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Talking To Massachusetts Voters

By Talia Whyte

Supporters of Gov. Deval Patrick and Lt. Gov. Tim Murray gathered in the South End’s Titus Sparks Park on Sept. 25 for their kickoff campaign rally. There was an uplifting mood within the multicultural crowd comprising of approximately 200 attendees who not only came to hear what Gov Patrick had to say, but to also get a glimpse of legendary singer and Democratic party supporter James Taylor. Almost everyone I spoke to at the rally said that the economy was their number one issue. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts is slightly below the national average at 8.8 percent. During his rally speech, Patrick said that his administration has helped create 65,000 jobs this year alone.

Immigration was also a top issue among many in the crowd. Massachusetts has seen a nearly four percent population growth since 2000, mainly comprised of recent immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean. I spoke to Moe Brown, a Jamaican-American who moved to the United States in 1995, at the rally. He came to Boston to work in construction in 2007, but became unemployed early last year. Brown said that he wants to get one of the new jobs that Gov. Patrick keeps talking about, but he said he is not too hopeful.

“He [Patrick] says he is creating new jobs, but I don’t see enough of them in my community,” Brown said. “I have been a citizen of this country for four years, have no criminal record, and have a registered electrician’s license and I still can’t get a job. He needs to make that 65,000 number a reality for me to believe him and want to vote for him very soon.”