Humphrey lays out progressive agenda at campaign launch [videos]

City Councilor Bill Humphrey launched his campaign for state representative Tuesday night, in a casual meeting with supporters and press at the home of former City Councilor Alicia Bowman.

“In uncertain times like these, a place like Massachusetts should be a beacon of safety, our legislature should proudly be a beacon for the rest of the nation to follow,” Humprey said. “We can be a commonwealth for everyone.”

Humphrey is running for the 12th Middlesex House seat as State Rep. Ruth Balser plans to retire, and he’s positioning himself as the progressive pick in a Democratic primary race against City Councilor Rick Lipof and former City Councilor Greg Schwartz.

Humphrey highlighted his work on the City Council—he’s currently in his third term—and as chair of Progressive Newton (a chapter of Progressive Newton) in addition to his work on social justice issues like marriage equality, transgender rights and more.

“I’m also from a union family—my mother is a Massachusetts Nurses Association member at the Brigham,” Humphrey said proudly, to a roar of applause.

City Councilor Bill Humphrey, middle, launches his campaign for state representative with former city councilors Holly Ryan, left, and Brenda Noel right. [Photo by Bryan McGonigle]

Humphrey then went through a checklist of issues he wants to tackle from Beacon Hill, including climate change and the housing shortage.

“New England is one of the fastest-warming regions of the U.S., and we’re seeing flooding just about every month now,” he said.

Humphrey pointed to housing as the biggest barrier to financial stability for moderate-income families.

“Housing is a human right,” he continued. “The commonwealth is experiencing a serious crisis on the cost of housing affecting the middle class, working class and the very poor.”

And he wants to make public transportation as much a priority for the state as road infrastructure is.

“There should be transit accessible to almost everyone in the state, certainly all of the areas with any sort of population density at all,” Humphrey said.

Three of Humphreys peers spoke as well: Bowman, in addition to former city councilors Brenda Noel and Holly Ryan (see videos below).

“I know that Bill would be somebody that I would want to knock on their door when I’d be lobbying at the state house,” Ryan, a longtime advocate and lobbyist for LGBT rights and co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Caucus of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, said. “There are some people, they run for office to be senators or state reps, and I sometimes used to wonder why they were even there.”

The Democratic primary is set for Sept. 3.

Videos from campaign launch speeches