Mark Tilden 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?
The District needs a representative who believes in widespread opportunity and economic growth for all people in Framingham, someone who understands the struggles families face and advocates for all people in the community. Someone who supports small business owners encourages their growth and protects them from unnecessary regulation.
I have always believed that the value of a society is partly judged by how it treats those who exist on the margins. As a criminal defense attorney in the Framingham District Court for 27 years, I represented hundreds of persons and their families dealing with poverty, addiction, and mental illness. We can overcome these problems if we use creative ideas and bold initiatives to lift people from misery and hardship. The criminal reform bill is a start; we need a long term vision to lift up everyone in the District and make our city a model for the nation.
As a landlord and attorney in private practice, I understand the difficulties small businesses experience from day to day. I would take a hard look at heavy handed business regulation and tax relief for small retailers and service companies. Locally, I would look for state spending for improvements to our infrastructure and relief from traffic choking our roadways.
I support the immigrant community in Framingham. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) tactics are tearing apart families and disrupting the entire region. ICE makes us no safer. We shouldn’t allow them to commandeer our law enforcement agencies. I ask, did you feel any less safe before ICE came here? Members of our immigrant community work hard and pay taxes. Plus, our growing economy needs workers. Foolishly harsh immigration policies will stifle growth. Our government is just enforcing a failed immigration policy that Washington can’t fix.
What issues are most important to you to focus on at the State House?
Transportation – we need to take a hard look at our beleaguered commuter rail. Keolis failed miserably in the winter of 2015 and hasn’t improved much since. I would seek out a better operator, private preferred over public agency; the government is no better at making the trains run on time.
Drug use – I would favor clean needle programs if someone could persuade us that they wouldn’t discourage people from seeking treatment. I do not support restricting doctor’s ability to prescribe. I don’t believe there is a connection between prescribed dosages and addiction.
Infrastructure – I would cautiously support some increase in our gas tax to fix and maintain crumbling roads and bridges in the Commonwealth. The bill on this is coming due.
How would you approach constituent service and outreach?
Set up and staff a hotline to my office for citizens looking for assistance with day to day issues and access to government services.
Visit businesses, public agencies, businesses, nursing homes. Allow people a chance to voice their concerns and share ideas and suggestions for the reps who serve on Beacon Hill.
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?
I know how to listen to people on both sides of an issue. I try to build consensus and coalitions. My work as a lawyer is good training for negotiating difficult positions.
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 can bring people together to make deals and get results. I can deliver on my promises. The District and the rest of Framingham need a squeaky wheel on Beacon Hill who will get the grease.
More information about Mark:
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