Earlier this month, Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, a freshman in the House of Representatives, proposed the so-called “For The People Act,” an amendment advocating that the legal minimum voting age be reduced from 18 to 16. “Across this nation,” said Pressley in a statement explaining her rationale, “young people are leading the way – from gun violence, to climate change, to the future of work – they are organizing, mobilizing, and calling us to action…. I believe that those who will inherit the nation we design here in Congress by virtue of our policies and authority should have a say in who represents them.”
Because the 45-year-old Pressley is widely regarded as a rising star of the Democratic Party, it is vital that voters should know exactly who she is and what she stands for. Hailing originally from Chicago, Pressley is an NAACP member who worked for both Democrat Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II and Senator John Kerry in the 1990s. From 2009-18, she served as an at-large representative on the Boston City Council. In recognition of her belief that there should be no room in the Democratic Party for anyone who opposes abortion rights in any way, EMIILY’s List presented Pressley with its Rising Star Award in 2015.
In 2018 Pressley ran for Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Endorsed by the Boston chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and by Justice Democrats, the organization that helped elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Congress as well, Pressley’s campaign promoted a so-called “Equity Agenda” that characterized income disparities between blacks and whites as “the legacy of decades of policies that have hardened systemic racism, increased income inequality, and advantaged the affluent.” In an effort to openly address the issue of supposedly ubiquitous white racism, Pressley spoke out in support of the National Football League players who had chosen to kneel during the playing of the pre-game national anthem as a gesture of protest against police brutality and racial injustice allegedly aimed at African Americans. “It is necessary that we are disruptive right now and making people feel uncomfortable,” said Pressley.
Also during her congressional campaign, Pressley:
- characterized the disproportionate number of incarcerated blacks in the U.S. as a manifestation of “modern day slavery”;
- advocated a plan that would allow all students to attend public colleges and universities free of charge, with taxpayers picking up the full tuition tab;
- pushed for the passage of paid family leave legislation for employees needing to take extended time off from work in order to help an ailing family member;
- called for Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to at least $15 per hour;
- derided the 2017 Republican tax-cut bill as a measure that unfairly gave tax breaks to the highest earners and corporations;
- condemned President Donald Trump’s proposed barrier along America’s southern border as “Trump’s hate wall”;
- advocated the defunding of the Immigration & Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), on grounds that it represented an “existential threat” to “immigrant communities”; and
- spoke out in favor of both the DREAM Act and former President Barack Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program.
In the September 2018 Democratic primary, Pressley defeated ten-term incumbent Michael Capuano by a margin of 58.6% to 41.4%. Two months later, she ran unopposed in the general election. After taking her oath of office this past January, Pressley joined the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the most stridently socialist wing of the Democratic Party.
Rep. Pressley was quick to announce her support for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s “Green New Deal,” environmental legislation designed to rapidly eliminate all fossil-fuel use from the U.S. economy, create a basic income program and a federal “living-wage” jobs guarantee, implement a government-run health care system, and replace free-market capitalism with a socialist economic framework.
At a February 2019 press conference organized by groups like MoveOn.org, Indivisible, United We Dream, and CASA, Pressley joined Representatives Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib in demanding cuts to federal funding for the Department of Homeland Security. “We are here to draw a line in the sand, in the name of love and in the name of justice,” said Pressley. “It is clear that we must reduce and not increase funds for the DHS.”
In an interview with Boston Public Radio that same month, Pressley argued that President Trump should be impeached immediately because “the occupant of the White House … has lost all moral authority and the high ground, and certainly it appears there could be evidence of obstruction of justice and other things.”
As matters of principle, Pressley believes that:
- Obamacare is an excellent law that should serve as a stepping stone toward the eventual implementation of a government-run healthcare system, which Pressley describes as “Medicare For All”;
- public and private employers alike should be legally required to implement affirmative-action hiring and promotion policies that give preference to nonwhites and women, as compensation for historical injustices;
- U.S. defense spending should be scaled back dramatically;
- wealthy people should be required to pay much higher tax rates than those who earn less;
- capital punishment constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and is never justified, under any circumstances;
- federal spending on infrastructure projects and job programs is crucial to the success of any economic recovery plan; and
- the nationalization of failing banks and companies is more appropriate than government bailouts on their behalf.
It is eminently clear why Ayanna Pressley is indeed a “rising star” in the Democratic Party. She is the quintessential big-government, high-taxation, soft-on-crime, soft-on-national-defense, pro-open-borders, pro-identity-politics grievance monger. She couldn’t possibly be any more qualified.