To the Editor:
Mark Levine is my choice to represent me and everyone who lives in the 45th district now that Rob Krupicka has chosen not to run for re-election.
I have a natural bias to vote for a lawyer to be a legislator. Lawyers are trained in the law, after all, understand how commas change the entire meaning of a law and carefully crafted clauses may be the difference between providing health care for hundreds of thousands of people, or not.
In Mark's case, I am even more enthusiastic because he graduated Harvard College magna cum laude, he graduated Yale Law School, where they train lawyers in public policy and the Constitution, and he's a Fulbright Scholar who studied law in French in Switzerland.
Yet, had he done all that and been anything less than a dynamic progressive willing to fight for his values, it would not have been enough to win my vote. In fact, Mark confronted injustice at a young age and turned it into progressive change when his sister was murdered and he created and passed legislation in Tennessee to protect her children.
He went on to be a leader in the marriage equality movement and to work as legislative counsel to one of the great progressive legislators and leaders in congressional history, Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank.
Mark ran for Congress and lost. It wasn't close. Some people may have been dejected after that kind of loss but Mark has shown even more energy and commitment to becoming a legislator and helping people. He has won the respect of everyone who has seen him debate. He has an amazing grasp of and ability to articulate the issues.
In addition, due to Mark's success as a lawyer and his job as a progressive talk show host and reliable guest to assert progressive views on local and national outlets, he has the capacity to travel the state and help elect other Democrats, which is critical given we have just 32 Democrats out of 100 in the House right now. Moreover, he's his own boss and doesn't have limitations on his time or any potential conflicts of interest if he needs to take positions that might be awkward for his employer.
While we are fortunate to have a very good group of candidates, there is no question for me who is best prepared, able and dynamic enough to lead the 45th going forward.
Paul A. Friedman