Compare Candidates: Hayre and Reynolds (Norfolk, Bristol, Middlesex)

please distribute with attribution: http://ProgressiveMass.com/2014legislative

Dylan Hayre – DylanHayre.com

Sara-Lynn Reynolds – ElectSaraLynnReynolds.com

PDF: 2014_Questionnaire_-_COMPARE_-_NBM.pdf


Contents

I. About the Candidates

1. Motivation and Priorities: Hayre, Reynolds

2. Experience: Hayre, Reynolds

II. The Issues

A. Revenue and Taxation

3. Principles: Hayre, Reynolds

4. Experience: Hayre, Reynolds 

5. Progressive Taxation: Hayre, Reynolds

6. Graduated Income Tax: Hayre, Reynolds 

B. Job Growth and the Economy

7. Principles: Hayre, Reynolds

8. Experience: Hayre, Reynolds

C. Education and Workforce Development

9. Principles: Hayre, Reynolds

10. Experience: Hayre, Reynolds

D. Healthcare

11. Principles: Hayre, Reynolds

12. Experience: Hayre, Reynolds

13. Single-Payer Healthcare: Hayre, Reynolds

E. Housing

14. Principles: Hayre, Reynolds 

15. Experience: Hayre, Reynolds

III. Final Remarks: Hayre, Reynolds 

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I. About the Candidates

Motivation and Priorities

1. Why are you running for office? And what will your top 3 priorities be if elected?

Dylan Hayre

I am running to serve as the state Senator for the Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex district because the families in these communities deserve real representation in the state Senate. I am running to work hard for the people in this district, and to help put this district – one that I think is incredibly vital to the future of our Commonwealth and our party – back at the forefront of Massachusetts politics.

If elected, my top priority will be to introduce progressive values and performance measures into the core of our state budget. We need to increase the efficiency of our programs and services, use data to help inform our decisions, and finally implement a progressive income tax and single-payer healthcare, both of which will raise and save money that must be directed to funding the services that we should be funding.

I will also prioritize education, particularly the funding of our truly public education systems. We need to reevaluate the methods and inputs we are using to determine how communities pay to educate their students, and how much support they get from the state in that process. We also need to expand the methods we are using to assess students and diversify the tools we are using to teach and engage students.

Additionally, I will make it a priority to build consensus around a long-term transportation plan that takes into account the current demand for upgrades and repairs, acknowledges the importance of expansion projects, and focuses on delivering low cost, high reliability service to middle and low income families.

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

Job creation/eliminating corporate tax initiatives

Improving Education Resources for All

Affordable health care for All

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Experience

2. What prepares you to serve in this capacity?

Dylan Hayre

My past experience, continued service, and leadership in my community have prepared me to serve in this capacity. I started out as an intern to Sen. Ted Kennedy while I was in high school, and volunteered on Democratic campaigns throughout college and law school. I earned my Master in Education at the same time as my law degree, both from Boston College, and bring that work ethic with me into this race and into this role. I served as the Chair of the Natick Democratic Town Committee, and also as the Chair of the Natick Council on Aging. I currently serve as an elected member of Town Meeting, and on the board of two nonprofits: Multicultural Village and Project New Hope. I also founded and run my own law practice, Lawyer for Soldiers, to represent veterans and military families in court.

Each of these roles has expanded my capacity to work across diverse constituencies, advocate for the needs of individuals, and collaborate with other leaders and community groups to achieve solutions.

Additionally, the support I have received from elected officials and community leaders across the district, and across the state, has come with ample opportunity to continue learning about how to be an effective advocate for this district.

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

My work experience, my life experience, my service as an At Large Attleboro City Councilor.

