All of the Letters

Admiration for Mary Ann

I am writing to express my admiration for Mary Ann Stewart, with the hope that my friends and neighbors in Lexington and Woburn will select her in the Democratic primary for state representative on Sept. 4.

Gov. Deval Patrick appointed her to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2014, and she soon found herself on a board with a majority appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker. Though she serves on a board where the majority doesn’t share her progressive views regarding public education, she has persevered in a respectful manner.

This is a critical skill that we need in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In a legislative body that lacks the transparency and democratic practices of a Massachusetts town meeting, we need a skilled progressive reformer who can push the envelope as far as possible without being cast into total irrelevance in a basement office beneath the state house. Mary Ann has these skills.

As a long-serving School Committee member in Arlington, and as a past president of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, I recognize how rare it is to find a state legislator who is a skilled and courageous advocate for public education and progressive, democratic values. I have no doubt that Mary Ann Stewart will make us proud, and I hope you agree and give her your vote.

— Paul Schlichtman, Mystic Street, Arlington

The True Progressive

There are many fine candidates running for the Democratic Primary on Sept. 4. However, only one is a true progressive fighting for regular folks — that candidate is Mary Ann Stewart. Mary Ann is not riding the progressive wave, she is the progressive wave. She understands the needs of working class and middle-class folks, because she’s lived it. Time and time again, she has shown that she is the candidate with the values and credentials to enact and advocate for progressive change in the 15th Middlesex District race.

Mary Ann has recently been endorsed by the Working Families Party, a national political organization that is recruiting, training, and electing the next generation of progressive leaders to office. New England Political Director of the Working Families Party, Georgia Hollister Isman said, “Mary Ann is the real deal progressive. We can trust her to fight for economic and racial justice in the State House, because that is just what she has been doing already. We are proud to support her.”

I want our next state representative to be the type of leader that doesn’t shy away from bold change, that has an ear to the ground, that spearheads movements, and brings people up with them to the arenas where long-lasting change happens. Mary Ann has been and will continue to be that person for us because she believes in people power over corporate power.

Mary Ann has 20 plus years of experience fighting for our families and community. She is not afraid to challenge the status quo. I trust Mary Ann to fight for quality public education, improve the lives of working people, and climate and environmental justice because she always has.

Join me in voting for Mary Ann Stewart on Sept. 4, the people’s progressive leader.

— Kathryn Robb, Bowker Street

Stewart at the Forefront

I am writing to urge you to join me in voting for Mary Ann Stewart as our next state representative on Sept. 4. She shares my values, and she has the right skills to advance them at the State House.

As a professor and senior research scholar at the Hiatt Center for Urban Education at Clark University, I care deeply about Massachusetts providing excellent schools for all of our children, and more broadly about ensuring economic opportunity for all. I have seen Mary Ann’s deep commitment to these values, on our local school committee, on the state board of education to which she was named by Deval Patrick, and in her state-level leadership on workers’ rights and on the Millionaire’s Tax. She’s been at the forefront of battles that need to be fought.

Some people whom I respect have praised another of the candidates for her ability to bring people together in advancing municipal projects in Lexington, and for her ability to find the middle ground among competing interests. Those are certainly valuable skills. They’re skills I’d absolutely want in our next town manager, or a selectman. But they are not the skills I’m looking for in my state representative.

I want a state representative who will provide bold leadership to move Massachusetts forward on the challenging and controversial issues facing our commonwealth, someone who can build coalitions to advance progressive values, someone who will speak out for what’s right and only compromise when the gains from doing so are clear. Those are the skills Mary Ann has demonstrated, both in Lexington and in statewide progressive campaigns.

Please join me in voting for Mary Ann Stewart on Sept. 4.

— Sarah Michaels, Waltham Street

Voting for Mary Ann Stewart

I’m voting for Mary Ann Stewart because she has the values, commitment and experience to make a difference in the State House. Of the five candidates vying in the Democratic primary, Mary Ann is the one capable of effecting change.

A lot of good legislation was left on the table this session. Among the most egregious lapses were the failure of the State House leadership to advance the Safe Communities Act and overhaul the state’s education funding formula, as well as stripping important measures from clean energy and climate legislation, despite the Senate’s unanimous passage of a comprehensive energy bill. In commenting on his disappointment at the compromise energy bill which ultimately prevailed, Senator Jamie Eldridge emphasized, “the influence of corporate, fossil fuel, and utility lobbyists on energy policy” … and concluded “there is a serious problem with democracy in Massachusetts…”

We need a change in the House leadership. Mary Ann is the one who recognizes that need and is willing to fight for it. She understands the importance of harnessing the power of grassroots movements and will contribute to a strong Progressive Caucus.

She speaks and lives her values. She’s fought for education equity; advocated for minimum wage and paid medical leave. Her experience and commitment have been recognized by statewide coalitions.

Mary Ann has received the endorsement of Mass Alliance, Progressive Democrats of MA (PDM) and Progressive MA. She was appointed by Deval Patrick to the state Board of Education and was recognized for her progressive stance by being asked by Raise Up Massachusetts to be one of 10 original signers of the Fair Share Amendment.

