Editor’s Note: SOURCE sent a Q&A to each of the five write-in candidates for state representative in the 6th Middlesex District. Each of the five are seeking to replace the late Chris Walsh in that district.
There is a primary election on Tuesday, September 4. There are four declared Democratic write-in candidates and one declared Republican write-in candidate. Individuals enrolled in a party will get a party ballot. Unenrolled voters – voters who have no party – can choose a ballot to write in a name. They can select one of the five declared names or any other name.
Source will be publishing a question a day all this week with the five declared candidates to help voters choose.
Source is not- and has never – endorsed any candidate, however the community news site does accept political advertising. Acceptance of any ad is not an endorsement of any candidate.
MARY KATE FEENEY
Political Party: Democrat
Education: Joint Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & History, Saint Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia, Canada
Years lived in Framingham: 35
Which City Precinct do you live in: 4
Family (optional): Rescue dog, Jack
What languages do you speak: English
Municipal experience: Former aide to Governor Deval L. Patrick; Communications Manager at the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism/Commonwealth Marketing Office; Chair, Framingham First, lead the campaign for Framingham to adopt a more accessible, transparent and equal form of government
Volunteerism in the 6th District: Member of the League of Women Voters – Framingham Unit, Saint Bridget School Advisory Board, Framingham History Center, Framingham Lodge of Elks, Pheasant Hill Civic Association, Sudbury Valley Trustees
SOURCE asked each of the candidates to answer a series of question using just one word. Answers are posted below.
1. What is your favorite place in the 6th District? Callahan State Park
2. Will you vote for tax hikes in the state of Massachusetts? Depends
3. Will you vote for the debt exclusion override for the new Fuller Middle School project? Yes
4. Do you support a hands-free cell phone law in the Commonwealth? Yes
5. Rep. Chris Walsh filed a bill defining and providing screening for dyslexia students. It did not pass this session. Would you re-file the bill? Absolutely
6. Do you support driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants? No
7. Framingham has banned single-use plastic bags. Would you support a ban in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? Yes
8. The late Chris Walsh supported a state-wide Transfer of Development Rights bill. Do you? Yes
9. Question #1 on the November ballot would place a limit on the number of patients a single nurse can be assigned at a time and impose a $25,000 fine on hospitals that violate those ratios. How would you vote? Yes
10. Question #2 on the November ballot would create a citizen commission to push a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision on campaign finance. How would you vote? Yes
11. Question #3 on the November ballot would repeal a 2016 state law that banned discrimination against transgender people in places of public accommodation, like restaurants and restrooms. How would you vote? I don’t want it repealed.
12. Do you support the requirement to pass a high-stakes test to graduate from high school in Massachusetts? No
13. Does the Commonwealth need a stronger ethics law for elected leaders? Yes
14. Does the Commonwealth’s Open Meeting Law need more teeth? Yes
15. Describe your district in one word: Vibrant
Why should someone write your name on the ballot on Tuesday, Sept. 4?
I am a lifelong resident of Framingham and have been involved in the civic life of our community both as a volunteer and a public servant.
Framingham was a great place to grow up. I have fond memories of riding my bike in Callahan State Park, playing baseball (and being the only girl on the team) for Framingham Little League and marching in the Flag Day Parade. It was here in our community where my values were fostered: a passion for preserving open space, celebrating diversity, investing in our education, helping our neighbors and leaving the world a better place for future generations.
I carried these hometown values with me in my career in public service working as an aide to Governor Deval Patrick. Every day it was my job to listen to residents express their concerns on the issues that mattered to them. It was also my job to serve as an advocate for residents to government agencies to solve their problems.
As the only candidate who has been on the front lines of government, I understand the needs of families, of our elderly, of our children. What’s more, I understand how to work for them. Because that’s what I’ve done my entire career, whether it be ensuring services for a family in need or making sure the concerns of our elder population are taken to the Governor.
Our district has a long history of sending strong, thoughtful, progressive leadership to the State House to represent us, most recently by Rep. Chris Walsh. I want to continue that kind of representation for the people of Framingham. I also pledge to be a full-time State Representative as I believe that my only loyalty should be to you.
Framingham is a wonderfully diverse and dynamic community. I will work hard to ensure we receive our fair share of resources for our schools and teachers, and protect our environment, including initiatives to preserve open space and expand rail trails. I will advocate for a modern, reliable public transportation system. I will fight to end the opioid epidemic and mental health stigmas.
I am passionate about serving as your full-time Representative. You deserve thoughtful, knowledgeable and effective representation in the State House, and I will bring it.
Now, more than ever, we need to come and work together to leave Framingham and our Commonwealth a better place for future generations. I am ready to be your representative, your advocate, your voice on Beacon Hill.