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Tami Gouveia, Candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts

As a part of my Meet the Candidate Series, I sat down and talked with Tami Gouveia, Candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts.

A life-long resident of Massachusetts, a mother, an organizer, a Doctor of Public Health, and a State Representative, Tami is not afraid to stand up to those in power and to protect the health and rights of working people. As the next Lieutenant Governor, Tami will leverage her 25-year career as a public health social worker to amplify the needs of our most vulnerable communities, to rebuild trust in our state government, and to put the health, well-being, and dignity of every single resident at the heart of decision-making.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

  • Tami’s background in Lowell, Mass. (01:08)
  • The challenges Tami faced as a state Representative (03:23)
  • How Tami believes the state of Massachusetts responded to the COVID-19 pandemic (06:27)
  • Tami’s background in Public Health (09:02)
  • Tami’s stance on the Worker and Family Mobility Act (12:39)
  • Tami’s thoughts on the Fair Share Amendment, aka The Millionaire’s Tax (13:57)
  • Tami’s experience recently becoming engaged to a Police Office (14:53)
  • Closing Statement (17:15)

Connect with Tami Gouveia

For more information on all things Jimmy Tingle

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. My guest today is Tammy govia. She is a state rep representing the fourth Middlesex district of Massachusetts, the towns of Concord, Carlisle, Acton, and Chelmsford. She’s now running for lieutenant governor. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the show, the one and only Tammy govia. Hello, Tammy. How are you?

Tami Gouveia 1:05
Hi, Jimmy, and so glad to be here with you today.

Jimmy Tingle 1:08
Great to see you. Thanks so much for joining us force. So Tammy, the reason we’re doing this show is to give the people in Massachusetts, or my followers and my listeners some information about people who are running for office in Massachusetts, and we’re trying to give the candidates a platform, so they can introduce themselves to potential voters here in the state. So Tammy, please give us a little background about yourself.

Tami Gouveia 1:31
Yeah, and again, thank you so much for providing this platform for us. And for all the candidates that are running statewide. It’s truly an honor to be here with you and to see you again, Jimmy. So really briefly, I grew up in the city of Lowell. And I was so lucky because my grandfather was in the carpenters union. And that put my family on solid economic footing. That definitely wasn’t the case for so many of my neighbors and friends and classmates. And I know that’s not the case for so many folks all across the Commonwealth who have really suffered the indignities of intergenerational poverty and an eroding social safety net, and structural racism. And so I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be of service to give back to my community. So I’ve been a social worker for 25 years. Along the way, I became a single mom to my kids who are now 20 and 17 years old. And I have really, as a state representative for the 14 Middlesex have drawn on my experiences as a social worker, as a person in public health. And also as a single parent. In the midst of the pandemic, I finished my doctorate in public health, so have really been drawing on that experience to address climate crisis to address our transportation system to address housing and mental health and substance use disorder. And so I’m running for lieutenant governor because I believe there’s tremendous opportunity for someone like me to be a different type of Lieutenant Governor, really leveraging my personal and professional background, to put the health and the well being and the dignity of every single resident, in our Commonwealth at the heart of the ways that we are making decisions, so that we can make those critical investments to support our working families and residents across the state.

Jimmy Tingle 3:23
And so as a state rep, you’ve been obviously, in the trenches representing the towns of Concord, Carlisle, Acton, and Chelmsford. Tell me some of the challenges that you’ve had as a state rep there, and how that would lend itself to the role of Lieutenant Governor.

Tami Gouveia 3:40
Yeah, I mean, so I served one year, and then in my second year of service, the global pandemic hit. So really, that was a big highlight big challenge, and also addressing racial injustice, you know, the police reform bill that we took up and addressing issues around the climate crisis. So I would say my tenure in the legislature has really been defined in many ways by some of these really big, complex structural issues around the climate crisis. So I got legislation passed to address buildings as a source of greenhouse gas emissions, and also pass legislation to move towards making the investments in our transportation system to make it greener and cleaner and more accessible and more affordable to our working folks and to our students and to our employers all across the state when it comes to, you know, police reform and racial justice. We’ve had in the past that really important first step, the police reform bill, there’s a lot more that needs to be done to address systemic and institutional racism in our state. And as lieutenant governor, that is something that I can pick up the baton around, you know, sitting on the governor’s Council, which folks may not realize, but, you know, the governor’s council is an important function and plays an important function in our state. It’s the body that makes the final determination for the folks who get appointed to our, to the bench and who get appointed to the parole board. So as lieutenant governor, I’ll leverage my background as a social worker, to really look at making those appointments of folks who understand childhood trauma and the role that it plays in the criminal legal system. Taking a look at structural and implicit and structural racism and implicit bias and intergenerational poverty. Again, those also contribute to folks getting involved in the criminal legal system. And I firmly believe that, you know, folks, if we’re serious about addressing racial injustice in our state, and the over incarceration of black and brown folks and immigrant folks in our commonwealth, then we have to move forward and pull out all the stops around racial justice and opportunities to address the pitfalls of our criminal legal system. So those are some of the things that, you know, I’ve taken a look at as a state representative as a social worker throughout my career, and things that I’ll bring to the corner office and really to serve as a different type of Lieutenant Governor than what we’ve seen of, of late.

