By Augustine Kanjia
Moses Dixon, the Democratic candidate for State Representative of District 16, sat down with The New Worcester Spy to set forward his vision for Worcester and explain why he thinks people should vote for him against the incumbent, Republican Kate Campanale.
Dixon came to Worcester from Washington D.C. to pursue graduate studies, and he fell in love with city. The New Worcester Spy started by asking him to talk a bit about himself:
Moses Dixon: I am the first in my family to go to high school and go to college. My mom is a janitor and a house keeper. I am a likeable person and committed to whatever I do, and I do it to the best of my ability.
NWS: How did you get involved in politics?
M.D: I attended Howard University in Washington DC. I Majored in Political Science and got a minor in Community Development. I then moved to Clark University for grad school. I did Community Development. My background in education gives me the push to do what I love doing and be a part of politics.
NWS: What is your motive behind running for office?
M.D: It is being responsive and responsible with a clear vision and seeing the state of Massachusetts going ahead, in a nut shell.
NWS: Are you a likeable person?
M.D: Absolutely! I would like to say, who doesn’t like a guy like Moses? In politics the proof is in the pudding. Recently I got 16,020 votes and the incumbent scored about 960. I got 64 percent in the primaries.
NWS: Tell me about your involvement with the state
MD: I have worked with state and federal government. I have been involved with senior [citizens] and worked for veterans with disabilities.
NWS: Would you say you are a unifier?
M.D: Yes, indeed! When I started a few months ago, I wanted to include different voices: the African American community, the Latino community and those who had not been a part of my team came onboard to support me.
NWS: Can you shed some light on your broader vision?
M.D: I am hoping that we intervene in the opioid addiction and substance abuse crisis: Substance abuse is a scourge afflicting our communities, destroying lives and families across the social and economic spectrum. We can’t arrest ourselves out of this problem. We need prevention. We need treatment. We need access to treatment.
Pay equity for women: women in Mass are paid 82 cents on the dollar for the same work. That’s bad for women, men, families, children and communities.
Equal Access to Education and Advancement: A quality affordable education is a step-up for people and for society. From Pre-K to grade, high, and vocational schools, on through public and private colleges and universities, learning is the pipeline for achievement.
Universal Broad Band: like electricity, affordable high-speed broad band access has become a “threshold factor” for real economic development. If our community lags on this critical resource, it will lag in a lot of other measures of prosperity.
And valuing our veterans, including services, housing and veteran-owned businesses: We all agree that veterans deserve better. These are my priority areas.
NWS: Do you have strong backers?
M.D: It has been remarkable knowing the people I know and their contributions in my life. I was not born here; I came for education and I met great people. This would not have come without my being a people’s person.
NWS: Has anyone endorsed you so far?
M.D: Yes indeed. Elected officials, like Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General, Joseph Petty, Mayor of Worcester, Sarai Riviera, Worcester District 4 Councilor, Moe Bergman, Worcester At-Large City Counselor, Jamie Eldridge, State Senator, Dave Sullivan North West District Attorney, and Russell Holmes. Other powerful groups for the endorsement include, unions and organization 17th Worcester District Community Leaders. I cannot call all by name here for space but note that a lot of important people have endorsed me.
NWS: Any message for the electorate?
M.D: I want to encourage all my friends and the general electorate to vote for me to represent you. My background will benefit you — the people, the business and diverse communities of the 17th Worcester District. As your State Rep, I will work to bring new opportunity not to just the district, but to the region as well. I will apply creative, practical solutions, and we can make progress together. That’s why I’m running to be your State Rep, and in the next few weeks I plan to meet as many as of you as I can – to listen to your concerns and ideas, to start a conversation that I hope continues well into the future.
NWS: Finally, your slogan: “Let’s Get to Work: New vitality for our Regional Economy. What does it mean to you?
M.D: For many decades, the Central Massachusetts economy has lagged behind other regions of the Commonwealth and the country. The drop-off in the manufacturing hit us hard, and we need a comprehensive, regional approach built on the understanding that every stakeholder must be part of any real solution.
Prosperity comes easier when everyone’s view and priorities are considered, when we talk about issues from all perspectives, and then take bold, creative action to get the best result.
As your Rep, I will do just that — listen to your concerns and priorities and work with all the stakeholders to achieve the best outcome for people, communities, and businesses. This way of getting things done is reflected in our innovative policy proposals. By doing this we shall all get to work.
NWS: Any last words?
M.D: I want you to join me to defeat Campanale, because she has no plans laid out for our people. I can serve you better.
NWS: Dixon, thanks for the time and answers to my questions.
M.D: It’s my pleasure.