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As a civil rights attorney and former leader of the Attorney General’s office, I know that the job of the Attorney General is to fight for the people’s rights.
First, protecting people’s rights, including civil rights, reproductive freedoms, consumer protections, equal pay, environmental protections, fair labor rights, and access to health care (including mental health).
Second, safeguarding communities by working to reduce gun violence, protect children, tackle drug addiction and addressing the root causes of violence and instability in our neighborhoods through advocacy, prosecution and community partnership. A key provision of my comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence is to engage more clinical social works to work with youth and families engaged in violence, including through programs like YouthConnect.
Finally, taking on the Beacon Hill culture of corruption. I don’t come to this race as a career Beacon Hill politician — I’m a leader in the Attorney General’s Office, a former prosecutor and a civil rights attorney, and I will be an independent voice for the people’s rights.
I will NOT march.
This issue is deeply personal to me. For many years, access to HIV/AIDS treatment and services was denied based on prejudice. Rising HIV/AIDS rates in the United States require both access to treatment and services for all. I will work to ensure health care access is never denied someone on the basis of their sexual orientation, race, gender, or disability status.I will also support statewide age-appropriate sexual health education in our schools that is medically accurate and age appropriate. Young people must be educated so they can make mature decisions on delaying sexual activity, using contraceptives, and preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. Schools should have the resources to teach students about how to be safe and how to form healthy, respectful, and non-violent relationships. Curriculum should help educate all students, regardless of gender, race, disability status or sexual orientation. As Attorney General, I will be an advocate for comprehensive sexuality education as a crucial tool in promoting sexual health and healthy relationships.
Yes, extremely important.
I am committed to eliminating the scourge of gun violence and addressing the deep public health and public safety crisis created by guns. Over the past decade, over 2,100 Massachusetts residents have lost their lives to gun violence, far too many in low-income neighborhoods of Boston. That is unacceptable. As Attorney General, I will address the root causes of violence by supporting programs like YouthConnect, an innovative partnership that provides clinical social workers to at-risk youth and families engaged in violence. I will also lead on implementation of the new gun violence bill, which provides new tools to combat gun trafficking into our state and into Boston. I have set also forth a plan to use the Attorney General’s Office in new ways to target domestic and sexual violence, also far too prevalent in our cities, by partnering with community groups to provide safe housing and resources to victims, using AG settlement funds as well. I want to empower survivors and target violence by improving the response by law enforcement, working with our court system to improve outcomes, and combatting sex trafficking.
I am the only candidate for Attorney General who has put forward a comprehensive plan to address domestic and sexual violence. As Attorney General I will work to improve prosecution rates for sexual and domestic violence crimes, ensure that victims and families impacted by violence receive needed services, and reduce violence in the future by improving training and public education programs.Domestic and sexual violence harm individuals in every community, in every demographic, and in every socioeconomic class throughout our state. However, many people find it difficult to discuss these issues, and members of certain communities – including some immigrants, men, children, senior citizens, and members of the LGBTQ community – may be particularly reluctant to report having been the victim of a sexual assault or domestic violence. We need to expand preventive public education programs, improve outreach efforts to help survivors access existing resources, and build upon those resources. We also need to increase accountability for perpetrators, including by expediting the processing of evidence kits in our crime labs. As Attorney General, this will be a priority.As a former prosecutor and a civil rights attorney, I have experience advocating on behalf of survivors of violence. When I was a Special Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County, I prosecuted domestic violence cases before both judges and juries. As Chief of the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division, I sought and obtained protective orders on behalf of victims of hate crimes, and I worked with the Attorney General’s Victim Compensation and Assistance Division to ensure that those victims were able to access much-needed services. I worked on and supported the first human trafficking law in Massachusetts, which is a model for other states.I am also a longtime advocate for LGBT equality. While in private practice, I worked on an early challenge to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. As head of the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division, I sued the federal government and won the nation’s first successful challenge to DOMA. Within the office, I worked to pass and then implement the state’s landmark anti-bullying bill with specific focus on addressing hate crimes and cyberbullying against LGBT youth.
