FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Emily Fitzmaurice, Massachusetts Democratic Party, 617-939-0808
Massachusetts Democrats Call on Governor Baker to Host a Town Hall Meeting
Baker has yet to host a public forum with constituents in over 1,300 days since taking office
BOSTON – Today, the Massachusetts Democratic Party officially called on Governor Baker to finally host a town hall meeting to explain his plans for the Commonwealth and hear from the Commonwealth’s residents directly about the issues impacting their communities and daily lives.
“We have a public transportation system that no one can rely on. While many in Massachusetts continue to get ahead, we have a massive rate of income inequality where many are left behind. We have Baker’s Republican colleagues in Washington actively working to strip our civil and constitutional rights. And we have a Governor who refuses to address any of these issues, opting instead to sit on the sidelines and coast along,” said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford. “The status quo may be good enough for the Governor but it’s not good enough for the Commonwealth’s working families looking for a brighter future. It is about time Governor Baker go out and talk directly to those he was elected to represent about the issues they face and his vision for Massachusetts.”
Town hall meetings serve as an integral part of our nation’s democratic process. Elected officials across the nation hold these public forums to update constituents on their agenda and to hear directly from the people they were elected to represent. Since being sworn in on January 8, 2015, Governor Baker is one of only six Governors, all Republican, who has not hosted a public meeting of this kind.
At the local level, Democrats have joined the call for Governor Baker to host a town hall meeting to explain his recent attempts to cut nearly $50 million in funding for healthcare services for those most in need, local economic development projects, and upgrades to local public safety departments and our first responders.
“Not only are we struggling to understand what Governor Baker’s plan is for Massachusetts, we also deserve answers from the Governor about his recent attempts to strip funding from critical programs across the state,” continued Bickford. “Our chronically ill children and seniors deserve to know why he wants to cut funding for the healthcare services they rely on. Our state’s most vulnerable children and their families deserve answers about why he refuses to provide a little extra assistance they need to get by. Our commuters deserve to know how he’s going to fix the state’s unreliable public transportation and our crumbling infrastructure. Our working families deserve to know if he plans to address the costs of healthcare and housing or invest in our public schools.”
Massachusetts Democrats have and continue to host town halls across the Commonwealth. This week, Senator Elizabeth Warren is holding three town hall meetings – Wednesday in Woburn, Thursday in Fitchburg, and Saturday in Eastham – bringing her total to 34. Additionally, Senator Ed Markey and Maura Healey have hosted 20 and 17 town halls, respectively. Each member of Congress has also hosted at least one town hall.
“I’m sure all residents, no matter where they are on the political spectrum, would appreciate hearing from our Governor,” concluded Bickford. “It’s long overdue. We know he’s afraid to speak up to Trump. What is he afraid of here?”