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After some serious consideration, I am stepping forward as a candidate for State Representative in the 1st Hampshire District.
Northampton, Hatfield, Southampton, Westhampton and Montgomery have benefited for many years from Representative Peter Kocot's dedication, wisdom and hard work. He was an inspiring champion not only of our district, but of our highest ideals.
Rep. Kocot cannot be replaced, and more to the point, none of us have any desire to replace him. I don't think there will ever be a time that feels exactly right to discuss the practical realities that now face us.
I do, however, firmly believe we need to keep fighting.
In recent weeks, our region's state delegation has been rocked by a wave of retirements and other changes across several districts. This creates a major problem for Western Mass, which already struggles for influence on Beacon Hill.
I'm sure you sense the same unease in the community that I do about what this all means for us. And like most of you, I'm very concerned about our future to begin with.
At the national level, an extreme and destructive brand of politics threatens our democratic values day after day. And at the state level, we see too many decisions that worsen inequality and show a chronic reluctance to pursue real change.
One day, when I look back on this era, I want to know that I did all I could to stand up for our communities and for our ideals. We must all continue to fight for what matters. There is just too much at stake.
It's in that spirit that I am seeking this office.
I believe the times call out for a bold, ambitious, progressive policy agenda, and a new generation of leaders who are willing to fight for it.
Materially, our challenge is to invest in essential priorities like public education, universal healthcare and affordable housing.
Morally, our challenge is to combat climate change, dismantle inequality, and oppose discrimination in all forms.
Politically, our challenge is to build a vibrant, forward-looking society of inclusion, equality and social justice.
We can stand up to the structural defunding of our schools, to ongoing cuts to the PVTA, environmental protection, local aid and services for the most vulnerable.
We can expand rail service north-south and east-west, support local farmers, encourage our region's creative economy and raise the minimum wage.
We can fix our regressive tax code, end unfair corporate handouts and ask millionaires to pay their fair share.
We can reinvigorate our democratic institutions, boost civic participation, get money out of politics and, above all, demand honor and integrity in government.
Massachusetts has led, and can continue to lead the way for the nation. In turn, our district, with its extraordinary people and unrivaled progressive spirit, can lead the way for the Commonwealth.
Just as I have as City Council President, I will continue to be accessible to you locally, and work tirelessly on behalf of the everyday needs of our district as well as our highest ideals.
I would be honored to have your support, and I hope to have a chance to talk with you soon. Thank you!
How to Contact Me: