Carl Sciortino

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Carl Sciortino

Template:TOCnestleft Carl M. Sciortino, Jr. is a former State Representative from Massachusetts, representing the 34th Middlesex district. The district includes parts of Medford and Somerville.


Carl Sciortino is openly gay.


  • Joseph A. Foran High School
  • Tufts University B.S. Biology


Fenway Community Health, Manager of Research Operations · 2001 to 2004.

Massachusetts House

2005 - Present

DSA support in 2004

According to to the Boston Democratic Socialists of America newsletter, The Yankee Radical, September 2004, page 8, Boston DSA endorsed several State House of Representatives in 2004. These included Carl Sciortino, challenger Democrat, (Somerville).[1]

According to to the Boston Democratic Socialists of America newsletter, The Yankee Radical, September 2004, page 6[2]

Although supporting all of the CC (Commonwealth Coalition) endorsements, Boston DSA has prioritized the campaign of Carl Sciortino for State Representative in Somerville. And in addition to our' work with the Coalition, DSA is urging a vote for Andrea Cabral for Suffolk County Sheriff and John Kerry for President.

According to The Yankee Radical November 2004, the DSA influenced Commonwealth Coalition played a major part in Sciortino's primary victory;

Most notable of the Coalition s winning candidates was Carl Sciortino, who defeated powerful conservative Rep. Vincent Ciampa in the 24th Middlesex district. With the support of many of the member groups of the Coalition, including DSA, Sciortino s campaign was able to overcome a last minute effort to save Ciampa by conservative House Speaker Tom Finneran.
The September 14th State Primaries brought a welcome victory to Boston DSA and Massachusetts progressives. Carl Sciortino , a 26-year-old progressive activist and LGBT-rights advocate, edged out 16-year leadership incumbent Vinnie Ciampa in the Somerville-Medford 34th Middlesex District by 117 votes. Progressive tax advocates from the Stop the Cuts Campaign, who had targeted Vinnie Ciampa for his role, as Vice-Chair of the Taxation Committee, in blocking reforms to close corporate tax loopholes, were able to team up with advocates of same sex marriage, angered at Ciampas support of the constitutional amendment to overturn the SJC ruling. Together, we were able to bring down one of Finneran's staunchest lieutenants.
Carl Sciortino made a perfect champion for this broad progressive alliance. As Research Manager for Fenway Community Health Center, Carl saw the devastating effects of budget cuts on AIDS-prevention work. He became active in the Stop the Cuts Campaign, advocating for progressive tax reforms as the best way to prevent cuts to public health programs, public schools, and local aid. At the same time, he was active with OutSomerville and the Freedom to Marry Coalition.

"Progressive" political consultant Dan Cohen helped Sciortino and his team of young activists assess the district and map out a strategy. DSA led Neighbor to Neighbor came on board to help design, and later manage, the field plan.

According to DSA leader and Neighbor to Neighbor Director Harris Gruman;[3]

In July and August, volunteers streamed in from the Stop the Cuts coalition, the Progressive Democrats of Somerville, Freedom to Marry and other groups.This gave Carl an impressive grassroots army of highly motivated door to- door canvassers and phone callers who contacted voters three to five times each.
This surprise victory for progressives shows what can be done with clear issues and a strong grassroots campaign. Even more important, it shows the Legislature that progressive taxes and equal marriage rights are not the issues Republicans use against Democrats they re issues the left uses to defeat conservatives! Moral of the story: PINKOS UNITE!

"Progressive drive"

In 2005, in an intense primary on August 30th, and again in the general on September 27th, Patricia Jehlen won back-to-back landslide victories to take the State Senate seat open since Charlie Shannon died this past spring.

According to former Boston Democratic Socialists of America Chair and Director of Massachusetts Neighbor to Neighbor, Harris Gruman, Jehlen had the united sup port of the progressive movement. The Political Committee of the former Commonwealth Coalition, by now staffed and housed at Neighbor to Neighbor, came out strongly for Jehlen. Boston Democratic Socialists of America, together with other member organizations like Neighbor to Neighbor, MassEquality, the teachers ’ unions, SEIU, NOW and NARAL helped her identify the best staff for her campaign, fundraise, recruit volunteers, and send mail to the district. Together with local forces, like the Progressive Democrats of Somerville, the "progressive movement was able to win the race based on intensive shoe leather campaigning".

All 45 precincts of the Senate district were canvassed as thoroughly as 11-precinct Rep districts had been in recent Coalition supported races. This helped give Jehlen her landslide and "continued the progressive drive that elected Carl Sciortino in Somerville/Medford and Ed Augustus in Worcester in 2004 and Linda Dorcena Forry in Finneran’s former district earlier this year."

