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‘A return to decency’: Reactions to Biden win

Morgan C. Mullings
‘A return to decency’: Reactions to Biden win
(clockwise from top left) Damali Vidot, Michael Curry, Merrie Najimy, Russell Holmes. COURTESY PHOTOS

Local elected officials and civic leaders interviewed by the Banner expressed optimism that the incoming administration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will help alleviate the divisive dynamics that have come to characterize American politics and civic life over the last four years and rebuild confidence in the country’s democracy.

Merrie Najimy, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association

“We expect the Biden-Harris administration to attack inequities in education caused by structural racism and historic disinvestment that have left too many students of color and low-income students behind. That includes fighting for more funding for schools in high-need communities, promoting the hiring of educators who reflect our student demographics and supporting the transformation of curriculum that lifts up and affirms the complex identities of our students. We also expect they will support making public higher education more affordable while also dismantling the Trump-DeVos school and college privatization agenda.”

 

Sgt. Eddy Chrispin, president of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers

“I hope it’ll suppress some of these racist rants that we’ve seen, racist ideologies and movements that we’ve seen occur over the last four years. I think, to a large extent, those ideas, those movements, those people being very publicly open with their ways has been supported by the last administration. So if nothing else, it’ll minimize this.”

 

Andrea Campbell, Boston District 4 city councilor

“I think representation matters. And I think in this moment in time, we have to be talking about race and racism because the election was so close. [Kamala Harris is] going to bring a very unique perspective. It’s a critical moment in this country in which we can no longer shy away from the issue of race and racism. So I think they’re first going to tackle that, along with, of course, the pandemic, which they’ve already gotten to work on.”

 

Damali Vidot, Chelsea city councilor

“I think that what I’m really looking forward to is restoring human decency and transparency and respectable government. What I’m really hoping for is for inclusion for everyone. I’m not really looking at policy right now. I think that what we need right now is just a feel-good moment.”

 

Russell Holmes, Massachusetts state representative, 6th Suffolk District

“I’m hoping to see funds delivered to the state to help curb the deficits and challenges we have around COVID-19 and the needs for housing, PPE and education. Hopefully with Biden and Harris, they would not, as the president-elect said, be naming their enemies, that they would think in the best interests of all of us.”

 

Michael Curry, president and CEO of Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers

“COVID-19 has laid bare underlying health inequities that result in people of color living shorter, sicker lives; and recent events remind us that they are at most risk during a public health crisis, our ‘national Katrina.’ How will the Biden-Harris administration ensure Black lives do matter by aggressively addressing this inequity, remaining uninsurance/underinsurance, and the social determinants of health that drive disparate morbidity, mortality and diminish quality of life for far too many Americans?”

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