It can be hard to get motivated to vote in a primary election. As the fall air gets crisp, you may be fixated on pulling out your favorite crew neck sweater, stocking your fridge with massive amounts of pumpkin beer, and watching Peyton Manning call signals in a Buick.
Many people are unsure if they’re allowed to vote in a primary and if it is at all meaningful. The good news is that if you’re registered, you are allowed to vote, but you need to pick either the Democrat or Republican Primary. Also, there are lots of pumpkin beers, so the liquor store is unlikely to run out any time soon and Peyton can crank out wholesome commercials better than Hood.
It can be easy to be apathetic and cynical about politics, but there are candidates that have fresh ideas that cater to young voters. Leland Cheung is one of those candidates. Here are three reasons to consider dropping him a vote today.
Support for startups and young entrepreneurs
Cheung recently co-authored an op-ed with David Chang, the COO at the Paypal Media Network that called greater government support of start-ups. As a Cambridge City Councilor Cheung created a policy that required all new developments in Kendall Square to carve out at least 10 percent of space for startups. The thinking is that new companies are not likely to sign a long-term lease when revenue is lacking and personnel are limited. He credits this policy with helping make Kendall Square the innovation hub that it is today. Cheung wants to make sure that young entrepreneurs have a home in Massachusetts.
Cheung condemns higher education institutions for focusing on making a profit rather than “reinvesting in our youth.” He has called for greater government efforts in assisting students with the rising cost of the education.
Cheung has proposed that Massachusetts redistribute funding amongst its public schools, which could help eliminate the rift in education quality between wealthier and poorer cities and towns. He has called for greater commitment to high quality pre-kindergarten education programs that have proven to have to result in higher academic and social capabilities later in life.
Revamping the Lieutenant Governor position
Lieutenant Governor is not the sexiest political office in Massachusetts. If you are looking for further proof of this fact, note that this former United States President
once held the office, and he basically sets the bar for being not sexy. In the Globe’s endorsement of Cheung, they noted that although Massachusetts is full of politicians, there are no high profile candidates running for Lieutenant Governor, which suggests that the seat has limited influence. One of the reasons that Cheung was able to secure the Globe’s endorsement is that he desires to make the Lieutenant Governor role more meaningful. Cheung has proposed that the LG serve as a Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Commonwealth. Cheung explains that the COO would be less concerned with operational issues (fixing roads, etc.) the Governor’s office is focused on. Instead he would be able to focus on forward thinking initiatives that identify what issues are likely to be important down the road, then build alliances with local leaders to help address them before they come to a vote. Cheung sees this as a way to get the Governor’s more ambitious proposals to gain the support they need so they can be pushed through.
So battle apathy and let your voice be heard. Voting starts at 7 a.m. and closes at 8 p.m. The lines will probably be shorter than at your local liquor store. Who knows, the next Lieutenant Governor could support your startup idea, help you pay for college, or serve as Massachusetts’ first COO.