About to become first African-American woman from Massachusetts elected to Congress.
Boston city councilor Ayanna Pressley defeated 10-term Democratic Rep. Michael Capuano in the primary for the 7th District on Tuesday night.
Pressley, backed by Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, will run unopposed in November and will make her the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts.
This mirrors Ocasio-Cortez’s defeat of Joe Crowley in June. She backed Pressley along with “Our Revolution, the offshoot of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.”
Pressley’s rise to victory is slightly different because “Capuano had fiercely contested the Massachusetts race by racking up endorsements, attending debates and highlighting his consistently liberal voting record in one of the most Democratic districts in a traditionally Democratic state.” Plus Pressley has a political background unlike Ocasio-Cortez.
Pressley is a far-left progressive. However, she did not illuminate her opponent as a moderate because Capuano is just as progressive. But I guess not progressive enough even though he opposed the Iraq War, Patriot Act, boycotted Trump’s inauguration, and “funneled millions of dollars home for much-needed transit, housing and health care projects.”
Instead, Pressley highlighted the fact that the district’s needs have changed and her life experience. From The New York Times:
She argued that the needs of the district had changed over time and that the overwhelming “hate” coming from the White House required more than simply voting the right way. Battling Mr. Trump and overcoming longstanding economic and racial inequities required an entire movement, she said, suggesting she was better positioned than Mr. Capuano to spearhead that effort with what she called “activist leadership.”
Moreover, she argued that her life experience — her father struggled with drug addiction and was incarcerated for most of her youth, and she is a survivor of sexual assault — better prepared her to help people who have lived through trauma and other struggles. Perhaps the defining line of her stump speech was this: “The people closest to the pain should be closest to the power.”
“If elected I will work with federal leaders to rehouse the non-immigration enforcement functions of ICE — including human trafficking and money laundering investigations — elsewhere in the US Department of Homeland Security, while immediately eliminating funding for enforcement and removal functions,” she said.
Pressley will not support any immigration reform that includes funding for a wall on the border.
At first she didn’t approve of the “Medicare for All” health care plan, but has “recently came around on a single-payer-style system.”
When it comes to Israel, she refused to answer a debate question if she supports the BDS movement:
Addressing the conflict more generally, she wrote that, if elected, she would push for policy that ” recognizes the basic human rights of both Israelis and Palestinians and promotes greater engagement between the two sides.”
“Building empathy and understanding through intentional diplomatic efforts and grassroots engagement is essential to reaching a sustainable, long-term solution to the conflict,” she said. “As I have always said, those closest to the pain should be closest to the power.”
Capuano said he does not support it, but believes “others should be free to advocate it.”DONATE
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