2022 Charter Resolutions Committee Report
May 2022 Resolutions Subcommittee Final Report
To Chairman Bickford and delegates to the 2022 Massachusetts Democratic Convention:
On Wednesday, May 18, the Resolutions Subcommittee met and voted unanimously to approve its final recommendations to convention delegates. The following six resolutions are being recommended to the convention for ratification:
- 21st Century Bill of Rights
- Access to high quality, debt-free higher education
- Anti-Critical Race Theory and Anti-LGBTQ Laws
- Fair Equitable Immigration Policies
- Protecting Trans Youth Fleeing Oppression
- School Meals for All
Joe Kelly and Marianne Rutter, Co-Chairs
21st Century Bill of Rights
Whereas in his 1944 State of the Union Address, President Franklin Roosevelt articulated popular American hopes and aspirations by calling for a Second Bill of Rights—an Economic Bill of Rights for all Americans; and
Whereas polls conducted by the White House in 1943 had revealed that after the war Americans wanted guaranteed healthcare, guaranteed employment, and guaranteed aid to students; and
Whereas the increasing concentration of wealth, the widening inequalities, and the intensifying crisis of American democratic life demands that we advance this call now; and
Whereas empowered by those findings, FDR declared, “We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. ‘Necessitous men are not free men’… We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed”; and
Whereas all of which is as true today as it was 78 years ago.
Therefore be it Resolved, that we the Democrats, gathered at the 2022 State Democratic Party Convention, call on all Democratic candidates and officeholders to support a 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights, that affirms:
- The right to a job that pays a living wage.
- The right to a voice in the workplace through a union and collective bargaining.
- The right to comprehensive quality health care.
- The right to a complete cost-free public education and access to broadband internet.
- The right to decent, safe, affordable housing.
- The right to a clean environment and a healthy planet.
- The right to an equitable and economically fair justice system.
- The right to vote and otherwise participate in public life.
Embracing this 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights will draw a sharp distinction between Democrats and Republicans: Only Democrats truly stand for the type of economy and society which the overwhelming majority of Americans yearn to secure.
Nonetheless, determined to enhance freedom, equality, democracy and dramatically improve the lives of all Americans, we invite everyone to help us build the America it projects.
Submitted by: Russell Freedman and revised by Resolutions Subcommittee
Access to high quality, debt-free higher education
Whereas the cost of public higher education in Massachusetts has more than doubled since 2001, while at the same time the Commonwealth has decreased its investment in public higher education; and
Whereas Massachusetts has become the 7th most expensive state in the country for in-state tuition at public institutions; and
Whereas nearly three quarters of students graduate from Massachusetts’ public colleges and universities burdened with the highest average debt load in history; and
Whereas low-income students often lack the resources to effectively pursue their education and graduate on time, while middle-income students are expected to take on debt and shoulder the financial burden alone; and
Whereas black and Latino communities carry a disproportionate amount of student debt, which reinforces the racial wealth gap;
Whereas educating motivated citizens from all walks of life unleashes the potential in us all and benefits the Commonwealth as a whole; and
Therefore, be it resolved that Massachusetts Democrats support policies and practices to fund Massachusetts public universities and colleges at and above their 2001 levels, adjusted for inflation to the current year and each year hereafter, minimize the debt borne by individual students and their families, and ensure every resident of the Commonwealth who wants to go to college has access to high quality, debt-free higher education.
Resolution Acknowledging the Value of Critical Race Theory and Supporting Laws that Protect the Civil Rights of the LGBTQ Community
Whereas Critical Race Theory (CRT) is an academic concept that centers on the premise that race is a social construct, and that racism is not only a product of individual bias or prejudice, but is also embedded in laws, policies, and procedures in institutions (e.g., the criminal justice system, education system, labor market, housing market, and healthcare system) that lead to different outcomes by race; and
Whereas lawmakers in more than 34 states have enacted new laws and/or introduced new policies and procedures that hide or obstruct how social constructs have perpetuated systemic racism, restricts anti-racism training, or prevents the teaching of concepts that some consider divisive, and/or unfairly critical; and
Whereas, the annual number of anti-LGBTQ bills filed nationwide that would limit the LGBTQ rights has soared from 41 bills in 2018 to 238 bills in less than three months of 2022, totaling 670 bills in the last four years; and
Whereas in March 2022, Florida passed the controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law that forbids “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties (in Florida) on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards”; and
Whereas the Mass Democratic Party has clearly affirmed in its Charter and its Platform that it fully supports equality—regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, ability, or national origin—and recognizes that discrimination in all its forms is a pervasive problem in our society; and
Whereas, the Mass Democratic Party also states in its Charter that it has pledged to advocate for the rights of all individuals and denounces any acts that obstruct or eradicate these rights, and, furthermore, its members have committed themselves to participate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training to better understand the differences of all groups represented in the Commonwealth.
