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Editor’s Note: There are three Democrats on the September 6 ballot to be the next Lt. Governor of Massachusetts. SOURCE asked questions of all three Democrats.

There are two Republican candidates for Lt. Governor on the September 6 ballot.

The winner on the Democratic ballot and the winner on the Republican ballot will appear on the November 8, 2022 ballot against the winner on the Republican ballot.

Registered voters can vote now by mai. There is early voting at the end of this month and individuals who are registered can vote on the day of the primary election on Tuesday, September 6. Those individuals not enrolled in any party, can select a Republican or a Democratic ballot, without enrolling in a party.

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SALEM – Kim Driscoll is the City of Salem’s 50th Mayor and the first woman to serve in the role. She has been reelected to the position five times by significant margins.

Her career includes work in Chelsea, as Chief Legal Counsel and Deputy City Manager, working to rebuild the city as it came out of receivership by helping to usher in inclusivity, equity, and accountability.

In 2003, just three years into her Salem City Council term, she knew her hometown deserved new leadership and transparency in City Hall. She won a tough, three-way race for Mayor in 2005, and since then, she has led on issues that matter most to our neighborhoods – COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, improving the city’s public schools as Chair of the School Committee, supporting housing affordability, boosting economic empowerment by supporting small businesses, leading on climate action and resiliency in a historic seaside community, and acting with a commitment to racial equity and inclusion at a time of national upheaval.

She is one of three Democrats running for Lieutenant Governor in Massachusetts. Her opponents are a state senator from Western Massachusetts and a state representative from the suburbs.

Mayor Driscoll came to Framingham for the Earth Day celebration in April, she made another stop to downtown Framingham this summer, and was the guest of honor at a fundraiser on her behalf at the home of City Council Chair Phil Ottaviani Jr. and School Committee Clark Valerie Ottaviani earlier this month.

She seeks to bring effective, equitable, and visionary leadership to Beacon Hill and empower cities and towns across Massachusetts. You can learn more about Driscoll and her campaign by visiting

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What is a key issue you would champion if elected Lt. Governor?

I’m running for Lt. Governor because we are at a crossroads. As Lt. Governor, in addition to being Chair of the Governor’s Council and the Local Government Advisory Council, I will amplify the issues of cities
and towns across the Commonwealth and be their partner and advocate.

The success of cities and towns relies on a strong state partner and the success of the Commonwealth relies on thriving neighborhoods. Many of the most important issues facing our Commonwealth, from
education and housing infrastructure and climate change, require action at the local level. I understand
this relationship and hope to play a strong role in operationalizing statewide policies in a manner that also
works for communities.

As Mayor, I have been an executive and on the ground leading on issues ranging from COVID response
and recovery, climate action, housing affordability, public education, and racial justice. I will bring this
experience, this foresight, and a willingness to collaborate with key stakeholders and community leaders,
to ensure we rebuild an equitable and inclusive Commonwealth. My top three priorities will be effective
and equitable COVID response and recovery, strong communities through housing affordability and
strengthening public education, and meaningful action to address the climate crisis.

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Many households in the Commonwealth are living paycheck to paycheck. How can you make Massachusetts affordable?

Affordability is a critical issue facing our Commonwealth, perhaps the single most important challenge we now face. The character of our state as a place of diversity is threatened as we become less accessible to working families. My father was a Navy veteran and my mother was an accountant’s assistant and an immigrant. I understand the struggles and challenges working people in Massachusetts face because their experience is my experience.

Our state government can take a number of concrete actions to address the affordability of living in
Massachusetts including addressing the cost of housing, access to transportation, and creation of
workforce and educational connections. One-third of our very low income residents spent more than one
third of their income on housing and for our extremely low income neighbors, it’s almost two thirds of their income. We must do better by incentivizing zoning reform, investing in affordable housing efforts, and boosting programs that connect residents with housing options – all steps we’ve undertaken in Salem and that could serve as a model for our state and for other municipalities.

Transportation is essential to connect individuals to job opportunities, which is why we must fix the MBTA and increase our commitment to other transportation innovations – like we did in Salem – including
complete streets, multi-modal and micro-transit, and on-demand public ride services. Lastly, as we’ve
done in Salem, we must leverage opportunities to invest in job pipeline training that is aligned to our
workforce needs, early college programs, and our regional worker investment programs. As Lt. Governor,
I would continue to champion the reforms working people need and work with each municipality on what
they need to provide relief to their residents.

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The MBTA is a mess. The Framingham/Worcester commuter rail is a good option but not very reliable. Not very frequent and has weather-related and other issues. What should be done to make it a reliable option for those of us who live in MetroWest especially with the Allston Multi-modal project looming?

The struggles and travails of the Framingham/Worcester line are largely identical to the struggles and
travails of the Newburyport/Rockport line, which serves Salem, including inconsistent service and
continual shut downs for repairs.

We knew the MBTA was falling apart long before a single train car caught on fire. Massachusetts deserves a world-class public transit system and we need to invest to make that happen. And we need to move forward on the long-term, aspirational changes – like electrification – that will ensure a more effective, efficient, reliable, and climate-friendly transit system.