My Experience:

    • BS in Health Education
    • Teacher and Coach in the North Attleboro School System
    • News Director for WARA 1320 and reporter for WKOX Framingham
    • Field Director for the Mass Dept of Public Health
    • Southeastern MASS Field Manager for the Mass Dept of Public Health (Mass Tobacco Control Program)
    • Statewide Trainer with UMASS Donahue Institute, Boston
    • Marketing position for several Senior Health Care Companies
    • Liaison to School to Work Initiatives
    • Attleboro At Large City Councilor

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II. The Issues

Our questionnaire is focused on economic justice and inequality, as outlined in our Shared Prosperity Agenda. We are interested in your overall philosophy and approach to the components of the Shared Prosperity Agenda, as well as your views on specific policy and legislation.

In each section, we first seek your overall view, values, principles and priorities. You do not need to address each item embedded in these first questions; they are suggestions.

In each section, the second question asks about your advocacy experience; you may leave it blank if appropriate—we do not expect candidates to have a record on every issue. Current or former elected officials: please outline your leadership roles, as opposed to simply your voting record.

Each section features a chart or graph that illustrates one facet of the issue under discussion and is not intended to be comprehensive. All images and data are from Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (massbudget.org).

A. Revenue and Taxation

Because of income tax cuts and the effects of the recession, Massachusetts has lost nearly $3 billion in revenue over the last 12 years. We now collect less revenue than 21 other states, and our tax revenue is below the national average. Since 1982, local aid has dropped 58%. Cuts to the moderately progressive state income tax has meant increasing reliance on fees, sales, gas and property taxes, exacerbating the overall regressiveness of our revenue. Regressive taxation strains low- and middle-income families, and reduced revenue collection curtails our ability to invest in vital infrastructure. It also restricts legislators’ ability to pass new and visionary legislation, as there is a continual shortage of funds for existing priorities.

Declining revenues have meant drastic cuts, limiting our ability to invest in our communities and future economic stability.

Massachusetts state and local taxes are regressive.

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Principles on Revenue and Tax Reform

3. What principles do you bring to considerations of state revenue and tax reform (individual and corporate)? How should we raise more revenue to adequately fund our communities for the future?

Dylan Hayre

This state should be built based on a bottom-up mentality: we deliver programs and policies to help the lowest income-earners, the people who need the longest ladder to access opportunity, and we create pathways into the middle class and beyond. We also stop forgetting about the folks who do not, or cannot, earn an income: the chronically homeless, the disabled, and the elderly. We invest in our residents – regardless of where they come from or how they got here – and have faith that those investments will be rewarded several times over. We create opportunity, or help expose it where decades of regressive fiscal policies have made it inaccessible.

That’s who we should be.

We get there by establishing a progressive income tax and a progressive sales tax. We should significantly increase the Massachusetts EITC levels, and expand circuit breaker programs to help middle- and low-income families. We stop empowering poverty with regressive fiscal policies and an unwillingness to invest in services, and start empowering people. We expand the bottle bill, build a single-payer healthcare system, and we regularly audit the $700+ million in corporate tax incentives in order to determine their real impact and effectiveness. We use variable open road tolling on major routes to raise the money needed to maintain or rebuild our infrastructure. We can raise revenues without burdening middle- and low-income families, but we need to be relentless in our pursuit of that level playing field.

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

I believe that we must first remove the corporate loopholes and then we should look to advance a new graduated tax program.

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Experience in Revenue and Tax Reform

4. Optional/As Applicable: Please indicate work you personally have done to advance your principles on revenue and taxation (legislation, community work, published writings, etc).

Dylan Hayre

 

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

See Section I and  III.

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Progressive Taxation

5. “An Act to Invest in Our Communities” was designed to raise significant revenue while making our tax code more progressive, but it has not passed the legislature. Would you support a renewed effort to pass this or similar legislation?

Dylan Hayre

Yes

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

Yes

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Constitutional Amendment for a Graduated Income Tax

6. Would you support a state constitutional amendment creating a Massachusetts progressive income tax?

Dylan Hayre

Yes

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

Yes

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B. Job Growth and the Economy

The Massachusetts economy has continued to grow and recover from the Great Recession, but the gains have not been shared equally. Poverty levels continue to increase, while the minimum wage loses value every year. Massachusetts now ranks 8th in the nation for income inequality.

