By Evan Lee, Caroline Gordon, and Kathleen Moore
Local legislators visited FSU to discuss their political experience and answer questions Oct. 10
Yvonne Spicer – Mayor of the City of Framingham
Oftentimes, you hear, “Women have to be asked many times to run for office.” No, I didn’t need to be asked many times. I knew that I could bring something, and that’s what made me decide to run for this office. I felt I could bring something valuable to this community from what I’ve learned professionally over the last 30 years that I think would be really terrific in our new city – a city that I love. I’ve lived here for 35 years, I’ve had different jobs, but I’ve never left Framingham.
Natalie Higgins – Representative for the 4th Worcester District
I ran with a progressive agenda, talking about how to make government work for folks. In my community, a lot of folks were just fed up with government. They didn’t think that elected officials were really listening to them or understood what they were going through, and I leaned into that and I wanted to say, “No – that’s our job.”
Maria Robinson – Representative for the 6th Middlesex District
One of the things that I ran on was climate change. I worked for 10 years in a renewable energy firm, working on different policies around the nation. And what I learned through this process is that Framingham cares a lot about climate change. It’s really exciting to see the number of phone calls and emails I get about that, more than anything else. It’s been a fascinating experience to better understand what the needs of our community are.
Jack Lewis – Representative for the 7th Middlesex District
If you go to school or work at FSU, then you’re our constituents regardless of where you sleep at night. We’re happy to help, we’re happy to put you in touch with the state rep or state senator for where you actually sleep, but we work with people on a whole host of issues – be those internships, unemployment benefits, or state services. Many of us got our start when we were in college, so we’re eager to help folks. So, don’t be shy. We’re your elected officials.
Carmine Gentile – Representative for the 13th Middlesex District
If you were going to college in Germany today, you would have a little less than $200 in administrative expenses – and that’s it. Everything else is free. So, they’ve been doing that since the 1970s. Why can’t we do that here? Well, of course we can. A number of us, and every representative here tonight, are working in the Legislature to lower the costs of higher education with the goal of really making it free for public higher ed.