An Open Letter to Neighbors on the Cape and Islands

Dear Neighbors,

Let me introduce myself to you:

Public service is part of my DNA. I grew up in a family that knew the lessons of hardship, the benefits of community and family, and the hope that good government and leadership could bring. I also grew up with religious values that inspired us to show the simple virtues of kindness, empathy and helpfulness. And I grew up in a lifelong Democratic culture believing political action was noble and worthy work that could make a real difference in our lives. From all of this, I understood as a kid – and still see – that when we elect strong leaders who use the tools of government to work for the people, and not the powerful, we really can improves lives. I learned that when we work together, we grow strong together. I understood I had a responsibility – and have the desire – to making the world a better place. Since then, I have dedicated my life, private and public, to service.

I was not raised to be self-promoting however, so I will try to give you a snapshot of my track record that is fair and truthful, without sounding grandiose. You deserve to know who I am, and I definitely need your help to win this election, so I hope this will convince you of both my sincerity and my track record. I present myself knowing I am qualified, eager and ready to become the next State Senator from the Cape & Islands district.

My professional work experience is relevant to our District now. As a geriatric social worker, I worked over 20 years aiding and counseling senior citizens and their families struggling with the challenges of aging. I left work to raise my daughter and spent my free time volunteering as Girl Scout leader and school fundraiser, and on community action boards and Democratic committees on Cape Cod and elsewhere. Having spent the summers of my youth on Cape Cod, in 2003 I became a permanent resident of Wellfleet.

I live here, day in and day out with all of you. As a year round resident, I quickly became aware of the financial insecurity shared by many who live here. I started to see the negative impact untreated wastewater was having on this fragile ecosystem of Nature’s jewel – the Cape and Islands. How do we keep a special place special? How do we balance environmental protection and economic development?

I have a decade of experience as an elected official in this District. In 2006, I entered public service. I ran for office and was elected as Wellfleet’s representative to the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates. Recognizing the benefit of having a regional government on Cape Cod, I ran and was elected to the Board of County Commissioners in 2008, and was re-elected in 2012. My current term ends in December 2016.

These experiences in public office serving the Cape and Islands for 10 years have given me an invaluable education about the entire district. I now know the issues, the people, and the relationships between Towns, the Counties and the Commonwealth.

I have a real track record of accomplishment on issues important to us all. I am proud of the accomplishments and contributions that I have made, often working with others on both sides of the aisle. For example:

    • Wastewater Management. I was the leading voice in focusing the County’s efforts to address the dire threat that wastewater posed to our environment and tourist economy. The recently completed and EPA-approved Cape Cod Area Wide Water Quality Management Plan – produced with the input of towns and private citizens across the Cape – lays out a path to go forward at lower cost than originally estimated. The costs are still too high for us to bear alone, however, and I will work tirelessly to bring us the resources we need to meet them.

 

    • Substance Abuse and Addiction. In January 2014, I convened the Regional Substance Abuse Council (RSAC) through our Department of Human Services to begin to address the opioid crisis our communities are facing. Its mission is to establish a communication infrastructure across municipalities and identify and maximize funding opportunities to prevent and treat substance abuse. Today we are providing technical and data support for strategic planning, building coalitions in every municipality and implementing a Primary Prevention Curriculum in every school district across Cape Cod. I am committed to continuing the fight against this devastating epidemic.

 

    • Homelessness and Housing. As Chair of the Regional Network on Homelessness (2009-present) I worked in a collaborative and multifaceted way to address the growing problem of homelessness in our towns. We developed a network that includes state, county and local government, social service providers, housing agencies, faith-based organizations, the business community and individuals working together to address the root causes of homelessness and develop strategies to prevent and end homelessness. Working together we have made significant progress.

 

  • There is much more. I have also been engaged in other important issues affecting our District – climate change, coastal erosion, economic development, education and child care, senior needs, decommissioning Pilgrim Nuclear plant, engaging part-time residents in community activities, and more. The list goes on. You can learn more about these by scanning my track record of service on this website.