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As a part of my Meet the Candidate Series, I sat down and talked with Maura Healey, Candidate for Governor of Massachusetts.
Maura Healey is running for Governor to bring people together and build an economy that helps every family thrive.
She was elected the first openly gay Attorney General in the country in 2014. As the People’s Lawyer, she has protected student borrowers and homeowners from predatory lenders, sued Exxon Mobil for lying about climate change, and held Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family accountable for their role in fueling the opioid epidemic.
Maura has led with a focus on engaging the communities she serves and centering equity in every aspect of her office’s work. Prior to her election as AG, she was a civil rights lawyer who led the first state challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act and stood up to the banks that took advantage of Massachusetts homeowners during the mortgage crisis.
She’s the oldest of five children raised by their mother, a school nurse, in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, and she played basketball professionally in Austria after graduating from Harvard.
Topics discussed in this episode include:
- Maura’s Background (01:10)
- Maura’s thoughts on current Governor Charlie Baker (03:36)
- Maura’s Agenda for Massachusetts (06:59)
- Student Debt Reduction (10:56)
- The Fair Share Amendment, AKA the Millionaire’s Tax (13:47)
- Driver’s Licenses for the Undocumented (15:19)
- Closing Statement and Maura’s proudest accomplishments (16:34)
Connect with Maura Healey
- Facebook – Maura Healey
- YouTube – Maura Healey
- Instagram – @Maura_Healey
- Twitter – @Maura_Healey
- TikTok – @Maura.Healey
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Transcript – Please note, this Transcript is AI Generated. It has not had the discerning ears of a real human to edit it, as such, there are bound to be a few errors
Jimmy Tingle 0:00
Hello, everybody, welcome to the Jimmy tingle show. I am Jimmy and I want to introduce you to a new segment of our show the Meet the candidate series. It is intended to give candidates running for public office, a platform in a voice so voters know who is running for office, why they’re running and what they hope to accomplish if they are so fortunate to be elected. So please feel free to share these interviews with your family and friends and citizens around this fine land because an educated and informed population is essential for a healthy democracy. And isn’t that what we all really want a healthy democracy? Enjoy the interviews stay healthy. My name is Jimmy tingle, and I approve this message. Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the Meet the Candidates series. We have a very special guest today. Please welcome to the show. The current Attorney General of Massachusetts and now running for governor of the fine state of Massachusetts as a Democrat, the one the only Attorney General. Maura Healey Hello, Maura, welcome to the show.
Maura Healey 1:07
Hello, Jimmy. It’s great to see you. Great to be with you.
Jimmy Tingle 1:10
Great to see you as well. I know you’ve been working hard crisscrossing the state. I was on your website. Looking at your background. You’re one of five children, I think from a single mother. Did you ever think you would be running for governor of Massachusetts? And what got you into the political fray, so to speak, what got you into public service?
Maura Healey 1:29
Yeah, you know, it’s a little bit about my background. Jimmy, my parents are from new report up in the north shore. And I grew up by Hampton Beach, I was raised just over the border in New Hampshire. I am the oldest of five. My parents divorced when I was about 10. And my mom then raised us and, you know, she went back to work as a school nurse. She was a nurse before that. And I know she worked incredibly hard to keep things together. All of us kids worked. I started out probably the apple orchard working now when I was about 10, and camp counselor and in a variety of jobs, I waitress my way through high school, college and law school, including for many years at the Hampton Beach casino ballroom where, you know, probably performed it’s learned a lot about life there probably more than I learned at Harvard. And, you know, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer I after after college, I had a brief career, I played professional basketball for a couple of years in Europe. And I I came back and went to law school at Northeastern and began a legal career. I think I was drawn towards service though from my my legal experience. And and, you know, that led me to run the Civil Rights Division for the attorney general’s office years later, it’s what led me to, to run to be the People’s Lawyer. Because when you’re in these jobs, when you’re in public interest work, when you’re in public service, you do have an ability to help people. And that’s been incredibly satisfying. I’ve been privileged to be attorney general, for the last seven years built a great team of 500 really hard working men and women who are trying to deliver for people around the state, day in and day out. And I’m running for governor, because I believe that these are really challenging times. There are a lot of a lot of challenges. We face up there. But they’re also opportunities. Jimmy and we can be and do so much more here in this great state in a time when our our nation needs it. We need leadership, we need leadership from the States. And there’s no better state to lead from or lead by example, from the Massachusetts.