Jimmy Tingle 6:27
Well, Timmy, how do you think that the state, generally speaking, how do you think we responded to the pandemic in Massachusetts?

Tami Gouveia 6:36
Yeah, so I would say that the people of the Commonwealth really stepped up I know, of so many mutual aid groups that began and you know, millions and millions of pounds of food and other resources that were distributed through volunteer organizations and people just stepping up. And then, of course, you know, people in our Commonwealth really stepping into, you know, accessing the vaccine vaccine and the boosters and taking the precautions and taking the mask mandates and the other recommendations of the CDC and of public health experts really seriously. But when it comes to state leadership, particularly out of the current administration, I think there are a lot of systemic failures. And we really suffered the consequences of a privatized response to a public health crisis, you know, forcing folks to scramble to get access to a vaccine not providing adequate and timely and culturally appropriate information to folks, and also forcing folks to scramble to, you know, head to their local pharmacy to get access to rapid tests. That’s why I filed legislation, you know, well, over a year ago, started working on rapid testing legislation and 2020. Because I saw that that would be a way for us to move forward, have some semblance of normal normalcy and reopening our schools and our economy, but doing so that in a way that is safe. So the legislation I filed would called on supplying free rapid tests to folks throughout the Commonwealth, so people didn’t have to shell out money, $30 and scramble to go to, you know, local pharmacies to only find that the store shelves were empty. So there’s so much more we could have and should have been doing as as a state that is as rich and resources and that has the, you know, wealth of knowledge here and all of our institutions of higher learning and the experts that we have here in our healthcare system and in our public health system. So, you know, that’s why one of the big reasons why I got into this race is because of the failed response to the public health crisis. And really, I believe we need a big focus on health and well being and dignity and our decision making out of the corner office.

Jimmy Tingle 9:02
Tammy, you I think we’re, I think may have been the first person to declare your candidacy for lieutenant governor, when the current governor, Governor Baker was still undecided about whether or not he would run. And that was a courageous choice, because nobody else was in the race. And I know your background is in public health. And what is the difference between public health? How do you define that compared to healthcare because people often think it’s the same thing?

Tami Gouveia 9:30
Oh, I love this question. Thank you for asking. And yes, I was the first to get in this race I declared in June of 2021. So really have been crisscrossing the state for over a year and really learning and hearing the issues that folks are facing in our Commonwealth. And that really leads right into the second question that you asked, excuse me around. What’s the difference between health care and public health? And really, public health is looking at the population as a whole All, public health experts and officials are trained in identifying the root causes of what’s driving the problems that we’re facing. I firmly believe that every single policy that we pass, and every program that is implemented that comes out of state government and local government impacts our health and our well being, whether you’re talking about jobs, or you’re talking about transportation, or climate change, or education, they all have an effect on our public on our health. And so as lieutenant governor, I’ll be able to draw on my expertise, as a Doctor of Public Health to get at the root causes. And then I can leverage my background as a social worker, to bring together people with diverse perspectives with lived experience, so that when we’re making decisions about where to spend our dollars, and make investments that we are hitting at what’s really driving the problems that we see, you know, one of the big issues, of course, is the housing crisis. And a lot of folks in this race are really focused on building more housing. But I contend that we cannot build our way out of the housing crisis, there’s a lot of other factors that are contributing to the higher the rising costs of rental property, and as well as you know, homes for purchase, that are locking young families out of being able to buy a home that are keeping seniors, you know, locked into houses that when they want to downsize, and that’s really impacting, you know, students and young professionals who are, you know, scrambling to find a place where they can rent, a lot of that’s driven not just by the lack of supply, but also some of the other measures that we have in place where a lot of housing is being bought as investment property, sometimes by people who not only don’t live in the state, but don’t even necessarily live in the country. And that’s really having also a ripple effect on on the housing crisis. There’s a lot of other dynamics and factors that are at play. And as an expert in public health, I can get to those root causes, bring people together, and really start to look at the issues that are driving that they’re driving climate crisis that’s driving our mental health care crisis. And that’s also driving our child care crisis. We need to make investments in people in our state in order to get things back on track. And if we don’t make those investments in our people like mental health and child care, then we risk losing a whole generation of folks, because we won’t really be able to get and keep things back on track the way that we have been able to in the past and

Jimmy Tingle 12:39
in the Commonwealth. And tell me, there was a couple of bills recently passed at the Statehouse. The governor vetoed one of them, but it was overwritten the driver license bill, but undocumented, what is the technical name of that

Tami Gouveia 12:53
bill on the worker and family mobility act? Okay.

