In preparation for the upcoming state elections (the primary on September 9th and General Election on November 4th) MPHA reached out to all of the gubernatorial candidates to learn more about where each candidate stands on key public health issues in Massachusetts. We are pleased to have received thoughtful responses from six of the candidates.
You can read the a compilation of all the responses here, or use the links that follow to read responses from individual candidates.
We received responses from Democrats Don Berwick, Martha Coakley, and Steve Grossman, Republican Charlie Baker, and Independents Evan Falchuk and Scott Lively. Do you think the candidates did a good job answering our questions? Is there more you’d like to learn?
Here’s what we asked them:
- Public Health Priorities. What will be your top public health priorities if elected governor?
- Health Equity and Zip Code. We know that our health is closely related to our zip code – people living in low income communities and communities of color live shorter lives and have a higher burden of illness. What are three specific actions you would take to change this?
- Prevention Funding. We know the best way to control healthcare costs is through focusing on prevention-oriented solutions before we ever get sick; however, Department of Public Health programs whose purposes are to prevent chronic diseases have been affected most by budget cuts during the recent recession. As governor, would you support increased state funding for chronic disease prevention programs?
- Health Impact Across State Agencies. We know that actions by state agencies related to housing, development, and transportation impact our health. How would you support and encourage these “non-health” agencies to consider the health impacts of their policies and practices?
- Preventing Substance Abuse. This year hundreds of people in Massachusetts died as a result of opiate overdoses. As governor, what would you do to prevent substance abuse and overdose?
- Tax Fairness and Public Health. Do you think our state’s tax system is stable, equitable, aligned with health policy, and sufficient to meet our public needs? If not, what changes do you support?
- Ballot Questions – Gas Tax Indexing Repeal and Earned Sick Leave. How do you plan to vote on ballot questions 1 and 4 on the upcoming November ballot? Q1: Repeal of gas tax indexing; Q4: Earned paid sick leave.
Be sure to also check out candidate responses to questions regarding Food Policy as well as Transportation & Smart Growth. Massachusetts Food Action put out a questionnaire to gubernatorial candidates to see where they stand on food policy in Massachusetts. MA Food Action received responses from Martha Coakley, Donald Berwick, and Steve Grossman. Follow the links to see each candidate’s response. Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) and the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance teamed up to put together a questionnaire to the candidates to hear the candidate’s stance on transportation and smart growth issues in the Commonwealth. All seven candidates responded to this questionnaire and the individual responses can be read here.
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