Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I hope you all have a great day and get to spend time with family and friends doing whatever makes you happy and healthy. Well, healthy except for the food and more food!! We spend so much time thinking about all the things we need to do, or what goes wrong in our everyday lives. We need to spend time today, at least, thinking about all of the good things we have in our lives. I am thankful for a good supportive caring family and all of the friends that enrich my life. I hope you have the same.
This has been a tough year in a lot of ways. Yet, many people have invested their hopes and dreams in a new leader for our country. We should live, not in reflection of what has gone wrong, but in hope of what we can do together in the future. I wish you all a healthy and happy day and may the best day of the past year be the worst day in the upcoming year.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Visit To China

A few weeks ago, I spent two weeks in China. It was a trade mission with the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment. I realized a lifelong dream by standing on the Great Wall of China. What a thrill! I also manned the Massachusetts booth at the Shenzhen Hi-Tech Trade Fair; spoke at a Minister’s Conference at that fair as one of ten from around the world; gave one of two keynote addresses at a Merger and Acquisition Conference in Shanghai, witnessed a signing of a green communities agreement; visited our Massachusetts Tech Center in the Zhjanjiang Park; visited out trade office in Beijing; toured Tsinghua University and met with officials of that school; and had numerous meetings with government officials on both the federal and provincial level. It was a busy and fascinating trip.
I have been dealing with international trade issues for over fifteen years. I have met many of these Chinese officials in Boston and have worked to establish trade ties there and elsewhere around the globe. China is interesting when you consider that their economy is growing and they have one quarter of the world’s population. There is a market there for everything. In the Zhangjiang Park, there were so many life science companies that I felt like I was in Cambridge, Mass.
There are so many opportunities in China that it is important that we explore each one available. Yet it is also important that those opportunities are mutually beneficial. They must be bilateral. But they have to be explored.
When I first entered the Legislature over twenty years ago, a typical life science company in Massachusetts may have run something like this: research was done in Cambridge/ Boston because of the abundance of research labs and universities and our hospital cluster in this area. Backroom operations such as sales and management may have been located in central Massachusetts, and clinical trials may have happened in the greater Boston area. Manufacturing could be done in western Massachusetts as the machine tool trades and cost lead to this area being conducive to those operations. Today, research and development is still being done in the Cambridge/Boston area, but clinical trials may be done in Brazil; backroom operations may be in Zurich and manufacturing may be in China. This is a worldwide economy and we either participate in it or we get left behind. I believe that Massachusetts is well positioned to compete in this worldwide marketplace with a large high tech business base and an innovative workforce. However, it takes a lot of work and follow through in order to compete and we need to do more in order to equip our business community with the tools to effectively trade with other provinces and states around the globe.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Great Day

Thank you to everyone who voted yesterday. In Massachusetts, they believe it was a record number of voters that lined up and voted in the state. Across our country, people stood in line and voted. They made history by electing the first African American to the office of the president. That is incredible. However, it was also important that so many people participated and engaged in the vote and decision over who the next President would be. Unlike most other countries, we do so in a deliberate and participatory manner that leads to an orderly transition in power from one political philosophy and party to another.

Now it is up to all of us to continue to stay engaged in the process of democracy. The system works when we all work to be a part of it. We have a lot of work to do to support our new President-elect. Let's get to work.

In my district, even though I had no opposition, I appreciate the people who still checked off my name and I really appreciate the many people who came up to me at the polls yesterday with words of encouragement and suggestions for things for us to do. Thank you and I look forward to working with you for another two-year term.
Thanks again, and now, let's get to work!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


It is Election Day. The latest polling indicates that 30% of respondents have voted early this year and predictions are that 70% of eligible American voters may vote today. There have been bigger crowds out at rallies and more interest in this election than there has been for many years. Please get out and vote. This is a crucial election. There are two national candidates who have very clearly defined differences. This nation needs to make a choice and get behind our next Presidential nominee. That means everyone needs to participate in this choice.
I know that we are told every four years that that particular election is the most important in our lifetime. This is not rhetoric this time. This is a turning point for our country. We are in the midst of combat actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are borrowing billions of dollars to operate our federal government and have run up a record deficit in the past eight years. We have lost the respect of people around the world and have lost our place as a leader on many world issues. We are falling behind in the evolving global economy. Our country is lurching through a financial crisis and a recession. Most importantly, this nation has been divided on many issues between "red" states and "blue" states. Over the last eight years we have seen national leaders use wedge issues that divide us and we have been much better at politics than at government.
We can do better. But that means each of us needs to participate in this election and make a choice. The promise that this country holds for each of us is a wonderful thing. We have freedoms here that many others in other countries can merely dream about. But maintaining these freedoms is hard work. Each of us must participate and not just criticize the choices others make. We have to have a discussion over the direction of our country and we have to work to advance those collective goals. That is not easy and it means that we need to be active in our communities, in our elections, and in our causes. Ronald Reagan asked the question in 1980, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" That is only part of the question. The other is "What have you done to make this country better than four years ago?" That means we all need to work to make this country better than it was or is. We need to all work in order to hand the next generation the American dream still intact and better than we were received from our parents. For some of us, that means running for office. For others, it means civic involvement or activism. For all of us, it means getting involved with our vote. It all starts there. Reagan had the question right, but we need to hearken back to the words of John F. Kennedy as to how we make this country better than it was four years ago. He exhorted us to get involved when he said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." He knew that we all needed to participate in order to preserve and enhance the American dream.
I think that we have forgotten that in many ways. Many people feel disenfranchised. Many do not vote or feel that vote doesn’t count. Many feel that we are entitled to services and goods here in America simply because we are Americans. All that changes today, if we get out and make a choice. An election doesn't necessarily change our country in and of itself. But if we all make the decision to vote in this critical election, it is a start. If we all decide to get involved locally, it is a start. If we all decide to have a discussion rather than criticize each other’s choices, it is a movement.
That starts today. We have the power to make a choice today that will dictate the direction of our country for years to come. Please join with me in getting involved and voting today. Vote for the candidate of your choice, but go vote!
Thank you for your vote and your service.