The Minimum Wage loses value every year to inflation; it is currently 24% lower than 1968 levels.

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Principles on Job Growth and the Economy

7. Share your personal values and principles on job growth and the economy. How can we improve the economy and economic security for all people? How do we grow the number of good paying jobs in the Commonwealth? How do you view wealth and income inequality, and what would you do about it, if anything?

Dylan Hayre

Income equality as it exists today, where access to opportunity and the chance for upward mobility are depleted, is the greatest challenge we face, and is the gravest threat to our democracy and to our ideals. The way we improve the economy and economic security is by investing in middle- and low-income individuals, to give them an opportunity to achieve their potential, give back to their community, and leave their children with a greater chance to succeed than they had.

A number of things need to happen. First, we need to reevaluate the way we invest in public education: the system, as it stands now, significantly impedes the potential of low-income and minority students, and it is incumbent upon us to have a statewide solution to that challenge.

We also create tax incentives that promote the growth of small business in low-income neighborhoods, and we expand circuit breaker programs to cover many more people: single parents, low-income wage earners, young professionals, etc.

We also stand firm against larger corporations who do not create good paying jobs in the Commonwealth: audits of tax breaks, and claw-back provisions contained therein, are vital to this process.

Also, we continue the push for earned sick time, collective bargaining, and the growth of employee-owned companies – all of which will help empower workers.

Finally, we keep pushing for a higher minimum wage, with the goal of establishing a statewide living wage, that is indexed to inflation so that it does not lose value over time.

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

Well certainly the recent decisions by the Supreme Court have done little to support Unions and or women, those that may be attempting to 'plan' the growth of their families, their care etc.

I believe we must encourage small business; support their growth efforts by finding ways to lower health costs and make it affordable for them to set up shop in our Commonwealth, especially those small business that offer 1 to 50 good paying jobs.  I also believe we need to stop the corporate hemorrhaging of our tax dollars by eliminating tax write-offs when clearing we reap no defined benefits in return.  I believe we must support our local unions and make sure companies in the private sector are paying fair 'living' wages to their employees.

It is clear by all statistical information that the demise of our Unions has contributed to the loss of income equality and economic security which is why I support strong Unions and their right to Unionize.

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Experience in Job Growth and Economy

8. Optional/As Applicable: Please indicate work you personally have done to advance your principles on job growth and the economy (legislation, community work, published writings, etc).

Dylan Hayre

I actively, publicly supported the efforts of Progressive Massachusetts and Raise Up Massachusetts in their push for earned sick time and a higher minimum wage. I also put out a press release discussing why I support a higher minimum wage (dylanhayre.com/2013/11/20/s-1925-an-act-to-restore-the-minimum-wage/). I also stood and picketed with members of SEIU 1199 in their recent strike in Lexington, and have stood with similar strikes before. Finally, through my law practice, I have attempted to build networks of employers who can hire low-income veterans, and have connected clients with these employers.

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

See Section I and  III.

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C. Education and Workforce Development

Public education has always been a gateway to opportunity and mobility for all, regardless of economic circumstances, a cornerstone of the American dream for all residents. However, the soaring price of higher education over the last several decades has made access to this opportunity increasingly out of reach, at the very moment when higher education makes a greater difference to one’s economic future. Meanwhile, powerful corporate interests have been steadily undermining public school teachers and unions and siphoning money from our public K-12 system.

Wages and Education

Massachusetts Higher Ed funding is down 8% since 2008.

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Principles on Education and Workforce Development

9. Please share your personal values and principles regarding public education and workforce development.
What value does public education and workforce development have in improving our economy as well as in addressing matters of economic justice? What measures should the Commonwealth take on these issues? You might address, for example, charter schools, school vouchers, standardized testing and federal programs like No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top.

