Matt L. Barron: Markey could learn a lot by visiting rural areas

  • In this March 27, 2019 file photo, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., speaks during a Senate Transportation subcommittee on commercial airline safety, on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP

Published: 8/21/2019 6:45:20 PM
Modified: 8/21/2019 6:45:10 PM
Markey could learn a lot by visiting rural areas

I recently read a story in the Boston Globe about Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III’s potential primary challenge to Sen. Edward J. Markey next year. A Markey spokeswoman was quoted as saying of her boss that, “He is crisscrossing the state and will continue campaigning hard.”

Except since he became a senator in 2013, Markey has avoided visiting areas of rural Massachusetts like the Hilltowns and North Quabbin.

Markey is derisively known as Maryland’s third senator, because he spends more time at his Chevy Chase mansion than here in our fair commonwealth. Contrast that with Sen. Chuck Schumer or Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who visit all 62 counties in New York and all 87 counties in Minnesota, respectively, each year, not just every six years. Massachusetts has only 14 counties and Nantucket is home of the sole municipality of the same name.

If Sen. Markey would spend a little time in our rural communities, he might learn that we are a medically underserved area lacking enough primary care doctors, dentists and mental health professionals.

If he set foot on a farm or in a forest, he could become aware of the challenges faced by those who own these working landscapes and the role they could play in fighting climate change.

The senator would hear that unlike much of eastern Massachusetts, we are still a long way from closing the digital divide on access to “last mile” rural broadband.

No part of the state should be taken for granted or overlooked by our elected officials who represent us in Washington.

Matt L. Barron



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