Please join me in voting Tuesday, September 4 for the Bold Progressive, Mary Ann Stewart.

— Jeanne Krieger, Webster Road

Mary Ann Stewart for state representative

Vote for Mary Ann Stewart for State Representative in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday Sept. 4.

Mary Ann Stewart holds to the principle that we share responsibility for public education, as we do for public transit, safe roads, public safety, and all the many services we rely.

My support for Ms. Stewart goes back to 2007 when she testified before the Joint Committee on Public Health. Talking about the impact of commercialism in schools, she spoke against moves to increase school funds that jeopardized the health of young people, such as having soda vending machines in school cafeterias. She called attention to boxtops-for-schools coupon programs that encourage consumers to buy boxes of brand-named cereals — a practice that benefits corporate profits whether or not it meaningfully benefits schools.

In 2011, active with the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Mary Ann started advocating and testifying on behalf of media literacy, a truly major issue for our time. In 2013, she helped launch Media Literacy Now. MLN works in Massachusetts and nationally, and has been instrumental in passing six new laws in five states. Teaching media literacy — knowing how to think critically about media in all its forms — is a cornerstone of the Act to Promote and Enhance Civic Engagement. The act was endorsed by Department of Education and passed by the Massachusetts legislature this session.

We need Mary Ann Stewart in the State House. We need a bold yet pragmatic thinker as representative who won’t just work within the status quo, but will see what we need down the road and work to move people in power toward it.

— Margaret Heitz, Marrett Road

Support for Mary Ann Stewart

I am writing to urge you to join me in supporting Mary Ann Stewart in the Sept. 4 election for State Representative. Mary Ann is the candidate with a proven track record in providing the bold progressive leadership that I am looking for in Lexington’s representative in the legislature.

Many critical issues are confronting our state. And our legislature is too often dominated by “centrist” leaders and special-interest lobbyists who move slowly and modestly or not at all.

If you share my sense of urgency about these critical issues – from climate change to equitable educational opportunity for all to protecting our vulnerable populations to ensuring universal, affordable health care, and more – then I hope you’ll agree that what we need in the legislature is a bold leader who shares our values and who has a proven ability to build coalitions to put those values into action.

I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Mary Ann, both on local issues in Lexington and as part of statewide progressive coalitions, where she has consistently demonstrated both the values and the skills that I’m looking for in my representative.

Deval Patrick recognized those same strengths when he appointed Mary Ann to the state Board of Education. The Raise Up Mass coalition recognized them in asking Mary Ann to take a leading role in the fight for the Fair Share amendment. Leading progressive groups, including the Mass Alliance and Progressive Democrats of Mass. recognized them in endorsing Mary Ann’s candidacy.

Mary Ann is the only candidate with proven ability to build the power of progressives and to advance a value-based agenda. Those are the skills we need in our state representative. Please join me in supporting Mary Ann’s candidacy on Sept. 4.

— Peter Enrich, Clarke Street

Mary Ann Stewart for State Representative

I am not only supporting Mary Ann Stewart for State Representative, I am doing all I can to help her get elected.  She has been a leader for progressive causes for 20 plus years and I’ve worked with her more than ten of those. She is value driven. She is never willing to compromise her beliefs, but is able to come to agreements with others on how to implement those beliefs into legislation. THE progressive in the race, she has been endorsed by Mass Alliance (a collaboration of more than 25 progressive organizations), The Progressive Democrats of MA, Progressive MA & Woburn Welcomes. She has been recommended by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and VoteProChoice.

Despite 70% of the State House of Representatives being Democrats, just last week, Massachusetts became the last state in the country without a budget, largely because Speaker DeLeo doesn’t want it to include Safe Communities Act provisions. English Language Learners and low-income students were cut out of a crucial education funding formula update. Also the Senate Clean Energy bill, which would have been one of the strongest in the country, was watered down. We NEED people in the State House who will stand up to the Speaker and fight for education, immigrants, revenue,  transportation, the environment and a new culture based on progress not fear. Mary Ann Stewart is that person in this race. She is the only one who has said publicly she will strengthen the voice of the progressive caucus and challenge The Speaker when appropriate. And she is the only one who has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to fight for her values. Please join me in voting for Mary Ann on September 4th. Find out more about Mary Ann at or read her blog

— Bonnie Brodner, Trodden Path Lane

Stewart is the Superior Candidate for State Representative

On September 4, I hope you will join me in voting for Mary Ann Stewart as our new State
Representative. For decades, Mary Ann has been working with a steadfast determination to support and improve public education. She started by serving on a local PTA, then led the town-wide Lexington School Committee, and now serves on the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education where she was appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick. Mary Ann also knows that quality public education cannot be separated from the larger set of challenges facing families today: healthcare, affordable housing, public transportation, worker’s rights, and climate change. I am impressed that, in addition to her work on public education, Mary Ann has been a strong and informed public advocate for affordable housing and improved public transportation.

We need representatives in our State House who understand the problemsfaced by our citizens, and who are not afraid to speak out and offer practical solutions. Based
on my own experiences in town and state politics, I believe Mary Ann is the superior candidate and she has my strongest endorsement.

— Glenn Parker, Spring Street