Stephanie Bosley Kickoff Speech
For any of you who were unable to attend, here is the transcript of my speech from the kickoff event. I hope it helps anyone who reads it to understand exactly the type of candidate I am and how I view our area and it's needs. I appreciate you taking the time to read my speech. As you've likely heard me say time and time again already, if you have any questions or anything you'd like to talk to me about, you can always reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by sending me a message on my Facebook Page.
Stephanie Bosley Kickoff Speech 9/7/17 6:45 PM
Hello! and Thank you all for coming tonight. This is our official kick off for my campaign for State Representative but you should know that we have been working hard for weeks now, going door to door, publishing position papers, talking to everyone from experts in their field to people trying to make life better here in the First Berkshire District to people who may not be interested in politics but want government to help them in some way. It has been quite an experience, a really amazing experience. I want to thank those who have been working alongside me as we have been working at our headquarters as well at downtown events throughout the district. A very special thank you Representative Kulik for joining us this evening and for his support throughout the campaign, to my incredible Campaign Manager Sue Daugherty who has been a tremendous asset to our team, my amazing husband Josh for his countless hours helping as well as being so supportive, my Mom who has made sure that we have all been fed on the campaign trail and possibly the best campaigner in our family and my Dad who has given me incredible guidance throughout this whole process. I also want to give a shout out to my in law’s Dave & Eileen, Jerrid of Pulse Entertainment for providing us with music and sound tonight, and although they weren’t able to be with us tonight my Uncle Ron who has been going door to door with me and Kelsey Sherman my treasurer for the campaign.
When I announced there were newspaper articles that said, Bosley Dynasty? And while flattering, I think they missed the point of why I am running. I’m running because I come from generations of people who taught me the value of caring for others. My mother, Laura is constantly taking care of people. Whether it be delivering food to someone who has suffered a loss, to picking up the concession manager job at the North Adams SteepleCats because the season was beginning and we didn’t have one, to always making sure that there is plenty of chicken soup if you aren’t feeling well. I grew up hearing stories of my grandparents working multiple jobs to make ends meet and my Grandfather still finding the time to make grandiose Italian meals to feed the neighborhood. On my father’s side my Grandmother worked three jobs as a single mother to take care of her three children while always offering to give someone a ride who didn’t have a car or using her last dollar to give to someone who she felt needed it more than she did. And lastly, my father Dan Bosley who served in this seat for 24 years, who has inspired my public service because of the countless policy discussions we had at the dinner table and growing up with him in this role. I witnessed the early mornings Chamber Breakfasts and the nights where his office light was on far after I went to bed. I grew up with people coming over to our table while out to dinner and my Dad never brushing them off, always listening to their concerns and following up with them.
In a time where national politics seem to be failing us, I am running for this seat because I have witnessed firsthand how the State Representative can create positive change in our community and be there for people when they feel the rest of the world isn’t. I grew up with mentors like Representative Gailanne Cariddi, who showed me that women could enter the world of politics and be a strong voice who got things done for her community.
Now you will hear that there are people in this race with more elected experience than me, but I can tell you no one has spent more time in the State House than I have. Not to mention my experience working in regional economic development, with housing grants and working with social agencies that have given me a lot of insight into what the area needs are and what we can do to make life better.
I would also like to point out that former Governor Jane Swift, former State Senator Ben Downing, current State Senator Adam Hinds and State Representative Paul Mark all had no elected experience before winning their seats and that seems like pretty good company to be in if you ask me.
I can tell you this, I am a fresh face with fresh ideas and I think that this is important to moving Northern Berkshire forward. You will hear from every candidate in this race that they are in favor of more money for education, a better job market and a commitment to the people of this district. But I think it is important to go deeper and tell you how I plan to work with others in Boston and throughout the 1st Berkshire District to accomplish these goals.
I will say, unless we want to be here all evening, I won’t go into all of the plans that I have. My position papers can be found on our website, bosleyforstaterep.com but I would like to talk about what I call the four E’s that are so important to this region: Education, Economics, the Environment and Energy.
