First Congressional District of Massachusetts
As evidence of a troubling trend of voting consistent with special interests groups, yesterday Rep. Richard Neal voted against an amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill that would have reformed the federal sugar support program that one think tank called "perhaps the least defensible corporate welfare boondoggle on the federal books.”
Unlike the Red River Valley of Minnesota and North Dakota, no sugar beets are grown in Massachusetts. We do not grow sugarcane like Florida and Louisiana. However, during his years in Congress, Rep. Neal has regularly voted to maintain a costly government sugar program that benefits just a handful of giant sugar processors and less than 6,000 farmers. The likely reason? Political contributions from special interests in the sugar industry.
The U.S. sugar program uses import quotas, marketing allotments, price supports and tariffs to artificially raise the price of sugar. One think tank called the program a classic government-created cartel.
“We need to reform the sugar program which the Washington Post in a recent editorial called ‘grotesque’. This is why I support H.R. 4265, the Sugar Modernization Act of 2017,” said Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, who is challenging Rep. Neal in the September 4 Democratic primary. “This legislation would help consumers and food makers instead of a handful of wealthy sugar processors by getting rid of market allotments and the overly-restrictive regulations on sugar imports.”
Between 2000 and 2014, Rep. Neal received $16,000 in campaign donations from sugar industry PACs.
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".
Springfield, Massachusetts (April 20, 2018) -- Candidate for Congress in the First Congressional District, Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, has been endorsed by Rise Up Western Massachusetts, an Indivisible Group serving the greater Springfield area. “Tahirah’s progressive platform, inclusive messaging, and active support of local issues mirrored our group’s priorities and resonated with our members,” Jackie Neiman, co-founder of the Rise Up Western Mass chapter, said of the newly endorsed candidate.
“I am excited to have been chosen by Rise Up Western Mass as its candidate in this important congressional race,” said Ms. Amatul-Wadud. “We deserve a representative who truly cares about our families and our futures. I’ve met with families. I’ve heard their stories throughout my hometown, and the district. I am committed to being a champion for all of our families and improving our quality of life,” she said.
(April 5, 2018 -Springfield, Mass.) Candidate for Congress in the First Congressional District, Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, issued the following statement regarding the seniority of Rep. Richard Neal:
There seems to be some concern in certain quarters about the effect my primary challenge would have on Rep. Richard Neal’s seniority should the Democrats capture the U.S. House in the November election. Let me address these concerns.
The rules and procedures of the Democratic Caucus governing the selection and leadership of House standing committee chairs and ranking minority members are quite clear:
Other chair/ranking Member nominations are made by the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee and voted on by the entire Democratic Caucus. In making selections, the Steering Committee considers, pursuant to caucus rules, “merit, length of service on the committee and degree of commitment to the Democratic agenda of the nominee, and the diversity of the Caucus.”*
When I defeat Mr. Neal on September 4 and then secure the general election, the House Committee on Ways and Means will have new Democratic leadership in the 116th Congress with a new chair (if the Democrats are in the majority) or a new ranking minority member. With Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) retiring, the second-ranking Democrat will be Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). Elected in 1986, Mr. Lewis is an African-American and an icon of the civil rights movement. Behind Mr. Lewis, as the currently fourth-ranked Democrat is Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin, TX. Mr. Doggett, elected in 1994 has compiled a very progressive record during his tenure on the committee. Under Rep. Lewis or Rep. Doggett, the committee’s Democrats will be in good hands.
Considering Mr. Neal’s time on the committee, it is perfectly fair to ask what kind of chairman he would be if the Democrats regain the House majority.
(March 30, 2018 - Springfield, Mass.) Candidate for Congress in the First Congressional District, Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, has been endorsed by Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution “FCCPR”.
“Tahirah’s understanding of the issues facing the constituents of CD-1 and her commitment to improving their lives gives me hope that we can be represented much more effectively at the congressional level”, said David Greenberg, a member of both CPR’s Endorsement Committee and Coordinating Committee.
“It is an honor to have been chosen by FCCPR as its candidate in this most important congressional race”, said Ms. Amatul-Wadud. “We deserve a representative who truly cares about our families and our futures. I’ve met with families. I’ve heard their stories. I will advocate to improve our quality of life,” she said. “We are living in one of the most consequential political times of our nation’s history. Because of our campaign, we are already being heard and changing the course of our future. We are restoring hope where until recently it seemed elusive. I am deeply grateful to FCCPR for its confidence in me,” said Ms. Amatul-Wadud.
Tahirah for Congress volunteers greet enthusiastic supporters at DA Candidates Forum (Pittsfield- May 16, 2018)
“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.
I have been a part of this community for over 30 years and enjoy working tirelessly to make Massachusetts a better place in any way I can 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.
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.