Op-Ed: Tufts Democrats endorse on Massachusetts ballot questions

The Tufts Democrats met to discuss the three ballot questions for Massachusetts last week.  The first deals with patient limits for nurses, the second with campaign finance and the third with transgender rights. The following are our endorsements:

Question 1: Yes

Ballot question 1 limits the number of patients assigned to registered nurses in Massachusetts hospitals, easing the burden on overworked nursing staff and protecting patients. Many members of Tufts Democrats expressed concerns with the potential of patient limits to put additional strain on rural hospitals or exacerbate a nursing shortage. Others were confused as to why something this technical would be put to public vote. However, our club recognizes the importance of standing up for better working conditions for nurses, as well as demanding increased patient safety. Since implementing patient limits, California has seen better outcomes among poorer patients, as well as increased pay and less burnout for nurses. We also worry that if this ballot measure is defeated, there will not be efforts to address this through legislation with any urgency. For these reasons, we recommend voting “yes” on Question 1.

Question 2: Yes

Despite having some concerns about the possible ramifications of a constitutional convention, Tufts Democrats believes that the unfettered and untraceable corporate election spending resulting from Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission drowns out the voices of voters and is corrosive to democracy. We support Massachusetts’ going on the record as opposing Citizens United and putting pressure on politicians to take meaningful action on campaign finance reform. Therefore, we recommend voting “yes” on Question 2, which creates a citizen commission to produce recommendations to eventually pass a constitutional amendment affirming that corporations are not people.

Question 3: Yes

Tufts Democrats unanimously supports the Yes on 3 campaign to uphold protections for, and prohibit discrimination against, transgender people in public spaces in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In the Trump era, which threatens the safety of transgender individuals in this country, people look to Massachusetts for leadership on this issue. Showing dignity and respect for our transgender neighbors is not up for debate or discussion, and we feel strongly that Massachusetts must show its commitment to supporting them. We issue our strongest endorsement of the Yes on 3 campaign.

To that end, there will be phone banks happening on campus in support of the Yes on 3 campaign, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday at the LGBT Center and from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday at the Women’s Center. We would ask those who support this campaign to volunteer a few hours before Election Day to make sure it passes.