Thursday, July 18, 2024

Evan MacKay, seen at Cambridge City Hall, says they plan to run for the state House of Representatives. (Photo: Evan for Cambridge campaign)

Labor activist Evan MacKay has launched a campaign to challenge state Rep. Marjorie Decker for her seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, according to a press release.

MacKay has publicly criticized the State House for its “dysfunction,” especially regarding a recent budget debacle.

“State House dysfunction materially harms people in Cambridge and around the state; just recently, Beacon Hill’s ineptitude meant that thousands of public-sector workers didn’t receive the timely pay raises they had earned,” the press release read.

This dysfunction, MacKay wrote, prevents the State House from passing meaningful progressive legislation.

“Legislators are unable to deliver on progressive policy, or frequently any type of policy at all due to the logjam caused by the centralization of power in state house leadership,” the press release read. “When they finally act, they pass regressive policies such as enormous tax cuts to large corporations and the top 1 percent, increasing the racial wealth gap.”

A self-described progressive, MacKay said they would be a great fit to represent the residents of the 25th Middlesex District, which is one of the most progressive areas in the state.

“People in the 25th Middlesex district, which is the only state House district entirely within Cambridge, urgently need rent stabilization and other statewide action on unaffordable housing, a Green New Deal and comprehensive climate policy and universal child care,” the press release read.

MacKay has organized for a variety of causes in Cambridge. A former president of the Harvard Graduate Students Union, which is affiliated with the United Auto Workers, they fought corruption in the UAW as a member of the Unite All Workers for Democracy, a reform caucus. They have also advocated for social, racial, economic and environmental justice.

MacKay began their studies at Harvard in 2015, earning a bachelor’s in sociology and a master’s in statistics. They are now pursuing a law degree and a doctorate in sociology and social policy also from Harvard.

MacKay has some time to wait before the Democratic primary, which is scheduled for September. If they win the primary and general election, MacKay would be the first openly genderqueer and nonbinary state representative from Cambridge.

MacKay’s competition, Decker, has served in the State House since 2013. Before her election, she served on the Cambridge City Council for seven terms.

A campaign website for MacKay is here.