First Congressional District of Massachusetts
I thank you all dearly for your love, support, vision and grit. For your work, your sacrifice and your fearlessness. For you lent me these qualities when I needed them most.
We may not have had an electoral win, but we have had other significant accomplishments.
We secured roughly 30% of the vote. We won a dozen towns and saw marked voter turnout in areas where we spent the most time with voters.
We received large and small generous last minute contributions from strangers who believed in us and our right to have a representative who cares for our well-being.
Our volunteers sacrificed thousands of hours of their time. From parades, to postcard writing, organizing house parties, to hosting signs, you endured the grueling heat, tough conditions, and placed your lives on hold to get us through the finish line.
Our endorsers invested their social and political capital at great risk, but did so because you saw a vision worth reaching for.
Our donors contributed what they had from one dollar to $2700 because you saw a vision worth investing in.
It’s been exciting. We cannot deny that being a part of democracy is a healing for indifference and hopelessness. The disconnect which once hovered over us so heavily is being extinguished by community building. How many of us met each other thanks to this campaign?
We made history and continue to attract national attention which shines the light on us and our needs. In fact, some people have sent me a link to President Obama’s recent speech and they wonder if he’s talking about us (advance to minute 50 onward). Could be.
As I told you the night of the election, ‘I hope he knows how lucky he is to serve you.’
Yours in peace, love and solidarity.
I’m so proud to have spent this year traveling the First Congressional District of Massachusetts and getting to know thousands of our neighbors. I share with you my campaign video, “The Story of Us”.
Tahirah Amatul-Wadud kicks off a three-city launch tour in Shelburne Falls, Mass to announce her candidacy (Dec 19, 2017).
(August 31, 2018) MASSACHUSETTS - Ahead of Tuesday’s primary in Massachusetts’ 1st congressional district, MoveOn Political Action members voted overwhelmingly in support of Democratic candidate Tahirah Amatul-Wadud. Amatul-Wadud earned the support of 77% of votes cast by MoveOn members in the district. MoveOn has more than 13,000 members in MA-01.
In the endorsement vote, members praised Amatul-Wadud’s commitment to quality, affordable healthcare for all Massachusetts residents as well as her stances on free college, universal preschool, taking aggressive action on climate change, and fighting for an immigration system based on human rights.
The Massachusetts primary election will take place on Tuesday, September 4th, 2018 against longtime incumbent Rep. Richard Neal.
Here is what MoveOn members in Massachusetts had to say about Amatul-Wadud:
"She will be a strong voice for poor and marginalized people everywhere and work for health care for all." –Muriel G., Holyoke, MA
"She's a progressive champion who is a civil rights attorney who supports Medicare for All and will advocate for working class constituents and not for corporate interests." –Robin P., Easthampton, MA
"She is a true progressive. She stands for justice, fairness and equality and for government being a force to improve people's lives. She is fearless." –Ken E., Shelburne Falls, MA
"Tahirah has been very present in our region during this campaign. She has made a point to listen, learn and understand the concerns of those of us in the smaller towns. Her thoughtful approach and accessibility indicate she will serve our district well." –Kimberly L., Plainfield, MA
“MoveOn members in Massachusetts have voted to endorse Tahirah Amatul-Wadud for Congress because of her long record as a champion for civil rights throughout the state. Tahirah has been a long-standing advocate for health care, working families and women’s rights. As a civil rights lawyer, activist and mother of seven, Tahirah has worked for her entire career to further the progressive agenda for working families,” explained Matt Blizek, elections mobilization director for MoveOn.
“There are currently fewer than 20 Black women in Congress, and no Muslim women, but Massachusetts MoveOn members are powering Tahirah’s campaign to join Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and Ilhan Omar (MN-05) in making Congress more progressive and representative in 2019 and beyond.”
Upon learning of the endorsement Amatul-Wadud responded, “I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for this endorsement and the support of MoveOn Members. After the election of President Trump I clung to every word written and every organizing call held from MoveOn. MoveOn provided a light in a dark tunnel. Never did I imagine that what I learned there would help me create my own flicker of light to inspire people out of our own tunnels. And now look at us! Look at how we have brightened our futures with the spirit of hope and the engagement of democracy. I am so lucky to be standing here with you all and I cannot wait to join those progressive community members from District 1 in casting their votes and raising their voices for real progressive change on September 4th.”
