Massachusetts Democrats are flocking to their annual state convention to debate a new party platform and strategize ways to unseat Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.
The proposed Massachusetts Democratic Party platform calls for a single-payer health care system, free tuition at the state's public colleges and universities, and a $15 per hour minimum wage.
The three announced Democratic candidates for governor - Newton Mayor Setti Warren, environmental activist Robert Massie, and Jay Gonzalez, a budget official under former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick – addressed delegates.
Warren focused on healthcare and education in his speech, saying, “Democrats know that single payer health care system is the best way---now is the best time to make that platform a reality.”
More than 5,000 delegates are expected to attend the Saturday convention in Worcester, including 1,500 first-time delegates. Baker, who remains popular in polls of Massachusetts voters, faces re-election next year. Baker has a 75 percent approval rating, according to a Morning Consult poll released April.
Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey also addressed the convention. Warren heavily criticized President Donald Trump’s budget decisions in her speech, focusing on cuts to social security disability insurance, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance program, saying that the latter “provides healthcare for more than 125,000” Commonwealth children.
Warren is up for re-election in 2018, and tooted funding successes, including federal funding for North Adams and Springfield firefighters, and money to “combat the opioid epidemic.”
Markey received a standing ovation after taking aim at the President, saying, “Donald Trump’s science is as bogus as a degree from Trump University,” in reference to this week’s decision by Trump to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
Warren said, "I get the feeling the only way Donald Trump would listen to working people in Lowell or Lawrence or Worcester would be if they called the White House about building a new Trump golf course,” referencing the President’s tendency to conduct White House business over golf.