Our Democracy

I believe in what’s possible for the American democracy.

Despite the challenges facing our democracy today, I still believe the American democracy can deliver on the promise of freedom, justice and equality for all people…but we have to work for it.

A strong, vibrant and expansive democracy requires courageous, proactive and visionary leadership.  It requires a Secretary of State who seeks ways to create opportunities and clear barriers to help improve quality of life for all people.

A strong, vibrant and expansive democracy demands a Secretary of State who embraces their role as the chief democracy officer, a leader who works in service to our communities and advances policies that empower people.

For more than a quarter of a century, this office has been administrative, transactional, and ministerial.  By design, it has not taken an active role in creating pathways of opportunity in our democracy.  Instead, the office has been decidedly reactionary and celebrating the status quo.

In contrast, my vision for this office is intentionally proactive, courageous, and centered on empowering people at the local level, in communities from Provincetown to Pittsfield.  The portfolio of this office is deep and impacts the full spectrum of our democracy.  That is why I refer to it as the chief democracy office and the role of secretary of state as the chief democracy officer.  Indeed, the advancement of democracy requires full engagement and to activate this office will require courageous, vision and inclusive leadership that is connected to our communities and determined to build the democracy we all deserve.

I am running for Secretary of State to transform this office from being a static administrative hub into a dynamic democracy gateway seeking ways to increase opportunity and remove barriers to improve quality of life for all people.  I believe that this moment demands more, we deserve more and together we will deliver more!

I invite you to learn more about my vision for this office by joining one of our local meet & greets or by exploring my policy positions.

I am working to earn your vote on or before September 6th. Please reach out to me with any questions:  

My best,

Chief Elections Officer: Voting Rights and Elections

In a time of great uncertainty in our democracy, increasing voter participation and ensuring election security must be the number one priority for the next Secretary of State.

We need a secretary who will roll up their sleeves to do the tough work necessary to increase voter participation across the Commonwealth.

In the 2020 Presidential election, just under In the 2020 Presidential election, just under two-thirds of Massachusetts residents who were eligible to cast a ballot did so. Some who chose not to vote were registered to vote with their municipality, too many others had not even taken that step. Massachusetts ranks 28th in the nation for voter registration. That is with automatic voter registration.

In the 2020 presidential election we saw wide disparities in turnout across the state with our highest performing districts turning out 90% or more of their voters, while cities like Springfield only saw 50% of eligible voters cast ballots.  In 2021, none of our state’s top ten Gateway Cities saw their voter turnout rate surpass 32%.

We must continue to break down administrative barriers to the ballot box to help ensure that eligible voters can exercise their right to vote free and clear. But that is not enough. In far too many communities people are losing trust in our democracy.  As the chief democracy office, the secretary of state must take a leading role in helping to build and restore trust in our democracy as part of a strategy to increase voter participation.

It is also critically important that we are vigilant in advancing election security to ensure our elections are safe, secure and inclusive.  Our goal must be to lead the world in election security.

As Chief Democracy Officer, I will be guided by the following principles:

  • Voting is a right, not a privilege.

  • As the birthplace of our democracy, Massachusetts must be a beacon in our nation in advancement of voting rights.

  • Voter participation gaps in Massachusetts are significant and we must work with our communities and voting rights organizations to develop policy solutions to increase voter participation.

  • Government should not happen to people…government should happen with and through the people.

  • Election security is a priority in a strong democracy.

Fully implement Automatic Voter Registration

One of the core fights during the civil rights movement was to ensure that eligible voters could register to vote without restriction. According to a 2020 Kaiser Family Foundation report Massachusetts ranks 28th in voter registration nationally.  To address this issue, I will:


  • ensure that automatic voter registration (AVR) is fully implemented and will work toward a day when all eligible voters are automatically registered to vote when they reach their 18th birthday.


  • work to expand the government entities that can automatically register eligible voters to include those that administer public assistance or unemployment benefits, provide job training and placement services, and our public schools.


  • use data to conduct targeted outreach to eligible voters who have not been automatically registered to vote.