As I said, every candidate has said we need more money for education and need to change the aid formula to get it. I agree, but if we look at this realistically, this formula hasn’t changed since 1993 and not for a lack of trying. It will be difficult to change. So, we have two options: we can complain about it and say it needs to be changed or we can propose alternatives to it that keeps funding whole for urban areas and gives us more funding for rural areas. I would like to advocate for a three-tiered system that gives urban, suburban and rural areas their own formulas. Even if we don’t see an overall increase in education spending, I believe the economics of this area would give us more funding in a formula that recognizes the unique aspects of rural areas. Fresh Face, fresh idea!
We need to continue the commitment to adult basic education. This is the foundation for our ability to train people in job skills. Without a strong foundation, you can’t build these skills.
In addition, we need to continue to advocate for more funding for both MCLA and BCC. This is key to our education in the Berkshires.
And that leads to…. Economics.
We have all read about the plans for more cultural arts in North Adams. I was at the press conference last Friday and heard Tom Krens vision for museums all over Northern Berkshire. These plans are ambitious and life changing for our area, but they are not the only plans that we need.
A study by the Taconic Foundation looked at the jobs listings in Berkshire County and found that over 60% of the listings were at or near minimum wage. Throughout my career working with low income families, I have learned that you can’t raise a family on those wages. We need to do better for families in the Berkshires and we can do better.
Bob Coughlin, the Executive Director of the Mass BioTech Council, has said that starting salaries for lab technicians in Cambridge are $100,000. The problem is, we don’t have the educational training in our area for these types of jobs. But we could. We have a beautiful new science building at MCLA, not to mention renowned educators and leadership where we can train students for jobs like these. We have one of the nation’s best vocational technical schools right here in our district. We have collaborative programs at BCC and a very good Career Center in BerkshireWorks trying to place people in jobs right here. We must stop training people for the minimum wage jobs we have, and start training them for the jobs that we want to have in our area. If we have the trained workforce, work will follow.
I attended Lever Inc’s Demo Day a few weeks ago, there are some great ideas right here in our district and we need to support these efforts and dream big with homegrown businesses. The work that they are doing epitomizes fresh ideas. Let’s support them.
That leads to… Environment.
A few of the ideas presented at Lever’s Demo Day had to do with local food and farms. These are ways to link our environment with our economy while supporting our local farms. Please check out my positions on Agriculture on the website, but let me say that these farms hold much of our open space and our water supplies. We need to make sure that as we improve the economy, we don’t destroy what makes the Berkshires a special place. We live in one of, if not the most beautiful places on earth. Protecting our natural resources is a priority for me and I will look to bring more money for our state parks by working to let them keep a portion of the revenue from those parks and finding new ways to generate revenue to keep them attractive.
This brings me to… Energy.
Along with Biotech, clean energy is a leading industry in Massachusetts. In fact, it is the fastest growing industry per capita in the state. It can be a source of cleaner environment as well as a source of local revenue. We should encourage this, but as we saw this week, interconnection costs stifled a solar project in Lanesboro and threatens to stall the industry. We need to work on a sensible plan for ensuring this industry grows and grows here in the Berkshires where we can use the jobs. At the same time, it ties in our environment. We need to make sure that these are placed in sensible locations so that they are not intrusive on our tourism and environment. Fresh industry, fresh face, fresh ideas.
Of course, there are so many other interconnected issues - broadband, transportation, heating assistance and health care. We need to look into what the state can do to protect against federal cutbacks to those in need. In office, I will file a self - sufficiency bill. How do we know if we are training people in a useful manner if they can’t get a job that allows them a liveable wage after training? Not only is this not productive but we need to stop spending tax payers dollars on programs that aren’t working and spending money on programs that lead people to lifetime fulfilling careers.
I have gone on long enough. I thank you for your time and for being here this evening. As I said, your State Representative must be able to work with others to get things done. I can’t do this without you, but together we can accomplish so much. Thank you so much and enjoy the rest of your evening.