The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Jay Gonzalez, Candidate for Governor, Visits Campus

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On Monday, September 25, the Political Awareness Club and the Young Democrats Club welcomed democratic candidate for Massachusetts governor Jay Gonzalez to address Williston students. Speaking in the Dodge Room in Reed, Gonzalez focused on issues of finance reform, health care, and immigration.

The candidate is currently making rounds around Massachusetts and prepping to run against incumbent republican Governor Charlie Baker if he wins against the two other democrats running: Setti Warren and Bob Massie. The state-wide general election will take place on November 6, 2018.

Gonzalez started his political career the summer before his senior year at Dartmouth College campaigning for late Senator John Glenn. He later went on to work as the Secretary of Administration and Finance in Massachusetts for Governor Deval Patrick, and was the CEO of CeltiCare heath and New Hampshire Healthy Families, a business that provides healthcare for over 140,000 low income families. On January 30, 2017, the Georgetown University Law graduate announced his candidacy for governor.

Opening the speech at Williston, the 46-year-old candidate thanked history teacher Peter Gunn and senior Josh Calianos, as well as acknowledging the excitement he felt seeing so many young faces in the audience.

“I have a daughter in her senior year of high school, and I’m painfully aware of high school stress,” he said. “I’m ready to infuse the young energy into my campaigning, because it truly matters to show up to political events like this.

Gonzalez especially focused on current news stories, like health care.

“I ran a healthcare company that provided insurance to thousands of low income families, and when I’m governor I plan to help make healthcare as accessible as possible.”

He also made time to throw shots at current Republican Governor Charlie Baker.

“We need a governor who supports and understands everyone, not one that sits on the sidelines.”

Senior Josh Calianos, the Co-President of the Williston Political Awareness Club (also known as PAC) was very enthusiastic about the event.

“I was really happy that he became the first gubernatorial candidate to visit a local high school and I’m so excited for everything he’s doing!”

Josh interned with Gonzalez’s campaign all summer, an experience he really learned from.

“He and I have a strong relationship as I was a summer fellow for him.” Josh said. “This job entailed following him to events, canvassing, and knocking on doors on his behalf.”

Josh was also offered an internship with another candidate for governor, Mayor of Newton, Massachusetts Setti Warren, but chose Gonzalez because, “His principled nature stood out to me, as he was the only candidate with detailed policy statements out when I began working.”

Ellie Scott ’18, the President of the Young Democrats club was happy to co-sponsor appearance. “The Williston Democrats were very proud to cosponsor the event with Jay Gonzalez. It was a great opportunity to meet first hand one of the gubernatorial candidates!”

Stella Piasecki ’19 was thrilled to attend the event and was really impressed with Gonzalez.

“I loved it! I loved to be able to learn more about Massachusetts politics, and he seemed like such a great guy,” Stella said. “I’m really excited to watch him progress through Massachusetts politics because he is a really great candidate and is very well qualified.”

She added, “My favorite quality he showed, however, was how down-to-earth he is. He really seems like an honest politician.”

Not all attendees were as impressed, however. Junior Dora Gordon said, “I found a lot of his answers long winded and not always directly related to the questions.” Dora continued, “I also thought he made too many attacks against Baker instead of talking about what he wanted to do as governor.”

Junior Robby Hill enjoyed the event, and was interested in learning more about the candidate.

“Personally, I didn’t know much about Jay’s policy points, so learning about his plans for instituting a single-payer healthcare system and reforming the criminal justice system; two issues that are central in American and state politics.”

Robby continued, “I think it speaks volumes to the students and faculty we have here who are so committed to bringing in interesting and prominent local figures.”

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The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America
Jay Gonzalez, Candidate for Governor, Visits Campus