Saturday, September 16, 2006

If You Live In Massachusetts...

While I blog about the poor state of education in our society and the scientific illiteracy of our elected representatives, my friend and former business partner Chris Gabrieli is actually doing something about it. Let me tell you what he has done, and why you should vote for him this Tuesday Sept 19 to be the Democratic nominee for Governor of Massachusetts.

Education. Chris has spent the better portion of the last six years raising over $35 million for after school program initiatives for Massachusetts children. In fact, this fall ten (10!) schools are providing longer school days for public school children - the first initiative of its kind in the United States - directly due to Chris's work through his non-profit Mass2020. He worked with the Democratic House and Senate, as well the Republican leadership to ensure that the program was funded. As the son of immigrants who came to this country with only their education, Chris and his brother were expected to produce the grades - and they did - and they both went on to carve out impressive careers in business and education (Chris’ brother, John is a professor at MIT). Chris realizes first hand the importance of a good education – and, as a father of five, feels personal responsibility to ensure this for all children throughout the state. He isn't just talking a good game - he's out there doing something about it.

Science: Chris is a scientist by training, but had to leave medical school to return to and save a family business in distress—a healthcare information systems company that he and his father ultimately took public. During Chris’ 15 year tenure at Bessemer, most of his venture capital investments were in cutting edge technology and medicine, resulting in over $1 billion invested in the economy and over 100,000 jobs. He understands the language and the ideas behind the types of innovation that will drive the future of Massachusetts’ economy- and is ready to act on them in order to pull Massachusetts out of its sluggish situation. In 2005, when Gov. Romney threatened to veto the stem cell research bill, Chris led the charge to ensure its enactment - paving the way for groundbreaking research in your state.

Having worked alongside Chris for many years, I'm thrilled at the prospect of an honest, brilliant, and effective candidate stepping up to public service (too bad he doesn’t live in California). I can tell you that the man genuinely cares about Massachusetts, as demonstrated by his volunteer activities over the last 8 years. He is not a partisan politician— Chris doesn't care from where or whom an idea comes, so long as it's a good idea. Building a tunnel that doesn't fall down is neither a Republican nor a Democratic idea - it's simply a good one. Educating our children for the twenty-first century economy is neither a Republican nor a Democratic idea - it's simply a good one. And electing a Governor with a proven track record in education, business, medicine and technology is neither a Republican nor a Democratic idea - it's simply a good one.

That’s why the registered Independents among you (who represent 49% of Massachusetts) should also exercise your right to vote in this Tuesday’s primary. (This will not affect your independent status.)

The roots of our nation’s scientific and academic communities are planted in Massachusetts. You deserve a Governor who will ensure that the next generation of Massachusetts citizens will learn, embrace, and perpetuate the state’s proud tradition of leadership in education and technology. So please email this message to your friends and neighbors, and take the time this Tuesday to vote for Chris.

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