, life-long Belmont resident and advocate, launches her campaign for the Massachusetts House of Representative at the on Sunday afternoon, June 24, with an endorsement from , community leader and former 24th Middlesex District State Representative.
Several dozen residents and family gathered on a beautiful afternoon to hear the candidate discuss not only her agenda but also her ability to work within the legislature to accomplish those goals.
"My worldview is wide and, indeed ambitious," said the Belmont attorney, speaking before her parents, sisters, family and friends. "Although my motivation centers around the 24th Middlesex district, it will encompass more," she said.
Hegarty is running in the Democrat primary against Cambridge attorney Dave Rogers and Belmont's Bobby Reardon.
The primary is 73 days away (as of Monday, June 25) on Thursday, Sept. 6,
Giving her campaign to represent the 24th Middlesex district – which includes Belmont and sections of Arlington and Cambridge – a boost was Paulsen's support of her campaign. The former Belmont Board of Selectman and state Rep. said Hegarty would not only bring a progressive presence to the State House but also a woman's perspective to Beacon Hill.
Paulsen pointed out that when women – who make up only a quarter of the members of the state House and Senate – are "at the table," it effects how legislation is written especially when it comes to laws impacting women including pensions, insurance and welfare.
"I know Margaret will be a terrific state representative," said Paulsen.
Hegarty, whose ran for Belmont Town Clerk in 2010 finishing second, said that her campaign will be about prompting a progressive agenda.
"I believe ambition is not a polarizing word," she said, pointing to education as one area that all residents and parents seek to push beyond the current norm.
But a decade of state cuts in municipal aid – more than 50 percent in Arlington, Cambridge and Belmont since 2000 – has had a profound impact on the ability of those school districts to educate students. Hegarty would seek "an equitable share of aid from the Commonwealth" and would "ensure that we receive the eligible aid reflective of our needs."
The Belmont resident also will seek to be part of any legislative action in crafting a long-term funding solution for the MBTA, viewing the Alewife Station in nearby Cambridge as "the hub where our communities ... come together" while making the expansion of mass transit a priority."
"It will directly increase our commercial development, encourage workers and business owners to choose working in our neighborhoods and broadening our district's commercial tax base," she said.
On law enforcement and the courts, the prosecutor and public defender "by trade," Hagerty said communities want "justice to be served but in a thoughtful manner." She questions mandatory minimum sentence for non-violent offenders – sentencing someone to incarceration "fundamentally changes the future of an individual – relying more on job, literacy and vocational skill building programs."
"Our collective goal should be creating active and engaged citizens, not the blanket removal from society," Hagerty said.
"I will be prepared to lead the District to be a pragmatic model thoughout the Commonwealth in transit, education and public safety," she said.