Steve knows Massachusetts
Born and raised here, as your state senator, Steve Connor will continue the great tradition of solid representation in the General Court from the Hampshire, Franklin, and Worcester District. Steve knows local and state government and has built an exemplary career in public service as the Director of Central Hampshire Veterans’ Services, one of the largest veteran districts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. During his time in leading veteran programs in Western Massachusetts, Steve has built relationships with state legislators and with public officials throughout state government. Steve knows how the legislature works, how to build consensus in serving the common good, and he will hit the ground running when elected.
Steve believes in Communities that Care
Steve believes in what the poet Gwendolyn Brooks has said about community: “We are each other’s business.” Steve believes that our communities work best when we are working together and looking out for each other, regardless of whether or not we agree on every issue. Government can help and support our communities, but government cannot replace our responsibility to one another, neighbor-to neighbor. It’s all about putting People First.
Steve believes in putting People First
Steve will be an advocate for those most vulnerable in our communities and will always put People First. His priorities in office will be:
Housing First: Advocating for a Housing First Model is one way Steve works for some of our most vulnerable neighbors. This model of housing gets people housed as quickly as possible and then provides wraparound services to individuals or families in order to make them successful - and it’s working!
Children First: Steve has years of experience working with young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and as an advocate for families in the development of individualized education programs for children with special needs. Steve believes all children deserve a free, high quality public education, which prepares them for their adulthood. As your state senator, Steve will also fight for greater support for transitional services for individuals exiting special education into young adulthood.
Nutrition First: Steve is a strong proponent of eliminating food insecurities within our communities. More than 12% of those who reside in the Hampshire, Franklin, and Worcester District live below the poverty level. For those who do not make a livable wage, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is crucial, but Steve believes we can do even better. Steve will strongly support experimental programs such as HIP (Health Incentive Program), which provides low-income residents extra money to buy fresh produce from local farmers and place good, nutritious good on the table for their children. Steve believes that our youngest, most vulnerable neighbors should be able to attend school without being shamed for their family’s inability to pay for a school breakfast or lunch. Children cannot learn while hungry.
Healthcare First: Steve is a strong proponent for a single-payer health care system and for Medicare for all. Access to quality health and dental care must be a top priority. He will always fight to sustain and strengthen the Massachusetts’ Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program, or MassHealth. Steve believes that many in our state, to include the elderly and veterans, are under-insured or don’t always have access to comprehensive and routine care. Steve is committed to making sure all citizens have as much access to quality health care as possible.
Public Education First: Steve believes that funding of our schools should not be tied to property taxes. The formula for state funding is overdue for an overhaul. In place of the Foundation Budget, we need to ensure every Massachusetts community has the resources it needs to provide excellent education to all our children and youth. Steve also believes that our state has an obligation to address inadequacies in federal support for special education. As your state senator, Steve will seek support from the Attorney General to file a lawsuit with other states requiring the federal government to fully fund special education. Steve will strive to continue the gains the state has made as a pioneer in public education excellence. In higher education, he believes that a debt free college education must be achieved and can be achieved with expanded work study programs and grants for those who would serve in ignored or low income communities during or after they finish their studies.
Veterans First: Steve is a statewide leader in understanding the complex transitions associated with military life. He will continue to ensure government and social service agencies provide transitional services for those who have served in the military and for their family members when they return home and are welcomed back into our community. This includes employment and educational opportunities and affordable housing. Steve has helped pioneer the creation of a regional outreach initiative that strives to create a network of community healthcare providers who understand the dynamics of military culture. In addition, as military personnel return from tours of duty, school counselors must be prepared to thoughtfully and effectively address the needs of students of military families.