I've decided to throw my hat in the ring

After careful consideration, I have decided to run against Scott Brown for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy.  Senator Kennedy was an inspiration to me and I hope to be able to follow in his footsteps, building coalitions to bring about meaningful societal change.  I'll be releasing a platform and announcing a campaign team shortly.


Thoughts on Mayor Warren's Possible Senate Run

On Thurday evening, Newton TAB reporter Chloe Gotsis emailed me a few questions regarding my thoughts on Mayor Warren's possible U.S. Senate candidacy.  I was not able to write her back until this afternoon.  Here are her questions and my answers:

What do you think about Setti's job so far?
I’ll reserve comment on that until after Mayor Warren presents his Fiscal Year 2012 budget.

If you got elected mayor, would you be making an announcement about higher office 14 months into your term?
No, I spent eighteen years on the Board of Aldermen learning about the operation of Newton’s government.  It would have taken me at least a full four-year term to address our major challenges, such as the structural deficit and consolidating redundant departments and functions.  I would not have considered a run for higher office during my first term.

What is your reaction to the announcement? Do you think Setti would be able to work full-time as Newton's mayor and campaign at the same time?
I do not fault Mayor Warren for considering a run for the U.S. Senate, although I worry that even testing the waters may be a distraction.  However, I will be very critical if he becomes a candidate without resigning his position as mayor, as I do not think he can run for statewide office while giving the job of mayor full-time attention.

Is he leaving too soon?
If he is more passionate about serving in Washington than dealing with local issues like streets, snow, and schools, then by all means he should run for the Senate.  But he should not attempt to do both jobs at the same time.  If he wants to serve in the U.S. Senate, he should give the campaign his full attention and allow someone else to give the City of Newton his or her full attention.



Save Americorps

Government programs that encourage volunteerism have a long history of bipartisan support. (Remember President George H. W. Bush's "Thousand points of light"?) Now the Republicans controlling the U.S. House of Representatives are threatening to end this bipartisan tradition by zero-funding some of the most cost-effective programs, including Americrops, Teach For America, Foster Grandparents, City Year, Senior Companions, Habitat for Humanity, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, YouthBuild, and VISTA (which I served in).

Ironically, these programs are among the most efficent and effective initiatives funded by the Federal government, requiring only modest investments of public dollars to do a great deal of good in communities around the country, while helping to develop leadership skills and traditions of public service.

I'll be traveling to Washington, DC next week to participate in an effort to inform Congressional leaders of both parties how valuable these programs are to communities across America.  If you agree that Americorps is a worthwhile program, please contact your Representatives and Senators in Washington today.  To find out how you can get involved, please visit

If we fail to act now, a generation of young Americans may be denied the opportunities for public service that have have benefited so many of us as participants and have helped people in need throughout America for generations.


Boston Globe interviewed me about Newton government and politics

Just as I was finishing my final exams from my first semester of law school, I got a phone call from Boston Globe reporter Erica Noonan. Here's what she asked me:

1.  What's your assessment of Setti Warren's first year in office.  How
about the current Board of Aldermen?

2.  Some have used the word "honeymoon" to describe Setti's year, and
suggested the Board has not been active or aggressive enough in capital
planning, do you agree?  Disagree?

3.  What do you think will be the big tests of the administration in 2011?
This could be a financial or political decision, whatever you think is
brewing out there...

Erica tells me the article will probably be published in Thursday or Sunday's Globe West edition.

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