Therefore be it Resolved, that we, the members of the Massachusetts Democratic Party (MDP), denounce the proposal or establishment of laws, policies, and procedures that prohibit the instruction and/or discussion of Critical Race Theory or LGBTQ or Trans topics in school curriculums and the prevention of the civil rights of any U.S. citizen.
Resolution to support Fair, Equitable Immigration Policies
Whereas Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) is a form of immigration relief that provides undocumented non-citizens with temporary protection from removal and employment authorization, among other benefits, upon designation by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, due to conditions or circumstances making a safe return home not possible; and
Whereas in addition to DACA eligible youth, approximately 200,000 immigrant children in the US on valid visas risk being deported when they turn 21 and lose their temporary legal status derived through their parents; and
Whereas millions of undocumented immigrants have seen the promise of a pathway to citizenship dashed by Congressional inaction or delay.
Therefore, be it resolved that the 2022 State Convention urges President Joe Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to reassess the granting of TPS status based on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other dangerous conditions in countries around the globe, regardless of immigrants’ race, class, or creed; and
Be it further resolved that the 2022 State Convention urges the Massachusetts federal delegation to act swiftly to protect undocumented people, including documented DREAMers and other immigrants whose status may soon lapse, due to Congressional inaction – from deportation.
Submitted by: Solomon Steen and revised by Resolutions Subcommittee
Protecting Trans Youth Fleeing Oppression
Whereas the 2021 Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform section on Healthcare and Human Services includes – among the the actions “Massachusetts Democrats Will Fight For” – “Programs that protect or affirm the rights of LGBTQ+ people, including gender-affirming care, access to HIV/AIDS PrEP, and mental health services with a particular emphasis on suicide prevention;” and
Whereas the 2021 Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform section on Children and Families includes – among the the actions “Massachusetts Democrats Will Fight For” – “Strong intervention and child abuse prevention programs and services for youth and at-risk individuals;” and
Whereas the 2021 Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform section on Racial Justice, Equal Rights, and Equal Opportunities for All includes – among the the actions “Massachusetts Democrats Will Fight For”:
- “Access to gender-affirming healthcare through MassHealth and private insurance coverage,”
- “The protection and promotion of equal rights for all LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender women of color and LGBTQ+ youth, and advocating for greater protections in the workplace, education, housing, healthcare, and criminal justice,” and
- “The protection and affirmation of the rights of transgender people and ensuring their safety, particularly that of trans youth;” and
Whereas there is an extended attack in many parts of the nation against the rights of transgender and nonbinary people, and particularly against those of trans youth, and these attacks are, in many of these regions, significantly limiting and infringing upon the right to access gender-affirming healthcare considered medically necessary; and
Whereas it is recognized that some of the legislative actions included in this attack criminalize these life-saving gender-affirming medical procedures for transgender youth, some going so far as to make it a felony punishable by life imprisonment to help a child travel across state lines to receive gender-affirming healthcare;
Whereas a 2021 report from the Trevor Project indicates that 52% of transgender or nonbinary youth seriously considered suicide in the year prior to publication, with 20% attempting suicide; and
Whereas a 2020 Trevor Project report on Gender Affirming Care for Youth indicates that gender affirming hormone therapy demonstrated positive effects on overall psychological wellbeing and reduced suicidality, with one study of trans youth showing that after 1 year of treatment the average level of suicidality was 1/4th what it was before treatment;
Therefore, be it resolved that the delegates attending the Democratic State Party 2022 Convention call on the Massachusetts State government to engage in swift legislative and executive measures in support of those families or individuals fleeing persecution in health care due to their gender identity in these States to the Commonwealth, to ensure that access to travel to the State by these groups is equitable, and prevent the extradition of and protect those who may otherwise be made to return to those States where they would be subject to criminal penalty for assisting children in accessing life-saving and medically necessary gender-affirming healthcare.
These measures should include:
- A system of microgrants to assist those in already disadvantaged populations who would otherwise be unable to travel to safety;
- A program to spread information on the State’s policies, and to welcome those who flee to it in escaping persecution and discrimination;
- Assistance to those fleeing who may experience wage insecurity or would otherwise be unable to maintain their livelihood as a result of moving to the State in the advancement of the protection of their child(ren), and support while they find local opportunities to reestablish their lives;
- The provision of resources to any transgender youth who may arrive fleeing persecution alone, or without the support of a legal guardian, to establish themselves in the State without fear of extradition.
- A method whereby individuals fleeing persecution to the State be recognized as residents of Massachusetts within 30 days of their arrival, for purposes including but not limited to those of income tax, MassHealth, and public schooling (including higher education).