You can read the full text of my plan here: http://www.maurahealey.com/issues/DomesticAndSexualViolence
Yes. I will lead on this issue. Conversion therapy is a discriminatory and harmful practice that contributes to ongoing prejudice.
I have an unmatched record of leadership and advocacy on behalf of the LGBT community.I have prosecuted people for hate crimes and trained police officers and law enforcement on working with victims targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. I oversaw the Attorney General’s Office’s work on the Massachusetts anti-bullying law and advised state agencies on the law.In addition to continuing our work to end LGBT discrimination at all levels and enhance resources for LGBT homeless youth, I have made protecting children and youth in Massachusetts a focus on my campaign.For that reason, as Attorney General, I will create a first-of-its-kind Child & Youth Protection Division to better advocate for and promote the welfare of children and young people in Massachusetts. This is the one new division I’m proposing to create and it’s been a key priority of my campaign. The new division will work to proactively advise DCF and other state agencies, and take the lead on protecting vulnerable children and youth by working on cybercrime and child pornography, youth violence and addiction, LGBT youth homelessness, civil rights and bullying, mental health, and school safety, and other issues that address needs and concerns of children and youth. The Division will engage experts in various fields relating to children to inform initiatives, pursue public-private partnerships, and work closely with children organizations, state and local agencies, and courts to improve delivery of care and services for this vulnerable population.The Attorney General also plays an important role as counsel and legal advisor to DCF. As Attorney General, I’ll work with DCF to ensure accountability because these children often have no one else to look out for them. This work requires independence and a willingness to take on long-established structures, and that’s the kind of independence I’ll bring to the Attorney General’s office.
The Attorney General must take an active role in protecting the rights of an aging LGBT population. We must work to ensure that elder care organizations are culturally attuned to LGBT couples and singles, and that no one is discriminated against in accessing medical services or to elder housing. That is a core civil rights issue for the next Attorney General and I will aggressively investigate and institute change where prejudice occurs. We also need to make sure that our service structures remain relevant and accessible for an aging population that is culturally distinct in all ways from seniors of an earlier generation. Much of senior care and services involve keeping people healthy and out of isolation. Our programs must adapt to be culturally accommodating to all elders if they are to achieve their purpose.
Yes. I have been a vocal advocate for the rights of our transgender community and will continue to be.
In my career, I have advised on and advocated for state legislation to end discrimination against transgender people and worked closely with state agencies and law enforcement to train on and support protections and equality for the transgender community. For this work, I was awarded the Carl Scortino Award by the Lawyers for Transgender Rights. My record is clear. I will ensure that Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in supporting transgender rights and fighting persistent discrimination in employment, education and housing.
I have an unmatched record of leadership and advocacy on behalf of the LGBT community. In my campaign for Attorney General, I have earned the endorsements of the Human Rights Campaign, MassEquality, LPAC, the Victory Fund, the Bay State Stonewall Democrats and the Rainbow Times on the strength of my commitment to right for civil rights and equality. I am also proud to have the support of Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, a great ally for LGBT equality and opportunity in Dorchester and the city of Boston.As Chief of the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division, I developed and argued the nation’s first successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). At the time, in 2009, President Obama was still defending the law and the majority of Americans were still opposed to equal marriage.I have prosecuted people for hate crimes and trained police officers and law enforcement on working with victims targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. I oversaw the Attorney General’s Office’s work on the Massachusetts anti-bullying law and advised state agencies on the law, and advised on and advocated for state legislation to end discrimination against transgender people.I will ensure that Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in supporting LGBT rights and fighting persistent discrimination in housing and employment. Earlier in my career while still in private practice, I worked on overturning the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell legislation pro bono.
Yes, with great pride.
