Senate candidate and Brookline resident Alan Khazei spent last night in Newton, where the Newton Democratic City Committee had "."
The crowd of more than 75 people posed articulate questions with progressive (or liberal) views to the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate at an open meeting of the Newton Democratic City Committee.
The Brookline social entrepreneur talked a lot about Republican Scott Brown, but he only mentioned once: "My pitch is, let's keep Setti as mayor..."
His comment drew a round of audience applause.
Khazei, the co-founder of City Year and a big booster of community service, started by saying he loved that the gathering was held in theAuburndale Community Library — which is kept open only with volunteers and donations.
Khazei asked audience members what they felt were the most important issues to address. Some of their responses give you a sense of the crowd:
- The economy
- Lack of social cohesion that comes from income disparity
- Getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan
- Getting the money out of politics
- Shifting to a 'green' energy strategy/putting people back to work
- Fear of different cultures and religions
- U.S. budget deficit: 'foreign countries own so much of us'
Khazei answered questions about his stands on, among others:
- Healthcare. "Since Newton is full of medical professionals," is how the questioner began. Khazei's answer: global payments, changed healthcare provider incentives and malpractice reform
- Cutting the U.S. budget deficit. He said he'd start by returning to Clinton-era tax rates on the wealthiest
- Cutting the military. Khazei said he has long urged that the U.S. get out of both Iraq and Afghanistan
- A Palestinian state. He supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict
But both a questioner and another woman who spoke with Khazei afterward identified their concerns that, while the articulate and wide-ranging thinker-candidate was at home communicating with the Newton Democrat crowd, that he also be able to really speak to people who voted for Scott Brown ("against their best interests," said the questioner).
Last week, fellow Democrat and Senate Candidate Bob Massie spoke with Newton Democrats at his "coffee with the candidate" event, rather than his competition in the primary.
Next candidate up for introduction to Newton Democrats: immigration lawyer Marisa DeFranco, who is scheduled hold a similar meeting with the Newton Democratic City Committee on Wed., June 1 at 7:30 p.m.