Maria Robinson 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 have spent the past decade working on clean energy issues in states across the country. This includes writing legislation, participating in the legislative process, working with state agencies and governors’ offices, and more. I understand how state government, particularly legislatures, work, and I am ready to serve Framingham on day one.
My family made the decision to root ourselves in Framingham. My husband and I moved here about six years ago, and since then we have moved in our two foster children. Most recently, my parents moved in with us from their longtime home in Pennsylvania. I bring a multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-racial perspective to this position that allows me to better understand our diverse district.
What issues are most important to you to focus on at the State House?
Education: Framingham would benefit greatly from a change in the Chapter 70 funding formula that would allow us to better serve our students and ease the tax burden on property owners.
Aging in Place: Senior citizens are the largest growing sector of residents in Massachusetts, and we are pricing our seniors out of Framingham. We need to help them understand the financial relief that can be provided by the state and continue to provide more solutions, such as changing the income requirements for subsidized Medicare Part B.
Transportation: Our public transportation system needs improvements, both at the Commuter Rail and the MWRTA. We need to invest in these resources so that the Commuter Rail runs more regularly and is held accountable for failures and delays; this could be done by bringing the services back in-house at the state. The MWRTA requires additional resources to run on Sundays, when many people need public transportation to get to work, and to offer its schedules in multiple languages for a diverse population.
How would you approach constituent service and outreach?
Much like in this campaign, I would be open and transparent with constituents. I have given out my direct phone number on the doors and in mailings, and I would expect that constituents would reach me in the same way. My top priority is to serve the people of Framingham and to regularly listen to their needs. I would hold regular office hours (with translation services) across the district on a weekly basis to allow any residents to meet with me to discuss concerns. In addition, I would work with our residents (many of whom have already approached me) about legislation they believe should be filed and passed.
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?
State legislatures require a careful balance of working closely with leadership while maintaining the principles that led a person to seek office in the first place. My aim is to both push for progressive policies in the Legislature as a whole while also securing the resources our Mayor and City Council need to enact their agenda locally. We need to ensure that our local priorities are being met while also joining the wider Legislature in enacting progressive policies that keep Massachusetts a leader.
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?
I would ask the voter to consider my experience in working with state government. I would also note that I am a homeowner, a parent of children currently attending our public schools, an immigrant, and someone living in a multi-socioeconomic household, which makes me unique among the candidates seeking this role.
Most importantly, I am not looking to be elected to this position for any reasons of power or recognition; my goal is to enact policy to better the lives of the residents of Framingham. This means enacting rules that allow for transparency and accountability within our government. I am committed to asking for a roll call vote for any legislation.
More information about Maria:
Access Framingham video interview:
Sign up for the District2Framingham.com email list!!
See neighborhood events at the District 2 calendar. For events throughout Framingham, visit FraminghamEvents.com – now also available as an Amazon Alexa Skill (just say “Alexa, enable Framingham Events”).