My re-election campaign was unusual, to say the least.
We did no print or radio advertising. We sent no direct mail across the region. We did no “robocalls.” We did not say one negative thing about my opponent. We did not allow special interests or big money to hijack our campaign.
So what did we do?
We trusted our community.
We offered a vision for where we want to be, as the Cape and Islands and a commonwealth, in 20 years. We made clear the direction I believe we should take, and the issues that really matter. Here they are:
We need a fairer and more balanced economy that provides good jobs with livable wages for our next generation.
We need to invest in public education and support our educators, from pre-school right through college.
We need to rebuild our infrastructure, creating great local jobs as well as producing enough sustainable electricity to become self-sufficient.
We need to close the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth and stop spraying herbicides on our power lines, which means making corporations responsive to the public will.
We need to remember always that we are stewards of our environment, that our wastewater challenge must be solved (again creating good jobs as we go) and that our environment and economy are as one.
We also hoped people would reflect on my commitment to that vision for the past 30 years, first as a mechanic, pilot and founder of a local business, then as a community leader and elected official.
We trusted that ugly, divisive invective would not fool people, or turn us away from our compassionate natures. We refused to contribute to negative campaigning that is part of our serious political problems, nor respond to misinformation that disrespects the voters.
We put faith in democracy.
That faith was well placed. With help and support from so many of you, I won every single town in our district, re-elected with a margin of 25 points. To describe that as humbling and gratifying beyond words is not some silly cliché. It is literally true. So the best way I can respond is with my pledge in return:
I will do everything in my power to continue to be everyone’s state senator, to represent the full spectrum of our light-filled community. My goals are not partisan. They cannot be divided by party or ideology. They embrace an ambitious vision for our future, the polar opposite of the pursuit of self-interest or petty politics.
The delegation you are sending to the Statehouse for the next two years is a fascinating reflection of that bipartisan spirit. We are evenly split by party; three Democratic state representatives and three Republican state representatives, one Democratic state senator and one Republican state senator. We enter two chambers controlled by Democrats, working with a new Republican governor to be sure we avoid the rancor and gridlock that is destroying Washington.
I know political divisions matter. But I also know we will work together because other things matter much more – our community’s health and well-being, our commonwealth’s future, our democracy. And I know I will continue to do everything in my power to make government what I believe it can and must be: the civic expression of our collective will.
Please allow me to write that one more time: The civic expression of our collective will.
Daniel Wolf, D-Harwich, represents the Cape and Islands in the Massachusetts Senate.