WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the three candidates running for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).
Below, in his own words, is the response to one of this week’s questions from candidate Dave Robertson (D-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 have had many great experiences that have allowed to fully and confidently put me in the running for our next State Representative, and I am extremely grateful for them all. As so many voters have heard before, and many of the residents know me from, I served as Representative Miceli’s legislative aide and staff director for many years. In fact, I began interning for Representative Miceli since 2008, where I was tasked with focusing on constituent issues. There I helped house veterans, research insurance issues, helped people find jobs within the state and private sector, and more. I was hooked, which is why I continued to dedicate myself to my job when Representative Miceli hired me into his office years later. I was tasked with crafting legislation, such as the bill that established a holiday honoring first responders such as police, fire, and EMT’s. I guided, wrote letters of support, and even testified on bills of importance to the district and the state, and I was tasked each and every year I worked for Jim Miceli in ensuring that money for Tewksbury and Wilmington projects was included in the budget. This included working with our school committees in funding the Best Buddy/Camp Pohelo program, securing emergency repair grants, and providing all the research needed to keep the Tewksbury State Hospital. In addition to working in the office, during my collegiate years I worked with several student groups including proposing a way to improve college student health insurance while lowering the costs (with no cost increase to companies or universities, a true win), working with the town of Amherst to dissuade disruptive student parties through community engagement, and working with the school administration to overhaul the multi-million dollar laundry services on campus. While these issues pale in comparison to the work of a State Representative, I have never turned away from the opportunity to make things better than I found them.
In addition to this public sector experience, I have worked in the private sector as well. During my college years I worked in a call center as a large-scale catering adviser, food service employee, and student accountant. Following graduation I worked in the retail industry for the famous Abercrombie and Fitch chain, while interning still, where I was not just tasked with good customer service, but helping to ensure smooth operations of a multi-million dollar store.
Some folks are surprised that I am younger when they meet me, quite often on the phone they imagined someone older than I was, but age is not an issue. I am coming up on 30 shortly, and many people have done far more extraordinary things than I ever have done by my age. I have taken that phone call from the worried parent, homeless veteran, or hungry resident and gotten positive results. I have found dozens of detox beds for folks older than me, helped secure special needs education for those younger, and provided information for elected officials on all levels of government. What matters is that I am the only candidate who has any exposure and experience to Beacon Hill. I have the local knowledge as a life-long resident, the know how, and I know who to call when Tewksbury loses power, or Wilmington needs someone to get the Butter’s Row Bridge project back on track. Rather than talk about age, home ownership, or who is related to who I would rather talk about the issues and how we can get them done together, and how I have the dedication and knowledge to do so.
(NOTE: Do you have a question for the candidates? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and it may be asked in a future Q&A or in a debate.)
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