Twenty years ago, I had no idea what a state senator did. I was a senior in high school, and though I had a good idea how the U.S. Government worked from my history classes, Massachusetts government to me was a blur, beyond the fact we had an elected governor.
In May of my senior year, I happened to be in a circle of friends with Therese Murray’s daughter. When she asked us to help her mom with her campaign for state senate, I agreed.
We collected signatures in front of supermarkets to get her on the ballot, we held signs on highway ramps, and we knocked on doors. I liked Terry, and thought we were doing a great thing to help my friend’s mom.
Well, my dad had a different view. He was not only a Republican, but he was also a supporter of Terry’s incumbent opponent, Ned Kirby. Not only was he a supporter, but it turned out Senator Kirby was a friend of my grandfather’s, and he also wrote a letter of recommendation to Boston Edison in support of my dad, who is just now about to retire from that job at Pilgrim Station. When he heard I was helping to campaign for his rival, I can say he was more than a little sore at me.
But his parting words in our disagreement were, “It doesn’t matter anyway. Terry Murray doesn’t have a shot in this one.”
Then a funny thing happened. Terry won.
I felt great that I had, albeit a small one, a part in helping Terry Murray win a seat on the senate. On the other hand, I saw that look of disappointment on my dad’s face. And as anyone knows, a look of disappointment from your dad is never good.
So, from that day on, I paid attention to state government. I watched Terry Murray. I followed her votes weekly in the paper. I paid attention when she was on the news. I started reading the Boston newspapers, scanning for her name.
Now, here we are 20 years later. And I have no regrets. She does a lot of great things. She has never disappointed me. She was so good, she became the Senate President. She’s been a great legislator, but she’s also been a great steward for the community. I’m proud of the work she has done.
Last year, I hosted a fundraiser, and Terry attended. Inadvertently, I sat my parents next to her. When I realized what I had done, I took my dad aside and apologized. He told me not to worry. He said she’s done a great job, and he was proud to have her as our senator, and he was honored to sit with her. 20 years of guilt, disappointing my dad, disappeared.
This year, I collected signatures in front of supermarkets, held signs at highway ramps, made phone calls, and now I’m writing this piece, urging you to vote for Terry Murray. She’s done an excellent job. Just ask my dad.