Making businesses are still struggling post pandemic. What would you do as part of a new administration to help businesses not only survive but thrive? Businesses are struggling to find help and reliable help. What can you as Lt Governor and the new administration do to attract and maintain a workforce in the Commonwealth to keep businesses operating?

As Mayor of Salem, my administration moved quickly to support our local businesses during COVID. We
stood up a collaborative Economic Recovery Task Force, almost at the outset of the 2020 shutdowns,
and we intentionally supported loans, grants, and provisioning of PPE, testing, and vaccine resources
from our federal funding specifically for our small businesses. We also committed to transparent and
frequent communication, sharing our updates via the Task Force’s substantial email list and with regular
webinar forums for Q&A with business owners. The end result was no net loss in businesses during the
pandemic and the rapid rebounding of our local unemployment rate to its pre-pandemic levels.

The lessons I would take to our statewide recovery efforts from this are simple: collaborate, communicate, and open up funding opportunities for employers and those who rely on them for a paycheck. We’ll be better off as a result.

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The cost of housing is skyrocketing in Framingham & MetroWest. While new housing complexes are happening in Framingham most are not affordable and don’t meet the needs of the workforce. How can a new administration with you as Lt Governor fix that?

As with many of the Gateway Cities across Massachusetts, the cost of housing in Framingham and the
surrounding area is quickly becoming out of reach to many longtime residents. Our state needs to step up by supporting local efforts to strengthen inclusionary zoning, enabling accessory dwelling units, funding affordable housing initiatives, and bolstering efforts to maximize the sensible utilization of public land for housing. Housing costs more because we face a supply and demand problem in Massachusetts:

Our regions, and places like MetroWest especially, are attractive places to live. But as more people want to live there – and as supply fails to keep pace – the value of housing, whether for purchase or for rent, goes up. The only options available to policymakers to remedy this is to right-size our housing supply through both regulatory changes and funding choices.

Massachusetts is just one of 4 states in which the legislature and the Governor’s office is exempt from the public records law. That does not seem very transparent or very progressive. Do you support changing that so emails are accessible to the public? why or why not?

I believe that as long as 351 Massachusetts cities and towns – and the thousands of boards, committees,
and commissions who comprise their local governance – can comply with the rightly rigorous and
transparent standards of our Commonwealth’s robust public records and open meeting laws, there is no
reasonable reason why any state body should not do the same. Our deliberative process, the strength of
our arguments, and the understanding of our residents about why (or why not) a certain policy is being
advanced is only enhanced as a result.

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The mental health legislation passed by the senate was desperately needed after the pandemic. What other healthcare changes would you champion as Lt Governor if elected?

I support universal healthcare and am proud of the work Massachusetts has undertaken to achieve near
universal health insurance coverage in our Commonwealth. Having undertaken this important policy
mandate, a key challenge to sustain this model is the rising cost of health insurance and providing health
related services in Massachusetts. In addition to the harm and inequities families can face with the
current system, cities, towns, and small businesses also face high insurance costs. From a budgeting
perspective, healthcare costs continue to cannibalize revenues that could otherwise be going to support
our schools, housing, public spaces, and our cities and towns.

Moreover, OPEB liabilities are a huge detriment to all levels of government, and unless addressed, will exacerbate every level of government’s capacity to provide services and medical coverage for employees and retirees. One of the earliest and most important reforms we undertook in Salem when I first came into office was to reform our health. insurance and join the Group Insurance Commission. That move provided our employees and retirees with greater choice and the ability to tailor their insurance to their own family’s specific needs. Equally important, it dropped our OPEB liability by a substantial sum.

As Lt. Governor, I would advocate for more tools to address cost containment and payment reforms
aimed at reducing fees for service models. Additionally, I would work with cities and towns across the
Commonwealth to increase understanding and knowledge on how to best navigate rising healthcare
costs, including technical assistance, collaboration with the GIC and insurers.

Massachusetts does not typically have a ticket for Governor & Lt Governor. Talk about your relationship with Attorney General Maura Healey and how you would work with her as the gubernatorial candidate if you win in September?

As a Mayor I have worked closely with Attorney General Healey on a multitude of issues and projects,
including – but not limited to – our shared and coordinated efforts to address the opioid crisis in our
communities and Salem’s early engagement in the AG’s Abandoned Housing Initiative, which in
collaboration with the City’s own Problem Properties Task Force, has helped placed distressed and
foreclosed properties into receivership and stabilized neighborhoods. As attorneys in public service,
women leaders, and (not unimportantly!) standout hoop players, I’m proud to bring a close alignment with

AG Healey’s values, background, and priorities to this ticket, but also to be able to bring a diversity of
experience to it – as a Mayor from a thriving municipality in partnership with someone with the experience leading from Beacon Hill.

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Photo of Mayor Kim Driscoll at the Framingham Earth Day Celebration. She has made three stops in Framingham this year.

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.