WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the three candidates running for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).
Below, in her own words, is the response to one of this week’s questions from candidate Patricia Meuse (I-Tewksbury).
#3) Can you highlight some of the life experiences you’ve had that have prepared you to be our next State Representative? Should a candidate’s age or home ownership status matter to voters?
I think I have an advantage over the other candidates because I have been on earth the longest. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I have made enough mistakes that I have hopefully learned from. I have served the people in Tewksbury as an elected official for over 29 years: six years on the Tewksbury School committee and 23 years on the Shawsheen Tech. After my sixth child was born I received my law degree while my husband worked nights. I have lived in both communities; I spent my childhood and teenage years in Wilmington and then my married life in Tewksbury. My husband and I brought up our children and now have 18 grandchildren. I really believe our mission in this life is to leave this place a better place for everyone’s grandchildren and their grandchildren.
During my 24 years in Wilmington, I watched and then helped my father, John Winters, in all of his community projects. All the Winters kids were supposed to clean up the church after Mass and we would wrap Christmas gifts for the annual American Legion party for underprivileged children. On Memorial Day we always helped dad at the cemetery. My sister Paula and I volunteered during the summer at a Head Start camp. I worked on the line at Sweetheart Plastics.
After I moved to Tewksbury, I immediately joined the Women’s Sodality at St. Williams, helped start a mother’s group, taught CCD, Youth Ministry, etc. After my children started school, I was labeled a “Parent Activist” by the Lowell Sun. A group of us petitioned to have the Shawsheen School named the Louise Davy Trahan School. I have been a PAC member, girl scouts assistant leader, boy scouts assistant leader, asst. coach, Project Charlie volunteer, Drug and Alcohol Committee member and a regular School Committee and Town Meeting attendee. When I was elected to the Tewksbury School Committee on the platform to bring equity to all the elementary schools, it was accomplished. After being elected to the Shawsheen Tech Committee, I became the Chair of the Curriculum Subcommittee and the MCAS scores skyrocketed after much needed change in the curriculum. As a member of the Teen Center Committee we were able to reopen the Teen Center in Tewksbury. I have taken part in the Focus Groups that the Town has had in the last several years regarding how to make the town better. For the last few years I have been an active Habitat for Humanity volunteer. While a member of the No Slots Tewksbury we were successful in stopping a slot parlor from coming to Tewksbury. Truthfully, I don’t remember everything I have volunteered in or been a part of but I do know there have been years that I was out every single night of the week. All of it was done to try to make the community a better place for our children and as a State Representative I will work to make the State a better place for our grandchildren.
Should a candidate’s age or home ownership status matter to you? What I would look at in a candidate is what they have done during the time they have been here on earth. What, if any, does their community service look like? How have they been involved in the community they will represent? Setting aside their regular paying job what have they done in and for their community on their own time?
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