Rep. Goldstein-Rose Changes to Nonpartisan Registration
February 20th, 2018
Amherst – State Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose, 3rd Hampshire district, announced today that he has changed his voter registration to not be enrolled in any party, to be truer in letter to the nonpartisan spirit he has sought to embody through his legislative work.
Fifty-five percent of all Massachusetts voters are registered unenrolled, but unenrolled legislators, including Goldstein-Rose, make up only one percent of the legislature. “I have always believed good policy should not be defined by political party, and I don’t want to be defined in that way either,” Goldstein-Rose said, “This is one way I can embody how I always want to work in the political world, and be as inclusive as possible when I reach out to people of all political backgrounds to gather support for bold policy proposals.”
Citing his top priority of climate change as a key example of how two-party gridlock has prevented action at the national level, Goldstein-Rose noted that at the state level colleagues of both parties as well as advocacy organizations and business groups have begun to support his energy proposals. Mentioning his recent suggestion of a “Tax Swap,” which would lower the MA sales tax and charge a carbon pollution price to make up the revenue, Goldstein-Rose stressed that he has already been pushing nonpartisan policies.
The move to align his registration with his successful track record of nonpartisanship does not signal any change in policy direction, but rather emphasizes his existing style, Goldstein-Rose noted. “I want people to truly engage with our political system, instead of making assumptions from the D or R next to someone’s name in the newspaper.”
Being one of the only legislators choosing a nonpartisan registration will bring with it the opportunity to attract greater attention to his district’s policy priorities, Goldstein-Rose said, naming carbon pollution pricing, ranked-choice voting, education reform to empower teachers, and civic engagement. Getting such attention is key to continuing strong, effective representation from the Hampshire delegation, which is especially important, he said, given the recent retirement announcements of other Pioneer Valley Representatives, Steve Kulik and John Scibak.
Goldstein-Rose also noted that he has made it his mission since first running in 2016 to recruit other young people, who tend to choose nonpartisan voter registration more often, to run for office and to bring the energetic perspective of a new generation to the political process.
The announcement was greeted with enthusiasm by prominent local figures. “Now seems like a logical time to do this,” Amherst Select Board member Alisa Brewer said, “With all the gridlock at the national level, this is completely in line with Solomon’s promise to challenge our tired business-as-usual politics and engage everyone, especially younger residents who don’t identify with a party label the same way their parents did.”
“It’s forward-thinking,” said Pelham Select Board member Karen Ribeiro, “and it will encourage people to take a fresh look at political constructs.”
Goldstein-Rose was elected in 2016 as a Democrat, winning a six-way primary by 11 percentage points and facing no opposition in the general election. The 3rd Hampshire District includes Amherst, Pelham, and precinct 1 of Granby.