My Vote Goes to Healey
Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General, held a Town Hall last night in Lowell. She is yet another super impressive representative of our state. Massachusetts has an embarrassment of riches. I wish other states were so fortunate.
She opened up with the same message that Warren, Markey, and Tsongas did. The engagement, the protests, and the speaking out in numbers that she has never seen before is incredible. This is a movement, not just a moment, and we should recognize the role of our voices.
Those voices have been successful in stopping
- the attempt of the Republicans to replace the ethics rules,
- the travel ban – twice, and
- the ACA repeal.
She stated her obligation is to serve the people of Massachusetts and to enforce the law. She noted we are currently dealing with an administration that doesn’t pay attention to the law and attempts to operate above the law. Her job is to uphold the rule of law in face of the administration. “I feel funny having to say that.”
But that is why she is working with other Attorney Generals “on the front line of defense.”
Defending our country against the administration. Isn’t that funny to have to say? Funny in a nervous, hysterical way.
That’s why that group of Attorney Generals sued the administration over the travel ban. And won.
She feels Trump is at odds with our core values. That isn’t a partisan issue. Everyone – whether Democrat, Republican, liberal, progressive, or conservative – should recognize that.
She will fight for immigrants since our colleges and institutions are worried about their students and research partners, our parents are worried to send their kids to school or bring them to the doctor, and our families are hesitant to report crimes and ask for help. She will fight against the ACA repeal which would impact so many MA residents, and “if you are a woman, you are really in trouble”. She will fight against tax breaks for the rich that will be achieved by placing the burden on the backs of the most vulnerable. She will fight for the climate since there is no planet B and she knew EPA head Scott Pruitt back when he was AG of Oklahoma and tried to dismantle the EPA.
She said that the firing of FBI Director Comey was “not a good development”, and she has been demanding an independent counsel all along.
Bottom line is she is tackling issues she never anticipated having to tackle because of this administration.
She made it clear, though, that her top priority is the opioid crisis in Massachusetts. Too many grandparents are raising their grandchildren. Her focus is treatment and prevention. She feels we need to be more open in our discussions about mental health and substance abuse. She understands the reluctance to talk about those issues since she was brought up in a family where those things were not discussed. (“I’m Irish.”) But we need to take away the stigma. If we don’t talk about substance abuse and mental health, we pay a price. She also needs help from medical providers to not put the pills out there and from places like CVS and Walmart to take precautions in dispensing the pills. While mostly interested in treatment and prevention, “everything is on the table to save lives”, so she will consider safe injection zones. Trump is attempting to zero out funds for mental health and drug abuse, but “thank goodness they don’t seem to know what they are doing.” She will be as strong an advocate as possible on this issue.
When I drove into the parking lot where the Town Hall was being held, I noticed a bunch of protestors at the corner. I thought things could get interesting. However, there was only one person who posed a contentious question. It was related to gun control, and he finished with “Why should I vote for you?” His question included an analogy I didn’t quite understand. Something about her position on semi-automatic assault weapons was like banning sugar because it looked like cocaine.
Her unequivocal response was there is a law in place, and her job is to enforce the law as written.
She also talked about an anti-violence program for kids that she was involved with that masqueraded as a basketball program to trick kids into going there. One grade school kid told her he wanted his family and friends to come together for something other than funerals.
And she emphasized the importance of voting. She noted so many people were not registered to vote or did not vote in the last election even though they were registered. “And this was big election, if people didn’t know.” She feels we need to make it easier to register to vote, and we need to get people to vote. 2018 matters.
I will be voting for her.