UDems play host to Mass. Lieutenenant Governor Murray
Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray delivered a lecture on civic engagement and youth activism at the University of Massachusetts last Friday, Sept.
Murray, who was invited by the UMass Democrats (UDems), told the modest crowd that political activism at a young age can be an educational experience that opens doors, but made clear that real-world politics is more than circulating
“One of my favorite quotes, from [former New York governor] Mario Cuomo, is that, ‘There’s the poetry of the campaign, and then there’s the hard prose of governing,’” Murray said. “That’s making decisions, that’s counting votes, it’s trying to build consensus.
Murray, who spent 10 years prior to his term as lieutenant governor at the town lever, first as a Worcester, Mass. city councilor and later as the city’s mayor, also spoke to the old idiom that all politics is
“Let me make a pitch for local government … Oftentimes, there is a penchant from all of us who have an interest in government and politics to look at the statehouse or maybe to Washington, D.C. as being the place of action. But in all 351 cities and towns [in Mass.], there’s a real opportunity for you to get involved.
Murray went on to say that he experienced first-hand the power of youth involvement in politics during his run for office with Governor Deval
“I saw – when Governor Patrick got elected in 2006 – a level of involvement among young people in a gubernatorial campaign that I had never seen before,” he said.
“Please don’t underestimate the importance [of the role] you guys play and the doors that it opens up in terms of résumé and contacts and the people you meet. By engaging in the process you are being good citizens, responsible Americans, and doing what some of your peers are dying for, in Iraq or Afghanistan.”
Charlie Felder, president of the UDems, said in an interview after Murray’s lecture that they invited the lieutenant governor as an early-semester reminder that college is the best time to get involved.
“The idea was that he was to highlight the importance of staying involved, canvassing, phone banking, going to town hall meetings as a young member of society,” Felder said. “Because we have just as much invested in the legislation and the bills that are being passed through Congress at this time, and it’s really up to us to convince out peers – that are let’s face it, busy or just not as tuned in to what’s going on – that everybody has a stake in it.
“The lieutenant governor is just our standard example of a Commonwealth citizen who was able to work his way through the system,” added Guy McGuinn, press director, “He was on the board of the public library in Worcester, and worked his way up to the city council, to the mayor’s and then to the lieutenant governor’s office. And that shows the power of politics in Massachusetts.”
S.P. Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.