Dylan Hayre

Public education is the strongest foundation upon which we can build pathways to opportunity. Whether you rely on data, common sense, or personal experience, you will arrive at the same conclusion: children who have access to well-funded, truly public, and diversified education form the bedrock of a community’s economic success, and that correlation is strengthened the earlier a child starts learning.

We need to re-work the Chapter 70 formula that is used to fund our schools, and make sure that it accurately reflects the true cost of educating all children, especially those in special education programs. We also need to move away from relying on property taxes as the main source of money for public education, as this system has played a significant role in perpetuating inequality for generations.

However, education does not just happen during the school day; parents need to be given the flexibility from work to be at home with their children and invested in their education. This also means that parents cannot be expected to work several jobs if it means being away from their children: higher wages for more jobs are, in an indirect way, a crucial part of education reform. I am personally opposed to school vouchers, charter schools as most currently stand, and the continuing single-minded reliance on standardized testing. Beyond public school, vocational schools and community colleges need to receive significant investments, both in terms of finances and access to grants, and also in terms of infrastructure development and recruitment tools.

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

As a former educator I am a strong believer in continuing education and lifelong education.  I believe we as a State should support ALL efforts to administer affordable, if not free training for all ages at every juncture of our residents lives. Having attended (my entire educational life) and taught in public schools I vehemently support public schools and all they are asked to achieve, especially in light of their limited and dwindling resources. I am not a fan of standardized testing as the sole means of educational success.  I believe charter schools should  have to adher to the same mandates as our public schools, otherwise where is the 'fairness' of the state sharing our public tax dollars with them?

I believe educating all people equally and well will in turn grow the  economy and allow for and encourage healthy and self sustaining people and families.

Let’s stop 'racing to the top' – this name signifies quickness; or suggests that how fast a community, a State, a Country achieves results is real success - actually it does not. Results come in acknowledging whether ALL students are achieving in ways that allows them to lead self sustaining, productive and fulfilling lives. Education is not a race – its about learning – and everyone learns differently. Standardized results do not tell the whole story.

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Experience in Education and Workforce Development

10. Optional/As Applicable: Please indicate work you personally have done to advance your principles on education and workforce development (legislation, community work, published writings, etc).

Dylan Hayre

While earning my M.Ed. from Boston College, I did significant research on the impact of charter schools, school choice, and standardized testing on low-income, special education, and minority students – research and experience that has shaped my views today. I also tutored in low-income housing projects with several volunteer programs throughout my time as an undergraduate student at Boston College.

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

See Section I and  III.

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D. Healthcare

Massachusetts has led the way in providing near universal health care insurance coverage. However, we still spend an oversized portion of public and private money on health care, without necessarily achieving better health outcomes. In 2013, 43% of state expenditures were for health care, a number that is rising while other state expenditures are falling. Ultimately, a single payer system will remove complexity - and reduce costs, while providing better and more consistent care to all Massachusetts residents.

Massachusetts Health Care spending has increased 74% since 2001— while public health funding has decreased

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Principles on Healthcare

11. Please share your personal values and principles regarding health care insurance, delivery and outcomes.

Dylan Hayre

I support exploring the implementation of a single-payer healthcare system, and have openly discussed the best way to do this with state Senators and Representatives, representatives and lobbyists from the healthcare industry, and doctors throughout this Senate district.

Health care, at least at its most basic levels, should be an absolute right. Insurance is, by definition, a gamble – you, and the provider, are gambling on whether or not a risk will occur. I personally do not think it is appropriate or fair to gamble, with profit as the primary motive, on someone’s health.

With respect to delivery, we need to find ways to bolster the ranks of primary care physicians both locally and nationally. I was raised by a PCP. I know, first-hand, the difference my mom has made in the lives of her patients, and how her ability to maintain a professional relationship with her patients made this possible.

