Opinion: Jay Gonzalez is a better fit for MA


By Seymour Richards [CC BY-SA 4.0

Jay Gonzalez speaking in 2017


Massachusetts is one of the most progressive states in terms of LGBTQ rights, worker compensation, and environmental protections, and we should have a governor that reflects those values. Charlie Baker does not represent the views of his constituents in these areas which are important to a majority of MA voters, and the people should not accept his unassuming platform.

Jay Gonzalez better serves as an extension of the beliefs of Massachusetts residents because he is committed to dealing with climate change and correcting the healthcare system, both of which are supported by a majority of MA voters. He also has proposed plans for bettering the MBTA, stating he will “bring back the Fair Share Tax, which would ask people who make over $1 million a year to pay more in income taxes to fund investments in transportation and education”. Regarding the opioid epidemic, he plans to “work with the Attorney General to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the epidemic”(Gonzalez). Gonzalez has strong, outlined plans for these major issues.

Despite touting himself as “delivering bipartisan, commonsense, results-oriented leadership”, on a broadly bipartisan issue, the opioid crisis, Baker doesn’t honor his words. Despite calling himself a “national leader in the battle against the opioid epidemic” for “increasing substance misuse awareness, education, treatment and prevention,” a survey by Blue Cross Blue Shield in September 2018 found that 75% of participants stated they felt that in regards to the opioid epidemic nothing’s changing or it’s getting worse. Baker vetoed a bill this year to increase funding for recovery high schools, even though these schools are key in preventing kids from continuing on a path to incarceration. Baker has also committed himself to bettering the MBTA, but according to mbtabackontrack.com, the commuter rail is reliable 69% of the time and buses 65%, and riders rate the MBTA as a whole only 3.15 out of 5. On both of these bipartisan issues that Baker “champions” his actual impact seems to be falling flat.

On top of this Governor Baker has stated he supports Geoff Diehl, who has aligned himself with the policies of Donald Trump and opposes Elizabeth Warren. Diehl even served as Trump’s Massachusetts campaign manager. Backing someone on the same platform as a president that only scored 32.81% of the vote in MA doesn’t strike me as bipartisan.

MA voters in the past felt that having a Republican Governor would balance out the democratic majority and thought it important to have a fiscally conservative leader, but Baker isn’t showing the commitment to bipartisanship he promised. Instead, he is leading us in a conservative direction socially as well. Promised progress hasn’t been seen in key areas like bettering public transit and dealing with the opioid epidemic, which is why it’s time for a change in leadership. We need someone committed to the progressive policies that our citizens support which is why I believe Jay Gonzalez is a better fit for MA.