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Economic Inequality & Development

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As your State Senator, I support economic development investments that are targeted to build stable and broadly-shared wealth within our communities.


Economic development partnerships have the potential to enliven neighborhood economies, open new job opportunities, and build new ownership possibilities for local residents. Alternately, economic development done poorly can take the form of inappropriate or undisciplined public benefits to corporate special interests. Too often, we’ve seen states and municipalities get caught in a race to the bottom for who can offer the biggest tax give-away to large corporations. We need to always make sure our development efforts are strengthening those in the city and state who need it most, and that we’re using our resources in the most efficient, effective way.

I fight regularly for funding to economic development programs that have a heavy impact in my district—from the Brownfields redevelopment fund for clean-up of polluted properties, to the Small Business Technical Assistance program, which has helped thousands of small, local business owners across the state open, stabilize, or grow. I also work with legislative colleagues, the executive branch, and local developers to ensure that rigorous goals are set—and evaluated—for minority- and local-resident job creation and wealth-building when public dollars are spent in our neighborhoods. In 2017 I helped ensure that our new recreational-marijuana law included strong provisions to ensure minority-community participation in both the regulation of the new industry and the wealth that it will inevitably create. These provisions are now considered by many to be the most progressive in the nation and a model for other states.

We must also continue the push for transparency and disciplined decision-making when it comes to our economic development dollars. I have filed and co-sponsored legislation calling for regular review of corporate tax credit spending—as we do with spending in our regular state budget, for “clawbacks” of tax credit dollars when recipient corporations fail to live up to their promises, and to prohibit taxpayer dollars from going to for-profit ventures with exorbitant ratios between their CEOs and their lowest-paid employees.
Finally, as your state senator, I will always be a strong voice not just for more jobs, but for good jobs. That means a fair minimum wage that’s indexed to inflation—just like legislators’ salaries—and paid family medical leave. It also means remembering that our public education system is the most proven jobs program we have. It’s our most powerful tool for making Massachusetts an attractive place for businesses in the new economy, and it’s our most reliable way to make sure our people get good-paying jobs, that can sustain families and neighborhoods.


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Cannabis cafes, crackdown on local fees among reforms headed to House

By Dan Adams | Apr 07, 2022

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“The numbers here are lackluster, to put it lightly,” said state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, head of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Racial Equity. “But I think that equally, if not of greater concern, is the lack of transparency."

By Chris Burrell | Feb 08, 2022

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“The gap between the law’s stated commitment to equity and the on-the-ground reality of the industry shows just how much work we have left to do,” said Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, the other co-chair of the cannabis committee.

By Dan Adams | Jan 30, 2022

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On Friday, January 28, the Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy moved forward a sweeping bill to promote social equity in the cannabis industry.

Jan 29, 2022

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