Arlington School Enrollment Parent Group Questionnaire 
June 2017

“Good public schools will always shine like a beacon, calling others to their communities in search of educational opportunity for children and youth. Local and state government, with the federal government as a critical third partner, share a responsibility to adequately fund our public education system. That’s not happening in the Commonwealth and the federal government is threatening to renege on its responsibility…” Read questionnaire

Progressive Massachusetts Releases Fourth Middlesex Endorsement Questionnaire 
May 2017

Mary Ann Stewart: I’m running because I believe state government needs leadership that listens and is responsive to the people who elected them. If elected, my top 3 priorities will be: 1). Climate change and jobs for the green economy because it’s time for a reasonable energy policy that supports technological innovation that creates green energy jobs and protects the environment. 2). Revenue and addressing growing inequality because we need solutions to increase revenue and shift the tax burden to make it more equitable, and update the funding formula for public education. 3) Paid family and medical leave because no one should have to choose between their job and caring for a loved one…” Read questionnaire

Editorial: Government needs more women
May 19, 2017

“Since the Massachusetts Legislature was created, 20,000 men have served compared to 196 women. Today just 26 percent of the state’s lawmakers are women….” Read article

Massachusetts voters ready for major changes to state criminal justice system In MassINC, May 11, 2017

“Massachusetts voters are the ones ready to break new ground, calling for major shifts in the state’s criminal justice system. Most would like the system to emphasize prevention and rehabilitation…” Read article

Opioids: Despite progress in Massachusetts, crisis continues to take lives and hurt families. By Mary Ann Stewart

“Across the country, opioid addiction is now taking more young lives than the HIV epidemic did at its peak. Nearly 2 million people in the United States suffer from an addiction to prescription opioids, and about 17,000 people die each year from overdosing on these medications. Massachusetts is one of the hardest hit states…” Read article

Announcing Candidacy for 4th Middlesex Senate

I’m running to represent you in the State Senate because now, more than ever, your voice matters.

I enthusiastically announce my candidacy for the special election to fill Senator Ken Donnelly’s seat because I want to provide responsive representation to the residents of the communities across this district.

Senator Ken Donnelly was good and kind. His experience and skill as a legislator were matched by his passion and dedication as a public servant who worked tirelessly on behalf of the People of the 4th Middlesex District and beyond. His legacy lives forever in our hearts and in the countless lives he changed. I look forward to helping sustain that legacy.

Today, all of us want to be more engaged. But it is often difficult to understand how the system can work for us. It can be challenging to navigate a complicated, entrenched structure, whether we’re seeking access to health care or educational opportunities for our children. All too often, it’s even hard to reach the point where conversations can begin.

We need leaders in state government who have come up through the ranks and who know what it means to truly represent constituents—at the level of your elementary school or Town Meeting, where elected officials are directly accountable to their neighbors. This is where genuine change can happen as I have seen firsthand. I have heard and understood the needs and hopes of families, from high achievers to those who struggle to get attention for students with special needs. And I led our schools as they coped with — and recovered from — the worst financial crisis many of us have seen.

Given the polarization and gridlock of politics at the national level, better representation at the local level is more essential than ever. Now is the time to demand that the system work for all of us, the way government should, with a hands-on, open-minded approach. That’s why I’m in this race.

As I have been gathering signatures in the five communities across the district, people have shared their personal, moving stories:

  • Pete is still feeling the pain of the recession.
  • Susan wants me to know that even after transition planning there are gaps in community employment for her adult son with special needs.
  • Charlotte talks with pride of her love for the diverse community she has embraced.

Their concerns and dreams are mine, too. I look forward to a campaign that focuses on the critical issues we face in the district and across the Commonwealth. These include the:

  • necessity of generating new revenue;
  • need for paid family and medical leave for modern families and workers;
  • urgency of policies that address and reverse climate change and secure a clean energy future;
  • assurance of protected access to reproductive rights, mental health services, and health care—and greater affordability for these vital services; and
  • the importance of stronger schools, safer communities, improved transportation infrastructure, and a permanent safety net for the most vulnerable among us.

Public Service

Over the course of my career in public service, I have sought and served in progressively higher leadership positions that allowed me to represent parents and members of my community in ever-wider circles.

After being elected to my children’s elementary school Site Council, I served as local PTA co-president and went on to become president of the Massachusetts PTA. I have served my Town of Lexington in Town Meeting and was twice elected to the School Committee, including a term as Chair.

In my current position as Parent Representative on the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, I advocate on behalf of parents across the Commonwealth. I am a champion of policies that ensure our public schools maintain their commitment to excellence while meeting the increasingly diverse needs of local families. I’m proud to have sent our three children to public schools.

I have led the battle for adequate financing for transportation and public schools as an original signer of the Fair Share Amendment petition, an important measure that is moving toward final passage.

Additionally, I worked as Director of Education and Programs for children, youth, and families at a small church in Newton for ten years and currently teach at Middlesex Community College.

My core values are clearly demonstrated through my record, and I will continue to stand up for those values in the Senate by working steadfastly to improve people’s lives. I’m approaching this campaign with a sense of optimism, purpose, and direction. I look forward to regular and ongoing opportunities to hear from you. After all, if I am elected, I will be working for you, and my primary responsibility will be to ensure that your voice and your values are represented on Beacon Hill.

The Special Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, June 27 for the 4th Middlesex District (Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Woburn, and Lexington, precincts 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7).

It would be an honor to serve as this District’s State Senator and I humbly ask for your consideration.

Thanks!

Mary Ann Stewart

For Board of Education Updates...

Campaign Press

June 7, 2017:

ACMI
Arlington Community Media Interview with Mary Ann Stewart for 2017 Special Election


24:40  – “Strengths I bring: Creativity, thoughtful consideration of all sides, responsible budget oversight, statewide work on the issues.”

June 7, 2017:

ACMI
Special State Senate Election Democratic Committee Debate 2017

Arlington Community Media, Inc. (ACMI) released the video of the june 5th candidate debate at the 4th Middlesex District State Senate Candidates Forum.

Watch the Video: Click here.

May 23, 2017:

Your Arlington
Mary Ann Stewart: Working at grassroots for a fair share

Shoe-leather activist on local, state and national level, says “I am proud of the key role I played as one of the original 10 signers of the Fair Share Amendment petition.”

“Rebuilding our crumbling transportation infrastructure and providing quality public schools, from pre-K through college, will strengthen our economy and help all working families. The Fair Share Amendment is our chance of a generation to make these investments, and to make our economy work for everyone.” Read article.

April 28, 2017:

Wicked Local Lexington
Lexington education board member joins race for Donnelly’s seat

Mary Ann Stewart, Parent Representative on MA Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, announces candidacy for 4th Middlesex senate seat. Stewart will be available to the average voter. Read article.

April 10, 2017:

CommonWealth
Millionaire’s Tax is Fair

Mary Ann Stewart”s opinion article on the Fair Share Amendment, a citizen’s tax initiative proposed for 2018 ballot. Read article.

February 2016:

Massachusetts Teachers Association
Despite strong opposition, BESE authorizes two new charter schools

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) approves one charter school for both Springfield and Brockton. Read article.