Election/Same Day Voter Registration

Maine adopted same day voter registration in 1973, nearly a half century ago.  Since that time 20 other states, including all other New England states have adopted some form of same day voter registration.  As a result, they have knocked down one of the biggest barriers to voting for people of color, working people, low-income communities, and other vulnerable communities.


For decades voting rights advocates have pleaded with the Massachusetts secretary of state and state legislature to remove this racial and economic barrier to voting.  As Secretary of State I will:


  • Partner with voting rights organizations and community stakeholders to help educate the public about election day registration, and together we will advocate for the passage of election day registration (EDR).


  • Explore the possibility of a ballot initiative.


  • Provide additional support to local elections officials to assist with implementation of EDR. This includes funding and training.

Restoring Trust In Democracy

We must increase voter participation across Massachusetts. 

Our strategy must included both breaking down administrative barriers to the ballot box, and addressing the broken trust far too many people are experiencing with government. We must restore trust and strengthen the relationship between government and the people in order to inspire, motivate and encourage people to vote and increase overall civic participation.


As Secretary of State I will:


  • Create a Democracy Engagement unit to work with local community-based organizations, municipal officials and other stakeholders to help develop initiatives to build relationships and trust with voters. It does not matter if people are registered to vote if they do not trust government enough to cast the ballot.


  • Increase the number of offices through co-location with local democracy organizations and mobile sites. In addition to Boston, there are two other offices, one in Springfield the other in Fall River.  The office needs a stronger presence in Central Massachusetts and in the Merrimack Valley. 

Increase ballot box accessibility

With so many pressures facing families and residents today, we have to do what we can to increase ballot box accessibility.  As Secretary of State, I will:


  • Partner with lawmakers to make election day a holiday and provide paid time off for voting. A 2016 Pew Research Study found that 14% of non-voters cited being “too busy or conflicting schedule” as one of the top three reasons for not casting a ballot.


  • Advocate for funding to increase the number of 24-hour drop boxes statewide and provide financial support to municipalities to help with the purchase of additional drop boxes. Our standard will be one drop box for every 25,000 voters in a municipality. Currently there are 366 ballot drop boxes across Massachusetts.


  • Make voting accessible by improving language access on election education materials and ballots. We must ensure that transliteration of ballots is happening with fidelity, and the responsibility should not rest solely with local municipalities, the Secretary of State must help with the resources to protect voter access.

Support for Local Municipalities and Town Clerks

Our local town clerks are the chief democracy officers for their cities and towns and they deserve the support and resources to innovate in order to expand local participation in elections, and to share with others what they learn. They also deserve opportunities to access training on proven and emergent approaches for expanding voter registration.  As Secretary of State I will:


  • Provide seed funding to support democracy innovation in our local municipalities. The funding will support new technologies for civic engagement, democracy expansion through community dialogues and debates, and tools to educate residents on how to run for office or volunteer for appointments.


  • Ensure that our local public schools have the funding they need to support civics education.


  • Work with town clerks to identify opportunities to direct resources in service of state-wide election modernization. From election reporting databases to text based voter outreach tools, there are countless opportunities to support and streamline our voting and election management systems across the Commonwealth.


  • Create a standard information profile for candidates for public office that can be searched and made available in advance of elections and provide voter education materials in multiple languages.


  • Support the passage of legislation that will allow municipalities the opportunity to pursue voter expansion policies to expand engagement in city and town elections. These policies include Ranked Choice Voting, and lowering the voting age to 16 in municipal elections.

Election Security

As a civil rights leader I know how critically important it is to have safe and secure elections we can all trust.  Following the January 6th insurrection, the issue of election security could not be more important. As Secretary of State I will:


  • Ensure that Massachusetts is leading the nation in election security, working with cyber security experts, technologists, elections experts and others to ensure we are at the forefront.


  • Offer legislation requiring risk limiting audits of our elections.


  • Submit the office to independent auditing

Chief Information Officers: Government Transparency and Accountability

The secretary of state is the chief information officer for the Commonwealth.  In this capacity the secretary must work to ensure (i) government transparency, (ii) that public information is accessible, and (iii) that people have access to the information they need to engage with government.

