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Next Tuesday, Nov. 6, please vote for Mary Keefe for state rep, District 15 …

By Rosalie Tirella

OK, so state rep (Worcester District 15) hopeful Mary Keefe and I will never be best buds. And we won’t be drinking our vanilla creme Green Mountain coffee with her campaign manager Kevin Ksen any time soon. But we have to admit: We have always agreed with these two on the issues – and backed them up. Prickly personalities, aside.

Kevin Ksen and ChaCha Connor were able to run a huge piece in Incity Times on the state of our municipal pools. Cha Cha and Kevin led the charge to have our neighborhood pools fixed and even went so far as to get estimates from contractors down South. We ran EVERYTHING because 1. they worked so hard and their work deserved to be seen by the public and 2. WE AGREED WITH THEM. We wanted the city manager to get behind Kevin and all the neighborhood folks who were behind this project. That didn’t happen. The neighborhoods were betrayed.

We also agreed with Ksen re: rebuffing the COPS show from Worcester. That reality TV show would have made the City of Worcester one freakin’ big stereotype – hurt the very people the show claims to want to help (bull!).

We were and are fans of Barb Haller, and believed she was better for District 4 than Keefe, who ran for that council seat several years ago. But when it comes to District 15, Keefe is the gal for us. We urge you to vote for her. We urge you to vote for Mary Keefe NEXT TUESDAY because she is RIGHT on all the issues.

Mary Keefe will:

* fight to keep low-income residents in the Piedmont neighborhood. There are some efforts to do a bit of gentrifying in the ol ‘hood. We are OK with making things prettier and yummier, but we are AGAINST displacing good neighborhood families or men/women just because they are poor. Keefe is promising to keep the low-income housing complex on Pleasant Street low-income, so families who have lived there for years can continue to live there.

* Bring jobs to Piedmont. Forget about the coffee barristas! We want jobs in Peidmont! We want light industry there, factories where people can get jobs that pay $11 or $15 an hour. Not great dough but better than minimum wage jobs. Better than the Work a Day crap lots of Peidmont residents must take to keep on keepin’ on. We are tired of poor people being exploited. Mary Keefe will work to make sure they are not exploited.

* Keefe will also fight to increase the state minimum wage, which is a joke. She herself said that given high housing costs and daily living expenses, the minimum wage “just doesn’t cut it.” Right on, Mary! Go, girl, go!

Minimum wage blows. I was raised in Green Island by a (wonderful) single mom who had a minimum wage job (when the minimum wage was actually worth much more than it is today). She worked 40 hours for regular pay and 20 under the table. BRUTAL. For her and us kids. We never had a car. We never went on vacations. We just all worked, ate, studied hard at school and prayed for better days. A tough way to live. Keefe gets that. She will work to make sure that if you work full time in Massachusetts you will earn a paycheck that will allow you to survive – pay your bills – and maybe then some.

We must stop punishing poor people. Mary knows this.

We also like wahat Keefe has done as director of the Pleasant Street Neighborhood Network Center. She has run a youth jobs program (which she wrote about in InCity Times several years ago). She helped women get together and create the Winslow Peace Park after a neighborhood youth was gunned down and died. The neighborhood women were welcomed by Mary Keefe into the neighborhood center, where they mourned the death of the youth but moved beyond the pain and created a lovely park in the middle of the innercity – in his honor. A symbol of hope.

We see Keefe as a symbol of hope for all the folks who need some lifting up! We know she will represent District 15 – all its people – with honor and grace!

Vote for Mary Keefe, District 15, state representative.

Go, Mary, GO!!!!