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Judy Meredith: Morse’s passion started in youth



Published: 8/24/2020 11:51:09 AM

I have decided to donate half of my stimulus check $600 to Alex Morse’s campaign for Congress. It’s a lot for me and let me tell you why.

I met 15-year-old Alex Morse in a basement of the Holyoke Boys and Girls Club 15 years ago. On a $2,000 grant to Health Care for All and UTEC in Lowell, we had traveled the state to recruit teens to get engaged in a campaign to design and advocate for a new program to serve teens. In the back corner of the room with his arms crossed this bored, skinny redheaded kid stood up and asked me “Is this going to be a real lobbying campaign that will really make a difference, or is this gonna be another ‘How a bill becomes law?’“

Two years and six weekend retreats later, 30 young people developed a peer-to-peer community program that served teens with mental and emotional health “issues.” Morse went out to organize constituent – teens, parents, guidance counselors and pastors – meetings with almost every elected official in western Massachusetts and followed up. I heard many stories about “that kid” at the State House. The young people named themselves Teens Leading the Way, and they grew and grew.

A couple years later, I was happy to write reference letters for his application to college and was only a little surprised when I got a call after his graduation, asking for a donation to his campaign for mayor.

Today, Morse is weathering an attack by College Democrats of Massachusetts using sad old homophobic charges. I won’t go into the charges, or the source, or Morse’s response. You have read the papers and watched TV news. I am so proud of him and this articulate review of his values. He looks tired though. I hope you decide to vote for him.

Judy Meredith



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