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A LETTER FROM LELAND

Investing in Education. Fixing Transportation. Building Affordable Housing. Addressing What Matters To You.

The challenges we need to tackle tomorrow are very different from the problems we solved yesterday.

The incumbent we’re challenging in the Democratic primary today, Pat Jehlen, has done an admirable job legislating on Beacon Hill for more than 25 years. She and I have supported a vast number of social issues including gay marriage, equal pay, and sustainable energy; however, too many issues that affect our day-to-day lives have been ignored by our state legislature. It’s not that she’s bad; it’s that we need better.

In these last few days leading up to the election, people have asked us to summarize the differences in what we represent. It boils down to experience, attitude, and who’s the best equipped to ensure that ten years from now we can look back and know that – despite all the current pressures on our community – we emerged stronger, together.

Tackling Economic Inequality
Massachusetts is home to the largest income inequality in the country, at a time when economic inequality is the highest it’s ever been.

Technology is rapidly improving our lives, but it’s also deconstructing the way we work, live, and relate to one another. In prior debates, my opponent didn’t understand how AirBnb is affecting our housing crisis, how the gig economy is re-writing the terms of employment, the difference between Uber and ZipCar, or how automation is displacing jobs.

In the face of globalization, it’s not enough for our elected leaders to appreciate STEM; they must be able to anticipate it. My prior career in entrepreneurship, technology, and investing in start-ups gives me a unique perspective. My City Council experience making jobs in Kendall Square accessible to residents and working on economic development for Gov Patrick proves I don’t just have talking points, but a track-record you can count on.

Improving Transportation
The Green Line Extension and the Longfellow Bridge – examples of projects that have followed the tradition of being over-budget and delayed without any accountability to voters.

The incumbent claims she’s been working on the extension for over a decade; that’s part of the problem. No legislator can tell you what it will cost, yet there have been no calls to fix the problems that got us here in the first place.

I will introduce legislation requiring every contractor receiving more than $10M from the state will have to publicly disclose exactly how they’re spending our tax dollars; I’ll introduce legislation to rewrite the bidding process that dug this hole; and I’ll stop the ambivalence that allowed contractors who fleeced us on the Big Dig to win contracts for the T.

Investing in Education
With all the international companies we’ve been attracting to the Boston metro area, our students have to compete with a global workforce without ever leaving home.
The legislature has only just gotten funding for our public schools back up to 2009 levels, and schools in our district have faced delays in repairs for years. As your State Senator I’ll demand proper funding for our public schools, every tool or resource teachers need to be successful.
Massachusetts supposedly enjoys one of the most resilient economies in the country. There’s no reason we shouldn’t have universal pre-k, affordable post-secondary education, STEM and computer science in K-12, and community colleges that prepare students for careers, not just temp jobs.

Campaign Ethics

Our campaign has been entirely focused on our ideas and vision for our communities. My opponent supporters, on the other hand, have been waging a campaign of misinformation. They’ve launched attack ads, built websites that lie about my track-record, and repeatedly stolen lawn signs.

When pressed, incumbent Pat Jehlen has refused to condemn negative campaigning or outside spending. When questioned about accepting donations from the fossil fuel industry that runs contrary to her pledge not to, she claimed ignorance. When asked about the fact that the majority of her donations come from PACs and lobbyists, she said she hadn’t read her campaign finance report. With more than ten thousand dollars of cash donations she hasn’t accounted for, she can’t even follow the election laws she helped write.

If that’s how she campaigns, how does she govern?

Family First

I’ve been criticized, but I’ll never apologize for treating every day like ‘bring your daughter to work day.’ I treat public service like a 24/7 job. My perspective on every vote isn’t about who I’m pleasing today, but about the future we’re building for all our children.

When it comes to early childhood education, parental leave, accommodations for expecting mothers, earned sick time, and more, I know the challenges that families are struggling with in our modern world because I’m living through them right now.

I hope you enter the voting booth tomorrow with the feeling that – in such a crazy national political cycle – here in Medford, Cambridge, Somerville, and Winchester – we have given our community an actual choice. As your neighbor, I’ll always be a phone call or an email away. Thank you for your consideration, and for your vote TODAY, September 8th.