Massachusetts' 6th Congressional District comprises a wide swath of the North Shore of Boston, an eclectic mix of wealthy, exclusive towns, working class areas, and fishing villages. Rich in history, it includes the home of the infamous Salem witch trials, centers for the shoe and leather industries, shipbuilding, and whaling, as well as claims that the area was the birthplace of both the United States Navy and Coast Guard.
Traditionally a Democratic stronghold, the 2014 race includes Democrat Seth Moulton, who upset incumbent John Tierney in the September primary, Republican challenger Richard Tisei, who lost a close contest in 2012 to Tierney, and independent candidate Chris Stockwell, who has gained ground to make the race even more interesting to watch.
Over half (55%) of the district’s voters are registered as unenrolled in a political party. Stockwell, a newcomer to the political scene, is counting on their support in the rapidly approaching election.Stockwell just authored the
e-book, Forward Together: Moving Beyond Polarization and Gridlock in Washington, DC. The introduction by journalist and author Linda Killian describes Stockwell’s candidacy as “an effort that is worthy to be remembered.”
A key ingredient in Stockwell’s platform, as laid out in his book, is economic recovery. He says growth has been stymied by polarization and gridlock due to divisiveness between the two parties.
“The failure of our politicians in Washington to lead has hurt so many Americans in so many ways,” he states. He claims that electing independents is crucial to reinvigorating democracy in America.
“Washington is the problem. Change must start from the outside,” he adds.
Stockwell offers voters his own unique talents. As an experienced business leader, he plans to create the Sixth District Economic Transformation Council, what he calls the 6D-ETC.
“We’ll help local businesses launch and expand, and recruit overseas businesses to locate here in Northeastern Massachusetts. We’ll develop and carry out this plan, and I will be its leading proponent,” he asserts.
Stockwell understands the growing impact of the millennial generation and how Congress has failed to provide job opportunities for the young, or to assure them of economic security for their future and the future of the planet.
Millennials, Stockwell says, “feel disenfranchised, powerless, and don’t see why they should vote because nothing ever changes.” But he adds that the world is ever-changing.
“New generations replace old. We seek to create a better tomorrow, without fear of what tomorrow will bring." - Chris Stockwell
Climate change is a critical issue for the coastal communities of the 6th District. Stockwell supports action to find solutions to the short-term and long-term challenges of extreme weather and rising sea levels (SLR), “particularly in the waters off New England and the Northeast, where SLR occurs three times faster than any other region on earth.“
Stockwell seeks an energy policy which includes a broad mix of clean and renewable energy sources, favoring gradual movement away from fossil fuels over the next two decades. He also pledges to advocate for dramatic increases in federal funding of fisheries and to work to find common ground between environmentalists and fisherman in regulatory issues.
On health care reform, Stockwell says that the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA/Obamacare) “is a flawed program that experienced a highly flawed introduction and needs to be overhauled in key areas, including cheaper plan levels and alternative coverages for small businesses.”
He advocates continuation of the ACA through 2018 while Congress works to improve it through an independent and nonpartisan review.
Stockwell believes in a path to citizenship for law-abiding, undocumented immigrants, yet he also favors policies to secure the border and address the issue from the source. Partnerships with El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, Stockwell says, can be formed to improve infrastructure, public safety, and economic opportunity for their citizens. Such policies will result in “a more peaceful hemisphere, grow stronger trading partners, and reduce illegal immigration from Central America.”On social issues, Stockwell favors a woman’s right to choose, marriage equality for gay couples, quality public education and federal college debt funding. If all of this sounds like a typical progressive liberal agenda, read on.
Stockwell’s plans also include specific routes to reducing harmful government regulations on businesses, comprehensive tax reform, and balancing the federal budget though sacrifice and compromise. In Forward Together, Stockwell covers these and his other platform positions in great detail, and explains why he is the right choice at this time.
He proclaims that, like Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results, "it is insanity to keep sending Democrats and Republicans to Congress, expecting a different result."
Some would contend that a vote for an Independent is a wasted one. Stockwell responds that if change is desired, the only wasted opportunity is a vote for a party candidate. He believes that only a rise in independents in Congress can bring about progress on the myriad of issues the nation is facing.
"We do not wish for things to remain as they are or move backwards,” Stockwell asserts. The desire for progress, he adds, is the singular issue that brings people together, and the answer is to elect gifted leaders who will solve problems, not strive for their own personal ambition.
Stockwell identifies with the majority of Massachusetts voters who are not affiliated with either party. He appeals for support of other moderate, centrist-minded voters, who he describes as people who “do not agree on everything, but are able listen, understand, seek common ground, and gain compromise to create progress on many fronts.”
“Elect the Independent,” pleads Stockwell, and return the seat from the control of the parties back to the people where it belongs. Once again, history can be made in Massachusetts by leading the rise of Independents across the nation. On November 4, voters of the 6th District will decide whether to be part of that movement.