[Blue Mass Group recently spoke at length with Lieutenant Governor candidate Andrea Silbert about her campaign. As is our practice David, Charley and I will post our reports without prior consultation. Full disclosure: Andrea and I went to college together and have been friends for almost 20 years. I think very highly of her and am supporting her campaign.]
Andrea Silbert, the leading fund raiser in the Lieutenant Governor’s race, laid out her compelling case for the office with a characteristic mix of idealism, realism, determinaton and enthusiasm last week in an extended discussion with our Editors.
"My campaign is first and foremost about economic development, job creation, and urban development. Massachusetts is currently 48th out of the 50 states in job creation. I have a proven track record of having done that in the private sector — the organization I co-founded, Center for Women& Enterprise (CWE), has helped companies create more than 14,000 jobs and $400 millionin new wages in over 200 communities across the state," she said.
Economic development, however, will mean little if it does not flow through to the most disadvantaged members of society, Silbert said. "I believe in social justice for two main reasons. First, it is the right thing to do from a moral point of view. Second, as a practical matter we need everyone if we are going to succeed as a society," she said.
CWE, which Silbert started at her kitchen table, helps entrepreneurs –primarily women, but also men — start new businesses and expandexisting enterprises by providing education, training, technicalassistance and access to debt and equity capital. The non-profitemploys about 30 staff, has offices in Boston, Worcester andProvidence, and had revenues of approximately $2.5 million last year, according to Silbert.
Silbert said her development work has required frequent trips to Washington. "I have learned, to some degree, how to work with the system in Washington. I intended to bring that experience to bear if I am elected," she said. Development of the regional rail network, for example, is an area that should receive priority state and federal attention, she added.
Silbert lives in Harwich with her husband, Craig Caldwell, andtheir three children. She earned a Master of BusinessAdministration, a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor ofArts in Economics from Harvard. She was a financial analyst with Morgan Stanley in NewYork, then left the country in 1988 to serve in grassroots economicdevelopment in Costa Rica, Colombia, and Brazil.
She worked for Women’s WorldBanking, an international network of micro-loan funds, in Latin America, and with the poorest of the poor at a non-profit organizationserving "street children" in Brazil. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Silbert’s campaign fundraising total recently topped $200,000, which puts her first in the money race, Cape Code Today reported on 12 October. The Harvard MBA says most of that sum is still in the bank. Silbert, who is not independently wealthy, launched her effort with $5,000 of her own funds.
Silbert has been endorsed by former US Ambassador Swanee Hunt, State Representative Rachel Kaprielian, State Representative Matt Patrick, AIDS Action Committee Executive Director Rebecca Haag, John Kerry LGBT Finance Committee Chair Will Woodruff, former State Representatives Jim Collins and Peter Larkin, and business leaders such as realtor Chobee Hoy and venture capitalist John Cullinane, Jr.