Did you see the column in the Globe where Scot Lehigh called me “loyal” and “devoted?” That was very nice of him.
What? That wasn’t the point, you say? I guess it’s all about your perspective.
Scot writes from the perspective of someone with long experience about the way things work on Beacon Hill and it seems he’s been talking with others under the golden dome, some named and some not, who support his theory that Governor Patrick doesn’t do things the way they “should” be done. He does things differently from other politicians in the past. Fair point, I guess – and certainly a legitimate perspective.
In the piece, Scot details an effort we at the Deval Patrick Committee/TogetherPAC are putting forward to engage supporters in telling THEIR stories about the difference Governor Patrick’s leadership has made for them, their communities and our commonwealth since he started running almost ten years ago. He was kind enough to point out that if folks needed some assistance with research or other areas, we would be happy to help. Maybe some would consider writing a letter to the editor or an OpEd in the local paper or blog? For others, maybe they’d prefer to record a short video to share their perspective? We’d appreciate the effort and would be happy to help. We’ll have a booth at the convention in Worcester both days (the Governor will speak on Friday night) and we’ll have some special gifts to thank the delegates who drive the grassroots organizing that makes Massachusetts Democrats successful. If you’ll be at the convention, I hope you’ll stop by. You can record your video right there if you’d like – or just say hello and pick up your gift.
Why are we doing this? From the perspective of many, Governor Patrick and the Democratic legislature have delivered on a progressive agenda that has been very successful – and put Massachusetts back in the leadership business in so many ways. Not everything is perfect for sure and no Democrat is flying any “Mission Accomplished” banners. There is plenty left to do and it’s urgent we stay on it. But if we want to continue these successes, we should celebrate the perspectives of so many who actually LIKE that Deval Patrick is a different kind of politician – certainly they like the results.
In 2006, Massachusetts was in a very different place and most people agreed we were headed in the wrong direction. We were 45th in the nation in job growth and our population had fallen for two consecutive years. The fiscal disaster known as the Big Dig Financing Plan had drained money from road and bridge repair and public transportation around the state and left us with over 700 structurally deficient bridges, a multi-billion dollar backlog of infrastructure maintenance, public transportation systems in crisis and the Mass Turnpike Authority weighed down by complicated, risky Wall Street debt schemes threatening its solvency. Massachusetts was trying to stiff-arm the future with its ban on stem cell research, departure from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and staunch opposition to Cape Wind. The equal marriage rights newly secured in the courts were under assault by some in the legislature. And that just begins to tell the story.
Today, Massachusetts is first in the nation in student achievement, healthcare coverage, energy conservation, venture funding and services for our veterans and military families and more. Our population is growing again – matching the national growth rate for the first time in decades as people and families are moving INTO our state – not out. And thanks to a joint push from Governor Patrick and the Democratic legislature, Massachusetts has protected marriage equality and led nineteen other states (and counting) to the justice that you can marry whomever you love. Our preeminent position as one of the world’s largest super clusters of life science companies and jobs is secure and our energy conservation and clean energy sector is booming with over 80,000 people employed. And it’s not just a couple sectors – – there are more people working in Massachusetts than ever in our history – EVER!
Looking toward the election in November, the debate is who will be best to continue this progress going forward? Even Charlie Baker, who ran aggressively AGAINST these policies four years ago, has reversed direction and is attempting to re-brand himself in a fuzzy “new Charlie,” etch-a-sketching his harsh tone to the point it’s hard to tell WHAT he’s running on.
If Massachusetts wants to STAY in the leadership business on issues we all care about, we need to choose wisely in November – and we need to celebrate the progress from the perspective of people from all across the state and all walks of life.
I hope you’ll join us in the effort.
John Walsh is the Executive Director of the Deval Patrick Committee and TogetherPAC.