Jesse Gordon for Randolph Town Council > Political Justice

    "Political Justice" means that Randolph gets represented fairly in the state government. The lack of fair representation is the source of Randolph's economic injustice and environmental injustice.

    We have not had a resident of Randolph seated in the State House for decades -- that isn't right!

    “ There's a reason that Randolph has long needed economic justice and environmental justice -- because we have even longer needed political justice. Randolph needs someone who can serve as an advocate and spokesperson beyond Randolph -- our state Reps and state Senator can only do that second-hand at the State House, because they don't reside in Randolph. I envision my most important role as Town Councilor to be the voice of Randolph -- to the MBTA and BAT, to the MDC, to the federal government, to neighboring towns, and to the panoply of other government agencies around Randolph -- so that those agencies understand Randolph's needs and Randolph can get our fair share. ” -- Jesse Gordon

    House Districting

    Randolph is split into three state House districts, and none of our state representatives in the Massachusetts House are from Randolph. That’s not coincidence – re-districting to get political power for Randolph requires political will and political effectiveness – both of which are lacking in Randolph’s political representatives.

    Every House district in Massachusetts contains about 42,000 people. Randolph had 32,000 people in the 2010 census, and if you add in Holbrook (which USED to be part of Randolph!) with 11,000 people, that would be exactly one House district. Randolph’s population is growing so we might warrant a state House district just for Randolph in 2020. A representative from Randolph would represent the people of Randolph – unlike our current “representatives.”

    Right now, our representatives focus on the people of Milton and Braintree and Quincy – where those representatives live. Take a look at the town of residence of all of the recent State Senators and State Representatives for Randolph:

    • Sen. Walter Timilty of Milton, 2017-date
      • preceded by Sen. Brian Joyce of Milton, 1998-2017
    • Rep. Bill Driscoll of Milton, 2017-date
      • preceded by Rep. Walter Timilty of Milton, 1999-2016
    • Rep. Mark Cusack of Braintree, 2011-date
      • preceded by Rep. Joseph Driscoll of Braintree, 2003-2011
      • preceded by Rep. Joseph Sullivan of Braintree, 1993-2003
    • Rep. Bruce Ayers of Quincy, 1999-date
      • preceded by Rep. Michael Bellotti of Quincy, 1993-1999
      • preceded by Rep. Michael Morrisey of Quincy, 1979-1993

    Randolph has not had a resident in the Massachusetts House for decades. That’s one of the reasons that Randolph doesn’t get our fair share – of environmental resources, of educational resources, and of economic resources. Our representatives are obligated to represent Randolph even if they are from Milton or Braintree or Quincy. But unless we push them to do so, they won’t push for a fair share for Randolph.

    Jesse Gordon understands that our state politicians need to be pushed to do the right thing, and Jesse is willing and able to push. And when the time comes for redistricting after the 2020 census, Jesse will fight for a Randolph district that will have a Randolph representative, for the first time in decades! Vote for Jesse Gordon for Randolph Town Council to demand our fair share in Randolph.

    Immigrant Vote

    Did you know that several towns in Massachusetts allow non-citizen immigrants to vote in munipal elections? That means that Green Card holders could vote for Randolph Town Council and Randolph School Committee – if the politicians of Randolph decided to allow them to vote.

    Randolph is home to about 9,000 immigrants – that’s 29% of our population. They pay taxes in Randolph; they are residents of Randolph; their kids go to school in Randolph – but they don’t get to vote in Randolph for how their taxes or spent, or for how their town is run, or for how their kids are educated. How come?

    Well, if non-citizen immigrants could vote, they would vote for municipal representatives who represent what’s important to non-citizen immigrants. And Randolph’s establishment politicians usually have other interests in mind. So Randolph’s establishment politicians, for decades, have denied non-citizen immigrants the vote.

    Randolph is the most diverse town in Massachusetts. We should be proud of our diversity, and of our immigrant population, and we should ensure that they have the right to political representation.

    Randolph has the 5th highest immigrant population in Massachuetts, after Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, and Malden. We should team up with those four towns (plus the three towns that have already asked the state legislature unsuccessfully) to demand that the state legislature approve a “home-rule petition” to allow non-citizen immigrant voting in municipal elections. As Town Councilor, Jesse would contact his counterparts from those other seven towns, to jointly push the state legislature to do the right thing.

    Imagine what Randolph’s representation would look like if immigrants could vote: the Town Council and School Committee would look like Randolph!

    Mass Transit

    How come the BAT #12 bus only has one stop in Randolph, even though it runs for 5 miles through town? How come the MBTA #240 bus is always standing-room only at rush hour? How come there's no bus to the Randolph Theater, or a bus from Randolph to D.W. Field Park, or to Houghton Pond? Are those places intended only for people with cars?

    Jesse has banged his head against the wall of the MBTA and the BAT for years. He has written to the agencies about all of the topics above; attended MBTA "public hearings" in Boston and elsewhere where he spoke on the issues above; and eventually he concluded that the MBTA and BAT simply don't listen. Specifically, the MBTA and BAT have no mechanisms in place to take feedback from riders. Jesse even addressed THAT issue, at an MBTA public hearing in Mattapan in 2015, suggesting an "MBTA Ombudsman" who would represent the riders, and summarize their suggestions and complaints for agency decision-makers. That suggestion, like every other suggestion, was politely dimissed and ignored.

    Why don't the MBTA and BAT listen to the people they serve? As usual, it's a political failure – our representatives just don't represent us when it comes to mass transit. And as usual, it has to do with wealth – wealthier communities and wealthier people focus on automobile-related issues, and so our political representatives do, too. Hence the state and federal governments spend billions of dollars building free roads, but scream every time we ask for a better subsidy for mass transit.

    Jesse's vision for mass transit is extremely simple: it should be extremely cheap, and extremely convenient. And Jesse couples that vision with a task list:

    • Meet with MBTA officials, as Randolph's spokesperson, to formally request a higher level of rush-hour service on the #240 line
    • Meet with BAT officials, as Randolph's spokesperson, to formally request a mechanism for Randolph stops on the #12 line
    • Meet with Commonwealth administration representatives responsible for funding MBTA and BAT, to create a means for Randolph residents (and others) to be heard on mass transit issues, and to advocate for more state funding for Randolph's heavily-used bus lines
    • Meet with other town officials to make joint statements advocating all of the above (for example, Milton has the same issues with MBTA #240, and Avon has the same issue with BAT #12).
    • ...and more to follow: Randolph Town Councilors, representing a town with heavy reliance on mass transit, should have regular ongoing contact and input to mass transit officials.
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