MASS NURSES POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (PAC):
Make your voice heard!
The Massachusetts Nurses PAC is the political action committee for the Massachusetts Nurses Association. The PAC:
- Helps to elect candidates who support patient safety, the nursing profession and our legislative agenda
- Mobilizes the MNA membership to take political action
- Allows nurses and health care professionals to become more involved in campaigns and elections
- Helps nurses to have a stronger voice in shaping public policy that affects their profession and their patients
Who is on the Mass Nurses PAC?
There are 21 seats on the PAC Board. Any voting member in good standing may run for a seat on the PAC Board. Members are elected or appointed to two year terms. Elected seats are chosen at the annual PAC business meeting conducted during the MNA Convention.
Appointed seats are filled by:
- MNA President
- Chair of Congress on Health Policy and Legislation
- A representative chose by each of the five Regional Councils
How does the Mass Nurses PAC work?
Political action committees, or PACs, raise and spend money to elect or defeat political candidates. The MNA has formed the Mass Nurses PAC as its political action committee. The Mass Nurses PAC is a state PAC that supports local and state candidates. The PAC can make endorsements in local races and for elections for State Representatives and State Senators. For statewide offices, such as Governor, and for federal offices, such as Congress or President of the United States, the PAC makes endorsement recommendations to the MNA Board of Directors, who make the final endorsement decision.
The Mass Nurses PAC raises and spends money separate from MNA member dues.
How Does the PAC decide who to endorse?
The Mass Nurses PAC Board employs a rigorous evaluation process to decide which candidates to endorse.
If a candidate for elected office is interested in obtaining the endorsement of the MNA, they must first complete a written questionnaire. This questionnaire asks specific questions about the current policy issues that are important to our members, such as safe patient limits, workplace violence, and financial transparency for hospitals and support for nurses to unionize and bargain collectively. The questionnaire helps to familiarize the candidate with the issues that concern our members and lets the PAC know where the candidate stands on important policy matters. The PAC reviews the candidate questionnaire and, based on the responses, schedules an interview.
Incumbent candidates who have previously received the MNA endorsement are typically not asked to fill out a questionnaire, but his or her record is reviewed by the PAC Board prior to receiving subsequent endorsements.
After reviewing the written responses to the questionnaire, the PAC decides whether or not to advance a candidate to the interview portion of the endorsement process. The interview is conducted in-person by the PAC Board, though accommodations are made for telephone interviews if scheduling does not allow for an in-person interview. The interview is a conversation between the candidate and the PAC board members, often touching on issues discussed in the written response to the questionnaire. This is also the candidate’s opportunity to ask questions. At this time, the PAC also asks questions about candidate’s campaign plan, fundraising and voter outreach strategies. It is important to assess both a candidate’s position on the issues as well as the viability of or his or her campaign.
After conducting candidate interviews, the PAC discusses the merits of the candidates and their campaigns to decide whether to make an endorsement in a race, and if so, which candidate to endorse. In some races, the PAC interviews several candidates vying for the same seat and must decide which one to endorse. In other races, only one candidate advances to the interview phase. The MNA endorsement is a coveted one, as it represents the support of the most trusted profession- nurses! It is the PAC Board’s responsibility to honor this high standard when deciding whether or not to endorse a candidate. The PAC has several options regarding endorsements- 1) endorse a candidate in the primary election 2) wait until after the primary election and endorse a candidate in the general election 3) not endorse a candidate.
How can you get involved and strengthen the Mass Nurses PAC?
- Contribute to the PAC financially
- Run for a seat on the PAC Board
- Participate in the campaign for an endorsed candidate
To get involved, contact Megan Collins, Associate Director of Legislation and Government Affairs at (781)-548-0768.