Jimmy Tingle 3:36
Right. Well, tell me, I know, you’re following Charlie Baker, and he had a big approval rating among Democrats. And I think more among Democrats than Republicans in our state. First of all, how do you think he did? And what would you like to do differently?
Maura Healey 3:50
Well, Governor Baker and I have had from day one, a great working relationship. And we’ve worked on a number of issues, probably most in intensively the opioid crisis. I mean, we were right together, fighting manufacturers and distributors trying to get relief for families across the state. And he made that a top priority. I made that a top priority. We work together, it shows what’s possible when people are willing to work together. And I think that’s what we’ve modeled for the state. I’m a Democrat, he’s Republican. We work extremely well together. And I think about, you know, his leadership, I really appreciate that. He was somebody and as somebody who really wants to study the issue, and and, you know, I know COVID was incredibly difficult and challenging in terms of some of the decisions he had to make. But I know that every day he was was bringing a commitment to try to help as many people as possible and see our way through that. I think as we look ahead, there are real challenges for the next governor. We’ve got inflation, we’ve got high cost of living in our state right now. People are priced out of housing, whether it’s rents or or mortgage payments, some people can’t even afford to downsize because they can’t afford to buy buy another home. Transportation. I mean, you know, we’ve got a tea, it’s outrageous, it’s on fire, it’s derailing every other day, every other week, something’s happening. That’s got to be fixed. Because we can’t have a functioning economy without a function, a public transit system. We’ve got to invest in workforce development and job training, invest in childcare. There’s so much we need to do. But you know, for me, gymea come back to a great the state is, you know, we’ve got the greatest collection of human capital, intellectual capital, research innovation, know how you have a history of going first, whether it was on universal health care or marriage equality. We’ve got to we’ve got to really draw upon that. And I mentioned, you know, those basketball player, I was a point guard, and point guards, they like to have the ball in their hands. But the real job of the point guard is to get people working together and get every teammate playing well with one another. And the greatest statistic for a point guard is not how many points you score, it’s actually the assists, right? And so I think about that, and governance, it’s how I’ve tried to lead as attorney general. And it’s how I would lead as governor. I don’t
Jimmy Tingle 6:13
want to brag Marva, but I played point guard as well. Cambridge, Latin Cambridge, Latin 1973, suburban league co champs,
Maura Healey 6:22
that is something to brag about. That’s some serious, serious ball.
Jimmy Tingle 6:25
Oh, yeah, it was division one high school. But anyway, you’re right. It’s about assists. It’s about team playing Bill Russell just passed, great team player, great team player. That’s what he’s known for his rebounds his team plane. And that’s what we hope to get from any of our elected officials. A person who can work across the aisle, and a person that can share the spotlight with the, you know, the their team as well. And I know we’re going to be getting a lot of money from the infrastructure bill. I know there’s going to be hopefully more money in the conference here in Massachusetts. So what would your agenda be to bring Massachusetts up up a few notches?
Maura Healey 7:05
Well, the first thing we’ve got to do is provide some relief to people, I want to see the legislature act now and pass some tax relief, people need money back in their pockets, because gas, groceries, you name it, it’s all too high right now. Number two, we need to make the investments using the money that you speak up, we need to invest in housing, what am I talking about building new housing, you know, the way through this housing crisis and crunch is to create more housing, not just at the lowest income level, but for the middle classes as well. We just don’t have enough housing. And I worry Jimmy about Massachusetts losing its competitive advantage, I don’t want to see companies leave Massachusetts, I don’t want to see people leave Massachusetts. But a reason they might is because our housing costs are too high. So that’s the first thing let’s invest in more housing. Second thing is transportation. As I said, we cannot have a functioning economy. If we don’t make the investments in public transit, our rails, the T, commuter rail, buses, or regional transit authorities, we’ve got a lot of money coming in, that can be used to fund a variety of projects, west east ramp on the northern tier, which will help western part of the state, we’ve also got north south, we’ve got a lot of possibility. There, we’ve got needed infrastructure, let’s not forget our roads and bridges. All of this has got to be deployed. And as somebody who is really aggressive about combating the climate crisis, and I’ve said I want to be the most aggressive governor in the country, when it comes to that, we’re only going to get people out of their cars, if they feel like they can get on a tee, without it blowing up catching on fire, by the way, running on time, and running at times. That makes sense. You know, you think about our theatres, in our concerts and our venues, you know, and you think about the people going to those shows or events, you