I’m running for State Senate in the First Hampden & Hampshire District because we deserve a strong, new voice to make sure we are never forgotten by Beacon Hill.
My mother, the daughter of a dockworker from New York’s Little Italy, and my father, the son of a factory worker from Brooklyn, worked their way through school and came to Western Massachusetts to build a new life; my mother as a social worker, and my father as a family doctor and member of the Massachusetts National Guard. Both have worked in Holyoke for more than two decades. My sisters and I were raised to value family, hard work, and helping others – the same values my wife Alison and I hope to teach our own family.
I attended public schools my entire childhood, and that’s where I learned that individuals who care deeply about their community can improve it. When a recession threatened drastic cuts to education, I led a coalition of parents, students, and teachers to pass a budget override that protected our schools. I worked for Congressman Richard Neal and Senator Ted Kennedy, where I saw firsthand the power of legislation to help people from Ludlow to Belchertown, from Chicopee to Wilbraham, from Springfield to Hampden, and everywhere in between.
After graduating from Longmeadow High School, I studied government at Harvard, returning for my law degree. After college, I worked on Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign. I started at the bottom of the ladder – my job was to accompany Obama on campaign stops around the country and keep track of his luggage. I ended up working one door down from the Oval Office, and later worked for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, where I collaborated with business leaders, organized labor, and entrepreneurs on policies to create jobs, restore manufacturing, improve education, expand infrastructure, and build an economy for the 21st Century.
Alison and I want our young daughter, Rose, to grow up in Western Massachusetts, just like I did. But these days, too many of our families can’t make that same choice. We all have friends, neighbors, even our own children, who struggle to find a good job. It doesn’t have to be this way.
We can create high-speed rail links to Boston and New York. We can rebuild our manufacturing base, improve our infrastructure, strengthen ties with nearby universities, and ensure access to high-quality public education. Together, we can build a vibrant economy based on innovation, small business, and the new economy. We can fight back against cynicism and change our politics, too.
But none of this will happen if we follow business as usual. I’m a proud Democrat, but I will work with anyone – Republicans, Democrats, and independents, to bring fresh thinking to the challenges we face.
I can’t do it alone. So please join me, and let’s do this together!