In 2013 Massachusetts received and F from Open States in response to the lack of transparency in our state legislature, and a 2015 study from the Center for Public Integrity gave the state a D+.  We are not getting any better, at a time when people are losing trust in government.  Massachusetts is the birthplace of democracy and should be carrying the mantle of transparency in our democracy.

Ensuring the public has timely access to public records and information is a critical check and balance in our democracy.

As Secretary of State I will work to ensure that public records are not shielded from the public and that public policy is debated in public.

As Chief Democracy Officer, I will be guided by the following principles:

  • The activities of our public institutions are of interest to the public. Public information and records must be accessible and available in a timely manner.

  • Exemptions to public records disclosure should be limited, i.e. to protect personal privacy and public safety.

  • We need to move our public records into the 21st century by digitizing and making them more accessible to the public.

  • The Secretary of State must be actively engaged with communities to help people access and understand public information.

Transparent Government and Public Records

Massachusetts is the birthplace of our democracy, and today it is the least transparent state in the country.

Massachusetts exempts the Governor, state legislature and state judiciary from open records law. No other state shields so much of the work of its officials from the view of the public.

And, when residents, journalists and advocates are able to request public requests, they must navigate a sea of red tape.  As Secretary of State, I will:

  • Advocate for removing the blanket exemptions of the legislature, governor and judiciary from the state’s public records law. To do this I will work in partnership with our legislature to convene stakeholders to identify critical exemptions to public disclosure. We also must ensure access to public meetings. Together we will make Massachusetts a national model in transparency.
  • Remove unnecessary and punitive fees to access public information. 
  • To increase accessibility, advocate to make virtual meeting options permanent.
  • Set standards and exploring the feasibility of conducting audits for public records disclosure “readiness” with a focus on agencies with a history of routine noncompliance.

Accountable Government and Public Records

When public records requests are received by government entities they should be responded to swiftly and those requests should not be assessed burdensome fees seeking to restrict access.  The Secretary of State must do more to improve timely compliance with the law and to hold public officials and agencies accountable for their public records responses by:


  • Tracking and documenting routine non-compliance by government agencies including the full details of each appeal filed to the Supervisor of Records and the detailed response to the appeal. We will also work to create a repository of the data or information released through requests to facilitate easy access by others. 


  • Expand tracking of enforcement referrals made to the Attorney General’s office to ensure the status of all public records requests is readily available in a comprehensive and accessible format that can be easily queried.


  • Holding public hearings with delinquent agencies to increase compliance with public records requests.


  • Exploring ways to increase compliance and the independence of public records enforcement through the establishment of an independent “Right to Know” commission similar to what has been implemented in Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut. These commissions create a mechanism for independent reviews of individual cases and prevent unnecessary and costly lawsuits and delays.

21st Century Information Infrastructure

In the digital age, residents should be able to find the public information they want easily and quickly from their computers and other devices. Massachusetts still uses systems created for a paper-based world. We need information to be delivered in real-time in a format that is easily accessed and understood. As Secretary of State I will:


  • Provide resources and training for state agencies and municipalities to digitize the most frequently requested datasets and to make them broadly accessible in a timely manner.


  • Reduce the carbon footprint of the Secretary of State by eliminating the use of paper-based systems which will also help increase the accessibility of information.


  • Establish an advisory of information experts to help ensure Massachusetts is a national leader in information access.

Increasing Economic Opportunity and Resiliency

Income inequality is impacting communities across Massachusetts.  The average income among the top 20% of households is $299,188, accounting for 50.9% of all income earned in Massachusetts. The average income among the lower 20% of households by earnings is just $16,450, or just 2.8% of all earnings statewide. These two numbers demonstrate the depth of economic inequality within the Commonwealth. The Secretary of State has the power to make meaningful changes toward addressing the economic inequality experienced by far too many Massachusetts families.

