73°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

PJ McCann for State Representative of the Suffolk District

Candidate+for+State+Representative+PJ+McCann
Candidate for State Representative PJ McCann

PJ McCann will be seeking the seat formerly held by Mayor Martin J. Walsh on March 4 in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, the 13th Suffolk District representing much of Dorchester and a precinct in Quincy.
Politically, McCann is a Democrat who strongly identifies with values of shared opportunity and inclusion. He believes himself to be effective at finding common ground on important issues with people from all ideological and political backgrounds. “I believe that negotiation and working toward compromise is still possible and worthwhile at the state level,” he said. 
Professionally, McCann has made his career in public service, working in policy and legal roles in city government, state government, and several nonprofits. He is currently on leave of absence from his position as the Assistant General Counsel for the Boston Public Health Commission while seeking this office. At the Commission, which serves as Boston’s health department, McCann has worked to develop and implement policies that make Boston a healthier city.
“The agency takes a broad approach to creating opportunities for people to be healthier, and our work includes creating housing placements for clients of our homeless shelters, protecting our neighborhoods from environmental health hazards, and working to remove lead paint, smoke, and toxic chemicals from children’s homes,” said McCann. “We work across in partnership with other agencies and organizations to ensure that Boston residents [have] access to appropriate health care and to eliminate racial and ethnic health inequities.”
Personally, McCann and his wife Julie live on Savin Hill Ave. with their dog, Bowser. “We chose to settle down in the neighborhood where my mother was raised because we thought that Dorchester was a great place to start a family,” said McCann. “We have a great network of friends and family here and love the sense of community, inclusiveness, and civic pride the neighborhood has.”
According to McCann, Mayor Thomas M. Menino is the leader who he admires the most — “because of the way he governed from the heart.” McCann has a great deal of respect for Menino’s approach to any issue or proposed policy solution, for Menino’s first question has always been “how does this help our residents?”
“In government, decision makers often run the risk of getting caught up in the details and losing sight of that most important question, but he never has,” said McCann. “Throughout his administration, governing with this question in mind led him to make great improvements in the quality of life for all of Boston’s residents. Wherever I go in my career in public service, I will try my best to keep that same question in mind.”
As for how he plans on going about bettering the community, specifically in the interest of college students, McCann believes that the core issue in the community and in this race is how to make sure that economic growth and opportunity is shared throughout neighborhoods. He strongly feels that state government can do a much better job at making sure that all residents of the district have equal access to good, quality jobs, and the resources needed to get hired and succeed. 
“I think college students and recent college graduates have faced enormous challenges during the great recession that we are still trying to overcome,” said McCann. “We need to do more to support students who are working to support their education, like so many at UMass Boston, through a minimum wage increase, student loan relief, better access to affordable childcare, and the many other supports that will enable students to fully participate in the economic prosperity of our city and region.”
If you are interested in learning more about his campaign, please visit pjmccann.org.