By Carina Sorrentino
Curt Myers ’15 is pursuing a political science major here at Union while also running for Massachusetts State Representative in Norfolk’s 15th District. If elected, he would become the representative of about 25,000 constituents in the Massachusetts legislature.
Myers is a native of Brookline, Mass., and had an epiphany last summer that has developed into a potentially life-changing endeavor. “I started getting a feel for what people thought about it, while considering the district and the breakdown,” he stated, “I had to make a decision in the fall as to whether I wanted to pull the trigger on it, and I decided to go for it.”
Curt Myers ’15 is running for Massachusetts State Representative in Norfolk’s 15th District
The area of Brookline appealed to Myers as his hometown. “I really wanted to run in my home area. It is two-thirds of Brookline, an area of about 25,000 voters,” he remarked. “I obviously knew that I would need a few people to manage it which made it the correct size.”
The position is a state legislator, so along with having significant responsibility in his designated region, Myers would also become responsible for voting on laws that would impact the State of Massachusetts.
“Despite what people may think, I wouldn’t be the youngest person elected to this position, so it is not unheard of,” said Myers.
The question then becomes “What makes Myers a unique candidate here?”
“Massachusetts is a very democratic state,” he remarked. “At the end of this election cycle, we will have eight years of a Democratic majority, and I want to bring an opinion to the legislative body that would be different than those who are in power now.”
While the idea of running for public office may sound like a far-off aspiration for some, to Myers there seemed to be little hesitation once the opportunity presented itself.
“Back when I voted in 2012, I noticed on the ballot there were a lot of positions that no one was running for. Since 2000, no Republicans had run against the current representative in my district,” Myers stated.
With this being the current situation, Myers came to the conclusion that, “If no one was going to contest the seat, why not me?”
Presenting the idea to his friends and family came after a great deal of consideration, he remarked, “I wanted to present it as a serious idea, and not on a whim.” His family was surprised originally. Yet, after understanding his genuine dedication, they have become very supportive. Similarly, the majority of his friends grew to be encouraging after the initial shock.
Being in an environment such as Union, where students are well-versed in a variety of fields, Myers received a lot of enthusiasm from those seeking to contribute, whether through website design or politicking.
“It is much more complicated than just deciding to run for a race,” Myers remarked. Not only did he have to reach out and find someone to manage the campaign, but he had to enlist help for website and social media outreach, and find someone to communicate with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance. Through a network of family members and a trusted group of fellow Union students, Myers has assembled himself a valuable team.
Between juggling classes and everyday collegiate life, Myers has delegated some responsibilities to other driven Union students. Arian Holman ’15 has taken on the role of campaign manager, making her one of the individuals most heavily involved in Myers’ campaign. Holman will take on tasks such as managing Myers’ day-to-day schedule, being present at important events and coordinating with volunteers. Matt Barretto ’13 helped generate the logo for the campaign and has also been involved in video editing. Anders Goetz ’15 and Malcolm Kelly ’15 have also been enlisted by Myers for additional assistance in marketing and designing.
“The interesting thing about these seats is that you are voted in by your district but the laws you pass apply to the entire state, so you really need to propose and support laws that affect your whole state,” Myers explained. If he wins the position, he already has some specific ideas in mind to improve the Brookline area.
Education is one of the main concerns for Brookline residents. While central areas of the district have sufficient schooling opportunities, there are many on the outskirts that have only one school that is not up to the best standards. Myers has stated that a primary focus for him would be “to create opportunity and choices for people in those areas.”
The outcome of the race will greatly impact Myers’ future decisions and experiences in the political sphere. “Ultimately, my goal is to win,” he stated. “But my secondary goal is to run correctly and not do anything that would preclude me from any future steps I would like to take, as well.”
While Myers is not positive that a career in politics is exactly what he would like someday, there will be no better way to determine that than from this first-hand learning experience.
Taking the road less traveled, Myers is sure to have the experience of a lifetime during his campaign.