Massachusetts is the most expensive state in the country to register a business and small businesses bear the brunt of this cost. The fees paid to the Secretary of State by businesses are the same for the micro main street diner as the large corporation downtown Boston.  That is not fair.

A strong democracy requires a strong economy and right now our economy is fragile.  The Secretary of State can no longer sit on the sidelines collecting fees while our small business community is struggling.  Through the corporations division I will ensure that this office is doing its part to help tackle economic inequality and stabilize the economy.

As Secretary of State, I will be guided by the following principles:

  • A strong economy is necessary for a strong democracy.

  • Actively support the main street micro small business community in Massachusetts to help ensure it is thriving.

  • Seek ways to promote good business practices and amplify ESG efforts.

  • Seek ways for the office to help address major societal issues, ie: our housing crisis

  • Help people retire with dignity, protecting investments from fraud and increasing financial literacy.

  • The Secretary of State must lead from the front on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Entrepreneurship and Small Business Ownership

Business ownership is one of the ways we can tackle economic inequality in Massachusetts.  We need to make it easier and less expensive to start and maintain a thriving business.

If you want to do business in Massachusetts, you must go through the Secretary of State. We will use the power of the office to (i) make it easier to start and maintain a micro small business or entrepreneurial venture, (ii) better understand the needs of businesses, (iii) connect micro small businesses with resources, and (iv) incentivize inclusive and sustainable growth.

Specifically, we will:


  • Reduce corporate registration fees and modernize the corporate registration process for small businesses and start-ups.


  • Champion governance structures like benefit-corporations (b-corps) to advance good environmental, social and governance practices.


  • Provide access to language translation services for micro-small business owners to help them register their business.

Tackling Economic Inequality

Given the impact economic inequality across Massachusetts every constitutional officer should be taking affirmative steps to address this issue and create a more inclusive economy. As Secretary of State I will:


  • Create the Massachusetts Business Snapshot,  a voluntary reporting opportunity modeled after similar efforts in Minnesota, to collect supplemental data from businesses registering with the state that will enable business owners to identify potential partners and consumers to target their purchasing decisions. 


  • Champion the Parity On Board Coalition and other efforts to address race and gender disparities and advance diversity on corporate boards.


  • Advance procurement diversity efforts by connecting Veteran, Women, Minority and LGBTQ owned businesses to the Office of Supplier Diversity and other government supports to increase government contracting opportunities.


  • Ensure that the Office of Secretary of State reflects the diversity of Massachuetts and adopts inclusive practices. I also commit to publicly disclosing the DEI statistics for the office.

Historic Preservation and Equitable Distribution of Historical Tax Credits

As the Chair of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the Secretary of State oversees the annual allocation of over 50 million dollars in Historic Tax Credits. I want to use this process to help address our affordable housing crisis, promote the development of climate resilient and transit-oriented housing, increase diversity in the real estate development, and preserve more of our history.


As Secretary I will:


  • Conduct an assessment of the distribution of historical tax credits across Massachusetts to ensure sites receiving economic support reflect the diversity of Massachusetts, with a focus on the rich indigenous history in Massachusetts.


  • Create and disseminate educational materials to help better inform municipalities and businesses about the Historical Tax Credits program and how they can access it to ensure more equitable access to these credits.


  • Implement a program to accelerate the review of affordable housing projects and those with MBE/WBE project partners.

Emergency Issues

The Dobbs decision represents a critical encroachment on the rights of all of us, including women and families in Massachusetts. Today, across the country, Republicans are passing strict abortion bans. Beyond the extreme bans themselves, increasing numbers of states are punishing individuals who assist women with abortion services. While Governor Baker and the Legislature have taken steps to prevent extraditions to anti-abortion states, it is clear all of Massachusetts’ constitutional officers must step up to ensure the rights of women in and out of the Commonwealth are protected.

Secretary of State Bill Galvin is a 27-year incumbent and the only anti-abortion constitutional officer in Massachusetts. 

I believe that if Republicans can use their elected offices to push a radical agenda on issues like abortion, then the least Democrats can do is use their offices to push back against it. On this issue, as with others, Massachusetts must lead.

