Another Crucial 2020 Primary– Meet MoDar In Massachusetts
Written by WPVR on March 11, 2019
Massachusetts’ 8th district starts at Beacon Hill and downtown Boston and heads south– into South Boston, the heart of the district, and into the suburbs and small towns south of the city– many of them more blue collar than other Boston suburbs. The 8th includes Milton, Braintree, Quincy, Weymouth, Brockton, and Bridgewater before swinging west into Dedham, Walpole and north to Jamaica Plain. It’s a very Irish district and a very Democratic one. The PVI is D+10, the third bluest in the state. Obama won both times, 59-39% against McCain and 58-41% against Romney. In 2016, Hillary beat Trump by an even bigger margin– 60.4% to 34.4%. Did I mention the district is 76% white and that the median income is the 44th highest among congressional districts– $75,359. A third of the population lives in Boston and two-thirds in the suburbs. Conservative Democrat Stephen Lynch, an iron-worker-turned-lawyer, has held the seat since 2001.
Throughout his tenure, despite being a Democrat, he has consistently fought against progressive initiatives. He was an ardent supporter of the Iraq War, and is one of only 3 remaining Democrats in the House to have voted against the Affordable Care Act, a law he continually criticized in the years following its passage. Ominously, he has decried the Democratic party’s focus on climate change, voiced support of the Keystone pipeline, and voted in the previous term counter to the rest of the Massachusetts delegation to weaken sustainable fishing rules. He voted with the GOP on refugee issues– even supporting ICE’s odious practices. Most tellingly, he voiced his feelings on Trump by telling talk radio during the last term “I don’t think he’s been treated fairly by the media, I really don’t, I have to say that.” Lynch’s views and votes generally lie to the right of Massachusetts’ recent Republican governors. Needless to say, ProgressivePunch, gives his overall voting record a solid “F.”
The only way to hold a bad congressman like Lynch accountable in a district as blue at the 8th is, is through a primary. And this cycle he has one– Dr. Mohammad Dar (MoDar) of Jamaica Plain. He’s worked at the V.A. hospitals in Boston and Brockton, and before that, served as Medical Director at Massachusetts Medicaid where he led reforms to make the system focus on patients instead of profits.
MoDar is a product of public schools. As a student activist, he started the Student Association of Michigan as an undergraduate which defeated a $150 million funding cut to public universities orchestrated by the Michigan Republican party. While in medical school, he was a White House intern and helped to implement the Affordable Care Act. In 2014, MoDar came to Boston for his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and made Jamaica Plain his home. While working as a physician, MoDar saw first hand how those who cannot afford to keep warm, cannot afford their medications, cannot afford food, cannot get a job with a livable wage “all end up coming to a medical system which patches their wounds but cannot not heal the systems that made them sick to begin with.” He tied us he is running for Congress to fix these failing systems. He adamantly believes that the only way to do this is with bold progressive action– more than status quo, more than the incremental change that has left so many behind. I asked MoDar to introduce himself to DWT readers. If you like what you hear, please consider contributing to his campaign by clicking on the Blue America Primary Thermometer on the right.
A Democratic Vision That Reflects The Hopes And Dreams Of My District– What We Can Do To Continue To Improve The Lives Of People In MA-08
by Mohmmad Dar
My name is Mohammad Dar and I am a doctor, an activist, and a son of immigrants.
My story is rooted in my parents and their struggle for the American Dream. Immigrants from Pakistan, my parents made tough choices to support our family. They worked blue collar jobs hoping to give their children the best. Mom was a janitor in my schools. Dad drove a big-rig trucker.
Though we didn’t have much, they were willing to sacrifice anything so that their kids could have a better life. For my dad though, he would end up sacrificing everything.
When I got into college, the tuition bill was more than we could afford. But Dad wanted me to go, so he went without his health insurance coverage to help cover the cost. That meant he couldn’t afford to see a doctor when he started feeling run down. His cancer diagnosis came all too late because of it, and we lost him when I was 19.
My father’s sacrifice anchored me in the belief that everyone deserves a fair shot at the American Dream. In the richest nation on Earth, a tragedy like his should have never happened. In those final days with him, I promised Dad that I would always fight so that others would not have to suffer like our family had.
Throughout my life, I have sought to keep that promise. I followed that promise when I united students across Michigan and defeated Republican-led funding cuts against our universities. As a medical student at the University of Michigan, I paused my studies to become an intern in the Obama White House to help implement the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in the Office of Health Reform. I followed that promise visiting those in jail struggling with opioid addiction, seeking to give them a new chance at success.
My father’s promise led me to become a doctor at the Veteran’s Affairs hospitals in Massachusetts. I served the most vulnerable populations– serving those who have served this nation, who are still failed by our current systems. I could patch their wounds, but I could not heal them from the systems that continued to injure them outside of the hospital walls.
I’m running for Congress because we need more than incremental change. Too many have been left struggling, left poorer, waiting for broken promises. We need to fight for big ideas worthy of our incredible nation.
Bold progressive change is not new. Our forebearers turned a decade of Depression into a New Deal. Our fathers struggled for social security, our mothers made Medicare real, our brothers and sisters marched for Civil Rights, our children dreamed of Marriage Equality. All of these things in the few years before they happened were thought completely impossible, until they were made possible. Throughout our history, progressives have lifted generations out of poverty and brought dignity to so many.
We can do that again– but not if we focus on incremental change tactics. Let’s be bold. Let’s build an America that reignites and reaffirms our best ideals. An America that welcomes you, loves you, and fights for you regardless of your wealth, your orientation, your religion, your skin color, your gender, your party, or where you came from. An America that is bold in its social, economic, and environmental justice. An America that our next generation will be proud of.
We’re building that here in the 8th District of Massachusetts. I hope you’ll join us.