AMHERST — Mindy Domb, the executive director of the Amherst Survival Center, will seek the Democratic nomination to represent the 3rd Hampshire District.
Domb, 59, a 20-year Amherst resident who has overseen the center’s operations since 2013, said Thursday that she brings a background in activism, advocacy, public health and adult learning. As a legislator, she said she would work to create welcoming, just and fair communities.
“I believe that access to health care, food, housing and a good-paying job with safe working conditions are human rights,” Domb said. “I believe that economic strength can be compatible with social justice and climate justice.”
Domb is the second announced candidate to compete in the Democratic primary, after Eric Nakajima, chairman of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee.
Their decisions to enter the race both came following last month’s decision by Solomon Goldstein-Rose, elected in 2016, to unenroll from the Democratic Party.
Domb said Goldstein-Rose’s decision was wrong and caused her to reflect on public service and what kind of representative is needed for the district that includes Amherst, Pelham and Precinct 1 in Granby.
“We need to remind people that the representative is there to represent our interests and our needs, and it felt like he was silencing the district,” Domb said.
In addition, she said the Trump culture of hate, xenophobia, racism and denigration of women, along with attacks on facts, science and best practices, requires a unified fight.
“If there was ever a year when it is critical to be partisan and, in particular to be a Democrat, it is 2018,” Domb said.
Domb said she can be a policy advocate at the Statehouse and will support efforts to address economic unfairness such as the so-called “millionaire’s tax.” She would also promote funding for the University of Massachusetts and reducing student debt.
“Higher education is an obvious focus for any representative from the 3rd Hampshire District,” Domb said.
Before coming to the survival center, Domb led two statewide programs for staff of drug and alcohol treatment programs, jails and homeless shelters around the issues of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and overdose prevention, and a training program on caring for LGBTQ youth, and was a co-founder of the Berkshire AIDS Coalition.
Domb also worked for Congressman Ted Weiss in Manhattan, managing his lower Manhattan district office, where she advocated for a federal response to the HIV epidemic at its beginning and preventing the federal government from stationing nuclear weapons in New York Harbor.
In 2010, she founded Make It Better Amherst, a social network of allies that started out of concern about the suicide epidemic in LGBTQ teens.
She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and women’s studies from Barnard College, and completed graduate work in Adult Learning and Leadership from Teacher’s College in New York City.
Domb lives in Amherst with her husband, Matthew Sadof, and they have two adult daughters.
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