Mary Kate Feeney is one of four candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for 6th Middlesex House of Representatives. The primary is Sept. 4; all candidates will be write-in.
What are your qualifications in seeking to represent our district on Beacon Hill?
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.
After graduating from Saint Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada, with a Joint Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science & History, I returned to Framingham. I am a former aide to Governor Deval L. Patrick. Every day I worked with residents to solve a wide range of issues with a state agency, like obtaining health care or resolving a tax situation. Additionally, I was the first contact for advocates to express their concerns on the issues that mattered to them. Being on the frontlines of our state government taught me first hand how people engage with their elected officials and how it is a force for good for so many.
My work earned me a promotion to become the Governor’s Director of Online Media. Through the use of social media and online tools, I worked to make state government and the Governor’s Office more transparent and accessible to its residents. I left the Governor’s Office for the Commonwealth Marketing Office and the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.
Today, I am the founder and chief strategist of Dockside Media, a small business based in Framingham, helping educational institutions, nonprofits, community initiatives, and civic leaders, better connect with the students, customers, and citizens they serve.
I am dedicated to making Framingham a better place to live, work, learn and play. As the Chair of Framingham First, I helped lead the successful campaign for Framingham voters to adopt a more transparent, accessible and equal form of government in April 2017.
I am a member of the Framingham League of Women Voters, Pheasant Hill Civic Association, Framingham Business Association, Sudbury Valley Trustees, Framingham History Center, Framingham Elks Lodge #1264 and the Saint Bridget School Advisory Board.
What issues are most important to you to focus on at the State House?
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.
How would you approach constituent service and outreach?
Having spent a number of years working in Governor Patrick’s Constituent Services Office, being accessible to constituents is a top priority to me. As your full-time representative, my focus is on Framingham and leaving it, and our Commonwealth, in a better place for future generations. From day one of my campaign, I have provided my cell phone number and email address on my website and in all campaign literature. It is important for people to know they can reach out to me with their questions, thoughts and ideas. And as your state representative, that will not change. Throughout the campaign, the emails and calls I have received have already influenced my ideas. I walk around with a small notebook where I keep a list of concerns and issues, and it’ll serve as my guide as state representative.
Besides being accessible via email and phone, I will hold regular office hours throughout the district, like I have been in this campaign. I am the only candidate who regularly attends (and has before even thinking of running for office) City Council and School Committee meetings, along with a variety of community events. I will continue to be an active participant in our community.
Why do you think you would be effective in getting things done in the Legislature, as opposed to simply holding positions that are in sync with voters in the district?
As a former aide to Governor Patrick, I know how Beacon Hill works. I’ve worked with agencies, advocates, constituents and legislators. 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. And 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.
Through my experience working on Beacon Hill and volunteering in our community, I understand the importance of listening to different viewpoints and bringing people together to solve issues and problems. It is how I operate on a daily basis, regardless of what role, and it is exactly how I would work on Beacon Hill.
Outside the Legislature, I am committed to working and collaborating with Mayor Spicer, the Council, the School Committee, Superintendent and the rest of the MetroWest Delegation on finding solutions to problems facing our community, whether it be in the form of grants and programs or working to attract new businesses to invest in our community. This work is just as important as the work that takes place within the State House.
What would you tell an undecided voter who asks why they should support you as opposed to one of the other candidates seeking the seat?
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. And 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.
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.
More information about Mary Kate:
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