In his 43-year career, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey has rarely been the underdog in an election. Markey, who first served in the U.S. House from 1976 to 2013 before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2013, has built an impressive resume as a champion of environmental issues, immigration rights, addressing opioid abuse, affordable health care and housing.
However, it’s 2019 and incumbents with a long history of fighting for their constituents carry little weight with the new generation of voters. Just ask former U.S. Congressman Michael Capuano who was unseated by Ayanna Pressley last year after serving 20 years in the House.
In September U.S. Congressman Joseph Kennedy III (D-Cape Cod) announced that he would challenge Markey in the 2020 election.
In response, Markey made a campaign stop last Tuesday at the East Boston Social Centers to rally his troops, and begin organizing his state campaign on the local level.
Markey was introduced by Rep. Adrian Madaro who has endorsed the U.S. Senator in his bid for reelection against the younger Kennedy.
“Sen. Markey has been a man that has been fighting for our community for decades, putting in the hard work on behalf of the people of Massachusetts,” said Madaro. “He’s been fighting to make important changes on the national level, changes that have transformed our communities for the better. There is no doubt he is a gifted leader and expert on policy. You can’t mention the name Ed Markey without talking about climate change because he’s been a stalwart champion of the environment for his entire career. He has a very strong record of fighting for progressive policies to address climate change and environmental justice that impacts coastal communities like East Boston.”
Before turning the microphone over to Markey Madaro added that at a time of division in the country over immigration, gay rights and other issues Markey has emerged a voice for those who have been marginalized.
“We have this incredible man fighting to make the U.S. more inclusive,” said Madaro. “As we know here in East Boston diversity is our strength and Sen. Markey has defended immigration rights, a women’s right to chose, gay rights, you name it he has fought to make the country a better place for all people.”
Markey thanked the crowd of community organizers for coming to the Social Centers to be part of his reelection.
“I can feel the grassroots efforts happening all across the Commonwealth,” said Markey “We have big issues that we have to fight for. That’s what I do and have been doing every single day in the Senate. I stand up and fight for you. I stand up and fight for the people in East Boston and surrounding communities.”
As a community heavily impacted by the opioid crisis that swept across America, Markey recently called on funding changes to the American HealthCare Act because it could “very literally translate into a death spiral for those with opioid use disorders” due to inadequate funding, often resulting in individuals abandoning substance use disorder treatment.
Markey also pointed to his progressive stance on climate change issues. In February 2019 Markey and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DNY) released a 14-page summary of their Green New Deal plan to address climate change. It calls for implementing the “social cost of carbon” that was part of the Obama administration’s plans to address climate change and transitioning the United States to 100 percent renewable, zero-emission energy sources, zero-emission vehicles, and high-speed rail systems.
“We are a mile away from disaster,” said Markey. “We have the second fastest warming body of water in the world off our coastline. We will be the ones that are inundated unless we act now to address climate change. Hurricane Sandy missed us, but if it hit East Boston we would still be recovering from that disaster. We will be paying a huge price if we don’t deal with the warnings we have seen. You know we have a problem when a tornado goes down Broadway in Revere. This is not Global Warming this is “Global Weirding” caused by the warming of our planet. We have a responsibility to heed the science that we have been given.”
In the end Markey called on the group of campaign volunteers at last week’s event to spread the word, get involved and help him continue his work in the Senate.