Boston Democratic Socialists move to expel progressive state lawmaker

The Boston chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America is moving to oust a progressive member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

A group of DSA members said Cambridge State Rep. Mike Connolly has fallen out of step with the core principles of their organization, and has filed a motion to expel him.

The DSA endorsed Connolly in 2016 when he challenged a Democratic incumbent. Connolly is one of two self-proclaimed socialists in the state legislature, and has an "A+" rating from the advocacy group Progressive Massachusetts.

But the proposed motion to expel Connolly from the Boston DSA accuses him of "endorsing, materially supporting, and making public statements praising politicians/political actors who are fundamentally opposed to socialist reforms," citing his support of Gov. Maura Healey and others. It also pointed to his support for Boston Mayor Michelle Wu's "milquetoast" rent control proposal, according to a copy of the motion to expel.

In an interview with WBUR, Connolly said he's doing what's necessary to pass progressive legislation.

"That's what I have to do every day as a leftist on Beacon Hill. I have to think how do we add more people to that column of being willing to support rent control, as one example," he said. "It's a game of addition."

The Boston DSA will vote on whether to remove Connolly at its monthly general meeting July 23.

In a statement, the organization said it would "continue to support candidates/electeds who abide by DSA's platform/electoral program of empowering working people."

Connolly said he plans to fight the motion in the weeks ahead.

"I think it's going to be a dead-end road if the left continues down this path of a circular firing squad," he said.


Walter Wuthmann General Assignment Reporter
Walter Wuthmann is a general assignment reporter for WBUR.



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