As we come to the end of this short, but intense, campaign for Representative in the Legislature for West Medford and Arlington, I would like to thank the people of Medford who have received me and my campaign so graciously. I am particular grateful to those Medford residents who have assisted in the effort to bring my background, qualifications, and issues to their fellow voters over the past two months.
I’ve worked to acquaint myself with your issues by going door-to-door, participating in a candidates’ night at the high school, visiting the West Medford Community Center, and attending hearings on the proposed Green Line extension.
I have been a resident of next-door Arlington for 41 years, a Town Meeting member for 38 years, and Moderator of the Town Meeting for 19 years. During that period, I’ve devoted myself to issues such as conservation, open space, historic preservation, civil rights, affordable housing, zoning reform, land use, and good government, not only in Arlington, but in the Boston metropolitan area. In evidence of my interest in humane issues, I’ve been a director of the Animal Rescue League of Boston for 35 years. My commitment to environmental causes over the years has earned me the endorsement of the Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters.
On the personal side, I am married to Patricia B. Worden, and we have five children and seven grandchildren. I’m a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and Harvard Law School. Having been a parent with a family, I know well the financial strains that can occur, and thus, I certainly don’t think that we need to have our taxes increased.
By profession, I’m a lawyer, dealing mainly with wills, trusts, and real estate. Being a lawyer gives me the advantage of knowing how laws are made, interpreted, and carried out. The business of the Legislature is, after all, making laws, and that process is, it seems to me, best carried out by those with professional training in the subject.
The principal issues on which I have focused in this campaign have been the Green Line extension, health care insurance reform, better laws regarding affordable housing, increasing local aid, fixing the MBTA, and facilitating the preservation of open space and historic structures and landscapes.
The Green Line extension, if built, will have a large impact on Medford, and considerable impact on West Medford, even though the most recent information (meeting on February 27 at Century Bank) would seem to indicate that only one, the terminal station, would be physically located within the 23rd District. I stand firmly with those Medford officials who have insisted that there be no takings of private property and no maintenance and storage facility (which will require 12 acres of land) in Medford. I have suggested that the planning people look into electrifying the Lowell Line for the portions that go through Medford, but providing more stations. This would obviate the necessity of rebuilding several bridges that were reconstructed fairly recently, since they wouldn’t have to accommodate four tracks – the two existing, and two new. Furthermore, I think – and have suggested – that at some point the people of Medford ought to have a vote on the subject (as the people of Arlington did on the Red Line extension in 1978).
From the very beginning of this endeavor, I have emphasized that this is a local election – that just as you elect your city councilors and school committee members on a non-partisan basis, your representative in the Legislature should be selected, not on the basis of his political affiliation, but rather on his qualifications and experience. That said, I am the nominee of the Republican Party. I don’t have a problem with being a member of the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan. I don’t have a problem with being a member of the party that first elected an African-American, Ed Brooke, to the United States Senate. I don’t have a problem with being a member of the party that was the first in Massachusetts to elect women to represent us in the United States House of Representatives.
If you think about it, I think you’ll agree that a two-party system is more healthy than a one-party system – would you want to live under the political systems of Cuba, China, or the former Soviet Union? If the Massachusetts House were evenly divided, and the election of one more person would tip the balance, then strong partisan arguments would be understandable – but that’s far from the case, so you have the luxury of voting of the best candidate, even if he’s from a different party, without changing any fundamental balance of power.
For more information on my candidacy, please visit my website, www.worden2008.com, and/or the website of my Democratic supporters, www.democratsforworden.com. When elected, I promise to give the same care and concern for my Medford constituents as I have for my Arlington constituents over the past 40 years. I would very much appreciate your vote on Tuesday, March 4.