The Commonwealth Office of Secretary of State is endowed with significant powers and authority to regulate corporations and securities, the disclosure of public records, and the registration of lobbyists, among others. As Secretary, I will use the full power of the office to protect women’s reproductive health and push back against efforts in the Commonwealth and across state lines to criminalize the right to choose when, how and with whom to start a family.

Massachusetts Must Lead on Reproductive Freedom

With the fall of Roe v. Wade, we have entered a new era in which constitutional officers will directly impact access to women’s health care. At this moment,  women need an ally, who will provide the proactive leadership Massachusetts needs to defend all our rights

The following policies outline how I will lead on Reproductive Freedom as Secretary of State:

Protecting the Privacy of Women, Doctors and Health Care Workers

Today, states are not only criminalizing abortion services within their state lines but also anyone who travels out of state or assists women with abortion services in any way, including one ban permitting people to sue and collect a bounty of at least $10,000 for anyone who "aids or abets" an abortion. At the same time, the availability of digital health records and apps teenagers use on their smartphones to track their monthly cycles make it easier than ever to track users in need of reproductive health services – putting women, as well as doctors and nurses at risk.

As Secretary, empowered under Chapter 66 of the Massachusetts code governing the supervision and distribution of public records, I will support and strengthen the privacy of women and health care workers. I will refuse to disclose and turn over any public records that could be used to criminalize or punish those who seek abortion services. I will work with the state legislature to strengthen privacy protections for women and health care workers who care for them.

Enhancing Corporate Oversight & Disclosure of Reproductive Health

Within the Corporations Division, the Secretary of State has authority to issue Certificates of Good Standing to companies and entities that wish to conduct business in Massachusetts. Likewise, the Securities Division has oversight of entities that seek to issue a security or raise funds in Massachusetts. The overall goal of both efforts is to protect Massachusetts residents and investors. 


As Secretary, I will require companies applying for a Certificate of Good Standing or to issue a security in Massachusetts to disclose certain information about the reproductive health services it provides its employees and dependents. This would include whether: 1) its health plan covers contraception, abortion services and miscarriage care, 2) provides on-site or subsidized child care provisions, 3) has collaborated with law enforcement to punish anyone seeking or aiding reproductive health services, as well as any other essential information when it comes to deciding whether to start a family. If necessary, I will work with the legislature for additional statutory authority. 


From this information, I will compile a “Reproductive Health Grade” easily accessible on the state website for each company that allows consumers and investors to see for themselves whether companies doing business in Massachusetts are supportive of women and families. 

Holding Crisis Pregnancy Centers Accountable for Deception

So-called “crisis pregnancy centers” feign to offer legitimate abortion services, but actually gather personal information and then harass pregnant women. Like Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) who has led on this issue at the federal level, I believes these centers deceive women and should be held accountable.


As Secretary, I will work with the Attorney General to ensure the records of crisis pregnancy centers are complete, their advertising is truthful and will seek to add disclaimers where necessary to minimize fraud and deception. 


In addition, I will explore whether the broad authority within the Massachusetts Securities Act—which mandates that “any person who offers or sells a security in the Commonwealth cannot engage in any act, practice, or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person”—can be applied not only to crisis pregnancy centers but any affiliate or funder. 

Enforce the Disclosure of Lobbying Activity on Beacon Hill

Today, when lobbyists and businesses register in the Commonwealth, they agree to disclose what legislation they lobbied on and whether they opposed or supported it. But they don’t, because Bill Galvin doesn’t hold them accountable. As a result, powerful institutions often are permitted to simply state they advocate on “issues of interest to the institution.” This has implications for women, as today lobbyists are currently advocating in the legislature against reproductive health care legislation such as the Roe Act and funds in the budget for out of state abortion care.


As Secretary, I will enforce existing lobbying law to ensure timely, accurate and transparent disclosure of what lobbyists and companies are advocating or opposing. This will apply not only to reproductive health but a host of issues before the legislature important to women and families, including voting reform, public records law and economic opportunity.