From Allison Mitchell <[email protected]>
Subject MDP WIRE: Charlie Baker’s New Normal: Same Old MBTA
Date March 24, 2021 7:59 PM
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Tools to boost Democrats and take on Governor Baker and his Republican allies.

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Our goal with the MassDems Wire is to give you the tools to boost Democrats and take on Baker and his Republican allies. Use these talking points on social media, as the basis for a letter to the editor of your local paper, in emails to your personal network, or in conversations with your friends and neighbors.
March 24, 2021

MA Democrats Send NextGen Climate Bill Back to Baker’s Desk
Charlie Baker’s New Normal: Same Old MBTA
Democrats Grill Baker on Failed Vaccine Rollout

MA Democrats Send NextGen Climate Bill Back to Baker’s Desk
After Governor Baker tried to weaken the bill, Massachusetts Democrats in the state legislature took a crucial step toward protecting our planet and promoting environmental justice by sending the NextGen Climate Roadmap back to Baker’s desk.
* We owe our young people an equitable, just, and livable future--and climate change is an existential threat that requires swift and bold action.
+ Democrats’ Next Generation Roadmap would make Massachusetts a nationwide leader in climate action with some of the most ambitious carbon emissions targets in the country.
+ The bill establishes environmental justice as a priority, tying climate protections to economic opportunities for the most vulnerable communities in our state.
* Baker tried to weaken the legislation to appease his wealthy friends and donors in the real estate industry.
+ Baker tried to use Republican talking points to force a choice between the economy and climate action, when that’s exactly what the Democrats bill combines.
+ Baker continues to show us that special interests have his ear. We’ve seen this before with ROE ([link removed]) , police accountability, and the Weymouth compressor ([link removed]) .
* Democrats in the legislature didn’t back down from their ambitious goals and duty to fight climate change, grow the economy, and promote environmental justice all at the same time.
+ Massachusetts Democrats rejected the false choice between equitable, economic prosperity and tackling the climate crisis by sending the climate bill back ([link removed]) to the Governor’s desk.

Charlie Baker’s New Normal: Same Old MBTA

After Governor Baker tried to cut subway and bus service, we saw packed trains and yet another Orange Line derailment. As commuters return to public transit, there’s one thing about Charlie Baker’s new normal that looks a lot like the old one: his neglect of the MBTA.
* Last week’s derailment on the Orange Line ([link removed]) shows that Governor Baker continues to neglect ([link removed]) safety concerns at the MBTA.
+ A wave of derailments in 2019 ([link removed]) led to a bombshell report that “safety is not the priority at the MBTA.” ([link removed]) Two years later, it’s clear that it still isn’t.
+ As commuters return to work and school, derailments on the T only increase reliance on other modes of transportation, making our worst-in-the-nation traffic ([link removed]) even more congested.
+ Baker showed his contempt for public transit and the folks that rely on it through his reluctance to use the MBTA. He has only taken the T a handful of times after Democrats demanded ([link removed]) he experience chronic problems that plague regular riders.
* The derailment came as Baker planned to cut train and bus service and lay-off workers ([link removed]) even though the American Rescue Plan provides the MBTA with over $1 billion to maintain service and avoid furloughs.
+ Baker’s cuts would have overwhelmingly impacted low-income essential workers that rely on train and bus service.
+ Commuters shared pictures of packed cars ([link removed]) --riders were unable to social distance because of reduced service.
* Democrats in the Massachusetts Congressional delegation ([link removed]) called on Baker to justify the cuts or reinstate full service. The MBTA later walked back plans ([link removed]) to furlough employees.
+ Massachusetts Democrats in Congress are committed to ensuring Baker restores train and bus service and retain the workers that operate them.

Democrats Grill Baker on Failed Vaccine Rollout

The Baker-Polito vaccine rollout has been sluggish and inconsistent, with local officials begging for more urgency, guidance, and support as Baker disregards the advice of experts. Yesterday, Baker offered Democrats nothing but excuses and cherry-picked statistics when they demanded answers for his chaotic rollout.
* Yesterday, Democrats in the state legislature ([link removed]) grilled Governor Baker ([link removed]) during the second COVID-19 oversight hearing.
+ Sen. Jo Comerford: "The crowning achievements in the Baker privatization marathon are the mass vax sites...Can you imagine where we would be now as a Commonwealth if the Baker administration had invested these same millions in our communities to fortify public health?”
+ Sen. Julian Cyr: “The fact that the commonwealth spent nearly 20 years planning with municipalities, with local health partners to provide vaccines and then somewhere along in this pandemic… they threw that playbook out and went with something different is deeply concerning.”
+ Sen. Cindy Friedman: [To Governor Baker] “What we’re getting from you is, ‘You’re all wrong, we’re doing great, please, we don’t want to hear it anymore.’ And I find that hard to take. These are decisions that you’re making, and we don’t understand them, and we are worried about the people that are being left behind. They are being left behind — we’re not making this up. We’re living in two different worlds.”
* The Baker-Polito administration t ([link removed]) hrew out 20 years of preparation ([link removed]) when they cut local boards of health out of the vaccine rollout.
+ Baker and Polito threw out the infrastructure built by trusted local officials and hired private companies to run mass vaccination sites.
* The Baker-Polito administration’s privately-operated mass vaccination sites come with a hefty price tag, costing Massachusetts more than $10 million ([link removed]) since January.
+ Baker hasn’t been transparent about how these operations are being overseen, even as residents report long lines and delays.
* The public is taking notice of Baker’s failure to lead during the course of this pandemic.
+ A recent poll ([link removed]) shows that Baker’s favorability has fallen 26% to just above 50%, reflecting recognition of the disastrous vaccine rollout and overall COVID response.

We encourage you to share these talking points with your networks online and offline. Questions about the information outlined above and about the MassDems Wire program may be directed at our Communications Director, Allison Mitchell. (mailto:[email protected]?subject=Wednesday%20Wire)

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