1.We need to reduce gun-related deaths and shootings in our Commonwealth. I am encouraged by the new gun safety regulations passed by the legislature, which will save lives with better tracking of guns, stronger discretion for our police chiefs, provisions to protect our schools, and important data collection on suicides. As Attorney General, I will be the strongest advocate to protect our communities from gun violence and I am ready to move our Commonwealth forward by requiring smart gun technology on new guns sold.The state’s consumer protection law (Chapter 93A) allows the Attorney General to promulgate product safety regulations to protect the citizens of the Commonwealth from undue harm. This regulation has been used for everything from stopping fraud to ensuring that toy guns and teddy bears don’t have sharp edges. In 1997, Attorney General Scott Harshbarger used the consumer protection law to promulgate handgun safety regulations to protect children. The regulations were challenged in court and the Supreme Judicial Court upheld the AG’s authority to regulate guns in 1999. I will use this same authority to mandate smart gun technology on new guns sold in the Commonwealth. In the 18 months since the Newtown tragedy, there have been 74 school shootings and 52,000 deaths to gun violence. Every year, 7,500 children are injured by a gun accident. I won’t wait to use the AG’s authority to protect the health and safety of our citizens to do what Congress can’t – make smart gun technology a reality and save lives.This smart gun mandate is about improving safety and restricting access from prohibited users. It’s a sensible response, using technology that’s readily available today.My comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence is available on my website at http://warrentolman.com/smartguns/.
As the father of two daughters, I am deeply concerned about campus sexual assault, as statistics show that a young woman is more likely to be the victim of sexual assault if she goes to college than if she does not go to college. The Attorney General regulates non-profits, and I will use the Attorney General’s Office to work with colleges to address campus sexual assault and protect students on our college campuses.This is a nationwide problem affecting our young adults and we need to act immediately to put a stop to it. We need a comprehensive approach to change the culture of these campuses because letting one more assault occur is unacceptable. We’re blessed to have the finest institutions of higher education in the world right here in the Commonwealth, making Massachusetts a magnet for very talented students. We will do all we can to make sure that our schools are the safest.As Attorney General, I intend to use the authority of the office to get Massachusetts colleges and universities to work together to develop practices to prevent more assaults. I will propose an annual summit of Massachusetts college leaders to share and revise best practices for putting an end to campus sexual assaults. I will create the position of Liaison on Campus Assault, which will work with the U.S. Department of Education and other Attorneys General around the country to investigate annual reporting, looking for potential anomalies and conferring with campus administration when they are identified.My five point plan to address campus sexual assault is available on my website at http://warrentolman.com/campus-assault.
3. Opiate abuse and addiction is a scourge in our Commonwealth and I have a vigorous plan to tackle this public health threat. I applaud the legislature for the recent passage of an opiate abuse prevention package, but more still needs to be done.As Attorney General, I will enforce Massachusetts’s mental health and substance abuse parity requirements and I will advocate for more beds for mental health and substance abuse treatment to address an alarming shortage of treatment options.I will hold providers accountable for over-prescribing and encourage prescribing drugs that are only in tamper-resistant form. My office will also find ways to stand up to Big Pharma and take action to protect our communities as these companies push dangerous painkillers like Zohydro, set to be sold in a form that is not tamper-resistant.I believe we must do a better job of reaching out to the community to educate residents about this scourge, and I will use the Attorney General’s office to advocate for increased educational programs in our communities and improved monitoring for patients receiving large dosages of these dangerously addictive prescription drugs.My comprehensive plan to combat opiate abuse is available on my website at http://warrentolman.com/opiates/.
I will reinvigorate the consumer protection function of the Attorney General’s office by instituting a series of reforms aimed at increasing outreach and visibility. Consumer complaints have fallen from 140,000 in 1998 to less than 60,000 in 2012 and it’s not because there are less scams today than there were a decade ago. I will use the full powers of the office to protect the people of the Commonwealth, and pledge that every person, regardless of their race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, will have a fighter in their corner looking out for their interests in the Attorney General’s Office. As Attorney General, I will hold frequent “AG-on-your-Corner” events around the state to hear directly from residents about issues, ensure a multilingual staff in the Consumer Protection Division to handle complaints from every corner of the Commonwealth, and I will hold office hours across the Commonwealth where representatives of diverse constituencies can sit down together with the Attorney General’s Office to confront challenges.More details are available on my website at: http://warrentolman.com/urban-agenda
I WILL NOT march.
