I am pleased to endorse Martha Coakley, who I am convinced will be the best choice to lead Massachusetts as governor for the next four years.
I am one of the political activists who went to the local caucus without a commitment to any candidate. Many of my fellow Democratic activists reached the same conclusion at the time for the caucus. I am one of the folks who walked out of our caucus as an uncommitted delegate. We liked several candidates, and we were not yet ready to make a choice.
The choice was very difficult for me, as I genuinely liked more than just one candidate. I am impressed by the work of Martha Coakley and Steve Grossman as constitutional officers, and Don Berwick’s passion for progressive politics tugged on my heartstrings.
As the campaign unfolded, however, it has become more and more clear that Martha Coakley needs to be our nominee and needs to be elected governor in November.
Those who know me also know of my passion for K-12 education and local governance. The governor has extraordinary influence over cities and towns, particularly with the appointment powers for a powerful state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Much of the governor’s work is in the weeds of regulations and funding formulas, but this work makes a big deal of difference in our ability to deliver quality services at the local level.
Martha Coakley will be a thoughtful and effective partner for local governments and school districts.
Martha has always demonstrated a willingness to listen to multiple points of view and to do her homework. In January, Martha’s views on education were seemed to be good, but they were also quite vague. I told her that I didn’t need to agree with her on everything, but I needed to get a firm sense of understanding and direction pertaining to local governance and K-12 education.
I met with Martha again today, as she spoke to a gathering of a couple of dozen uncommitted delegates. She spoke with clarity and specificity on issues of concern, particularly those raised by educators and municipal officials in the room. She spoke of the need to eliminate the prohibition of educators from serving on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. She spoke of the need to recalculate the foundation budget. She also reminded me of the partnerships she formed with local schools when she was Middlesex DA.
Charlie Baker has a longstanding record of disdain for K-12 school districts, and a track record of supporting widespread privatization of local services. His work with the Pioneer Institute, and his record as a member of the Board of Elementary & Secondary Education, Charlie Baker would bring us back to the Pioneer Institute playbook that prevailed during the Romney years.
Charlie Baker is a huge risk to progressive, pragmatic, and sound local governance. I want to elect the candidate who is best able to counter Charlie Baker’s privatization agenda. I know that Martha Coakley is best able to present and support sound, pragmatic arguments that will resonate with Massachusetts voters. Martha Coakley best expresses my values, and is my best hope for taking our commonwealth in a progressive direction that supports excellence at the local level.
That’s why I have chosen to endorse Martha Coakley for governor.