Why I’m running

stewart headshotI’m running for State Representative to expand my call to service and to extend my leadership on critical issues we face in the 15th Middlesex and beyond.

I was raised in working and middle-class neighborhoods by parents who were teachers and liberal Democrats; from them I learned persistence, the value of hard work, the importance of service, and standing up for what I believe in.

I’ve served in Town Meeting since 2006 and in PTAs at local, state, and national levels. I was elected twice to School Committee and served as chair during the worst recession of our lifetime; that experience taught me the value of earnest questions and a soft heart.

Governor Deval Patrick appointed me to the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2014; from that experience I’ve learned what it takes to both advocate for progressive change and navigate the body to forward that agenda.

My husband was born and raised in Lexington and still had deep roots in the community when we chose to move here. When we moved in as a young family twenty-four years ago it was through the affordable housing program; we lived at Emerson Gardens for five years before purchasing our forever home.

After the tech bubble burst, he was laid off from his job as a software engineer. His generous severance package carried us for a while, but eventually, we were without healthcare. As a working mom with three young children I was beside myself with worry. I negotiated healthcare coverage for our family from my employer, even though I wasn’t working full-time and they didn’t want to.

I’ve learned to navigate a complex system of special education services for our daughter and I know the heartbreaking loss of a loved one to opioid addiction.

It’s my family’s story that motivates me to run for public office. I believe in representation that champions quality public services and policies people need to overcome the challenges they face everyday.

I’ve been outspoken for education equity on the state board of education and haven’t hesitated standing up for our values and our concerns: reduced testing, safe schools for LGBTQ students, Media Literacy and Civics Education, improved METCO funding, social-emotional learning, and more.

I’m proud to be a longtime activist on issues that make a difference in our communities. I’ve studied revenue options with Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts, pounded the pavement for workers’ rights, better revenue, and paid family and medical leave, then the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition asked me to take the lead on better funding for public education and public transportation. I believe we should tax millionaires at a higher level, so that they are paying more of their fair share.

We need everyday people with passion, experience, and common sense to represent and govern and I have the proven track record to be that person for our district. 

My activism and leadership have earned me the support of leading statewide progressive organizations who say that I am the progressive choice in this race: Progressive Massachusetts, Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts, and Mass Alliance (a coalition of over twenty-five leading progressive advocacy organizations including LGBTQ rights, pro-choice, labor, and environmental groups). I have also been endorsed by local progressive advocacy group, Woburn Welcomes, the Working Families Party, SEIU Local 509, and Massachusetts Voters for Animals, and received national recommendations from Moms Demand Action and #VoteProChoice.

I’m ready to be our next State Representative and I ask for your vote on Tuesday, September 4. Thank you.

Photo credit: Lisa Giberio