Access to HIV & AIDS education, treatment, services, and resources has always been an important issue for me. This virus is made even more deadly by the stigma attached to it that prevents some people from getting educated, tested, and treated. In the state legislature, I was the chief sponsor of a law requiring schools to include information about HIV and AIDS in the health education curriculum at a time when it was very controversial. I did it anyway, even though public opinion wasn’t on my side at the time, because it was the right thing to do.I will continue to fight for increased awareness about the impact of HIV / AIDS and continue to speak out against the stigma that all too often goes along with this virus. I will fight for increased funding for treatment, services, and resources. In my comprehensive plan to champion equal rights for all, available on my website at http://warrentolman.com/equality/, I pledge to fight for the expansion of substance abuse treatment programs that lower the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission. I will advocate for legislation requiring private insurers, MassHealth, and the Group Insurance Commission to provide medical treatment for lipodystrophy, a disfiguring side-effect of lifesaving, but highly toxic, HIV medications. I will support legislation endorsing scientifically-accurate and age-appropriate information and education about health, the risks of teen pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases, reproduction, and contraception in Massachusetts schools, and require that LGBT information is accurate and unbiased. I will fight to make sure that AIDS/HIV testing and treatment are readily available to everyone in the Commonwealth. I will speak out about the need for more needle exchanges because they help prevent the spread of this virus. I will support programs that increase access to reproductive health services for under-served populations, including communities of color, to reduce disparities in reproductive health and sexually transmitted disease contraction rates.
Yes. (See above answer 3B for details)
The most important responsibility the Attorney General has is to protect the people of Massachusetts. As chief law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth, I will utilize a statewide approach of coordinating state, county, and municipal law enforcement to collaborate to protect our communities, including Dorchester. Along with my priorities to prevent gun violence, combat opiate abuse, improve the consumer protection outreach of the Attorney General’s Office, and reduce campus sexual assaults, I will:• Prevent domestic violence – I pledge to create a first of its kind Office on Violence Against Women within the Attorney General’s Office’s Civil Rights Division. See more in question 5 below.
• Defend the right of women to make their own health care decisions – I applaud the legislature for renewing our commitment to protecting women exercising their right to make their own health care decisions and as Attorney General will vigorously enforce the Safe Access law to prevent harassment and abuse.
• Enforce civil rights protections – I sponsored the Hate Crimes bill that added crimes against gay, lesbian, and disabled people to the list of hate crime categories and increased penalties for violations. As Attorney General, I will vigorously enforce our civil rights statutes to make sure that nobody is denied their equal rights in housing, public accommodations, employment, education, mortgage lending, or credit. I will fight to expand protections for LGBT individuals and in particular, the transgender community who are unjustly not protected under the public accommodations law.
• Protect immigrant communities – As Attorney General, I will ensure immigrants and their families are protected from scams such as the unauthorized practice of immigration law and false foreclosure relief schemes. I will work to build relationships between immigrant communities and law enforcement so that residents feel comfortable working with authorities to keep our communities safe. I will advocate for legislation that limits Secure Communities to targeting violent and dangerous offenders as well as legislation allowing immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
• Increase police training – It is a travesty that Massachusetts training budgets lag significantly behind the majority of states on a per capita basis. We have an opiate crisis in this state and we need to make sure law enforcement and emergency services are equipped with Narcan and trained in its use. We need to increase training in dealing with domestic violence situations and in dealing with different communities like immigrant communities and the LGBT community. Increasing funding for police training will ensure that we’re protecting civil rights, as better-trained officers will be better-prepared to proceed judiciously. We also need to increase training budgets on many other things, across the board, to make sure that we give our law enforcement officers the tools they need to protect our Commonwealth and keep themselves safe.
