James Eldridge

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James Eldridge


James B. (Jamie) Eldridge is a State Senator from Massachusetts. He has served as State Senator for the Middlesex and Worcester district since January 2009.

Previously, Senator Eldridge served as State Representative for the 37th Middlesex district, after being elected the only Clean Elections candidate to public office in Massachusetts history in November 2002.

Since then, Senator Eldridge has focused his energies in the House and in the Senate on enhancing public education, stimulating the economy, promoting campaign and ethics reform, protecting the environment, improving public safety, expanding access to health care, and improving public transportation.[1]

Background

Senator Eldridge is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Boston College Law School, where he served as President of the Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) for two years. Prior to his election as State Representative, Jamie worked as a public interest attorney with Merrimack Valley Legal Services in Lowell, a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to the poor and the elderly. As a public interest lawyer, he also worked to help low-income residents with issues of housing, Social Security, disability, and unemployment.[2]

Commonwealth Coalition endorsement

In 2002, James Eldridge (D-Acton) ran for an Massachusetts house seat, with the endorsement of the "progressive" Commonwealth Coalition[3]

2004 DSA endorsement

Aldridge.jpg

In 2004, Boston Democratic Socialists of America endorsed James Eldridge

Eldridge then wrote a letter to the Boston Democratic Socialists of America newsletter, The Yankee Radical, September 2004, page 4, thanking them for the endorsement and asking for help with his campaign.[4]

Health Care "hero"

According to Michael Carr, campaign manager for the Health Care Amendment Campaign, writing in Boston Democratic Socialists of America's The Yankee Radical, August 2006;

"The proposed Health Care Constitutional Amendment that would ensure every Massachusetts resident access to comprehensive and affordable health care was scheduled to receive its final vote on July 12th when the Legislature reconvened in Constitutional Convention...

The Health Care Amendment received its initial approval at the July 2004 ConCon on a 153-41 vote, and only needed 50 votes in this ConCon to get on the November 2006 ballot. But instead of an up or down vote, the ConCon decided 118-76 to send the Amendment to a special committee for further study.

Legislators opposed to sending the Amendment to committee argued that affordable, comprehensive and equitably financed health care should be part of the state’s constitution and that the Amendment was necessary to make sure the new health reform law is implemented properly. They also argued that the Amendment would be available if additional reforms were needed.

Health Care Heroes of the day included Senators Steve Tolman, Mark Montigny, Marc Pacheco, Pat Jehlen and Representatives Ruth Balser, Deborah Blumer, Alice Wolf, and Jamie Eldridge".[5]

DSA support

Boston Democratic Socialists of America’s July 2007 members meeting voted to endorse State Rep. Jamie Eldridge (DActon) in the special election called to replace retiring Congressman Marty Meehan in the 5th CD. [6]

In the legislature Jamie compiled a 100% AFL-CIO, prochoice and environmental voting record. He opposed the Iraq war before it began, has stood up for single payer health insurance, and is one of the few public officials to point out the connection between NAFTA and forced (illegal) immigration to the U.S. His grasp of the global warming issue is especially thoughtful, detailed and comprehensive. His main opponent, Niki Tsongas, is the only one of the 5 Democratic candidates who thinks NAFTA was a good idea and who refused, on a Peace Action questionnaire, to oppose U.S. military intervention against Iran. The YR is going to the printer the day of the September 4 Democratic primary, so we don’t know who won. But regardless of the results, thanks to those DSAers like Judy Deutsch, Susan Offner and others who worked so hard on the campaign.

The Boston Democratic Socialists of America September 2007 Executive Board meeting reviewed "our work for Jamie Eldridge in the recent Congressional election, decide how we can best help Gloribell Mota in her quest for a State Rep seat in East Boston, and elect delegates to the DSA National Convention in Atlanta, November 9–11."[7]

2008 Mass Alliance

In November 2008, several candidates for the Massachusetts legislature were endorsed for the November 4 election by Mass Alliance, of which Boston Democratic Socialists of America was a member.

These included Senate candidates Harriette Chandler, Cynthia Stone Creem, Kenneth Donnelly, Jamie Eldridge, Susan Fargo, Jennifer Flanagan, Sara Orozco, Marc Pacheco, Stanley Rosenberg.[8]

Supported Progressive Health Care Reform

In late 2009, James Eldridge was one of more than 1,000 state legislators to sign a letter entitled "State Legislators for Progressive Health Care Reform". The letter was a project of the Progressive States Network and was developed in consultation with national health care reform advocates, including the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Community Catalyst, Families USA, Herndon Alliance, National Women's Law Center, Northeast Action, SEIU, and Universal Health Care Action Network. The letter reads in part,[9]

"Failure to pass national comprehensive health reform now will further jeopardize state and local budgets, undermining public services like education, public safety, and transportation infrastructure... We, the undersigned, call on President Obama and the Congress to enact bold and comprehensive health care reform this year – based on these principles and a strong federal-state collaboration – and pledge our support as state legislators and allies in pursuit of guaranteed, high quality, affordable health care for all."

2010 DSA endorsement

In 2010, State Sen. Jamie Eldridge from the Middlesex and Worcester District of Massachusetts , was included in a list of the mainly Massachusetts candidates endorsed by the Boston Democratic Socialists of America, published in the The Yankee Radical:[10][11]

Sen. Eldridge will work to make sure schools have the resources and tools they need to succeed, such as quality teachers, small class sizes, and well-rounded curricula. He has worked to protect our open spaces, natural environment and clean water systems as co-sponsor of the Energy Efficiency Act, Global Warming Solutions Act, Green Communities Act, and the Green Jobs bill. He understands the important issues because of his years of service on organizations like the Acton Conservation Trust, Nashua River Watershed Association, Organization for the Assabet River and the SuAsCo Watershed Community Council. DSA supported his 2007 Congressional campaign, won by Niki Tsongas.

References