think about the people working those shows or events, we need to have transit that runs at a time that makes sense for people to actually be able to take advantage of them. And, you know, I think that’s really important. The the two other things I mentioned workforce development and jobs, we’ve got a tremendous opportunity here in the state to grow jobs, great paying jobs, green jobs, blue jobs, we’ve got an opportunity to invest and create a whole climate corridor just like we did with Life Sciences. All the innovation that’s going to power us away from fossil fuels is being developed right here in Boston and in Cambridge. And we’ve got an opportunity to really use that as a huge economic engine. We’ve got other stuff going on in the state that people probably don’t even know about. AI, robotics, digital economy. There’s all sorts of ways that for us to create jobs, but we’re not going to get there unless we make sure that our community colleges or vocational and technical schools and career Institute’s are lining up and training students with the skills that they need to meet the jobs. that are available now today and our great state. Final thing Gmail say is mental health. I’m not afraid to talk about this as an issue. It’s something that I’ve talked about for a long time. Right now we’ve got a mental health crisis in our state, we don’t have enough mental health providers, it is too hard for families to find access to care whether it’s for anxiety, depression, substance use disorder. So we in our state have to train up all army of mental health providers who can get in our schools, who can get in our police department, who can get in our hospitals who can get out and about and be available to help families today, because, you know, I don’t know about you, but people’s mental health, it’s just gotten worse through COVID. Right, people have really suffered. And, you know, in the same way, we got to make up for the deficits that kids experienced in school, we’ve got to make up for the real glaring issues we have with our mental health system right now.
Jimmy Tingle 10:56
That’s a pretty ambitious agenda. I was on the website. And one of the things that struck me was student debt reduction. I know that you’re very big on that. I mean, when you went to Harvard, I assume it was was that a basketball scholarship?
Maura Healey 11:10
Well, I got a lot of financial aid, the Ivy League doesn’t give scholarships. Very generous financial aid package. So I was able to do it, right. No, but
Jimmy Tingle 11:19
you were able to play sports, and also study and also be inspired. Yes, student debt is hugely important. But also you talked about the trades, and also about the technical schools speak to that a little bit. How can we take that to another level for all the kids in the state that college isn’t right for them, but we have all this work that has to be done of a technical nature, whether it’s plumbing, roofing, you know, electric, electricians, if we’re going electric, we’re going to lead electricians right.
Maura Healey 11:51
Well, and so much more. I mean, I’m looking at life sciences right now, people to work in the labs. I mean, it is it is so needed. And you know, I am a huge fan of our vocational technical schools. Huge fan, and we need to invest even more right now, Jimmy, these schools are oversubscribed, there are students on weightless, right? Just trying to get in, because they know, they know they can go and get a great education, get on the job training as well, and be ready to be employed and out there in a matter of years with a job and with an education, that is not going to leave them with debt. I mean, if you’re going to in your right, I mean, for some a four year liberal arts education or four year colleges is the ticket is what they want to pursue. That’s great. But for many young people in our state, that’s not the route, right. And it’s also not the need, because if you talk to employers, as I do, around the state, across industries, so many of these jobs that need to be filled today do not require a four year college education. They require specified training. And some of that can happen through vocational technical schools, which needs support also Jimmy community colleges. And I think it’s outrageous that in a state where the We Are the state that had the first public school in the country, we had the first public library in the country, every kid here should be getting a quality education and education that sets them up for success. And that’s why I am a huge fan of our vocational technical schools. As I say, I think more and more people are getting this. And that’s why that’s why there are waiting lists. But I don’t want anyone out there who wants to go and pursue that kind of education, to not be able to get it because there’s not room we’ve got to we’ve got to invest in those
Jimmy Tingle 13:46
institutions. Tell me your feelings on the millionaire’s tax,
Maura Healey 13:51
I support the fair share member I support the fair share amendment as a way to bring revenue in and make the investments that I talked about when we talk about transportation, infrastructure and housing education. That’s important
Jimmy Tingle 14:05
to me. Are you of the opinion that there may be surprisingly more millionaires that have see it as you do. And as many many people in the state do that they’ve benefited from the state, they want better transportation, they want a better educated workforce that is going to help them is going to help their companies and help the state overall and they would not be so opposed to the fair share amendment. Is that your hope?
