On June 27 I will vote for Cindy Friedman in the Democratic Primary for our next 4th Middlesex State Senator.  I strongly support her because she is thoughtful, intelligent, informed, and clear-headed and she cares deeply about the issues that matter to all of us, especially to those whose needs are often ignored.

I have worked with her in all the years that I have been active in Arlington politics and have had a chance to get to know her as a mentor, a guru, an advocate for progressive values and causes.  She was the one I turned to for advice on campaigns, on legislative matters and on how to approach various issues I cared about.  She was always responsive generous and wise in her advice.

I was amazed at her grasp of and passion for the issues and at her intimate knowledge of how the State Senate works and of how one can successfully lead, collaborate and fight to enact meaningful legislation.  I saw how as his Chief of Staff she partnered with the late Senator Ken Donnelly and what a crucial role she played in helping with all the aspects of his job.  This was even more evident during the sad months of his illness.

After his untimely death, I knew that Cindy was devastated, but I also felt that she was the very best choice to continue the work that had mattered so much to both of them and to carry on his legacy. So though I felt really guilty doing this so soon after his funeral, I contacted her and urged her to run.  I knew that Cindy is not a career politician and that doing this would pull her out of her comfort zone, but I hoped she would run anyway.  I learned that many others, including Ken’s entire family had also asked her to run. I am so glad that she is doing so!

Finally, I strongly believe that women, who make up more than half of our population, should have equal representation in government. This is not the case in our State Senate. Women hold only 12 out of 40 seats!  Of course I would never pick the woman over a superior male candidate but fortunately Cindy is clearly the best. Thus, voting for her is a win-win situation!

Hannah Simon is an Arlington resident.