Name: Adam Scanlon
Party Running As: Democrat
Experience which you believe would be an asset if elected:
As a former RTM member, School Committee member, and current Town Councilor, I would bring an eclectic and diverse experience to the position of State Rep. I have been an advocate for our community since I was 17 years old, by fighting for our schools and other public services for our district. As a School Committee member, I worked with many stakeholders including parents, students, and teachers on several successful initiatives. These initiatives collectively included improving district wide curriculum, developing a long-term plan for our schools, lowering using fees, increasing transparency, negotiating contracts and fighting for grants. As one of the first Town Council members, I have supported and worked on initiatives such as the Green Community program, establishing long term goals for our community, expanding property tax abatements for seniors, addressing blighted properties, reforming our bylaws and creating a standing subcommittee to tackle economic development. During this pandemic, I regularly communicate with the town manager when residents reach out to me with their concerns and advocate for action upon them. I am not afraid to challenge leadership when necessary, this is a quality that is sorely needed on Beacon Hill to drive progressive change for our district.
What would be your priorities in the short term and long term if elected?
Our Commonwealth is experiencing several crises right now, whether it be more testing needed for COVID-19 or fixing our broken transportation system. For the short term, I would fight for more PPE for our district as well as support bills that relate to hazard pay for frontline workers. For the long term, fighting inequities that have been brought to light by COVID-19 remains a core issue of my campaign. One of the biggest issues our community faces is income inequality. Middle and lower-income earners are paying a much higher share than those at the top 1 percent. This is something that must be addressed by passing bills that relate to protecting wage theft, updating overtime laws, allowing for more income/property tax exemptions. I would also support our local public schools by fully funding the Student Opportunity Act, dismantling standardized testing and enacting debt free community college. We need to support our seniors and veterans by increasing the circuit breaker tax benefit, support nursing home facilities and allow communities to pass a property tax freeze for seniors. We need to continue to improve healthcare by ending surprise billing, lowering the costs on prescription drugs, and expanding MassHealth coverage to low income children.
Growing local business has been a key issue as of late. How would you improve this aspect of the towns you’d represent?
Being a Town Councilor, I believe that there is more the state can do to allow municipalities to provide tax relief to small businesses. Currently, the state only allows for property tax exemptions for property owners of the business; not necessarily the business owner. Many of the small businesses in our community rent or lease property from a landlord, the person that receives the tax benefit. That benefit does not necessarily trickle down to the small business. Only 50 out of 504 (10 percent) of businesses qualified for the exemption, the total exempt tax amount for all properties was $15,797. The legislature can take great steps to allow communities more flexibility to expand upon the exemption to attract more businesses. I would also support incentives for small businesses that go green to fight climate change. Transportation also plays an important role in economic development. We need to expand south coast rail so people can come here to stimulate the economy. I would support the transportation bond bill that is currently in the legislature right now, that would provide a 50 percent increase to Chapter 90 funding (local transportation projects) at $300 million and $160 million for the MBTA.
With the Coronavirus pandemic causing local aid to decrease by 10-30 percent, what other ways can communities offset this loss, and how can you help?
I am grateful that the legislature and the administration have made a commitment to level funding local and school aid for communities for this fiscal year’s budget. I am more concerned about fiscal year 2022. The district is going to need someone who is willing to advocate for us on Beacon Hill. In both the house and the senate versions of transportation bond bill (H.4547/S.2836), North Attleborough is poised to not receive any direct aid. Whereas in the Senate version, Medway for example is getting over $1 million for transportation projects. The same instance occurred in the House’s version of the economic development bill H.4879. In order to actually get aid, we have to be aggressive. I was proud to work with Senator Rausch last year to help get $50,000 for technology funding for our schools. I am supportive of the fair share amendment, a 4 percent surtax on incomes over $1 million. We cannot expect middle and lower class families to pay more in taxes right now. I also support other innovative ways to grow revenue, like legalizing sports betting and a bigger focus on performance-based measures for programs in our state.
Given that you’re new to state politics, how would you make your case heard so that you can achieve results?
While I am new to state politics, I am not new to making a difference in our community as a local leader. I’ve already developed friendly relationships with legislators on Beacon Hill. However, I believe it’s more important to establish relationships in our community. Our community can serve as part of a grassroots effort for productive change on Beacon Hill through increased civic engagement. I am just one person and cannot change anything alone, I will need the support of this community to get things done. I’m thankful to have been endorsed by so many local leaders. However, the job of a representative doesn’t just start and end on Beacon Hill. It also involves playing an active role in our community by listening to residents and acting upon concerns they have. We cannot drive change unless we work together in a call for action. As your next State Rep. I will bring you to the table to weigh in on issues that impact our community now and in our future.