I appreciated the opportunity to address the voters on the issues this past Saturday at the League of Women Voters’ Candidates’ Showcase. It was a pleasure to see so many engaged voters.
Additionally, as a Framingham resident it was wonderful to hear from our District Councilors, who did a wonderful job highlighting the issues in their individual communities. Though there is a tendency for a lot of focus to be on the mayoral race, we cannot forget how important the role of our City Council will be and that those members understand and represent the needs of Framingham well.
While every candidate was invited, one was notably absent. Edgardo Torres, who is running for District Councilor in District 9. Edgardo is currently in St. Croix volunteering with the American Red Cross offering relief to Hurricane Irma victims. I have been following Mr. Torres’ mission online and I am so proud one of Framingham’s own is making such a meaningful impact in the world. He chose to put himself in harm’s way to help others and show us what true public service is.
As a voter in Framingham, I not only find his absence completely understandable, but also inspiring and I am shocked there was no explanation was provided. It is my understanding of the rules that, in order to share a message, the candidate must be present. While I can appreciate how this rule is beneficial to ensure fairness and preserve the integrity of the democratic process, I do not feel that making mention of Edgardo and the reason he was absence would have interfered with that.
South Framingham districts have a history of poor representation, and I understand that this is one of the reasons we are currently campaigning under a new form of government. It is exciting to see contested races in those districts and efforts being made to ensure those voters understand that their votes and their voices matter. It was disappointing to not see that displayed on Saturday. District 9 voters who have are not following the election closely may not be aware they have a contested race. While I understand that responsibility falls on the shoulders of the candidate to inform the voters, since Edgardo is selflessly serving others I do not think it would be unreasonable for us to break tradition for a bit and help him give voters the full picture.
It is so important that every voice not only is heard but that they feel heard. At the cornerstone of my candidacy is the understanding that if our voices are not heard and represented, we will stay stuck in the past. In addition to district representation, the new mayor must ensure all districts, especially those in South Framingham, are heard. As mayor, I will engage in a rotation of a week-long series of visits to each district.to show the people how important their voices are.
I commend Mr. Torres’ on his service to his fellow man and I am honored to have him in our community.
Candidate for Mayor of Framingham