Legislators are elected to help people. Some think their responsibility stops with constituents; others have a broader sense of responsibility to the earth, humanity, and global concerns. This is who I want representing me.
When it comes to immigration issues, I want legislators to take action against the Trump administration’s enlistment of local police in increasingly brazen and cruel roundups of desperate and paperless refugees. But the majority of Bristol County legislators are profound disappointments. Most coast to re-election without challengers. Instead of democracy we have political machinery and patronage in Bristol County. And with a few exceptions, we get hacks instead of leaders as a result.
Hall of Fame
I am grateful to the following state representatives and senators for stepping up to support the Safe Communities Act. It takes guts and principle and that broader sense of responsibility to help suffering human beings, whether they can vote for you or not.
- Rep. Antonio F. D. Cabral, 13th Bristol (H.3573)
- Rep. James K. Hawkins, 2nd Bristol (H.3573)
- Sen. Paul R. Feeney, Bristol and Norfolk (S.1401 is the Senate version)
- Sen. Rebecca L. Rausch, Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex (S.1401)
Wall of Shame
The Republicans on the list below all belong on the Wall of Shame. Their party has become a rotting husk and a personality cult whose immigration policy is literally written by white supremacists. No surprise that Massachusetts Republicans march in lockstep with White House immigration advisor Stephen Miller, who proposed deporting Central American DACA recipients in railroad boxcars.
But the Democrats on this list? To be charitable, if they don’t share the xenophobia of their Republican friends, then their only excuse is that they are cowardly machine politicians afraid of angering rightwing police unions and some of their more racist constituents. Everyone on the list below will protest that they’re not racists or xenophobes — and a few can even point to programs they’ve funded which help disadvantaged communities.
But when it’s time to show their mettle, they are invariably too timid to help refugees whose lives have been upended by war, climate change, political instability, or hunger. Their love of humanity is conditional and narrow, reserved only for campaign contributors and potential voters. For refugees they look away, and for that — Democrat or Republican — they ought to be deeply ashamed.
- Rep. Jay Barrows
- Rep. Carole Fiola
- Rep. Patricia Haddad
- Rep. Christopher Hendricks
- Rep. Steven Howitt
- Rep. Christopher Markey
- Rep. Shaunna O’Connell
- Rep. Norman Orrall
- Rep. Elizabeth Poirier
- Rep. Paul Schmid
- Rep. Alan Silvia
- Rep. William Straus
- Senator Michael Brady
- Senator Mark Montigny
- Senator Marc Pacheco
- Senator Michael Rodrigues
- Senator Walter Timilty