The ever-intense MA Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz joined us today, centering on redistricting, transgender rights, and education. Not only is she a progressive leader in LGBT issues, she chairs the Joint Committee on education and is vice-chair of the Special Joint Committee on Redistricting.I was impressed with the Senator's ability to squeeze in a lot of details in such a short amount of time, never mind switching between three unrelated topics at the drop of a hat. Her intellect and energy is why she's quickly become one of the most effective senators out there, never mind one of the leaders in the Commonwealth's small-d movement of progressive politics.
Today's show ended up being more timely than I would have suspected, with Congressman Frank's retirement, but we managed to talk about redistricting at both the local and congressional levels, as well as talk about some of the meta that goes behind it -- such as the goals of the committee and the process behind it. We also have some frank discussion on the Transgender Rights bill, both the importance of getting this done and the fact that there's still a little unfinished business surrounding it, since public accommodation was left outside of the bill. On education, mainly focused on her bill tackling the state's drop out problem, in which 8,000 kids in Massachusetts are dropping out every year.
For people who want to skip to the parts of the show they're most interested in, redistricting was the first topic and then we got to the transgender rights bill at about 14:20. At 24:50, we finally got to education. We didn't have as much time as I would have liked to take on this issue, but even just the five minutes we had was enough to tackle some key aspects of her bill on how she thinks we could be better at getting kids to stay in school.