Sticking with Ed Markey

In her letter Rene Wood writes: "Joe Kennedy says Ed Markey should step aside because he's 74. I'm that age and there is nothing wrong with being 74; we have much to give and do so on a regular basis."

To the editor:

Those of us who are Democrats or Independents will select either Joe Kennedy or Ed Markey for U.S. Senator in the September 1st primary. I’m voting for Ed Markey. Here’s why in the hopes it will strengthen your commitment to Senator Markey or give you numerous reasons to vote for him, if you’re undecided or leaning toward Joe Kennedy.

Now more than ever we need Senator Markey. He is a leader who has long delivered and focused on progressive issues and he did this before it was chic to be progressive. He’s been walking the talk for years — actually decades on many of these issues.

These critical issues include environmental, social, identity, economic, housing and racial justice; climate change; clean energy; net neutrality; and a federal government that serves and benefits the people, especially those in most need, rather than those who are well connected, already too rich or too powerful. He has the knowledge and experience to be firmly rooted in the present while being aware of the past and looking to the future.

I’ve spoken with Ed and heard him speak several times. Each time I’ve been impressed with his depth of knowledge. He knows of what he speaks and eloquently expresses his views and reasons for his positions.

A few of his local accomplishments include getting us Channel 22, a Boston news channel on Spectrum; continuing to have the FCC reclassify Western Massachusetts into the Boston market, not Albany; filing legislation to keep certain fees paid to Spectrum for community TV, like CTSB, out of Spectrum’s hands; multiple broadband expansion measures; funds for several Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for Sheffield and other local communities; and being instrumental in Paycheck Protection Program loans for Massachusetts small businesses. He is a strong advocate for the Americans with Disabilities Act, Alzheimer’s research, Medicare for All, and many issues which impact seniors and veterans.

Joe Kennedy says he should step aside because he’s 74. I’m that age and there is nothing wrong with being 74; we have much to give and do so on a regular basis. Anyone who says he should retire because of his age is guilty of ageism and needs to add ageism to their list of biases they are working to overcome. Who amongst us would have suggested to Justice Ginsberg that she retire 13 years ago when she was 74? She and Senator Markey are doing excellent work and know their stuff. With age can come wisdom, deeper empathy and greater understanding. Youth is frequently highly overrated and this is certainly one of those cases.

Anyone who says he’s been in Congress too long should remember that Ted Kennedy was a Massachusetts Senator for almost 47 years and accomplished some of his most inspiring work in his later years as the Lion of the Senate.

Before you cast your ballot, ask yourself: If Joe Biden is elected in November, when he takes office in January 2021, who do you think he’s going to need and want in Congress to help him straighten out our country and undo the past 4 years of evil and destruction? He’s going to want a senator who knows what’s going on; how to write and pass legislation; has the connections to make things happen; and can lead by experience and the depth of his convictions. Look at Senator Markey’s record and his stand on the issues and you’ll know immediately that we need him to help bring back better our country. Senator Markey has earned my vote. Please join me and vote for Ed Markey.

Rene Wood

Sheffield

The writer is chair of the Sheffield Board of Selectmen.