During November and December of 2018, Digaai invited all the candidates running for Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to meet with representatives from the Brazilian community. Our goal was to help candidates better understand the unique needs of our community, call attention to some of the issues that affect Brazilians in Massachusetts, and to give Brazilian community members an opportunity to engage in shaping their campaigns.
The first candidate to meet with us was Bob Massie, who has emerged over the last three decades as a globally-recognized advocate for corporate accountability, global sustainability and local prosperity in the 21st century and beyond.
Born with hemophilia — a rare, debilitating blood disease —as a child, he experienced repeated painful bouts of joint bleeding that left him unable to walk. Doctors told his parents he might never walk unassisted, but he endeavored to prove them wrong. As an adolescent, his family lived in Paris, where Massie was eventually able to regain full use of his legs. Back in the states, he became an activist at Princeton, challenging the exclusion of women in the clubs and arguing for divestment from South Africa. After college, he worked with Ralph Nader in Washington, and edited a volume on corporate power published in 1980.
He later attended Divinity School at Yale, and subsequently served as a minister in New York where he helped found a homeless shelter. Determined to
understand the relationship between corporate power and inequality, Bob earned a doctorate from the Harvard Business School in 1989.
The bedrock issues of Bob’s campaign—climate change, social justice, and democracy — have likewise been the focus of his life’s
work. He has inaugurated two organizations for social change – the New Economy Coalition and the Sustainable Solutions Lab at UMass Boston. He left UMass Boston to run for Governor. For more information about Bob’s campaign please visit www.bobmassie2018.com.
The second candidate to visit us was Jay Gonzalez. Jay has always put people first. He has worked to provide health insurance coverage for low-income residents, helped cities and towns build new schools and fire stations, and managed the state budget for Governor Deval Patrick during the Great Recession.
On January 30, 2017, Jay launched his campaign for Governor. His campaign is motivated by his commitment to public service and his belief that, if we aim high, work hard, and support each other along the way, we can make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.
Most recently, Jay served as President and CEO of CeltiCare Health and New Hampshire Healthy Families, where he helped tens of thousands of low-income residents access the health care services they needed. Jay revamped CeltiCare Health , launched New Hampshire Healthy Families, grew the company’s regional presence by multiple times and added hundreds of jobs. More
information at: http://jay4ma.com/www.jay4ma.com
Lastly, we met Mayor Setti Warren the third democratic candidate. Mayor Setti Warren is an Iraq War veteran and two-term mayor of Newton who has spent his life in public service. A graduate of Boston College and Suffolk University Law School, Setti worked in the Clinton White House and in John Kerry’s U.S. Senate office. In 2003, Setti went to work for John Kerry’s presidential campaign, where he met his wife Tassy on the campaign trail.
Setti’s was born to parents, Elpidia and Joe , a retired social worker and an adviser for Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis‘s 1988 presidential campaign respectively. Joe enlisted in the Air Force, serving in the Korean War while sending money home to his mother and brother.
After he returned home, he and Elpidia moved down to Greensboro to attend North Carolina A&T University. While attending college at the height of the civil rights movement, they joined the effort to desegregate lunch counters and movie theaters. Inspired by his father’s military service and work during the civil rights movement, Setti enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserves after 9/11, serving for nine years. In 2007, he was deployed to Iraq as a Naval Intelligence Specialist.
After returning from Iraq, Setti decided to run for mayor of his hometown, Newton. When he took office, the town was in the midst of a financial crisis. The city was facing a $40 million projected deficit and an empty rainy day fund. Setti worked closely with unions and community members to create a balanced budget without sacrificing vital services that residents depended on. Today, the city is one of a few select municipalities to earn two AAA bond ratings and has a rainy day fund approaching $20 million. While under Setti’s leadership, Newton’s innovation-based economy has been reinvigorated. The city has slashed its carbon footprint while investing in housing, transportation, and infrastructure projects that reduce inequality and strengthen the community.Visit www.settiwarren.com for more information.
Next year we will continue our series with the Republican candidates who are already invited to join us. This is an important election with many important issues at stake, both local and national, such as immigration reform, education, tax reform, policing, etc…