Here's what I said at "Stand With Dan"

Here's the transcript of my speech from the "Stand With Dan" rally Tuesday night...

Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. From the bottom of my heart I thank each of you for standing with me today.

Senator Joyce and Sheriff Tompkins I thank you for your strong words of support and for the trust and confidence you have placed in me with your endorsement.

To my beautiful wife and best friend, Emily, for that wonderful and heartfelt introduction – I am grateful for all you have done and all you continue to do to make me the best person I can be.  I am truly the luckiest guy in the world to be your husband. I love you.

To my parents, there are no words to express what you have given me. Only through your love, your courage and your sacrifice, I am standing here today. When you adopted me at four-months old, you gave me a life of opportunity that far too few children are given. Instead of foster care, I was the first in my family to graduate college. I know how lucky I am. My personal story both grounds me and fuels my firm belief that no child’s future - in Massachusetts - in the 21st Century - should be limited by where they are born, what neighborhood they live in, or how much money their family may have.

To my campaign team: Ken, Carla, Erin, and everyone who has worked to make this happen.

To Our Mattapan Coordinators Rev Jacques Dady Jean and Steve Kelly - No one does this alone. I can’t thank them enough for what they have given me.

From the earliest age, I was taught to work hard and to give back. I did everything from stock shelves, to sell Christmas trees, to Caddie at Franklin Park. In high school, I joined my community association as a youth member and today I serve as its Vice-President. In college, I came back summer and winter breaks to work in Boston City Councilor Maureen Feeney’s office full-time. In my senior year of college, I would take the 5:30am train up from Providence, RI, to work in State Representative Marty Walsh’s office. I did this because I never forgot home. I remained committed to working on and learning about the issues that faced the neighborhood that made me who I am.

Since College, I continued to serve the Commonwealth in a variety of ways. I was a Director of Constituent Services in the State House, I was a Communications Director in City Hall, I was a criminal investigator in the public construction industry for the Attorney General’s Office, I was a fundraiser for Boston’s largest anti-poverty agency, and I worked on campaign.

Each of these opportunities to serve has helped to shape me as a leader. Each has helped to teach me a little bit more about listening, about bring people together and empowering individuals to take an active role in shaping the future.

I am ready….“Be the change you want to see in the world,” Ghandi said. We have to be. No one else can do it for us.

Today, I am proud to stand before you as a candidate for State Representative of the 12th Suffolk District – grounded in my personal story, sustained by my experience, and confident that I have energy and proven commitment to our communities to hit the ground running from day one.

I have had the opportunity to learn from three local elected officials the best practices of local government. I learned many things in these offices but no lesson was more crucial than this: If you call, you deserve a call back. If you write a letter, you deserve a reply. If there is a meeting, I should be there. I have seen first-hand that local government can have a profound impact on people’s lives with a representative who works hard and follows through. I am that person.

I am running because I believe in what can be achieved when dedicated people from diverse backgrounds join together to better the community. I pledge that this campaign and this office will get every fiber of my being and everything I have to offer.

I am running because I am the candidate who has a clear vision for the future of the WHOLE 12th Suffolk District: Here’s what I believe in: 

I believe in:

Our Future

  • I am running because I believe more can be done in our communities to connect youngpeople to career possibilities through networking, through learning what careers adults in the community are pursuing and how they might be able to follow their path
  • I will fight for a focus on teaching children the “relationship-side” of how to build the connections necessary to land a job and build a career. We live in a world where nearly 65% of all jobs go to the applicant who has a personal connection. Our kids need to begin making these career connections with business leaders and professionals in their community at the earliest possible age.
  • A child can only be what they are exposed to. It is on all of us to ensure that the children in our communities are exposed to as many career paths as possible to help our kids choose success and I am committed to that. 

I Believe that:

The residents of our communities deserve an experienced voice in the Community Development process:

  • I am committed to ensuring the community has a voice in all development projects that may be coming to our neighborhoods in these changing times. I have the experience both in and out of government, as neighborhood association vice-president, and as a legislative aide tasked with representing a City Councilor and State Rep. in the zoning and development processes, to ensure your voice is heard on projects that will affect your community.

I believe that:

You deserve Accessibility & Transparency in your elected officials:

  • The responsibilities of this job go far beyond election to election. You deserve an elected official who is willing to give you their cell phone number, who is committed to knocking on your door to hear your thoughts on what is happening in the neighborhood, and who has a proven record of volunteering in the community to make it a better place when there was not a job or recognition or an audience at stake. I am that person.
  • You deserve a representative who will be an active participant at neighborhood civic meetings because if community members are going to be volunteering their time to improve the neighborhood at minimum their elected officials should be there personally to listen and participate and to be willing to do whatever it takes to improve the quality of life in our community for our residents. I am that person.
  • You deserve a representative who will tell you where they stand and what is going on at the State House and where to reach them directly. And you deserve a representative who is willing to learn and who is not afraid to say “I don’t know,” but who will always get back to you. I am that person.

Yet, still there are doubters. There are those out there that say it cannot be done. There are those that say it is impossible for a young, white, Irish kid from Cedar Grove to unite this district made up of 80% people of color.

It’s true. I am a young, Irish kid from Cedar Grove with a bright red face who looks about twelve. But these doubters miss one thing - look around this room. Look at this diversity. This is election is not about me. It is about us, a collective vision and optimism in the future of this district we can only build together. Our diversity is our strength!

This campaign for State Representative it is about who you know will work the hardest and be the most passionate voice and advocate for the WHOLE 12th Suffolk District. I ask that you stand with me tonight to give me the chance to “walk the walk” - to prove that we can do this together. Give me the chance and I promise that I will give everything I have, every ounce of energy I have each and every day, to honor the faith and confidence you have put in me.

Thank You.

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