There’s an old adage about long-shot campaigns: if you’re not going to win, at least push your issues. That’s what John Taylor, whose progressive thunder has been stolen by State Senator Cheryl Jacques of Needham, is doing right now in the Ninth Congressional District race.
Nobody thinks Taylor has a chance in a field crowded with state senators, each of whom has a political base and substantial money. In addition to Jacques, there’s Stephen Lynch of South Boston, Brian Joyce of Milton, and Marc Pacheco of Taunton. But Taylor is using his campaign to push the other candidates to embrace causes close to his heart, such as providing affordable housing and low-interest business loans to all Americans. On Friday, Taylor issued a challenge both to his opponents in the race and to the Massachusetts congressional delegation to back a bill that would require banks to disclose the gender, income, and race of small-business-loan recipients. (Taylor, on leave from his job as the president of the National Community Reinvestment Corporation, helped draft the bill now before Congress.) And on Monday, Taylor called upon his opponents to support the Community Preservation Act (CPA), which would use revenue from a new homeowners’ tax to provide more affordable housing. (Advocates are currently collecting signatures to get the CPA on the citywide ballot.)
Taylor urges adoption of the first measure — already supported by Representatives Barney Frank of Newton, Michael Capuano of Somerville, and Jim McGovern of Worcester — to prevent redlining in small-business loans. " We can point to the progress we made in fighting redlining in housing, " says Taylor. " The same challenge remains to fighting redlining in small-business capital. Banks continue to disproportionately underserve working-class small-business owners, in particular women, of all races. "
But Taylor wants progress in housing also. " We have to support efforts that ease the area’s housing crisis, " he says. " By supporting the CPA’s placement on the ballot, we have an opportunity to support the real and immediate progress that is taking place out in our own communities. "
Unlike the other candidates in the race, Taylor wins as long as his issues get discussed.