Issues

Jobs and the Economy

Even as our state remains on the road to recovery, too many Massachusetts families are still struggling to make ends meet. Every Bay Stater should have access to a job that allows them to provide for themselves and their family. Therefore, it is critical that we make meaningful investment in the kinds of programs and reforms that will bring high-quality jobs to Massachusetts, and keep them here. We must: 

  • Raise the minimum wage so that hard-working men and women across our Commonwealth have the opportunity to earn a living wage and support their families.

  • Provide paid sick time so that no employee is forced to choose between keeping their job and caring for their health, or the health of their loved ones. 

  • Focus on workforce development, because our intellectual capital is one of the biggest reasons so many businesses choose to call the Commonwealth home.

  • Build on Massachusetts’ strengths in health care, manufacturing, digital and clean technologies, and life sciences to promote economic growth in every region of the Commonwealth.

  • Bring down the costs of doing business in Massachusetts, to help us attract, and keep, good companies and good jobs.

  • Promote entrepreneurship and support emerging technology industries, fostering a culture where innovation and job creation can thrive.

 

Education

Read more about Martha's elementary and secondary education priorities here

Ensuring that an affordable, high quality education is available to every child is vitally important to safeguarding the future health and prosperity of our Commonwealth. The strength of our educated workforce is one of our greatest competitive advantages as a state, and one of the main reasons so many businesses choose to locate here. A twenty-first century public education system will equip every student with the knowledge and skills to build a better future for themselves, their families, and our state. With this in mind, we must:

  • Make high-quality early education available to every child, because the foundation for success is laid early on.

  • Expand learning time to allow for more targeted instruction and enrichment programs. 

  • Improve and expand STEM and computer science education to prepare students for the high-quality jobs of tomorrow.

  • Better align the training at vocational schools and community colleges with the workforce needs of our Commonwealth.

  • Bring down the cost of higher education so that no student finds the path to a better future blocked by the high cost of college.

 

Healthcare

Read more about Martha's plan to improve behavioral health care for all in Massachusetts here

Massachusetts has long been a national leader in providing high-quality, affordable health coverage to our citizens; the Commonwealth is home to some of the best hospitals in the world, and our companies are on the cutting edge of medical innovation. Still, real challenges remain in our healthcare system. We must:

  • Bring down the high costs of healthcare by increasing transparency, working to identify efficiencies in delivery, improve communication between providers, and support medical innovation.

  • Increase access to high-quality mental healthcare because, for thousands of individuals and families in Massachusetts, behavioral healthcare is just as important as physical healthcare. 

  • Reduce health disparities by increasing access to community health centers and other supports for underserved populations.

 

Civil Rights

Read more about Martha’s plan to continue standing with the LGBTQ community here

Massachusetts has a proud history of standing up for the rights of women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community. As AG, Martha stood with the LGBTQ community when we were the only state to file a lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, a lawsuit that helped shape the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the law once and for all. Martha is proud to have been part of the fight to ensure equal treatment for all but knows there is still much work to be done. We must:

  • Ensure equal pay for equal work, because pay equity is a critical part of building an economy that works for everyone.

  • Protect the rights of transgender individuals, because too many people still face needless obstacles in their every day lives.

  • Continue bullying prevention programs and increase school accountability, because bullying prevention is key to keeping all of our children healthy and safe.  

 

Energy and the Environment

Read more about Martha's plan to address climate change and protect the environment here

The environment is an important piece of the legacy we will hand down to our children. We cannot wait any longer to confront the real challenges we face on issues of climate change, diminishing natural resources, and threats to our environment. Furthermore, lowering energy costs will attract more businesses and high-quality jobs to the Commonwealth. We must:

  • Combat climate change by continuing Massachusetts’ leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and advocating for the EPA to enforce clean air regulations across the country.

  • Support the clean technology innovation that will make us more energy independent and help grow our economy.

  • Commit to making Massachusetts a leader in sustainability by promoting energy efficiency updates in homes and businesses, because those updates are critical to reducing waste, controlling costs, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Work to better understand and confront the challenges facing the local environment in cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth.

 

Public Safety and Gun Control

 Martha has spent her career working to make the residents of Massachusetts safer. As Attorney General, and as District Attorney of Middlesex County before that, she knows what works, and knows how to tackle the public safety challenges we still face. We must:

  • Make common sense changes to focus on crime prevention and prisoner rehabilitation, which will bring down costs, reduce recidivism and improve public safety.

  • Work with law enforcement and municipal leaders in Massachusetts and surrounding states to prevent gun violence and stem the flow of illegal guns into our neighborhoods.

  • Prevent youth violence by supporting school intervention programs, extending the school day and enhancing after-school programs, and promoting youth summer employment.

  • Increase communication between law enforcement, schools, and communities to proactively address risk factors for crime, and better improve public safety by bringing down the overall crime rate.

 

Transportation

The condition of the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure is critical to supporting our economy, promoting economic growth in every region, and reducing our impact on the environment. Meaningful investment in our transportation system now will help ensure economic prosperity and save Massachusetts’ taxpayers millions of dollars in the future. We must:

  • Expand public transportation infrastructure to better connect businesses, workers, and consumers to each other, and to economic hubs across the state, from metro Boston to Springfield.  

  • Make meaningful investment in repairing our roads and bridges, in order to make them safe and functional for the long-term.

  • Promote smart-growth development to open the door to economic opportunity and reduce our environmental impact.

 

Infrastructure

Our critical infrastructure does not begin and end with our internal transportation system. Updating and maintaining our telecommunications infrastructure and promoting trade and tourism will set the table for broad-based economic development in every region of our state. We must:

  • Support the manufacturing and telecommunications infrastructure that our high-tech and advanced manufacturing companies rely on, and that will attract similar companies to every region of the Commonwealth.

  • Ensure that Massachusetts remains a premier destination for international and domestic trade and tourism, because together they add billions of dollars to our economy every year.

 

Women

Read more about Martha's record of standing with the women of Massachusetts here »

If we are serious about building a Commonwealth that embraces the principles of equality and opportunity for everyone, we must address the fact that, even today, women face unfair obstacles in their everyday lives. Every young woman should grow up knowing, not hoping, that they will be treated equally. It is essential that we:

  • Ensure women are paid an equal wage for equal work, because it is simply wrong that women in Massachusetts earn only 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, despite doing the same work, and, with women accounting for 40% of primary breadwinners, it is critical to ensuring fairness for working families in the Commonwealth.
  • Reduce obstacles to high-quality health care by increasing the number of primary care doctors in predominantly female specialties, and easing access to contraception and reproductive health care.
  • Develop better strategies to prosecute domestic violence and support victims, something I have focused on throughout my career, because we have seen the tragic consequences of doing nothing.

 

Housing

Bringing down the high cost of housing in Massachusetts is one of the key steps we can take to energize the economy and lessen the burden on working families in Massachusetts. Reducing the amount individuals and families pay for housing will add billions of dollars to economy, encourage young people to stay in Massachusetts, and reduce the rate of homelessness. We must: 

  • Drive down housing costs across the board by increasing the Commonwealth’s stock of single-family, multi-family, and rental properties.

  • Encourage development of affordable properties, particularly rental properties, to lessen the housing cost burden on our most vulnerable citizens, and help thousands of residents transition out of homelessness.

  • Improve supports for individuals and families in affordable housing to help ensure that they are able to stay in their homes.

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Photo Credit: 2014 Martha Coakley