Where do I go to vote? Who are these candidates anyway and what are they saying? The Beacon Hill Patch election guide is here to answer all of your decision day questions and give you the information you need to make an informed decision.
Where Do I Vote?
Hill House at 127 Mount Vernon St. if you live in ward 5, precincts 4, 5, 11. Open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
City Hall at 1 City Hall Plaza if you live in ward 3, precinct 6. Open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
State House if you live in ward 5, precinct 3. Open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Don't know your ward or precinct number? Just log onto this Website and punch in your address to get your polling place.
What District Do I Live In?
Perhaps one of the trickiest questions to answer in Massachusetts politics since you and your neighbor across the street could easily fall into different districts. You can log onto the same Website you did to find your polling place to get your district information as well.
Massachusetts doesn't hold U.S. Senate elections this year.
The State Senate: Most of east Beacon Hill is in the First Suffolk and Middlesex district. If you live west of Garden, Cedar or River streets than you probably fall into the Second Suffolk district. But check the map to the upper right to get a better idea.
The State House: Generally speaking, if you live on the west side of Beacon Hill, you fall into the 8th Suffolk district. If you live on the east side of the Hill, you fall into the 3rd Suffolk district. But this rule is not hard and fast. The dividing line runs up Garden St., across Myrtle and Derne and up Bowdoin. Check the map to the upper right get a better idea.
Now that you know what district you fall into, you can figure out who's running in your district or if your district's candidate is running uncontested. Chances are if you live in Beacon Hill one of your races is contested and the other is not.
The State Senate
Second Suffolk: Incumbent Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Second Suffolk) is running uncontested.
First Suffolk and Middlesex: Incumbent Sen. Anthony Petruccelli (D-First Suffolk and Middlesex) is running against West End Republican Frank Addivinola.
The State House
8th Suffolk: Incumbent Rep. Marty Walz (D-8th Suffolk) is running against Beacon Hill Republican Brad Marston.
3rd Suffolk: Rep. Aaron Michlewitz (D-3rd Suffolk) is running uncontested.
To find out who's running for state-wide offices like governor, attorney general and secretary of state click here.
Questions, Questions, Questions!
At the polling place you'll also be asked to vote "yes" or "no" on three state-wide ballot questions. Voting "yes" means you approve of the proposed law. Here they are:
Question 1: Sales Tax on Alcoholic Beverages- This proposed law would remove the Massachusetts sales tax on alcoholic beverages and alcohol, where the sale of such beverages and alcohol or their importation into the state is already subject to a separate excise tax under state law. The proposed law would take effect on Jan. 1, 2011.
Question 2: Comprehensive Permits for Low- or Moderate-Income Housing- This proposed law would repeal an existing state law that allows a qualified organization wishing to build government-subsidized housing that includes low- or moderate-income units to apply for a single comprehensive permit from a city or town's zoning board of appeals, instead of separate permits from each local agency or official having jurisdiction over any aspect of the proposed housing. The repeal would take effect on Jan. 1, 2011, but would not stop or otherwise affect any proposed housing that had already received both a comprehensive permit and a building permit for at least one unit.
Question 3: Sales and Use Tax Rates- This proposed law would reduce the state sales and use tax rates (which were 6.25% as of Sept. 2009) to 3% as of Jan. 1, 2011. It would make the same reduction in the rate used to determine the amount to be deposited with the state Commissioner of Revenue by non-resident building contractors as security for the payment of sales and use tax on tangible personal property used in carrying out their contracts.
What Are These Candidates Saying?
Sen. Anthony Petruccelli
Petruccelli currently serves as Senate Chair on the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
Petruccelli says his major successes have been leading the charge to stop the proposed toll increases and T fare hikes by getting rid of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority.
Another big issue for Petruccelli is cracking down on sex offenders. He authored legislation that closed loopholes in sex offender laws.
Petruccelli describes himself as a small business supporter and says he worked "to pass group purchase health insurance legislation."
Petruccelli is pro-choice and pro-marriage equality.
Bio: Petruccelli has served in the Massachusetts Senate since 2007. Prior to that he served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He is from East Boston and attended the University of Rochester.
For more information visit Petruccelli's Website.
Addivinola, the Republican candidate running against Petruccelli, says raising taxes is never an answer to a fiscal problem. Addivinola says he will focus on:
-Inviting businesses to Massachusetts to create new jobs
-Getting the state budget under control and exercising fiscal responsibility
-Making Massachusetts more affordable for families by repealing recent tax increases
-Delivering government services more efficiently and cost-effectively
-Cutting the excessive government spending
-Imposing accountability and transparency in the government
Addivinola is pro-life and does not support gay marriage rights.
Bio: Addivinola is from Malden and currently lives in the West End. Prior to running Addivinola worked and taught in biomedical research as a doctoral candidate at the National Institutes of Health.
Now he teaches medical ethics, law and life sciences at local colleges. Addivinola graduated from William College with a degree in biology. He has master's degrees from Harvard, the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University. He also has an MBA from the University of Maryland and a law degree from Suffolk.
For more information visit Addivinola's Website.
Rep. Marty Walz
Education reform and health care are big issues for Walz. She authored the State's major Education Reform Bill that cracked down on bullying and created a provision for "Innovation Schools" -- charter schools run by school districts that Walz says could be the answer to getting a public school in or near Beacon Hill.
After voting for the Health Care Reform Law in 2006, Walz voted to pass a cost containment bill in 2008 to help control rising costs of health care. She is also a "supporter of a single payer health care system."
Walz says she is "committed to continually improving the business landscape in Massachusetts." To help small businesses succeed, Walz "voted to close corporate tax loopholes and to reduce the corporate tax rate from 9.5 percent in 2009 to 8 percent in 2012."
Walz is a strong supporter of pro-choice initiatives, strong gun control laws and marriage equality.
Bio: Walz has served three terms in the State House of Representatives and is an attorney in private practice. She serves as House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education and on the Federal Stimulus Oversight Committee.
Before joining the legislature, Walz was vice president of development at Jumpstart for Young Children. She also works as an adjunct professor at Emerson College and Northeastern University.
Check out Walz's Website for more information.
The Republican candidate's campaign slogan is "Common Ground... Common Sense." Marston has a "7-point plan for job creation" that includes:
-Consolidating the administration of 1000+ licencing, certification, permitting and registration functions currently spread amongst over 100 state agencies.
-Effect a five year moratorium on any business tax increases.
-Broaden the ability of small businesses to jointly purchase health care coverage for their employees.
Marston's big issues are pushing for a balanced budget and promoting limited government.
Marston says, "While I believe in limited government, one area in which government can never be limited is in protecting the rights of individual citizens." Marston is pro-choice and pro-marriage equality.
Bio: Marston lives on Beacon Hill and moved to Boston after earning degrees in philosophy and economics at Georgetown University. Marston has worked in finance, as a singer and actor and most recently in restaurant management. He's worked with national chains like Rainforest Cafe and UNO Chicago Grill.
Check out Marston's Website for more information.
Voter Participation In Beacon Hill
Beacon Hill, although home to some of the most engaged citizens in the state and even country, boasts a notoriously dismal turnout on election day. In the 2010 primary elections, only 10 percent of registered voters in Beacon Hill turned out to vote.