Our progressive electoral coalition is combining principles and pragmatism, and especially state-of-the-art campaign management, to transform Massachusetts state politics. It could be a model for the nation![4]

"Provost Steamroller Rolls On…"

Dick Bauer was active in the Provost campaign and is a member of UAW Local 2320. In an article "Provost Steamroller Rolls On…" in Boston Democratic Socialists of America newsletter, The Yankee Radical, March 2006, Bauer wrote;[5]

On January 10, the DSA-endorsed candidate Denise Provost won a landslide victory (62%) in the special election for State Representative in Somerville’s 27th Middlesex District. Somerville DSAers were mobilized with a campaign mailing and follow up phone calls, and several were active members of Denise’s campaign committee.
The special election was held to fill the vacancy created when Pat Jehlen was elected to the State Senate in another special election. Denise, a three-term Somerville Alderman-at-Large, was supported by Jehlen, and also by State Representative Carl Sciortino, who represents the north and west sections of Somerville along with parts of Medford. Denise now joins Jehlen and Sciortino to give Somerville one of the most progressive delegations in the state.

Bernie Sanders fundraiser

The Yankee Radical, Aug. 2006, p7

On June 13, 2006, almost 50 supporters attended a fundraiser at the Somerville Massachusetts home of Dick Bauer and Roberta Bauer to help Congressman Bernie Sanders in his quest to become the next U.S. Senator from Vermont. The reception, organized by local volunteers as part of a national project of the Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee, raised almost $5,700 for the Sanders Campaign. Sponsors of the event included Boston City Councilor Felix Arroyo, State Senator Patricia Jehlen, and State Representatives Anne Paulsen, Carl Sciortino, Alice Wolf and Denise Provost. Denise Provost was also one of the featured speakers, along with DSA member Rand Wilson of IUE-CWA 201, and Bernie Sanders' son Levi Sanders. [6]


According to the Tufts Daily, A student organization founded 2007 at Tufts University to promote support for Tufts’ janitors, the Jumbo Janitor Alliance (JJA), says it had a significant impact in determining the outcome of this summer’s contract negotiations between Tufts’ janitors and their employer, American Building Maintenance (ABM) Industries.

The JJA held rallies and protests on campus last school year and continued its advocacy over the summer. The group’s former co-chair, senior Kevin Dillon, claimed that Tufts purposely scheduled negotiations during the summer to avoid pressure from the students.

But students and janitors, organized by the labor union SEIU Local 615, held a rally in Davis Square on June 10 that drew press coverage from the Somerville Journal. The protesters went so far as to block traffic, delaying motorists and leading some drivers to use profanity.

“Sometimes people just don’t get it; we’ve impeded their right to drive for a minute,” JJA Secretary and Treasurer Maxwell Goldman, a junior, told the Daily. “I think it was a really good idea because it got our point across.”

The JJA gained the support of local politicians this summer, including state Rep. Carl Sciortino (LA ’00) and state Sen. Pat Jehlen.

The alliance also enlisted the aid of Somerville Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz, who got involved after looking at how the wages Tufts janitors earn relative to the endowment of the university compare with those of neighboring schools. Before the new contract was ratified on Aug. 11, all Tufts janitors earned $13.85 an hour. Tufts’ endowment is approximately $1.5 billion.

Gewirtz helped the alliance tweak a resolution supporting the janitors and then submitted it at a meeting of the Board of Aldermen. Gewirtz said another alderman objected to it on grounds of irrelevance, so the resolution was tabled.

“Obviously with the actual ratification vote, you can see that our members were very much happy with the results of the negotiations,” SEIU Local 615 representative Roxanna Rivera said. “[The new contract] was ratified overwhelmingly by the membership.”

Dillon and Goldman both agree that the new contract is a success for the janitors and the JJA. “We won a lot of the major things that the workers wanted to see taken care of,” Goldman said.

“Some people are thinking that now that contract negotiations are over our group will cease to exist,” JJA Co-Chair Jeffrey Kimm told the Daily.[7]

2008 Mass Alliance

In November 2008, several candidates for the Massachusetts legislature were endorsed for the November 4 election by Mass Alliance, of which Boston Democratic Socialists of America was a member.