Additionally, I think Massachusetts should take whatever steps it can to reduce the amount of direct-to-consumer marketing and advertising of pharmaceuticals. Finally, our system should be measured primarily by the outcomes we achieve: longer life expectancy - especially for low-income individuals, reduced infant mortality rates, and effectiveness of preventive care are all measurable objectives by which we should be measuring the strength of our healthcare system.

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

Even though I realize that there are faults within several of our country's single payer systems, ie, Veteran Services, I believe that a single  payer system if implemented correctly would offer affordable and better care to all residents of Massachusetts.  I am in favor.

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Experience in Healthcare

12. Optional/As Applicable: Please indicate work you personally have done to advance your principles on health care (legislation, community work, published writings, etc).

Dylan Hayre

One of my two most intensive papers while I was a student at Boston College Law School discussed President Franklin Roosevelt’s “Second Bill of Rights.” I explored the history of the “Second Bill,” which includes a right to healthcare, and used my paper to advocate for the implementation of this Second Bill of Rights.

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

See Section I and  III.

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Single-Payer Healthcare

13. Would you support legislation to enact a single-payer healthcare system in Massachusetts?

Dylan Hayre

Yes

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

Yes

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E. Housing

Over the last ten years, the need for affordable housing has increased, while funds for affordable housing have decreased, federal and state. Currently there is a 10-year waiting list for a rental voucher, and the average rent for a two bedroom apartment requires a wage 50% higher than the median Massachusetts wage. Half of families in Greater Boston alone pay over 30% of their income in housing and utilities costs—and 25% of households pay more than half their income to housing. This is unsustainable. It has led to expanding economic inequality, increased homelessness, and damage to our economy, as talented workers often leave the state for less expensive regions.

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Principles on Affordable Housing

14. Please share your personal values and principles regarding affordable housing. How would you ensure that there is suitable housing for all who need it, within reasonable distance of job opportunities? How would you address the need to link housing, jobs and transportation? How would you tackle homelessness?

Dylan Hayre

My first internship during law school was in the Housing Law unit of a legal services provider in Worcester, defending indigent clients against foreclosure and helping them access public housing. My partner, Kendra Bradner, worked at Project Place, a Boston nonprofit that helps homeless adults find and keep gainful employment.

We have seen these issues firsthand, and addressing them will be a priority for me in the Senate. We must explore the possibility of renting apartments for free, or at significantly reduced rates, to low-income or homeless families, and we should couple these apartments with a dedicated social worker who can help a family or individual move out of poverty through job training and educational attainment. We need to stop putting families in hotels and motels immediately. We also need long-term transportation plans to make the costs of transportation manageable for low-income families, and need to urge the MBTA to maintain, upgrade, or expand service in low-income neighborhoods. We also need to encourage every town to develop 40B and, perhaps more importantly, 40R projects.

But, even significant expansion of housing will only impact some families. There are individuals so far below the radar of housing policy that a significant overhaul of the way this state offers mental health, addiction, job training, and shelter resources is now undeniably necessary. As long as there are unemployed labor and service providers, and empty spaces where homes and shelters can be built, there should not be a single homeless person in this state.

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

The 2008 recession has left many families homeless, college graduates living with parents and our elder population moving in with their children. Foreclosures have caused numerous problems to those that quite honestly, did nothing wrong. Pensions have been decimated, student loans have created their own set of 'housing problems' for our young generation.

Developing and maintaining affordable housing can be difficult but not insurmountable. Some opportunities:

    • Allocate funds to subsidize affordable housing
    • Provide low-cost/no-cost loans for new initiatives
    • Determine local aid amounts on a community’s new and rehabed affordable housing
    • Provide tax credits and tax incentives for new affordable housing
    • Provide state income tax credits for individual contributions to affordable housing
    • Pass legislation to stimulate or implement affordable housing initiatives
    • Support "circuit-breaker" legislation which caps the percentage of income a resident must pay for their property taxes

I’m a believer that affordable and reliable transportation goes hand in hand with affordable housing –it allows persons to find better employment and allows them better access to schools, health care, other life opportunities. I back high speed rail service to and from Western Mass and restoring our South Coast rail service and would support and encourage finding the resources and funding needed to 'activate' these services

I had an opportunity to read an Ounce of Cure (http://mhsa.net/matriarch/documents/HomeStart%20-%20An%20Ounce%20of%20Cure.pdf)  My personal opinions fall directly in line with this type of reasoning and resource.  I would be fully on board to support this initiative and/or other programs that replicate this initiative.

