While I live in Marblehead, I gave this speech on the property line of Swampscott (the town in which I grew up) and Lynn (where I was born) with a cold ocean breeze and a warm curious crowd:
A Fresh Look
Campaign Announcement for Lori Ehrlich
November 7, 2007
Hello and thank you for joining me here today. My name is Lori Ehrlich, and I’m running as a Democrat for State Representative of the 8th Essex District.
As you may know, Doug Peterson, who has served our district in this seat for the past 17 years, is moving on to become the Commissioner of Agriculture. I wish Doug all the best in his new position. With his departure, however, we in this area have a chance to take a fresh look at our involvement in State Government. It’s a conversation we need to have as a united district and I would like to start it here today.
Now, let me first ask and then respond to some questions you might be thinking: Who is Lori Ehrlich? What qualifies her to represent us in the State Legislature? What does she believe in? And what will she do if she’s elected? I hope all voters will ask these questions, of me and every candidate.
I am a lifelong resident of this district: I was born in Lynn, and first grew up in Marblehead, moving to Swampscott in the sixth grade and graduated Swampscott High in 1981. In 1990 I moved back to Marblehead with my husband Bruce and my two daughters attend public school. I am a CPA based in Marblehead and my husband, Bruce, is a Financial Advisor with Ameriprise in Vinnin Square. I’ve been an active participant in the community throughout my adult life as a volunteer, board member, mother and business owner. I attended Lehigh University for my BS in Accounting and then recently followed up with a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
The more I’ve thought about the challenges facing our district in particular the more I was sure that I needed to play a larger role in confronting those challenges.
In recent years, local communities such as ours have been forced to trim already strained budgets to address rising costs. There has been an over-reliance on property taxes to make up for the lack of sufficient state aid. This has jeopardized our hard-earned gains in education, public safety, and the maintenance of roads and bridges. These are gains we cannot afford to squander.
1. My top priority is to increase local aid for things like public education and infrastructure.
I have two children in public school and I am very active there. Demands on our schools have never been higher and they are especially strained by the mandates of Education reform and No Child Left Behind.
What I have learned is that the formula for state funding of education has not taken this into account.
2. My second initiative is to protect Public Health and the environment
No one in our community is untouched by our statistically high cancer rates. I have worked tirelessly for over a decade and have succeeded in helping to reduce harmful sources of pollution in our community. I helped to found both HealthLink and Wenham Lake Watershed Association and have worked at the state level with four governors to promote these important public policies. I will continue my advocacy when in the legislature and will make protecting public health from environmental pollutants a hallmark of my tenure.
My election as your State Rep will allow me to further these activities on your behalf.
3. As a businesswoman, I am acutely aware of the needs of Small Business
Small business is the life-blood of this community. I am a CPA and have practiced in this community for over two decades. I bring an awareness and academic background to know and understand the needs of local businesses, especially in such an uncertain economic climate. Do you know, I just heard from one local business they calculated a 22.7% increase in one year in healthcare cost, for the same coverage!
As a legislator, I can bring such concerns to the state house.
Lynn and Swampscott and Marblehead each face these problems. We must work together if we are to achieve our full potential. With your vote and as your State Representative, I will bring our collective voice to the State House, a place quite familiar to me, to make living in our communities a better experience for all.
Thank you and I look forward to continuing this conversation in the months ahead.