On The Issues...
No one elected official can solve all the problems of the district. So, I invite all residents of Cohasset, Duxbury, Hingham, Hull, Marshfield, Norwell, Scituate, and Weymouth to work with me to determine priorities. I welcome your ideas and input, and ask you to complete a brief survey to let me know what’s on your mind.
My priorities for the Plymouth-Norfolk District, among others, include the following:
Construction, Housing, and Economic Development I plan to increase economic development in the South Shore and the Commonwealth through the revitalization of areas for small business growth and affordable housing. I want to examine the structure of property taxes and more income-based assistance for senior citizens and low-income people to make our South Shore district an affordable place to live for our many residents, even as our economy grows. My former experience in the city of Boston, supervising the rehabilitation of depressed neighborhoods and managing a $15 million budget and a staff of 23, gives me the expertise to garner much-needed construction grants, developer interest, and legislation to support this growth.
Transportation and Traffic An important part of economic revitalization includes transportation. I advocate for a consistently operating public transportation system to transport residents from newly rebuilt downtown areas to jobs in Boston. But the Greenbush line is only part of the solution. Other solutions to traffic problems may include a coordinated review of traffic patterns in all towns (as well as Routes 3 and 3A), the widening of highway bottlenecks, the addition of more buses from the remote areas of our towns to Greenbush stations, and the synchronization of traffic signals at key intersections during rush hour.
Health Care and Insurance Runaway health insurance and prescription drug costs have made health care in Massachusetts one of the most expensive in the nation. With the passage of the new state health insurance mandating all residents to obtain health insurance, I want to work for insurance affordability. I support initiatives such as bulk pricing, regular rate reviews, the standardization of “cafeteria plans” offered by insurance companies, and limits on coverage and deductibles. As insurance companies create new products for the uninsured and underinsured, we must support legislation that would closely regulate these new products and protect consumers from insurance coverage deemed “dangerously low.” I also support the restoration of funding for medical research, and will work with hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance carriers for this support.
Education The state has made some improvements through the Education Reform Act of 1993, but public education at all levels needs to be improved. While all students should have challenging academic standards in major subject areas, MCAS should not be the answer to determining a student’s mastery of these subjects. This is not—and should not—be just a state government issue and concern. We need to get the stakeholders involved in helping to solve the problem, especially teachers and parents.
Civil Rights I support equal protection under the law regardless race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, or national origin. I agree with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling that our state Constitution "forbids the creation of second-class citizens” and that same-sex couples, therefore, should be afforded equal protection. I support equal hospital visitation rights, survivor benefits, family leave policies, and health insurance benefits for all citizens, regardless of status, and believe that harassment and discrimination in any form is reprehensible.
Immigration Many undocumented workers are exploited by unscrupulous employers. They are vying for the same jobs that American citizens and legal immigrants fight for, causing ugly racial, ethnic, and economic tensions between legal and illegal workers. It is clear that illegal immigration undermines our economy by having a large “under class” of workers not contribute to our tax system, compete for low-wage jobs to the detriment of union and other workers, and encourage corrupt employers to hire and abuse undocumented immigrants with little legal recourse. I support the legalization of this workforce. All workers should be encouraged to join our unions, receive full benefits under the law, and undergo proper job training to legally and safely contribute to our economy and to our communities.
Reproductive Rights I believe that a woman’s right to choose remains the decision of the woman and not the federal government. Therefore, I support the United States’ Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade legislation. I also back family planning and sex education for parents, educators, and teens, as well as safe, affordable birth control and reproductive health services, regardless of a woman’s (or man’s) income, language, status, or race. I also support security measures to help make reproductive health clinics safe from violence and terrorist acts.
Environment and Renewable Energy In order to stem the destruction of our environment while encouraging growth in our South Shore economy, I fully endorse alternative forms of energy—solar, geothermal, and wind power. I will work with experts to revise state building codes to require the most energy-efficient technology in new and substantially remodeled buildings. My strong background in local, state, and national construction issues gives me special expertise in this area. I endorse smart construction that does not damage wetlands or coastal areas. I also would like to examine options for mass transit vehicles to ensure that they are running on environmentally safe fuels.
Other Issues Facing Our Community: I would like to hear from you about your positions on the matters that affect our region. Reach out to me via our contact page and let me know your thoughts.