Submitted by: Halley Kelley, DSC
- Elaine Almquist, DSC
- Terry Altherr, DSC
- Bryan Barash, DSC
- Matthew Burke, Delegate
- Lezlie Campbell, DSC
- Tyler Carlton, DSC
- Jonathan Cohn, DSC
- Jeremy Comeau, DSC, Co-Chair of Stonewall Democrats
- Mark Cote, DSC
- Yenni Desroches, Delegate
- Rae Enzie, Delegate
- Michael Gilbreath, DSC
- Karen Hansmann , DSC
- Adam Hinds, DSC, State Senate
- Dan Kelly, DSC
- Halley Kelly, DSC
- Alec Lebovitz, Delegate, Brookline Town Meeting Member
- Zelda MacGregor, DSC
- Krista Magnuson, Delegate
- Harper McMurray, DSC
- Nichole Mossalam, DSC
- Tanya Neslusan, DSC
- MJ Pierce, Delegate
- Tim Pierce, Delegate
- Rebecca Pinn, DSC
- Alex Pratt, DSC
- Holly Ryan, DSC, Co-Chair of LGBTQ+ Subcommittee
- Marlene Silva, DSC
- Solomon Steen, Delegate
- Tonya Tedesco, Delegate
- Matt Walsh, DSC
- Amanda Westlake, DSC
Resolution in Support of School Meals for All
Whereas, the platform of the Massachusetts Democratic Party states support for legislation and programs that ensure have a healthy diet and adequate food; and
Whereas, the platform of the Massachusetts Democratic Party calls for the closing of opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color, indigenous students, low income students, ELL, students with disabilities, and students in the Commonwealth Gateway Cities; and
Whereas, access to good nutrition reduces school absences and elevates student performance;
Whereas, food insecurity rates in Massachusetts remain significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels and may rise more with the end of federal support programs;
Therefore be it Resolved, that the Massachusetts Democratic Party:
- Supports any and all actions by the State Legislature and Executive Branch that continues School Meals for All from grades K-12.
- The Chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party inform by letter the Speaker of the Massachusetts House and the President of the Massachusetts Senate of this action.
- Steven Leibowitz – DSC Member, Cape & Islands
- Robin Hubbard – DSC member, Cape & Islands
- Mark Cote – DSC member, Hampshire, Franklin, Worcester
- Zelda McGregor – DSC member, Plymouth & Barnstable*
- Jack Perenick – Delegate, Ward 5 Somerville
- Cathy Gallagher-* Chair, Mashpee DTC
- Dylan Clark – DSC Member, Worcester, Hampshire, ,Hampden and Middlesex
- Angus Abercrombie – Delegate, Belmont
- Senator Jamie Eldridge – Middlesex & Worcester district
- Yenni Desroches – Delegate, Worcester 9th
- Rebecca Kanter – Youth Delegate
- Brandon Robbins – Delegate (Leominster), School Committee Member, Exec Dir. Ginny’s Helping
- Laura Often, Grafton School Committee
- Kristen Frazier – Teacher, Fitchburg Public Schools, Oakham resident, she/her
- JoAnn Santiago – Delegate, Bedford
- Amy Marr – Chair, Grafton School Committee
- Dina Samfield – Delegate Shirley, MA
- Carlos Garcia – DSC member, Affirmative Action seat
The past 2 years, the Feds have funded this nationally for K-12, as a pandemic response. This and many other programs that addressed hardships during the pandemic are ending, but the need is not. Hunger rates are higher. About 1/4 of students who are food insecure, do not qualify for free/reduced programs. You can make what is considered a decent income, but given things like housing costs, medical, etc, you can struggle.
Receiving free or reduced-price school lunches reduces poor health by at least 29 percent based on estimates using national data, and reduces obesity by 17 percent. (ScienceDaily. “U.S. National School Lunch Program Improves Health of Children in Low-Income Households, Study Suggests.” Accessed July 8, 2021. https://www.
We can end the stigma students face, we can end the need for reluctant parents to share information about their income that is uncomfortable, even if it means not getting help they should have.
Numerous studies have been done that also link improved educational outcomes to universal free school meals, sucj as:
Ron Kleinman, Chair of Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, and his colleagues in a study on universal breakfast in Boston found significant improvements in academic performance (i.e. math test scores).
3–8th grade students in South Carolina found that school meals for all through the federal Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) was positively associated with math test scores. We do also have some schools in MA that are providing this through CEP, which is a Federal program that funds universal school meals in a district with a certain percentage of low income students.
The Feed Kids MA coalition currently lists over 100 coalition members
- Project Bread
- Share Our Strength
- American Heart Association
- Boston Mayor’s Office of Food Access
- EL BUEN SAMARITANO
- Hope Church Sharon
- Jewish Family and Children’s Services
- Massachusetts Food Systems Collaborative
- NASW, Massachusetts Chapter
- State Street Bank
- Temple Etz Chaim of Franklin
- The Family Pantry of Cape Cod