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Experience in Housing

15. Optional/As Applicable: Please indicate work you personally have done to advance your principles on housing (legislation, community work, published writings, etc).

Dylan Hayre

I turned down paid job opportunities to intern at a legal services provider during my first summer in law school, and represented indigent clients in housing law cases. I defended clients against eviction, and helped them gain access to affordable housing. I also have taken several pro-bono housing law cases through my current law practice, and have actively engaged leaders in the nonprofit world to develop ideas about how we can end homelessness in Massachusetts.

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

See Section I and  III.

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III. Final Comments

Use this space to add any other issues important to your vision for Massachusetts or any other matter you think progressive voters should know about your candidacy.

Dylan Hayre

One issue is really important to me is criminal justice reform. As a former prosecutor, and now as a defense attorney, I have been on both sides of the equation. My partner, Kendra Bradner, works in the criminal justice field now as a researcher and program coordinator at the Harvard Kennedy School. We both put a lot of energy into publicly advocating for criminal justice reform: expanded use of social impact bonds to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline that grips low-income and minority communities; sentencing reform and the cessation of mandatory-minimums; greater reliance on rehabilitative programs and courts; stronger parole programs; and the creation of prison-to-employment pipelines so that those who have served time can find gainful employment and be productive members of their community. Basically, we need to change the conversation – we can no longer legislate from an “us vs. them” perspective, and we really need to reconsider the “justice” part of our “criminal justice” system.

Finally, this race really matters beyond the issues at stake. The economic diversity of this district is immense; so, anything the Senate does will impact a family in this district. Therefore, whoever is in this seat cannot just be a part of the conversation. This district needs to be represented by someone who can lead that conversation and help frame the debate. With our campaign team, the support of elected officials, and the support of Progressive Massachusetts, I am confident that I can be that leader. I look forward to working with you.

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Sara-Lynn Reynolds

Why I am the best candidate:

As the 2nd oldest of 8 children - time as a single parent to my two sons - I learned early on about compassion towards persons in need, how to make important decisions under pressure, and foster a team environment in order to attain solutions.

All of my education was via public schools – I have a strong affinity for public school educators and students.

My advocacy and leadership abilities came early – 4 years HS class vice-president, advocating for Title IX dollars for a women’s sport feeder system and being instrumental in crafting policies and finances that supported the growth of women sports in North Attleboro.

As a News Director and Executive Director of the Downtown Merchants/Attleboro Chamber of Commerce I was able to view, advocate for and address the struggles of small business owners and families in the greater Attleboro Area.

I strongly advocated for Tobacco Policy and Regulations as a Field Director and Southeastern MASS Field Manager for the Mass Department of Public Health. With support from the Attleboro Board of Health I passed the first tobacco control regulations in Massachusetts.

On my ‘first run’ for Attleboro City Council – I came in 4 of 9 – winning one of 5 open seats, unseating two incumbents.  I was appointed to Personnel & Human Services, Licenses and Finance. I resurrected a Personnel Board that had been absent from Attleboro for 10 years; advocacy and tenacity were my tools - helping employees through discord or job dissatisfaction was my goal. I advocated for and improved the flow of pertinent information from the Mayor to Council – transparency.  I earned a reputation as the voice of the people.

I am the proud mother of 2 sons, mother-in-law to 2 wonderful daughter-in-laws, and a doting Grandmother to 4 .

I live and breathe the issues surrounding our Massachusetts residents. It is not a test I have to study for.

 

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