What’s Sonia Been Fighting For During the Pandemic?
Sonia’s top priorities this session include getting federal pandemic relief funds distributed speedily and equitably, supporting housing stabilization efforts, passing the Work and Family Mobility Act, and advancing ambitious policies to close the racial wealth gap.
Early in the pandemic, Sonia fought hard for relief and recovery efforts, including helping to win passage of the COVID-19 data transparency law and MA’s nation-leading eviction and foreclosure moratorium. When Gov. Baker refused to renew that moratorium in Fall 2020, Sonia helped secure legal guarantees that renters may not be evicted if they have an application for rental assistance pending with the state.
In February, Sonia co-filed the Vaccine Equity Act to help close racial and geographic disparities in vaccination rates through more direct outreach, mobile vaccination clinics, and increased data collection and transparency. After intense pressure from community advocates and legislators, many of these provisions were adopted by the Baker Administration.
In Summer 2020, in response to the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Sonia co-authored legislation to increase accountability and prioritize de-escalation in law enforcement. She tenaciously negotiated a final accountability package through contentious debate on Beacon Hill and got it signed into law in December 2020.
She successfully advocated for increased funding for youth jobs, preschool expansion grants, addiction services, housing assistance, and METCO in the state budget—and to get implementation back on track for the Student Opportunity Act, to equitably fund our public schools. Sonia also won an additional $1 million in FY22 for the Small Business Technical Assistance program that supports BIPOC, women, immigrant, and veteran entrepreneurs.
Sonia’s team has helped over 375 constituents apply for and receive unemployment benefits since the pandemic began in March 2020.
Sonia also hosted a town hall for constituents to discuss her pandemic recovery agenda, celebrated the opening of new affordable housing in Jamaica Plain/Mission Hill, co-hosted hot dog night for residents of the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments, and joined the Black Boston COVID Coalition for community vaccination days at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury.