Reason for Seeking Public Office:
When I ran for Congress in the 2007 special election, I was motivated by a lifelong commitment to public service and a desire to change people's lives for the better. When I was growing up, we, like so many families, believed in making a difference and giving back to country and community. My father was an Air Force colonel who had survived Pearl Harbor and we lived on military bases here and abroad. That youthful experience instilled in me the value of service and sacrifice. Perhaps it's not surprising that I was attracted in my young adult years to someone who shared those values and who went on to base his presidential campaign on the obligation we have to future generations. So when Marty Meehan decided to leave the U.S. House in 2007 -- and after my own work in community service, law and education -- I felt the time had come for me to make a difference on a larger scale. I knew that as a member of Congress I could help reverse the Bush-Cheney policies and that I could have a real impact on the quality of life for those in this District and beyond.
In the five years I've had the privilege to serve the people of the Fifth District, I have been able to have that kind of impact. Let me give you one example. It was after my two tours to Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of the Armed Services Committee and meeting there with our courageous service men and women that I authored legislation to fund the development of light-weight body armor to give our troops greater flexibility and better protection on the battlefield. In visiting our wounded returning veterans at the Walter Reed Army Hospital, I have seen the toll that inadequate equipment has taken so I was truly gratified that my bill garnered bipartisan support and that we were able to do something that can make a difference for those who serve on our behalf.
That is only one -- but an important one -- of the ways I have been able to have an impact. Whether I've been successfully advocating for equal pay for women or supporting new jobs legislation or helping to pass tougher fuel efficiency standards and incentives for renewable energy or sponsoring new investigative powers to address sexual assaults in the military or writing the bill that restored to consumers the ability to access their credit rating information or helping craft a balanced budget to bring down the deficit on the Budget Committee or pushing for the long overdue end to "don't ask, don't tell" or proposing a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq or casting my first vote in Congress for the expansion of children's health care or the recent historic vote I cast to make our system of health care more affordable, accessible and sustainable, I've been working for change for the better.
The reason I'm running for re-election to Congress this year is that we have so much more to do and I want to continue to work for the principles and priorities that have guided me during my first three years in Congress.
The District that I am privileged to represent has a storied history. It is the birthplace of the American Revolution and later the Industrial Revolution. It was home to Edith Nourse Rogers, the longest-serving female member of Congress. It has been especially hard hit by the economic downturn but I know the resourcefulness and innovative spirit of those who reside here. I know that I have a responsibility to bring your concerns to Washington. That is why I have made accessibility and accountability the hallmarks of my Congressional office, why I hold Congress on Your Corner meetings in every town in my district, why I was the first member of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation to hold health care town meetings in my district and why it is so important to me personally to continue to make myself available to those I serve. I see my role in Congress very clearly -- to improve the quality of the lives of my fellow residents of this District and the lives of countless people like them across our state and nation. That, most of all, is why I'm running.
I will continue to work to harness the power of public office to the great purpose of finding solutions to the challenges we face. That is my inspiration and hope -- to address our most pressing problems today and to leave those who follow us a better future.