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July 19, 2005

DFA Endorses Jehlen

DFA has endorsed Pat Jehlen for Massachusetts State Senate: "Jehlen has the experience, vision, and determination to stand up for all families of the 2nd Middlesex District. During her fourteen years as a state representative, she has fought for education funding, universal health care, marriage equality and the needs of working people and families. In the wake of State Senator Charlie Shannon's death, Pat Jehlen has vowed to continue the presence of a strong, progressive voice in the Massachusetts State Senate. Jehlen has also received the endorsement of the Cambridge-Area Democracy for America. The primary election is August 30, 2005 and the general election is September 27, 2005.

Posted by Bob at 02:07 AM in Massachusetts | Permalink


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» Sins of Omission in a Globe op-ed from John Palfrey
I probably should have known better, but in devoting 750 words to an op-ed in the Boston Globe about the special election in Somerville, Medford, Winchester, and Woburn, I managed tomake a few sins of omission. [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 3, 2005 2:53:16 PM


This race seems to be a dud. I know it is dog days of summer, but....
Callahan seems to be working hard and JHehelen and Mackey are out there. What s Casey doing? If he does not run good campaign many of his votes will go to Callihan... But this is a special, before labor day. so anything can happen.

Posted by: the troll | Jul 19, 2005 10:36:47 AM

Low turnout is to be expected, considering the primary date. It's a shame, too, considering the issues that are at stake here.

Posted by: eury13 | Jul 19, 2005 1:46:04 PM

Can someone explain to me Rep Jahlen's accomplishments? I know it is hard to have a long record as a progressive in the House under Finneran, but she never struck me as someone that relished the fight. Marzilli, Balser, Blummer seem to be passionate about their progressive causes and never went down without a fight. I never got that sense from Jahlen.

Are these endorsements a real suprise, since she is currently in the State House and even if she loses, she will be voting on these interests groups' bills?

Posted by: Rex | Jul 19, 2005 1:53:57 PM

Under Finneran, not only did she have a difficult time because she was a progressive; she also got on his bad side by opposing him on a few specific measures and was stripped of leadership positions.

As far as her effectiveness goes, she's been effective at pushing through legislation for health care (prescription advantage, for example). She's also a strong voice for gay marriage and women's issues.

Jehlen was one of the first to stand against Finneran and was a core member of those passionate about ending his reign. She's been getting endorsements because the groups that know her understand her strength and commitment.

(And yes, it's probably obvious by now that I'm a Jehlen supporter.)

Posted by: eury13 | Jul 19, 2005 4:10:20 PM

I'm sorry eury, it is too easy to point to finneran for jehlens l;ack of legislative accomplishments. She has shown that she is all theory and no practice.
If she can't work with people, especially those she needs to work with to provide fort her district, then I suggest she is not qualified.
She just does not impress me. other then she is friend of many influential progressives in somerville and cambridge, what does she gave to offer? Really.
What did she accomplkish by "standing against Finneran"?
"...and was a core member of those passionate about ending his reign."
What are you, on crack? She had as much to do with finneran leaving as blogs do in nchoosing the next governor...zilch! ( sorry guys, but it's true)

Posted by: The troll | Jul 20, 2005 1:43:11 PM

I didn't mean to use Finneran to say that she hadn't done anything, because that's not true. I used her stance against Finneran as an example of her ability to stand up and not compromise her positions in the face of adversity.

As far as her record goes, though she hasn't had the opportunity to put her name on big-ticket legislation (because those go to people in leadership positions, which she was stripped of by Finneran), she has nonetheless advocated for the underrepresented people in her district, enacting legislation to help the wrongfully convicted, the blind, elderly, and mentally handicapped (to name a few).

The perception that Pat is innefective only exists because she doesn't feel the need to shout all her accomplishments from the rooftops. She'd rather be doing the work.

Posted by: eury13 | Jul 20, 2005 2:11:47 PM

Not big ticket items.
Small stuff that directly effects her district.
Even Pat would agrfee, she has not delivered much for somerville.

Posted by: the troll | Jul 20, 2005 3:11:25 PM

Well, as I heard one supporter put it, "15 years, not one bad vote."

She was elected by the voters of Somerville as a progressive democrat who would stand by her principles, even in the face of goons like Finneran. No one can say that she hasn't followed through.

Posted by: eury13 | Jul 21, 2005 5:18:28 PM

Oh, and after 14 years in office she was re-elected last year with 81% of the vote... I'd say Somerville has been pretty happy with her.

Posted by: eury13 | Jul 21, 2005 7:15:44 PM

Troll: I lived in Jehlen's district from 1996-2003. I had never heard anyone say she doesn't get things done, until outsiders started saying so in the past few months as a way of supporting other candidates. In her district, she's been wildly popular for, among other things, getting things done for them. She's not usually one to trumpet her achievements, but she IS very good at communicating with her constituents - which is perhaps why people can get away with saying "she hasn't done much" outside of her district, and perhaps people who don't or haven't lived in Somerville will believe it. In Somerville, it mostly falls on dead ears (Dot Gay notwithstanding). Whatever happens in Medford, there is no doubt Pat Jehlen will win Somerville overwhelmingly. And that's why, for example, you're not going to see Curtatone making any public statements in support of her opponents.

Pat has been active in getting the green line funding restored. The spotlight went, rightly, to Carl Sciortino, but Pat collaborated with him on it. Pat has been good at getting road and repair funding, much better than in the Mackey years, even though the state has been stingy about it. 7 bridges have been repaired or are under repair in Somerville during Pat's tenure, including the long-awaited Lowell Street Bridge.

She also has a long history of energetic activism on behalf of schools, youth, and local aid. She was one of the people who initiated the lawsuit that led to the MA supreme court decision saying the state has to provide adequate funding for schools. She also co-founded a teen center in her neighborhood, before she was a state rep.

Most recently, in the past several months, Pat introduced and was chief sponsor of these three bills which got passed:
Braille Literacy - give blind children the opportunity to be taught in braille
Rights for the Mentally Ill - people who are involuntarily committed to mental hospitals now have the right to receive phone calls, receive mail, and get a lawyer.
Compensation from the state for people wrongfully committeed of crimes, who are then cleared and released.

She also chairs the Elder caucus in the MA House, and co-fonded and co-chairs the Progressive caucus. She's good at working with other legislators, forming coalitions, and getting things passed, she's just quiet and unassuming about it, and that's why people outside of Somerville don't often hear about it.

Posted by: Cos | Aug 10, 2005 4:42:19 PM

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