Maura Healey 14:31
That is absolutely my hope because you know, we’re all going to do better if we have a quality public transit system if we have quality schools, right. If we have housing available, you know, to meet the needs. This is how our state stays competitive remains competitive. It’s also the case that we do need to make some adjustments in our tax system. Right. It’s why I supported with the governor put forward when he called for changing the estate tax when he called for lowering taxes for low income individuals and and seniors on I’m and for helping out, provide tax relief to renters and the like. So, you know, we are capable Jimmy of doing a few things at once. Right? When it comes to the revenue picture and the investments that we need to make. And we’ve got to do it, the times required there is, you know, there’s such urgency, we gotta make it happen. Right.
Jimmy Tingle 15:19
And tell me about the driver’s licenses for the undocumented. Do you think that’s a good move? Do you think that’s going to help the state in the long run, and in the short run slowly,
Maura Healey 15:28
you know, Jimmy, I remember, I was a prosecutor in Somerville district court and doing cases where you prosecute somebody for being an uninsured motorist, right. And basically, these are people who are undocumented, who, you know, got into an accident, or were hit and didn’t have insurance. Why? Because they don’t have driver’s licenses. And, you know, as a matter of public safety, that’s why I, as attorney general support this, because with driver’s license, you have somebody actually getting the training, so that they’re going to be out on the road safely. And they’re gonna have access to insurance, which benefits all of us. So it’s a matter of public safety. And the fact of the matter is, Jimmy, people are going to drive with or without a license, they’re going to need to get to school to take care of an aging parent to get a kid somewhere to go to their job to go to the grocery store to go to the doctor’s right. So, you know, don’t you want people to be properly licensed? And, you know, there’s a way to do that. That is by the law that prevents fraud. And, you know, that’s all that’s all possible. And so that’s, that’s why I supported it. And that’s why I stood with many public safety officials supporting
Jimmy Tingle 16:40
right. Tell me why. Mara, some of your proudest accomplishment and then a closing statement of where people can find you where they might want to volunteer or make a donation. Some of the proudest accomplishments of Maura Healey as attorney
Maura Healey 16:53
general, I’m really proud of the office that I ran, and the people that worked with me in that office brought it every day trying to help consumers and workers and seniors and protect our young people and who weren’t afraid to go after those who were violating their civil rights were polluting our environment. These people working really hard. I’m really proud of that, Jimmy, that we ran an office, very successful, about 500 people $60 million a year budget over the last seven years, I have brought back or saved the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, close to $7 billion in believe that. So I think the return on investment from our office has been pretty good. I will also say that I’m particularly proud of our work going after Purdue pharma and the Sacklers, shut them down. We drove them out of business. We investigated, we expose the lies, and we held them accountable. And we’re using all of that money and the money that we got from going after other opioid manufacturers and distributors, Kinsey and like to fund prevention and recovery services, close to half a billion dollars that my team and I brought back to the state. That’s what it’s going to be going to. I’m also proud that we were there in the Trump years when a lot of things were threatened. Trump threatened to take away health care, he threatened to take away DACA and the dreamers program, he imposed a ban on travel that really hurt so many of our colleges and universities. He tried to take back, take us backwards on on the environmental regulations that have been put in place to deal with with climate change. I could go after time and time again. But we held the line. And as EGS we held the line and we stood up for the rule of law, we stood up for protecting the Constitution. And we stood up to show that no one even the president, the United States is above the law. And I’m proud that I was able to do that during that time. If if folks want I welcome support in this race, I welcome I welcome teammates and people coming on board you can find us at Maura healey.com. It’s H E A L E y, remember, and you can sign up we’re looking for volunteers, people, Canvas people and knock doors. People get involved. It’s it’s all about teamwork. And we’re building a really big tent here. So I hope I hope to see people headquarters is in Charlestown, but we’ve got regional field offices around the state. So love to get folks involved.
Jimmy Tingle 19:20
Maura healey.com. Everybody. Thanks, Maura. Best of luck, continued success. And thanks again for doing this and being part of the Meet the Candidates series.
Maura Healey 19:29
Thanks, Jamie. Always great to be with you. Take good care.
Jimmy Tingle 19:34
Thank you for joining us today. This has been a humor for humanity production. Our mission is your mission humor for humanity at JimmyTingle.com Thank you