Day #81

Around the Governor for 80 days

I got to thinking on my day off yesterday…

What does it mean to be an elected official?

  • Does it mean you are beholden to no one lest you be beholden to everyone?
  • Does it mean that there are issues you view so small you won’t even put your best intern on it?
  • Does it mean you can ignore the things you don’t care about—forever—no matter what?

What does it mean to be a constituent?

  • What do elected officials owe us as part of their responsibilities of office?
  • What kind of access to elected officials are constituents due?

I have, apparently, had my expectations way too low in terms of how Governor Baker could/should have handled me waiting in his office. The more people I talk to the more I get the feeling that my naiveté regarding the questions above have allowed me to make too many excuses on Gov. Baker’s behalf:

  • He’s too busy.
  • His schedule is crazy.
  • Of course he couldn’t take a moment to talk to me, even as he saw me repeatedly over time.
  • Of course I can only talk to Constituent Services, that makes sense.
  • I’ll have to wait until he’s ready to make a meeting date. That’ll happen, right?

The reality of the situation is just like dating: he’s just not that into me.

Let me unpack that statement:

He should be into all of this as thousands of Massachusetts residents have taken time out of their lives for over two years to act against this compressor (and other ill-advised gas infrastructure/funding schemes) by marching, calling, writing, showing up, rallying, social media-storming, etc.

But he has not once willingly addressed any of us.

Think about that. What kind of elected official acts like this when it makes him look so bad to ignore all of us for so long?

I have come to the frightening realization that Governor Baker is not the “nice guy” everyone makes him out to be… at least not as far as his job goes.

I assumed that Governor Baker was operating under certain restrictions that possibly kept him from doing the things we all wished he would do. I assumed he had some sort of good will towards Weymouth’s compressor troubles, and wanted to help but was trying to figure out a way how. I assumed he cared.

You know what people say when you assume things… it makes an ASS out of U and ME.

Today will be day 81 of waiting to have a meeting with Governor Baker.

One week has passed (as of yesterday) since our live radio conversation on Ask the Governor. I’ve personally heard nothing from Baker’s office regarding a site visit nor a meeting with me. Is this yet another set things he doesn’t care about and will ignore?

I feel like The Invisible Constituent, and I know I’m not alone in that feeling. Ignoring constituents seems to be one of Governor Baker’s bad habits, and that’s “Sad!”

(This was a letter I turned in today)

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