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Amber

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A NOTE FROM AMBER

Why I'm running

 

In the early days of 2018, the New England region emerged from a severe two-week cold snap. It taxed our energy system to its limit. As we do in those rare yet urgent moments, we turned to a back-up plan – one of the dirty and expensive energy options we otherwise try to avoid. To keep the system running, we burned through two million barrels of oil reserves.

 

That headline haunts me. That oil should never have burned.

Our enduring reliance on fossil fuels and our tendency to fall back on heavy polluters is a result of government malfeasance. We do not need to be where we are. I have been working for nearly a decade to advocate for clean energy solutions like offshore wind power. As residents of a coastal district, we know that when it’s cold on land, it’s windy offshore. Yet, while over 4,000 offshore wind turbines operate worldwide, the U.S. is home to five. This missed opportunity sits at the core of why I’m running for office.

For thirty years, as a booming global offshore wind industry came to be, we lacked the political will to harness the clean, local resource abundant at the very moments we need it most. With every Nor’easter, we let that power pass us by – forfeiting environmental, public health, and economic benefits well within our reach.

I share this to remind you what we need to expect of and demand from our elected officials. We need more than reactions to problems as they strike our doorstep. We need foresight to avoid the avoidable. We need boldness – a willingness to say what no one else in the room is saying.

We need leaders who see opportunities on the horizon and reach for them.

I started my career in Washington, DC and moved back to Massachusetts to focus on making the policy changes needed to bring offshore wind power into our energy mix. What started with countless meetings and hearings that I often left feeling dismissed and defeated, grew into a groundswell of support. My colleagues and I convened a coalition of environmental groups across the Commonwealth and worked with people impacted by our climate and energy challenges, scientists, policy experts, children scared for their future, and industry and labor leaders determined to build a cleaner and more prosperous one. And finally, on a sunny August day, Massachusetts enacted the nation’s largest offshore wind power commitment to date. The years of persistence were worth it; we won that fight.  

I am running for State Representative because I want to bring that same fervor to advancing healthcare and criminal justice reform, improving education funding and public transit infrastructure, expanding reproductive rights and protections for the LGBTQIA+ community, making safe and dignified housing available to people of all ages and income levels, and to the many more progressive causes we all care about.

Who we send to Beacon Hill on our behalf – how well they listen to the wants and needs of the people and how seriously they take the pressing issues of our time – determines the results that return to our community and that stretch across Massachusetts.

My commitment to you is to govern proactively on the issues that matter most to you. To look to the root of the problem and advance the solutions that will keep history from repeating itself.

I will meet you where you are, listen to your concerns, invite you to join me, and speak up on your behalf. My office will be one that convenes the strengths of the First Essex District, one that sparks collaboration and fosters visionary leadership.

That is how I approach every day as an advocate and how I will serve you as your State Representative.

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Paid for by the Committee to Elect Amber Hewett