MoveOn Political Action is a community of millions of Americans from all walks of life who are using innovative technology to lift up their voices in our democracy and to build progressive power in campaigns for progressive change and in elections.
Amatul-Wadud, a matrimonial and civil rights attorney and Commissioner on the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, has advocated before lawmakers in support of women’s rights, equal pay for women, agricultural bills, immigration reform, and anti-bigotry resolutions at the district, state, and federal level. Over the course of her career Amatul-Wadud has received a number of commendations for her service to the Western Massachusetts community.
Since declaring her candidacy she has also received a steadily growing list of organizational endorsements including those from Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution, ORMA, Progressive Massachusetts, Indivisible Project, and the National Women’s Political Caucus, among others. Over the last four months, her candidacy has been mentioned as a “progressive primary to watch” by the New York Times, CNN, the Associated Press, and other national and regional news outlets.
Amatul-Wadud is running as a primary challenger against Democratic incumbent Richard E. Neal in the Massachusetts primary election on September 4th.
Tahirah Amatul-Wadud has been endorsed by:
Additionally, endorsements include a growing list of city officials, community leaders and Democratic Committee chairs.
Pittsfield, MA (August 21, 2018) -- Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, candidate for Congress in the First Congressional District of Massachusetts, has been endorsed by Ward 1 Pittsfield City Councilor Helen Moon and Pittsfield educator and community activist Shirley Edgerton.
Councilor Moon spoke about her endorsement, saying, “I know that Tahirah is a real community leader who is out here working for the people. I believe she will be a real advocate. Not just for some of the members of District 1, but for all of us. I am happy and proud to support and cast my vote for her on September 4th. And I hope other equally-inspired community members will join me.”
Speaking about her endorsement and asking for community support as well, Edgerton added,“Tahirah Amatul-Wadud is a courageous, moral leader, who vocalizes the needs of ALL people; and her words and deeds match and are reflected in her leadership. It is time for ALL people in the First Congressional District to be recognized; if you want to vote for representation for ALL the people, join me in voting for Tahirah for First Congressional District.”
In a 2016 Tweet I condemned Scott Brown for endorsing then-candidate Donald Trump. In the Tweet, I stated: “Are you freaking kidding me #ScottBrown??? #DonaldTrump?? I even voted for you Scott. Say it isn’t so...”.
This Tweet was in reference to a 2012 vote I cast in the U.S. Senate election. It’s a vote I regret.
At the time, Scott Brown was represented as supporting one issue that was extremely important to me - care for our veterans. My uncles served our country in the military. One lost his life in service. Brown lost that election, and I’m glad that he did. If I knew then all that I know now, he would have never received my vote.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren was the correct choice. She later threw her support behind Brown as VA secretary, stating that she believed he would care for veterans. Over the years I have lobbied Senator Warren and I appreciate her work. I will be voting for her in this election without question.
That 2012 vote - in a world that’s vastly different than it is today - does not undo the years that I have served our community with progressive values.
Here’s a brief overview:
-I put myself through Elms College as a young mother and graduated in 1998. I worked full time while attending law school at night and graduated Western New England University School of Law in 2005.
-In December 2015 I was invited to join President Obama’s senior staff and other community leaders for a program entitled Celebrating Religious Pluralism.
August 10, 2018
As a Muslim woman, I practice the religion of Islam, an Abrahamic faith like Judaism and Christianity. As a lawyer, I have represented thousands of clients, including religious congregations which have been victims of crime and harassment. I have stood up for them in our courts, defending their rights and championing their voices. As the granddaughter of African American Christians, I have grown up in a family that modeled respect for my mother’s decision to become Muslim, and raise me accordingly when I was four years old.
