Galluccio’s question: How to engage kids?
Flaherty: Worked on drug treatment.
Nowicki: I’m invested in the school system. Variety of experiences being personally involved in Chelsea schools.
Ross: Wants to reinstate job training programs.
Harshbarger: Back to question of whether you’re supported by casinos, and how do you react to studies that have shown little benefit to casinos (referring to Rep. Dan Bosley).
Nowicki: I want more answers. The studies have been vague. Let’s get this decision done now. [This is somewhat at odds with what he told us, which is that he’s a full-throated casino proponent.]
Ross: I’m not supported by casinos, and I don’t support them.
Galluccio: Casino gambling [either up or down] is not a priority — the community-building of expanding education and doing universal health care are my priorities. [??]
Flaherty: Dismisses impact of campaign donations. “I don’t need this job … but I want the job.” We need to be smart now to protect our interests, and minimize harm to this state.”
Harshbarger: How do you guarantee quality education to every kid?
Ross: MCAS causes kids to lose interest. Don’t support completely eradicating MCAS.
Galluccio: Came to loggerheads with Boston Globe on MCAS. Don’t believe MCAS should be sole criterion. We should measure how far a student has progressed with that teacher in that school. Don’t think MCAS is going to solve our problems.
Flaherty: A paper/pencil test is not how you educate a child; but we need standards. People in urban districts love MCAS, b/c it forces their kids to be taught something.
Nowicki: Not sole measure, but we need MCAS as standard. But kids from other countries are driving our scores down; need to adjust for that.
Harshbarger: Remove cap on charter schools? What are inequities in formula? Are we too beholden to teachers’ unions?
Galluccio: One of my faults is honesty with interest groups; I thought public ed ought to be shaken up. My point of view changed. Wouldn’t support expansion of charter schools.
Flaherty: Charter schools are problematic; take dollars and do non-union employees, for-profit companies. Shouldn’t remove cap.
Nowicki: Should keep cap until funding is figured out. Teachers should be held to same standards. Open lines of communication to know what’s working, what’s not. Share information.
Ross: Moratorium on charter schools.
Harshbarger: How would you strike balance between corrections and education funding?
Flaherty: I was opposed to capital punishment, even after Curley case. Dollars should be spent on diversion, pre-K. This is an easy answer. Re-open lawsuit … (Nowicki playfully pulls Flaherty away as TF goes over time …)
Nowicki: Close corporate loopholes. Study gambling $. Local option. It all starts with public safety.
Ross: MA ranks 47th in public higher ed funding. Muni bond for stem cells. Created Brockton committee on civil rights; fight crime at its impetus. Substance abuse — transitional assistance. Broader approach to crime.
Galluccio: Crime prevention is a very local issue — we use programs as an excuse. Will get to know young people in district personally. Being a State Senator is local. Don’t allow any elected official to escape that responsibility. Programmatic and personal.
Harshbarger: What will be your style — Birmingham or Barrios?
Nowicki: “Neither — I’ll be better than either one.” [Laughs] Respect for both. I’m a street worker. I will be in communities day in and day out.
Ross: Diverse communities; I speak four languages. Can communicate with various people of various backgrounds.
Galluccio: “I’m gonna be just like Jarrett; I’m gonna be liberal as hell in Cambridge and Italian in Everett.”
Flaherty: I’m not as good-looking as Birmingham or Barrios, but I’m better dressed. [This has turned into a celebrity roast of guys who aren’t here.]
Harshbarger: How do you build support for increasing taxes for programs you support?
Ross: Close corporate loopholes. Local options. Would support raise to 5.95% on those with incomes over $150,000. [That’s not legal, BTW]
Galluccio: There are many in this district who are very nervous about tax increases. It’s a fact, we shouldn’t judge it. We need progressive tax. [Hell yes!] Need to take on wealthy interests.
Flaherty: Need to talk about progressive income tax. There are people who are impoverished in Everett — tells them Verizon doesn’t pay taxes on poles.
Nowicki: Close corporate loopholes. Casinos — $100 million. When you hire for commercial development, hire local people.
Harshbarger: [to Galluccio] Harvard wants to expand; you’re against it; but what about business development; how do you ameliorate impact on community?
Galluccio: Has wrangled successfully with Harvard before; only candidate who’s dealt with large institutional expansion. I’ve done it.
Flaherty: I’m not worried about Harvard’s future. I’m worried about saving neighborhoods.
Nowicki: I have 15 years of experience dealing with urban development in a densely populated city. Built 1,500 units of housing. Stop expansion — I’m worried about neighborhoods.
Ross: The neighborhood is not opposed to expansion; they’re been left out of the process. Harvard violated trust; officials need to make Harvard follow proper procedures. [Ross seems most knowledgeable on this one; least anti-Harvard, interestingly.]
Galluccio: Youth centers, literacy, Cambridge Health Alliance. Built on consensus building, not fancy brochures. This is my life; look at what I’ve done.
Flaherty: This is about you. Politics is like a Greek tragedy, protagonist vs. obstacles. Those are the people facing problems in this district. [Doesn’t everyone die in a Greek tragedy? — says Caralis]
Nowicki: I’ve been helping bring Chelsea from basketcase to desirable place for development.
Ross: I will be advocate for people and their concerns and issues.