Note: the following information was provided by Barbara L’Italien for
METHUEN, MA — Walking through Methuen’s Riverside Park on Saturday, you may have come across a group of folks sitting around a wooden kitchen table, sipping lemonade and discussing the issues affecting their families and communities.
This scene was the first of state senator and Third Congressional District candidate Barbara L’Italien’s “Kitchen Table Conversations” tour. The campaign stop included Methuen Public Schools teachers, former students, residents, and At-Large City Councilor Jessica Finocchiaro, and focused primarily on the city budget issues impacting the public schools.
“The kitchen table is where the big family decisions are made. It’s where bills are paid and budgets are balanced, where working families talk about how to find good jobs, afford health care and plan for their children’s futures,” said L’Italien. “I spent plenty of nights with my husband at our kitchen table, trying to figure out the best education for our son with autism. I was sitting at my kitchen table talking with my mom when I first decided to run for office, and in her later years I sat there with my husband as we planned her care.
“We’re engaging with voters all over this district about the concerns on their minds every day. These conversations have guided my work in the State House and will guide me as your next Congresswoman.”
“[This] reminds me of my own kitchen table conversations with my father,” remarked Matt Bach, a teacher and Massachusetts Teachers Association Committee Member, as he spoke about his worries about privatizing education. “We had a table just like this that he made in the basement. He was a tow truck driver and my mother was a nurse so public education was really the entrance into a sort of social mobility for my family.”
The hour-long conversation next to the Merrimack River also touched on environmental issues, the opioid epidemic and the need to legalize and implement solutions such as safe injection facilities, which L’Italien has included in her bold, comprehensive platform for combating the crisis
“I look forward to continuing our kitchen table conversations and engaging with the heart of each community,” L’Italien continued. “I want people to know that no matter how big our challenges as a country, I will never lose focus of the kitchen table discussions that families have here daily.”
The next Kitchen Table Conversations stops will be announced early this week.