Candidate for Governor Stops by Lawrence Restaurant to Address Vital Issues in Massachusetts

Candidate Jay Gonzalez speaking with reporter Dalia Díaz of RUMBO News (left) and Lawrence School Committee Member Emmanuel Castañeda.

LAWRENCE — Democratic candidate for Governor of Massachusetts Jay Gonzalez stopped by El Taller Restaurant on Essex Street in Lawrence, MA, to answer questions on a variety of topics ranging from early education and childcare to mental health and the opioid crisis ravaging New England.

The candidate’s announcement to run against the Republican incumbent, Charlie Baker, has caused many Bay Staters to pay close attention to the administrative experience Mr. Gonzalez possesses.

As the former Secretary of Administration and Finance under former governor Deval Patrick (D-Mass.), Gonzalez managed the state’s budget during the Great Recession with success, but a lot of opposition came his way as large amounts of cuts were made with Gonzalez at the helm of the state’s economy.

Mr. Gonzalez’s commitment to public service left him with the enticing option to step out of the behind-the-scenes aspect of Massachusetts politics and advocate for the needs of the state and its constituents. By diving in head-first into the pool of Bay Staters waiting for Gonzalez to deliver the goods, he’s willing to take on the challenges facing the Commonwealth.

Democratic Candidate Gonzalez answering questions at El Taller in Lawrence early Friday evening.

On marijuana — referring to Question 4 from last November’s election — Mr. Gonzalez said he happily conceded to the will of the voters and looks forward to enforcing a regulated marijuana market in the state.

Question 4 won with a plurality of 53.6%.

“I respect the will of the voters. However, I look forward to informing myself a lot more on the current state of the marijuana industry in the state,” said the candidate.

On early education and childcare, Mr. Gonzalez’s website provides statistics that are unsettling, but real nontheless. With 39% of childcare workers on public assistance, Mr. Gonzalez stated that he sees a lack of investment in the current state of education in Massachusetts.

A fierce education advocate and supporter of universal childcare for all, his sites states that he looks to “increase the state-subsidized provider reimbursement rates to the levels necessary to attract and retain a strong, well-trained workforce of teachers and childcare providers for our young children.”

To Candidate Gonzalez, Governor Baker has maintained the status quo in education — and nobody in Massachusetts can afford to stand by and allow the status quo to remain, according to Gonzalez at his forum with Lawrencians.

Whether or not Gonzalez succeeds to persuade Bay Staters of his progressive views remain. We have a ways to go until November 2018, but that’s more than enough time for the former Sec. of Administration and Finance to make the case to Massachusetts that maybe, just maybe, the mantra of Massachusetts being the Athens of Education will not die under his leadership.