U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Katherine Clark, democratic candidate for the Massachusetts Fifth Congressional District, rallied voters in the Forum on Wednesday.
Clark, who is currently a Massachusetts State Senator representing the Fifth Middlesex District, is running to replace Edward J. Markey in the House of Representatives in a special election on Dec. 10.
Markey’s Congressional seat was left vacant when he was elected to the U.S. Senate earlier this year.
She said, “It is wonderful to be out here today at Framingham State University and see firsthand the great work that you are doing.”
Clark was given a tour of the progress of the Hemenway Hall expansion before arriving at the Forum. She said that expansion makes FSU “a world-class public university that is offering the type of education that we want for our future leaders.”
She said in the current economy, higher education has become a “necessity.
“We have to do all we can to make sure higher education remains affordable and accessible to every student who wishes to pursue it.”
Clark said FSU is a “prime example” of a public university that offers a world-class education at a reasonable cost to its students.
She said although the Dec. 10 election hasn’t received a lot of attention, “This is an important seat in an important time in Congress.”
Clark said throughout her career as a public-interest attorney, state senator and a member of her local school committee, her goal has been to work to help families, and she wants to continue that work in Congress.
“Instead of attacking women’s rights, denying healthcare to millions of Americans, creating tax breaks for big oil, we need to have Congress focus on creating jobs, achieving pay equity, making sure that no one who works a full-time job is living in poverty,” she said.
Clark said everyone should have access to the “world-class education” available at FSU.
“We must continue that fight around college affordability and creating jobs,” said Clark. “We must keep our promise to our seniors by protecting Social Security and Medicare for the generations to come.”
Clark also advocated for climate change and gun-safety measures.
Clark said, as a mother of three teenage boys in public schools and the daughter of elderly parents, “These issues are not hypothetical to me. They’re what I live every single day.”
Warren, who made her third visit to FSU on Wednesday, said, “There is no one I would rather stand alongside than Katherine Clark. She is smart, she has good values and most of all, she is tough.
“Our vision for America is that we can all make a contribution that makes a better future for ourselves, for our children, for our grandchildren,” said Warren. “We make those investments in education, which is why I am so pleased to be here today at Framingham State.
“We make those investments from preschool through postgraduate education. We make those investments in education because we know that every kid deserves an opportunity to build something for himself, for herself, and just as importantly, to build something for this country.”
Warren said she works to make those investments so that the U.S. will have a “stronger future.”
She said she supports Clark because “we need another strong woman in this Congressional delegation to go down to Washington.”
Clark said she’s often asked, “Why would you possibly run for Congress?”
She said, “As dysfunctional as D.C. can be … there is always, always a better way forward.
“I am ready to go to Washington to join her [Warren] in this fight for our country … so that the issues that we talk about as middle-class families around our kitchen tables are the issues that are put back on the table in Congress,” said Clark.
Carly Granville, an FSU administrative resident assistant who attended the rally, said, “I was interested in learning about the current political problems that are facing our state. As an education major, it was refreshing to hear that there is a continuing push to improve our education, because I am a strong believer in that everyone should receive an equal education.”
Student Trustee Paul Manning said, “It was great to have Senator Warren and State Senator Clark on campus yesterday – especially with Senator Clark taking a look at the Hemenway construction. The new science center is going to be a great addition to FSU. It’s one way the University is better preparing students for the future, where science is going to play an ever increasing role, and it’s important for our elected officials to be there to support that, literally from the foundation to the end.
“I look forward to having more officials on campus. It’s an important part not only for them to connect with us, but for students to get involved politically and civically,” said Manning.