These included House candidates Willie Mae Allen , Cory Atkins, Jennifer Benson, William Brownsberger, James Cantwell, Lori Ehrlich, Gloria Fox, Denis Guyer, John D. Keenan, Jason Lewis, James O'Day, Glenn Pare, Matthew Patrick, Denise Provost, Pamela Richardson, John W. Scibak, Carl Sciortino, David Sullivan, Martha Walz.[8]

Supported Progressive Health Care Reform

In late 2009, Carl Sciortino was one of more than 1,000 state legislators to sign a letter entitled "State Legislators for Progressive Health Care Reform". The letter was a project of the Progressive States Network and was developed in consultation with national health care reform advocates, including the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Community Catalyst, Families USA, Herndon Alliance, National Women's Law Center, Northeast Action, SEIU, and Universal Health Care Action Network. The letter reads in part,[9]

"Failure to pass national comprehensive health reform now will further jeopardize state and local budgets, undermining public services like education, public safety, and transportation infrastructure... We, the undersigned, call on President Obama and the Congress to enact bold and comprehensive health care reform this year – based on these principles and a strong federal-state collaboration – and pledge our support as state legislators and allies in pursuit of guaranteed, high quality, affordable health care for all."

DSA endorsement

In 2010, Carl Sciortino, 34th Middlesex, was included in a list of the mainly Massachusetts candidates endorsed by the Boston Democratic Socialists of America, published in the The Yankee Radical:[10][11]

Carl passed amendments to the state budget that increased funding for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) and Hepatitis-C prevention and treatment programs. Rep. Sciortino also helped pass and worked to override Governor Romney's veto on legislation that increased the minimum wage to the highest in the nation at $8.00/hour. As one of the few members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, & transgender community serving in the legislature, Rep. Sciortino has taken on a leadership role in opposing a constitutional amendment that would outlaw same sex marriage. Carl also supports the extension of the MBTA Green Line to create jobs, increase the use of public transportation, and reduce air pollution.

2012 endorsement

DSA also endorsed Sciortino for his 2012 run.[12]

Congressional hopeful

Massachusetts state Rep. Carl Sciortino, D-Medford, announced February 8,2013, that he is pushing for Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Markey of Malden to get elected to the U.S. Senate as he is interested in replacing him in the House of Representatives.

"I am running to continue the strong progressive leadership that the families of the Fifth District have always counted on. I look forward to bringing my record of accomplishment to Washington to fight for our progressive values," Sciortino said in a statement. "I am proud to call Ed Markey my Congressman and I am dedicated to helping elect him as our next U.S. Senator. His record on behalf of Massachusetts families – fighting for jobs, consumers’ rights and a healthier environment— is the kind of leadership Massachusetts needs in the Senate and it is a record I look forward to continuing in Congress."

Markey is competing with moderate Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch of Boston to land the Democratic nod to compete for Secretary of State John Kerry's Senate seat.

Sciortino has served in the Massachusetts Legislature since 2004.[13]

Left endorsements

Dennis Kucinich, a former Democratic Congressman from Ohio who had been one of the House’s most left-wing members, endorsed Massachusetts State Rep. Carl Sciortino in the 5th District congressional race, October 2013.

“The people of this district have a real opportunity to elect not just a worthy successor to Sen. (Edward) Markey but someone who’s been tested in the Massachusetts legislature on a wide range of social and economic issues, which resonate at a national level,” Kucinich said on a conference call sponsored by the Progressive Democrats of America.

Sciortino was not on the call.

Kucinich praised Sciortino’s decision to speak out on Syria, “to see through misstatements about America’s true interests and take a stand at a time when it was necessary to say something.”

Kucinich cited Sciortino’s work in the state legislature to raise the minimum wage, close corporate tax loopholes and to pass a law, which is currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, establishing a buffer zone around abortion clinics.

Kucinich also stressed Sciortino’s concern for civil liberties. Sciortino has spoken out against the National Security Agency’s surveillance of Americans, arguing that the country has gone too far in violating Americans’ civil liberties. Kucinich has been a vocal critic of U.S. Patriot Act, a bill that gives the government broad power to conduct surveillance of terrorist suspects.

Sciortino has been getting help nationally from progressive organizations and politicians. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee endorsed him and raised $21,000 for him from its supporters, according to the group. U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, and U.S. Rep. Mark Takano, a California Democrat, both leaders among progressives in Congress, have endorsed Sciortino.[14]

Markey team

Brian Corr July 24, 2013:


Celebrating our great work to make Ed Markey our next U.S. Senator — with Jesse Kanson-Benanav, Kathleen Kelly, Alice Wolf, Elizabeth Kline, Carolyn Fuller, Carl Nilsson, Marc McGovern and Carl Sciortino at Atwood's Tavern.