Letter to the editor
Our family cares deeply about who represents the 8th district. We are all in for Jenny Armini.
Our roots run across this district. Mark grew up in Marblehead. We bought our first home together in Swampscott in 1998. We raised our kids there for 12 years before moving to Marblehead where our two sisters, their families, and Mark’s dad also reside. Sandi’s mom has made Swampscott home for 18 years.
Jenny, too, has raised her family and been a vital member and leader of church, school, and grassroots organizations in our district over the last 17 years. Perhaps that is why the majority of donors to her campaign come from within the district (58%), unlike the other two top fundraisers (Doug Thompson with only 41% in the District and Tristan Smith with 36%.)
We met Jenny after the 2016 election. She and a friend started ElectBlue in our community to give us a place to rally and fight back. Hundreds of citizens got involved. Jenny worked collaboratively with other Democratic grassroots organizations. She educated us about the inner workings of electoral processes. She researched the races and engaged us in deciding where to invest our collective energy to get Democrats elected to key seats.
Jenny has demonstrated again and again how much she loves our district and that she has the legislative chops, community relationships, and public service mindset necessary to be a great state representative. Her commitment to supporting women’s reproductive rights and her well-conceived plans for climate protection, educational recovery post-COVID, and affordable living are spot on.
Our support for Jenny has strengthened further as we’ve been reminded recently of the troubling role of money in politics and the lack of diverse representation in our government.
Political advisors anticipated this year’s race might require $60,000 to $70,000 to run a competitive campaign, an unprecedented amount. Jenny raised $68k. The other two top fundraisers each amassed ~$100,000 in their bids for the seat, with large amounts coming from self-funding ($41,000 k for Doug and $14,000 for Tristan). Upping the ante perpetuates the barriers that keep qualified candidates from being able to compete. Though Doug talks about supporting public campaign financing, his actions speak louder than his words.
In addition to money disparities, we continue to witness the bias towards men, even in progressive Massachusetts where less than 29 percent of representatives are women. Though Tristan is the youngest candidate, he has relied the most heavily on the “old boys network” to garner endorsements. We don’t believe he should skip ahead of more experienced candidates and learn on our dime. Doug emphasizes his CFO and CEO roles as qualifiers, but district rep is a public servant role, not an executive job. Also, we don’t believe that someone who has only lived in our district for three years can adequately represent our interests.
We do believe Jenny has all the right stuff to strongly represent our district on day one. Please join us in voting for Jenny Armini. – Mark and Sandra Pocharski, Corn Point Road