A member of the Town Council, Adam Scanlon is running as the Democratic candidate for the 14th Bristol District state representative seat. He is a former member of the School Committee, and served as a Town Meeting representative.
Tell me about the challenges that await the district and how your skills/background can help.
Our district faces a myriad of challenges, but also a plethora of opportunities for growth. The next State Rep. is going to need to provide stable leadership throughout the pandemic as well as after. COVID-19 has brought to light the many inequities that our district faces. These range from income, the ability to keep the doors open on a small business, access to a quality education, affordable healthcare, housing and so many other things. I don’t seek to only represent people like myself, our community is diverse, it is made up of people from all walks of life. We are not all the same, the senior citizen struggling to make ends meet does not have the same concerns as the millionaire landlord. Instead, I intend to be a representative for all people. Our communities need more flexibility from the state to offer tax relief to seniors and small businesses. Our public resources like education and public safety need support. As a Town Councilor and former School Committee member, it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to serve our community. I have the experience to continue to build upon shared successes and partnerships for the betterment of our community.
You have a lot on your plate, whether it be careers or work in different organizations. Being State Representative requires a total commitment. What are you willing to set aside if elected?
Being your next State Representative will be my primary focus and full-time job. I have chosen to take a leave of absence from my current employment with a nonprofit organization to focus on the campaign. This will allow me to meet as many of my constituents and hear their concerns as much as possible. If I am fortunate enough to win the election, then my leave will become permanent. I do not own a small business and I am not married with children; which will afford me the time to solely focus on meeting the needs of my constituents. As an elected member, I am proud to have never missed a School Committee or Town Council meeting. My goal is to continue to be as committed to the position of State Rep. as I have been in all of my elected positions. If elected, I would no longer be a member of the Town Council, however I would be happy to continue supporting them. I plan to continue volunteering with our local Boy Scout Troops and I look forward to working with the various charity initiatives in our district.
What is your take on police reform? Is it needed, and if so, what would your approach be?
I believe that those in law enforcement and people that have been marginalized by racism both want the same thing, justice. We can all work together. I do not support the “Defunding of Police.” As a Town Councilor I did vote in the affirmative for raises for our local police officers and patrolmen. Currently, there is no final version of the police reform bill, but I do support elements of it. I do support the legislation regarding the establishment of the POST system, which would serve as a certification and de-certification system for police officers. This is a system that police chiefs have been seeking for a long time, 45 other states already have this model. I do believe that our civil rights are critical, if someone has been wronged by clearly unlawful and unethical behavior by a police officer then they should have their right to their day in court like anyone else. This still upholds the basic tenants of qualified immunity. I am supportive of the banning of excessive force and restricting the use of facial recognition technology. My approach would be to work with all stakeholders in crafting the final version of the bill.
Public education has faced challenges with the COVID crisis, in some cases resulting in deferred hires and layoffs. How can you contribute to improving public schools so they can recover?
Education is the main reason I got involved in government and public service. I believe that education was intended to be not only be the great equalizer for all children, but also a door to opportunity for all. Unfortunately, North Attleboro still has one of the lowest per pupil expenditures in the state. Our community has not seen its fair share of local aid. We have seen a deficit of over a million dollars over the last four years in North Attleboro alone. I’ve already demonstrated my commitment to securing local aid for our public schools by establishing relationships with other local legislators like Senator Rausch. I have the support of the Massachusetts Teachers Association because they believe I am the best candidate to deliver upon the educational needs for our district due to my record and my commitment to our public schools. I would work towards securing more necessary PPE and equipment to ensure the safety of our students and teachers. I would be in support of making local colleges more affordable as well as keep intact free universal full day kindergarten for our area communities. I am also in favor of dismantling over time state standardized testing.
Will you cross party lines to benefit your district?
Absolutely, as a former School Committee member and current Town Councilor I work with everyone regardless of affiliation. Even though as a State Rep. I would be in a super majority of those from the Democratic party, I would still like to work collaboratively with members of all parties. As a School Committee member, I assisted in the development of our school’s district improvement and strategic plan, advocated for lowering user fees, oversaw massive changes to curriculum, assisted in contract negotiations and worked to expand leadership opportunities for students. As a Town Councilor I worked with others in the establishment of a forum to hold discussions on spurring economic development in town. I also worked with other councilors early on in support of initiatives of tax relief for seniors. I’ve written legislation to address our blighted properties and am working as chair of the By-Law Study Committee to shepherd it through the process with the help of the committee. All of this wouldn’t be possible if I did not work with people whose beliefs are different than mine. I am the only candidate that’s written legislation which will be a major part of the job of our next State Rep.
Tell me about Rep Poirier’s legacy and how you would continue it.
I would like to thank Rep. Poirier for her tireless commitment to the local charitable organizations that she has lent her time to. It is my intention to lend my time to as many local events as possible to offer my help in any way needed or requested. Although I believe there is so much more to the job than appearing in a picture. Many people in our community feel as though their voice is not being heard and I pledge to listen. There are so many issues that need our attention such as students drowning in student debt and so many others are struggling to get access to affordable healthcare. There are two things that our next State Rep. must do. The first is being a voice and advocate for our residents and small businesses. I plan to hold office hours and will even make house visits when safe to do so. The second thing is building a vision for our district with all of you, it’s up to all of us to craft a path forward. I will be a champion for our community and will always fight for interests of the residents of our district.