I’m Margaret Hegarty of Belmont, and I’m delighted to announce my candidacy for State Representative for the 24th Middlesex District. As a lifelong Democrat and resident of the district, it would be a privilege to serve my community in this capacity.
A long-time public service orientation and background has drawn me to legislative work. I grew up in a politically-active family in Belmont and graduated from Boston College and Suffolk University Law School.
For the past 21 years,I’ve worked extensively in public service; my professional career has consistently involved serving the underprivileged and victimized. My work in Legal Services, my litigation experience in criminal law as both a prosecutor and public defender and my legal work in the State House informs my approach to the challenges, struggles and problems facing the constituents of this district. I have a strong sense that many pervasive issues such as education, transportation, poverty and prison reform are best remedied through our political systems and our legislative process – a state government committed to serving all citizens, especially those in need. I am firmly committed to the concept of working to serve the common good, and have built a career on the notion that advocacy to promote creative dialogue and collaboration best serves the ideals of our democratic society.
Education is a priority for residents of this district; I attended the Belmont public schools and am proud that my daughter, a fourth-grader, is now doing the same. Preserving the quality of our public schools is an ongoing challenge; increasing the quality of our schools in this economy is a greater challenge. My commitment to public education and my vested interest in supporting our children will serve me well as I advocate for the very best programs we can offer our public school students.
I am concerned that our district is under the threat of diminished public transportation options. I will work hard to preserve bus and train routes for us, insuring that people have adequate options to travel to and from school, work, child care and family. Additionally, I feel a strong commitment to public transportation (having utilized the 74 bus, the Red Line and the commuter rail for many years) and its ability to reduce pollution generated from additional motor vehicle traffic. Residential development in our district and in neighboring cities and towns has burdened our roadways and increased our local traffic. I fear that reducing public transportation options will only make this worse, and will advocate for the preservation of this important service.
We face many other challenges in the areas of encouraging responsible commercial tax bases in our district, ensuring that all constituents receive sufficient and affordable health care, providing adequate and engaging services
for our senior residents, preserving workers’ rights and a living wage, and reinforcing the public trust in our government.
My proven commitment to helping others and advocating for all will serve me well in the important work as your State Representative. It is with pride and a sense of responsibility that I respectfully ask for your full consideration throughout this campaign, and I look forward to meeting and listening to you in the coming months.