People ask me all the time what I like most about campaigning.
There’s only one answer: The people of our district.
Today I had the absolute privilege of joining members of the Royalston Democratic Committee for a lunch they hosted for candidates. (And let me just say as as sidebar that I love that communities are convening gatherings like these. It’s a perfect example of the power that voters have to convene candidates and ask us to get on the record about issues that matter.)
But let me make clear that today’s gathering wasn’t just any lunch. It was wood-fired home-cooked pizza in an exquisite setting in a beautiful town. (Town hall pictured above.)
As amazing as the food was (and it was), the real gifts of the meal were the conversation and the opportunity to learn from key community leaders about the unique issues facing their town.
- Royalson’s students attend a regional school district, like lots of students from smaller-sized communities in the district. So, rural school transportation is a huge issue.
- Another big issue is broadband internet. Folks in Royalston, again like many in the region, have been working for a very long time to get high-speed access. It’s critical for families, for education, and for any kind of economic development.
- The folks today are leading—as volunteers—initiatives like budgeting for capital expenditures and things like fire trucks, thinking through solar power, and considering how to address the state and federal protected land in their town (which is un-taxed). It’s essential to remember that so much of local town government in our district happens because of dedicated volunteers.
- They’re mindful that they want more jobs for their young people. And they’re thinking about things like health care, addressing the opioid crisis, food security, and more.
- We also talked a lot about revenue, namely how to expand the pot of money dedicated to local communities. If you’ve heard me talk before you’ll know that I supported the Fair Share Amendment and would sign on to legislation to introduce a version of it in the Senate. You know I favor closing corporate tax loop holes and support the Earned Income Tax Credit. And, I believe that our tax system relies too much on local taxes and that our state’s income tax has to be progressive, which for me means that we have to ask the wealthiest to pay more so that we can help raise more funds dedicated to local community initiatives.
As you might have guessed, I left the gathering inspired. But more than that—way more than that—today’s gathering added to my growing understanding about the ways in which I’ll want to hit the ground running on day one, should I be so fortunate to be elected to represent the Hampshire, Franklin, Worcester district on Beacon Hill.
Elected officials and former elected officials across the district, like retired Congressman John Olver, Northwestern District Attorney, David Sullivan, and others have endorsed my candidacy because they know that my career to date has led me to be the candidate most able and well-positioned to lead and to serve on day one.
Local communities like Royalston need and deserve that kind of staunch, tenacious, and effective ally on Beacon Hill.
Someone who will take the time to learn about what’s uniquely important to people—and then fight from day one to bring that home.
I want that job.
That’s why, with 65 days to the September 4 primary, my campaign and I plan to make every single one of them count.