New Voice, Fresh Perspective

“It’s not enough to be progressive. Effective legislators need to be innovative and creative, and need to look forward at future challenges. … I have the ideas and the initiative to be forward-thinking for this community.”

Lori Lennon

Each week, the Arlington Advocate and the Medford Transcript  ask where my opponent and I stand on specific issues affecting the state and district. The incumbent and I differ in many ways. Co-sponsorship is important, but there is more to being a leader. Leadership means voting on progressive values, the way that others did surrounding the Safe Communities Act. The people of Arlington and West Medford deserve a leader that will vote on their progressive values.

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I support recalculating the funding formula for the foundation budget, based on the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission. There have been tremendous cost increases in areas such as special education, health care and supporting English Language Learners and low income students since Chapter 70 was implemented 25 years ago. The budget needs to adjust for these funding gaps. I will also support a more-regular review of Chapter 70 by the FBRC as inflation and cost of services continue to change.

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In 2016, Massachusetts voted in favor of Question 4, which was slated to legalize marijuana by Jan. 1, 2018. Our legislators and local leaders now have the ability to better regulate and benefit economically from the sale of adult-use cannabis. We as a district cannot continue delaying the inevitable. Massachusetts is not the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana.

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There are no cut and dry solutions to affordable housing; however, there are steps the Commonwealth can take to create more housing opportunities for first-time home buyers, the disappearing middle-class, low-income families and seniors who cannot afford million dollar homes or luxury rentals.

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Curbing climate change and carbon emissions will require bold and forward-thinking legislation that brings together industry experts, academia and organizations focused on protecting our communities. Massachusetts is an intellectual hub. As a professional communicator and coalition builder, I see opportunity and have already started working and engaging with leading scientists (some in our own district) to devise ways to create proactive and innovative legislation backed by data and research.

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