Worthington Democrats to host gubernatorial candidate Allen on Sunday’s Zoom forum

  • Danielle Allen CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 11/12/2021 11:35:50 AM

WORTHINGTON – The Town Democratic Committee will launch its Sundays with the Candidates series this weekend with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Danielle Allen.

Ruth Lehrer, who chairs the Town Democratic Committee, said that in addition to wanting the people of Worthington to know their options, it is also valuable for the candidates to hear from residents as well.

“We feel like the Hilltowns are often overlooked by candidates,” Lehrer said.

The forum will be held Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. over Zoom. Those interested in attending should email Worthingtondem@gmail.com with their name and town.

Allen, 50, is a Harvard professor and mother of two who lives with her children and husband in Cambridge. She is currently on public service leave from her professorship in political science and public policy.

Allen said the COVID-19 pandemic inspired her to run for office, and she said she is looking to increase public commitment toward the basic building blocks of housing, transportation, schools, good jobs, and justice.

“I think that this is a time for transformation,” Allen said.

On this theme, she said that she would like to end the state’s “split-screen economy” and invest more in central and western Massachusetts.

“It’s time for us to have an east-west rail,” she said.

Allen said that she would like to connect an east-west rail with an abundant supply of affordable housing, accomplished through both zoning and public investment. She also said that she’s interested in helping tenants, first-time homebuyers and seniors in the housing market.

While this is her first run for office, Allen noted that she has advised public officials from the local level all the way to the White House and that her team at Harvard developed the Biden-Harris administration’s COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board policy, the goal of which is to accelerate the build-out of COVID-19 testing around the country.

The candidate also has a local connection, having served on Amherst College’s Board of Trustees for a decade, which gave her an appreciation of the Pioneer Valley.

And while Allen has not visited Worthington before, she said that she is “looking forward to getting there.” She said that her candidacy has been getting a good reception around the commonwealth.

“It’s been very wonderful,” she said.

Lehrer said that the Democratic Committee is working on a date for state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, D-Boston, another Democratic candidate for governor, to appear at Sundays with the Candidates. Former State Sen. Ben Downing, who once represented Worthington, spoke to a small group of Worthington Democrats when he first announced his gubernatorial candidacy, and Lehrer said that the committee intends to get him to a future forum as well.

Lehrer said that after the committee goes through the declared Democratic gubernatorial candidates, the series will host Democratic candidates for other offices, such as lieutenant governor and state senator. She also expressed a desire for Worthington Democrats to host joint candidate forums with other Hilltown communities.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.
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