FRAMINGHAM – Jake Binnall is the new leader of the Framingham Republican Committee.
The 22-year-old graduated from UMass Amherst in 2019 with a Bachelor’s in political science & legal studies.
He received his Master’s in Public Policy in 2020, and will start Boston University School of Law this fall.
Last week, the Republican National Convention was held and endorsed President Donald J. Trump for re-election. And while Trump may not be popular in Massachusetts, the state’s Republican Governor is enjoying bipartisan support, even during a pandemic.
Earlier this month, a University of Massachusetts Amherst/WCVB poll showed Gov. Baker with a 78% percent approval rating.
And among Democrats, the Republican governor’s 87% rating was better that Democratic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who registered 82%.
And a new ULowell poll revealed 89% of likely Democratic voters in Tuesday’s primary think Baker is doing a good job as Governor.
SOURCE intern Sydni Williams talked to Binnall about what he wants to do as head of the Framingham Republicans, his views on Trump & Baker, being a Massachusetts Republican, before the convention and the polls. Williams is a student at St. Mark’s in Southborough.
Why did you want to lead the Framingham Republicans?
For me, I think that the Republican Party in Massachusetts is severely lacking in leadership and has steered off into a state where it is essentially a political non-factor.
Our state party has failed to connect with Massachusetts voters, and you can see that in the diminishing seats in the Legislature.
Rather than embrace commonsense, effective, popular leadership like Governor Baker, the state party has chosen to embrace messaging that is divisive and consists of no core belief system. The latest state party platform posted on the MassGOP website (2018) still contains language stating that “the institution of traditional marriage strengthens our society.” As a young gay man, that is extremely alienating.
This can’t continue, and I think that getting involved at this level is how I can make a difference. We need to be supporting local leaders who believe in productive governing, a way forward beyond the petty politics of today. People who will actually stand up for the values in our Constitution and support our communities, not just talk about it.
I wanted to lead the Framingham committee because I believe this party, and our political culture as a whole, needs to change. I want this Committee to be out in the community, giving back, providing opportunities for civic engagement, advocating for pragmatic, innovative, and effective solutions to state and local issues.
What does the Framingham Republican Committee actually do?
The FRCC’s main purpose is to recruit and support local candidates for races such as State Legislature, Governor’s Council, as well as serve as a place for people to discuss relevant issues, current events, and policy.
What change do you want to make now that you are leading the Framingham organization?
I want to expand what we do and reinvigorate the group. Mainly, I want this Committee to become significantly more involved in local civic engagement efforts and supporting our community through fundraising and community service. I want to refocus this Committee to the community we live in. I also want the Committee to focus more on providing opportunities for our youth to participate in government, as no effort currently exits.
We need to be out in the community (even if that means virtually!) and talking with our neighbors about finding solutions that will better all of our lives.
How do Massachusetts Republicans differ from Washington DC republicans?
This is a challenging question, as I think there is a wide range of beliefs in the MassGOP. However, I do believe Massachusetts Republicans, for the most part, have the chance to represent the future of the party as a whole. Rather than adopt the national political realm’s culture of incessant fighting and petty partisanship, we look to leaders like Charlie Baker who ignore the noise of that drama and focus on delivering.
How do you personally defy the stereotypical American Republican?
I think we are at a unique point in the GOP where this question is impossible to answer. What I thought a Republican is, what I think that word to mean, isn’t what I see everywhere, and I am sure there are those who would say that directed at me.
Do you support President Donald Trump?
Based on the values I hold, I cannot support Donald Trump.
You have always taken on a leadership role. You were class president at Framingham High in 2016, how have you remained a leader in the City of Framingham besides politics? What have you been involved in since graduation?
I love Framingham. Framingham has provided me so much, and I always want to be involved in this city. I have served on a grant-giving committee for over 5 years supporting our city’s non-profits. I have remained engaged on issues facing our public schools, youth, and others. While I was away at school, I would frequently come home for community events, fundraisers, and campaigns. Now that I am back home, I am ready to jump back in and become more involved with our local non-profits, small businesses and the rest of our community.
What do you like about the Republican party in Massachusetts? Framingham?
I like, and believe in, our current Governor Charlie Baker, and the way he approaches governance.
I also like the very first line of the Values section of the MassGOP platform states “Republicans believe that inalienable individual rights and the responsibilities that go with them are the foundation of freedom.”
This is something I believe so strongly in, but something I fear has gotten lost on some.
Is there any Republican policy you disagree with?
Of course there are politics I don’t agree with. I don’t think there is anyone in this country who believes in everything their political party is supporting. I believe in a different future for our party, and find myself at odds with many positions currently held by the party.
Massachusetts may be considered a Democratic state, but there are more voters unaffiliated with any party than Democrats or Republicans. Why do you think that is the case?
I think this is because Massachusetts voters value productive government that isn’t focused on what their next news headline will be. We want leaders who will hunker down and get the job done, not focus on partisan nonsense. I think it is really inspiring to see our voters express this idea that it isn’t about the letter next to your name on the ballot, it’s what you’re going to do if you win. If you can provide real results for the people of this Commonwealth, then you can succeed here.
Look at the success of Gov. Baker. He has delivered time and time again for this state, avoiding the drama of the political arena.
What is the biggest issue facing Framingham right now?
Framingham is a vibrant community with many complex issues, particularly in the context of the many crises we are grappling with as a whole right now. One issue that I think permeates into all others right now in Framingham is the clear disconnect between the wishes and needs of the residents of this city and the actions (or inaction in many cases) of some members of our government.
We have disconnect on housing, on our schools, there is even disconnect on something as trivial as a dog park.
We are not always seeing productive conversations that include listening, and this is a problem that needs to be addressed right away. If we cannot even have productive conversations, we cannot even begin to address the biggest issues facing the city.
What are your opinions on police reform and the Black Lives Movement?
Black Lives Matter. This is not, and should not be, a debatable or partisan statement. I am absolutely supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement and there is no reason why we cannot come together as a society and address some of the most deeply rooted problems that exist in this country. We should not be afraid to talk about this, and changes absolutely need to be made.
Do you think COVID-19 will have an impact on the November 2020 election?
While it is impossible for me to guess what that impact will be, there is no doubt in my mind that there will be an impact on the election as a result of COVID-19.