Jay Kaufman

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Jay Kaufman

Template:TOCnestleft Jay R. Kaufman is a State Representative from Massachusetts.


Kaufman's parents immigrated to US in the '30s from Germany, "in search of safety and freedom".


Brandeis University (B.A. ’68, M.A. ’73), New York University (M.A. ’71)


Jay Kaufman has served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives since January 1995 and now chairs the legislature’s Committee on Revenue. He had, for two terms, chaired the Committee on Public Service and led the effort to develop and pass major pension reform initiatives.

His primary legislative interests are education, health care, campaign reform, environmental protection, and social and economic justice. He led the fight to pass and implement the state’s campaign finance reform law, and has chaired special task forces on medical records privacy, the social and ethical implications of genetic technology, and alternatives to property taxes to fund public schools. During his freshman term, he broke a six-year logjam to win passage of the Rivers Act, a major environmental protection bill. He is currently leading the effort to pass the Act for Healthy Massachusetts, a bill that would encourage the substitution of safer alternatives to commonly-used toxic chemicals. He has sponsored legislation aimed at tax fairness and has consistently secured major budget increases for METCO, the state’s premier racial desegregation program.

His monthly “OPEN HOUSE” public policy forum, now in its fourteenth season, has been recognized with the prestigious Beacon Award as the nation’s best televised government relations series. Jay Kaufman was appointed founding director of Northeastern University’s new center for Leadership and Public Life where he now teaches and leads leadership development workshops for those in or aspiring to public life.[1]

Anti "sweating" Bill

In 2001, an anti "sweating" Massachusetts statehouse bill (H-928, S-1621) sponsored by Rep. Jay Kaufman and Sen. Dianne Wilkerson was lodged in the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, chaired by Sen. Mark Montigny.[2]

Commonwealth Coalition event

In 2002 Carin Schiewe resigned after 13 years as Director of the Commonwealth Coalition in Boston.

Her leadership was celebrated with a fundraising event in June. At the event many speakers recalled the impact Schiewe has had on the progressive movement. Among them were Warren Tolman, candidate for Governor, Representative Jay Kaufman, Kathy Casavant, Treasurer of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, and Lucia Mayerson-David of ¿Oiste?.[3]

DSA support in 2004

According to to the Boston Democratic Socialists of America newsletter, The Yankee Radical, September 2004, page 6, Boston DSA endorsed several State House of Representatives in 2004. These included Rep. Jay Kaufman (Democrat) Incumbent, 15th Middlesex House Dist.[4]

Endorsing Organizations: Mass NOW, Mass NARAL, AFL-CIO

Supported Progressive Health Care Reform

In late 2009, Jay Kaufman 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,[5]

"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."

Coalition for Social Justice support

In June 2012, some of the Coalition for Social Justice families went to Boston to take part in a stroller brigade in support of the Safer Alternatives Bill. The kids wrote personalized messages in cards that were hand delivered to Senate President Therese Murray and Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Stephen Brewer.

By passing this bill, our state would make a commitment to reducing the impact of the most dangerous toxic chemicals we are exposed to daily by replacing their use with safer, alternative chemicals that already exist. The bill would also promote research and development of new alternatives to toxic chemicals, and proposes programs to help make the transition easier for workers and businesses.

The Coalition for Social Justice is an organizational member on the Governing Board of The Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow. The Safer Alternatives Bill, S.397/H.1136 is sponsored by Senator Steve Tolman and Representative Jay Kaufman.

"Budget for All"

November 6, 2012 - by a three to one margin, Massachusetts voters "sent a clear message to both Democrats and Republicans in Washington about the federal budget crisis and the impending "fiscal cliff"". The Budget for All ballot question passed by 661,033 to 222,514 votes. It calls for no cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or other vital programs; investment in useful jobs; an end to corporate tax loopholes and to the Bush cuts on taxes on high incomes; withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan now; and redirection of military spending to domestic needs and job creation. The question passed by a wide margin in every district and all 91 Massachusetts cities and towns where it appeared on the ballot, ranging from most of Greater Boston to Holyoke to Norwood, Lawrence and Fall River.

Initiated by over 80 community, peace, labor, and faith groups, the Budget for All was supported by State Treasurer Steve Grossman, State Auditor Suzanne Bump, and Representatives Barney Frank, Mike Capuano, Jim McGovern and Ed Markey, along with 10 State Senators, 18 State Representatives, and 15 city councilors.[6]

State Senators backing the initiative were William Brownsberger, Sonia Chang-Diaz, Sal DiDomenico, Kenneth Donnelly, Pat Jehlen, Thomas McGee, Stanley Rosenberg, Dan Wolf.

State Representatives were Cory Atkins, Linda Dorcena Forry, Sean Garballey, Louis Kafka, Jay Kaufman, Jason Lewis, David Linsky, Denise Provost, Frank I. Smizik, Ellen Story, Timothy Toomey, Jr., Marty Walz, Alice Wolf.

Leaders of the movement were;