Jimmy Tingle 12:57
It allows people who are not technically citizens to obtain driver’s license, how did you vote on that? And why?

Tami Gouveia 13:04
Yeah, I’ve been a strong advocate of the family and mobility act, it’s something that’s really important, you know, immigrants, both documented and undocumented, contribute billions to our state’s economy. They’re the folks who are working in our nursing homes in our in our homes that are serving folks with disabilities. They’re, you know, taking their kids to work to school, they’re driving themselves to work, going to doctor’s appointments and recreational activities. So this this bill, this act that the governor did, veto, and we did, I did by vote to override the veto. We’ll make sure that every life every driver in our state is trained is licensed and also is insured in our state. So that’s why I supported passing the worker family mobility act.

Jimmy Tingle 13:57
And tell me about the fair share amendment. Where do you stand on that also known as the millionaire’s tax?

Tami Gouveia 14:03
Yeah, absolutely, fully support the fair share amendment. Even before I was elected into office, I was out there canvassing and collecting signatures to get the question on on the ballot a number of years ago was really proud in both conventions in the legislature to vote to support the fair share. And it’s simply because, you know, we have some folks in our states who are not only millionaires, but we have 24 billionaires who earn $26 billion over the last two years, but we want to make the investments that are critical to keeping our economy on track keeping people being able to get to work and get to school and get to their doctor’s appointments. So that’s why I support the fair share amendment. And I look forward to continuing to advocate for it for its passage at the ballot box this November.

Jimmy Tingle 14:53
To me on a personal note, did you recently get married or get engaged?

Tami Gouveia 14:57
I got engaged last year yeah. Thanks. Right? Yeah. And

Jimmy Tingle 15:01
we’ve we talked once off off camera and we were just talking about your your fiance is a police officer, is that correct? That’s correct. He is. And we were talking about a little bit about, you know, the challenges of being a police officer in this climate briefly. Just comment on that, if you could.

Tami Gouveia 15:18
Yeah, I mean, it is, it is a tough job. You know, when when you talk to folks all across the Commonwealth, including, you know, our families of color, and residents of color, a lot of them are not pushing for defund the police, what they are really calling for is for there to be an understanding that communities of color are over police, that our communities of color, families of color, residents of color, are over incarcerated. And that speaks to the things that I talked about at the top of this segment, you know, really a need to have a greater understanding of the role that systemic racism and implicit bias play in the criminal legal system. And, you know, we have to have a larger conversation about, you know, folks who who call the police, for, you know, someone just walking down the street and picking up trash. And they get the police called on them, because they’re a Latin person, and they look like they don’t necessarily belong in their community. So we have to have this larger conversation about everybody has the right to belong in our state, everyone has the right to belong in their communities, whether they’re low income, or they’re a person of color, and there are people who are unfortunately, having the police called on them on a very regular basis, by you know, white and middle and upper class folks. And it’s, it’s not fair. You know, my fiance just said to me the other day that, you know, it’s not a crime to be poor, it’s not a crime to be a person of color. And people are calling the police on folks every single day, and he sees it and it puts our police in harm’s way puts our police in a position where they’re having to respond to things that no one is committing any sort of crime. And like I already said, you know, people have the right to belong in our communities and to feel like they belong and to know that they belong.

Jimmy Tingle 17:15
Well, Tammy, thank you for joining us today. And please give us a one minute closing statement. And don’t forget to mention where people can go to make a donation or to volunteer or to get involved or to learn more about your campaign, please. Well, thank

Tami Gouveia 17:31
you again, Jimmy to you. And thanks, folks, for listening here. I’m Tammy go. They are running for lieutenant governor. And I’m running to be a different type of Lieutenant Governor than what we’ve seen recently, you know, really, I can get in there. From day one, roll up my sleeves, start to address the issues that we’re facing with the mental health crisis, address the issues that we’re facing with the child care crisis. And with housing crisis. I have a track record of passing legislation to address these issues, as well as the climate climate crisis that is already upon us and making sure that we are putting racial and economic justice at the heart of decision making and at the heart of the ways that we are solving our state’s most complex problems. So do hope to earn your support in this you can find out more at Tammy go TAMIGOUBEI Thank you so much.

Jimmy Tingle 18:25
Thank you so much, Tammy September 6 as the primary it’s very important to me. Thanks a million for joining us today. I will see you on the campaign trail.

Tami Gouveia 18:34
Absolutely. Thank you so much, Jimmy, really appreciate it. My pleasure.

Jimmy Tingle 18:39
Thank you for joining us today. This has been a humor for humanity production. Our mission is your mission humor for humanity at Jimmy Thank you

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