s radar. However, voting for the right Senate candidate in this race could not be more important. The Senate is crucial to passing legislation that addresses the many crises facing our nation ranging from climate change to income inequality. It is also a chamber structurally biased against progressives and one in need of strong liberal voices to drive the debate around the solutions our country needs. With his strong voting record, his years of dedicated service, and his active role in spearheading progressive policy, Ed Markey is the voice Massachusetts needs and MIT Democrats proudly endorses his candidacy for U.S. Senate.
Ed Markey grew up in a working-class family in Malden. He understands what it is like to be crushed by student loan debt—to pay for college, he worked as an ice cream truck driver. After graduating from Boston College, Ed Markey attended Boston College Law School. He was first elected to Congress in 1976 and served in the House of Representatives until 2013 when he was elected to the Senate. Throughout his tenure in Congress, he has been a pioneer in producing progressive legislation.
Ed Markey is a national leader in the fight against the climate crisis. Together with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, he co-authored the Green New Deal, a landmark proposal that has brought the issue of climate change to the forefront of the Democratic party’s platform. It calls for a transition to 100% clean energy over the course of the next ten years while creating millions of new jobs. Long before this, Ed Markey established his strong track record of environmental policy achievements, including setting efficiency standards for household appliances (1987), fuel economy standards for vehicles (2007), and a cap and trade system for curbing greenhouse gas emissions (Waxman-Markey bill, 2009).
During the current crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and police brutality, Ed Markey has been a strong advocate for economic and racial justice. Last month, he co-sponsored the RISE Act, a bipartisan bill that would provide $26 billion in relief funding for scientific research. He also recently introduced legislation to end qualified immunity for law enforcement officers, which would enable them to be held accountable in court for use of excessive force or brutality.
The nature of the two-senators-per-state representation in the Senate (as opposed to population-based representation in the House) is inherently biased against progressive voices. While many Democratic Senate candidates have to moderate their policy stances to win statewide in purple or red states, in Massachusetts we have the opportunity, as a solid-blue state, to send an unabashedly liberal voice to the Senate. Ed Markey has been this voice throughout his career. His introduction of the Green New Deal serves as a prime example of how progressive policy has driven mainstream Democratic policies (like Joe Biden’s climate plan) to become increasingly ambitious in order to meet this important moment. While Joe Kennedy has served as a suitable representative for Massachusetts’ 4th congressional district, this primary represents our one chance to send a genuine progressive to the Senate to truly drive the much-needed debates and champion progressive causes. With his solid voting record, history of service to the people of Massachusetts, and real leadership on the most important issues of the day, Ed Markey is undoubtedly the best choice for our senator.
For non-partisan information on how to register for and vote in the Massachusetts primary, check out MITvote’s website here.
Our endorsement process: MIT Democrats hosted a discussion event about the Massachusetts Senate primary. Afterwards, we held a vote among our membership, and Ed Markey won by a landslide. The following members of MIT Democrats assisted in writing this endorsement.
Seamus L, Graduate Student in Aerospace Engineering, Vice President of MIT Democrats
Carina B, Graduate Student in Physics, Member of MIT Democrats