The primary election is less than a week away. Have you already voted by mail? You can track your ballot to ensure it has arrived at your election location. Massachusetts Primary Ballots must be received by 8:00 pm on September 1, 2020 at the appropriate election location in order to be counted. If you have not yet mailed your ballot, I recommend you take it to a designated drop box. For Boston look here for drop box locations. For Brookline drop your ballot off at Brookline Town Hall. Check with your city or town hall to enquire if you haven’t received your ballot.

Mailing in our ballots brings into sharp relief how differently we live our lives in a pandemic. While no one knows how long this public health crisis will last, we do know it will one day be behind us.
 
As I listened to speakers at the Democratic Convention last week, my heart co-mingled hope and determination. I am hopeful that the nation seems ready to rise above the divisive morass we’ve abided for four years of dangerously failed leadership at the national level. I am determined, with you, to take on the challenges of “Building Back Better” (the Democratic 2020 slogan).
 
The challenges
To Build Back Better requires courage and discernment to rebuild our economy, and our country, better. I challenge all of us to consider

  • Are we ready to forsake our political ties to corporate hegemonies in health care or housing?
  • Are we ready to tear down and rebuild the institutions that have extended Black enslavement into the 21st century in the name of a “public safety” defined through the eyes of fearful white suburbanites?
  • Are we ready to invest fully in our workers by ensuring job training and access, as well as living wages, for the most disenfranchised, disabled, and underemployed?
  • When our undocumented immigrant residents invest their hard-earned labor and taxes into our economy, are we ready to ensure their access to the roads, hospitals, and public universities they’ve helped pay for?
  • Are we ready to do whatever it takes to turn back climate change and heal our planet?
  • Are we ready to extend free and high-quality public education from early childhood through to the degrees required to establish a fulfilling career? 

Here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we ARE ready. In my first session I have witnessed cultural and policy tides beginning to turn in our legislature and beyond. Over the last two years we have:

  • committed to fully funding low-income school districts for the first time in history, and we’ve even agreed on how to do it.
  • started thinking bigger and more comprehensively about housing policy, working out tenant-landlord balanced strategies for a “Housing for All” platform that revives tenant protections from out-of-control markets and invests sufficient cash and assets towards affordable housing for low and middle-classed people.
  • committed to going fully renewable by 2050.
  • named structural racism and mass incarceration as ills created by our policies and have begun to own our responsibility to dismantle and rebuild our culture and infrastructure around policing and incarceration.
  • pushed the debate over whether our state flag can truly represent our best values while dishonoring and harming indigenous people.
  • begun working out financing and property tax relief mechanisms for our small businesses and property owners.

Moving forward
The work in these areas has admittedly produced incremental, and maybe even remedial, steps forward. Still, these small changes form the end of a long lever that lifts us toward truly equal opportunity and justice for all. As we continue to work hard and work together better, we will see more and bolder outcomes.
 
The pandemic may have slowed us down. It also strengthened our resolve. We continue to fight hard for justice, even harder than before. I am not alone. I feel I have more support than ever, as so many of us pull in the same direction to recover from our shared crisis and trauma. My hard-working colleagues inspire me as much as my constituents. This is a long fight, and I ask for your continued support to keep fighting.
 
As your representative on Beacon Hill
Over the last two years, I have remembered why you trusted me with your vote. I have worked to maintain, and grow, that trust. (I am proud of the work we have done together. Keep a look out for session highlights in our next newsletter). I humbly ask for your vote this primary election.
 
I also ask that you rally behind our national and local democratic leadership to ensure we oust one of the most dangerous political administrations to threaten our democracy. We must do all we can to turn the White House and Congress deep, progressive blue in order to ensure we have a chance at a healthy and equitable recovery from COVID-19. We must do all we can to send the boldest progressives we have to our Massachusetts delegation.
 
Thank you for all you are doing to help our communities and our democracy heal and grow. Justice for all is within reach when we fight the fight together. It is my honor to represent you in the battle for justice. Happy voting on, or before, September 1st!
 
Stay safe and be well,
 
Rep Nika
 
A quick note from Team Nika: Are you walking around the pond with a mask on? Taking a bike ride? Doing some errands in Hyde Square? Wear your Nika gear and post it! We are so grateful to #TeamNika for modeling being safe and conscientious.