I have a proven track record of standing up to protect survivors of domestic violence. I was the chief sponsor of the law creating the Address Confidentiality program, which enables survivors of domestic violence to keep the location of their residence secret, and I was a sponsor of successful legislation to maintain the confidentiality of the location of domestic violence survivor programs and rape crisis centers.As Attorney General, I will build on my record of protecting survivors of domestic violence by creating a first of its kind Office on Violence Against Women within the Attorney General’s Office’s Civil Rights Division, as mentioned in question 4. This new office will implement law enforcement and prevention policies, and provide oversight and leadership in the effort to end violence against women. Furthermore, I will advocate for new legal protections for domestic violence survivors, including the addition of “gender” to the state’s hate crime statute, and direct the staff in the Attorney General’s Office to obtain a “Civil Rights Restraining Order” against anyone who shows a pattern of targeted abuse. I’d also advocate for the increased use of a “no drop” policy, would allowing police to pursue charges against the perpetrators of domestic violence even if a victim decides to drop the charges.
Yes. (Conversion therapy is reprehensible, I will advocate for such a bill and further will utilize the power of the Attorney General’s Office crack down on misleading, false or deceptive advertising of such services.)
I spoke out about this issue, among others, in a recent interview with The Rainbow Times (http://www.therainbowtimesmass.com/2014/08/09/equal-justice-lgbts-animates-warren-tolman-mass-attorney-general-race/). These statistics describe a situation that is completely unacceptable. It is deplorable that family rejection is a key contributing factor to the disproportionate number of LGBT homeless youth. I applaud the Governor for signing the recently passed Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Act and will advocate for funding for housing for all unaccompanied youth. In Massachusetts in 2014, no child should be left on the street without a home or a support system.Bullying is also a serious concern. I have pledged to provide resources for students and school districts so that laws to prevent bullying are uniformly enforced and students are protected. Sometimes bullying doesn’t accurately describe what is happening in our schools. Where students are the victims of sexual assault, physical assault, or criminal harassment, I will investigate and prosecute and work with law enforcement to ensure they take these crimes very seriously. I will continue my track record as a leader fighting discrimination and hate.
This is a critically important element of LGBT equality. In some cases, treatment of LGBT elders can be so bad that open LGBT individuals will re-closet themselves just to protect against from harassment from caregivers, fellow seniors, or both. This is unacceptable. We are failing our elders, many of whom fought a very tough battle for the civil rights of those who came after them.I support legislation requiring the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to develop a curriculum for delivery of accessible and appropriate services to LGBT older adults and caregivers. This has to be addressed in a comprehensive way. Government needs to recognize the problem and take decisive action to protect civil rights. As Attorney General, I will speak out about this issue and use the bully pulpit to demand action. Further, where civil rights violations, harassment, or assaults occur, I will investigate and prosecute those who would harm our elders.
Yes. (I have advocated for this bill on my website and will continue to advocate for it as Attorney General.)
The best leaders lead by example. As Attorney General, I will treat the transgender community with dignity and respect and work with leaders and advocacy groups in the community to ensure the Attorney General’s Office is doing everything it can to protect their rights. I will speak out on issues that are important to the community, by advocating for a public accommodations law that finally includes gender identity as a protected class and advocating for inclusion of LGBT protections in the equal pay statute. I will also advocate for these protections and the protections that Massachusetts already provides on the federal level. Furthermore, I will make sure the Attorney General’s Office is a resource that transgender youth and parents of transgender youth can turn to for legal advice and resources.
I have a proven record of fighting for LGBT rights, and have done so for decades. As a state legislator from 1991-1999, I was a vocal advocate for the LGBT community at a time when the community was not widely accepted, even in Massachusetts. I sponsored legislation to bring “domestic partnership” benefits to the city workers in Cambridge and Boston. I was the chief sponsor of a bill to require schools to include information about HIV and AIDS in the health education curriculum. I sponsored successful Hate Crimes legislation that added crimes against gay, lesbian, and disabled people to the existing list of hate crime categories and that increased penalties for all hate crimes. I also fought for funding for suicide prevention programs aimed at gay and lesbian youth.