A robust gathering of elected officials who represent Concord and surrounding towns exhorted a chilly crowd to preserve democracy.
“Everything is a team effort,” said state Rep. Carmine Gentile, “Local state and federal.” He noted that the government is “under threat,” as demonstrated two years ago on Jan. 6 and continuing today.
State Sen. Mike Barrett said he is pushing for free community college, wider mental health services, and free early education and child care in the upcoming legislative session.
Barrett said he was proud to witness the swearing in of Gov. Maura Healy, Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll and Senate President Karen Spilka.
“Anyone who saw those three women up there couldn’t help but feel proud,” said Barrett.
He gave a shout out to Healy for “giving climate change a big upgrade.”
Gentile said he is filing legislation this week to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would overturn the Citizens’ United decision that allows corporations to act as citizens with few limits on campaign spending.
Newly sworn-in state Rep. Simon Cataldo spoke up for the durability of American democracy. As a Justice Department attorney, Cataldo was on the team that successfully prosecuted Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2017 only to have former President Trump pardon him.
Cataldo said though the pardon was disappointing, the people of Arizona “demanded accountability through the American democratic process” and voted Arpaio out of office.