My upbringing enriched me with the agency to stand up for religious freedoms at a time when attacks on worshippers grew increasingly bloody and violent. When Dylann Roof massacred black worshippers in their South Carolina church, I called for him to be charged with a hate crime. When Yusor, Razan Abu-Salha, and Deah Barakat were executed in their home by a man who hated the girls’ visibly Muslim identities, I stood in solidarity with their family.
Rep. Neal Undermines Retirement Security While Taking Campaign Contributions from the Insurance and Financial Services Industry
(July 30, 2018 - Chicopee) On February 23, 2018, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal boasted his appointment to a new Joint Select Committee on Solvency and Multiemployer Pensions. In a press release, Rep. Neal said, “fundamental to the American dream is the opportunity to enjoy a secure retirement after decades of hard work. But today, our nation faces a retirement crisis as millions of pension plans are nearing insolvency. I look forward to working with my fellow committee members to find bipartisan solutions that ensure Americans who worked hard and followed the rules don’t live in fear of the rug being pulled out from under them in retirement.”
Although Rep. Neal claims he is committed to resolving the retirement crisis, his congressional record shows quite the opposite. During his long tenure, Rep. Neal has taken numerous steps to undermine retirement security for Americans, all while raking in significant campaign contributions from the insurance and financial services industry.
(July 25, 2018 - Chicopee) “My job as your congresswoman will be to fiercely defend democracy. I am the only one in this race qualified to do that with a clear conscience and strong resolve because I am not beholden to any interests besides the interests of the people,” said Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, candidate for US House of Representatives for Massachusetts’ First District.
Chicopee, Mass. (June 21, 2018) -- Candidate for Congress, Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, has been endorsed by Progressive Democrats of America, a leading national progressive grassroots-driven activism organization.
“We at Progressive Democrats of America are delighted to have endorsed Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, candidate for Congress from the First Congressional District of Massachusetts,” said Russell Freedman, PDA State Coordinator. ”Tahirah is a progressive who understands the needs of the people in the First Congressional District for good jobs. She understands that healthcare is a right not a privilege and must be available to all people. She understands that we must take aggressive action to deal with climate change and criminal justice reform. The First Congressional District needs a progressive champion who is willing to talk to her constituents and represent them in Congress,” stated Freedman.
While Constituents Struggle with High Prescription Costs
Springfield, MA (June 14, 2018)-- On June 1, 2018, households across Western Massachusetts’ District One were inundated with a mailing by the American Life Sciences Innovation Council (ALSIC). The mailer announces that Rep. Neal is to be congratulated as a ‘champion of health care innovation.’ ALSIC, a profit-driven special interest group whose priorities include curtailing FDA regulations, ending Medicare Part D rebates, and pushing for more expansive patent rights, has awarded Rep. Neal as its champion because he is exactly that - a champion for special interests and corporate money.
You can make a difference, whether it's sharing this exciting campaign with friends, collecting signatures, knocking on the doors of our neighbors, or donating. I encourage you to get involved and let's achieve our goals for Massachusetts together.
On Wednesday, May 2, Tahirah appeared on The Take with Sue O'Connell aired by New England Cable News (NECN) where she talked about how she is excited to be the candidate bringing "people-centered policies" and that she is "unapologetic about centering the needs of our communities and families".
I have been a part of this community for over 30 years and enjoy working tirelessly to make Massachusetts a better place for the future of our children and their children.
I will work hard to advance and support policies that unapologetically protect the people, families and businesses in our vast district.
(August 6, 2018) Tahirah appears on Black in the Valley. (WHMP The Bill Newman Show),
“I want every family to feel that they can take care of their chronically ill child, parent or themselves without worrying about being crushed by debt or not being able to afford available medical care." (Aired Feb 23)
Tahirah Amatul-Wadud visits the Bill Newman show to talk about her campaign, why she's running, goals for the community, affordable high speed broadband access, and more. (Aired Feb 27. Begins at 29:00 min).
"We need representation that reflects that someone is...listening...engaging...qualified, interested, willing, relentless, persistent, brave, fearless and beholden to no one...".
I am that person for the 1st Congressional District of Massachusetts. Join me.
Tahirah Amatul-Wadud talks about her beliefs, religiously diverse family, and love for cultivating connections in her community.