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Former HGSU-UAW President Launches Campaign for State Representative

Evan C. MacKay, former president of the Harvard Graduate Students Union, launched a campaign for Middlesex District State Representative late last year.
Evan C. MacKay, former president of the Harvard Graduate Students Union, launched a campaign for Middlesex District State Representative late last year. By Frank S. Zhou
By Aran Sonnad-Joshi and Sheerea X. Yu, Crimson Staff Writers

Evan C. MacKay ’19 launched a campaign for Middlesex District State Representative on Dec. 7 after stepping down as the president of Harvard Graduate Students Union-United Auto Workers.

MacKay is challenging incumbent Rep. Marjorie C. Decker, a Democrat who has served in the Massachusetts legislature since 2013.

MacKay received the first endorsement of their campaign on Monday from Run for Something, a political action committee that endorses young progressives who run for public office in all 50 states. The Democratic primary will be held on Sep. 3.

MacKay said their previous experience in union organizing — including their tenure as HGSU-UAW president — has influenced their view on politics.

“My experience organizing in the labor movement is the main way that I come to my tactics in my understanding of the need for a mass base for organizing for change, for the transformative vision that I have,” MacKay said, adding that they believe in “participatory democracy.”

MacKay also said they “strongly believe in movement politics.”

“​I really believe in organizing and politics being something that we do together as a community and with a strategy and that comes from the labor movement,” they said.

MacKay also said their background as a labor organizer contributed to their strong belief in progressive initiatives and voter power.

“We are in the most progressive district in all of Massachusetts, and this district needs a reliable progressive voice who will take tough progressive votes in the State House even when powerful interests don’t want our legislators to make those votes,” they said.

MacKay said their platform hinges around generating “progressive revenue” — including taxing the rich — climate, and housing, which they said highlight “the brokenness of our Massachusetts legislature.”

“We need to have a functioning, accountable government,” MacKay said. “I will be pushing for transparency and democracy and accountability within our own state legislature.

MacKay said Massachusetts had the “least productive legislative session” last year, passing “the lowest number of bills of any of the 50 legislatures.”

“We need urgent change in Massachusetts,” they said. “We cannot wait, the climate crisis cannot wait, the housing crisis cannot wait.”

—Staff writer Aran Sonnad-Joshi can be reached at Follow him on X @asonnadjoshi.

—Staff writer Sheerea X. Yu can be reached at Follow her on X @_shuhree_.

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PoliticsLaborUniversityState PoliticsMassachusettsHGSU