Thursday, July 18, 2024

From Michael J. Thistle, Sept. 29, 2017: Vice mayor Marc McGovern, in a very competitive race for City Council, is a level-headed, socially conscious, caring individual who should continue to lead us through tumultuous times.

McGovern has the unique ability to hear both sides of the story and figure out a way to make it a win-win situation, like our great U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy did. But most importantly, and often overlooked, is his deep-seeded caring for the disenfranchised who cannot speak for themselves as well as they wish they could, including the homeless, elderly, low-income families and local businesses.

Being second-in-command, you would think he would be inaccessible. This is so far from the truth! He’ll meet with constituents wherever they are and whenever they have the time.

I’d like to take a moment of your time to tell you how I met Marc McGovern. In 2011, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 laryngeal carcinoma, given only a 30 percent chance of survival. If that wasn’t enough, it made me homeless for a while in Cambridge, no longer able to work full time. After six months I found a rooming house in Everett and proceeded with radiation and chemotherapy treatments while selling the Spare Change newspaper around the Whole Foods on Prospect Street. One day I had the opportunity to tell my story at City Hall at a screening of the “Under the Bridge” documentary on homelessness. McGovern took great interest in my story and me – for reasons I didn’t understand then, but really do now.

My treatment was taking a big toll, but he took me under his wing and gave me moral support to go on, telling me selling the paper was important for the community as much as it was for me. He convinced me to stay positive! And he had me fill out paperwork for an inclusionary housing program. He didn’t care that I didn’t live in Cambridge and couldn’t vote for him; he cared about me and my future and saw in me what I couldn’t see for myself. His support, along with the other residents of Cambridge, allowed me to stay positive and fight to survive. I became cancer-free in 2014, and in 2016 I got a Section 8 in Everett; because I had filled out the paperwork for inclusionary housing, I became eligible automatically.

The point is, he’s not just a caring man; he’s clairvoyant. I’m still selling Spare Change, but now also writing for it and am on the board of directors – all because of Marc’s support and the unconditional caring of Cambridge people!

Please vote No. 1 for Marc McGovern. The city needs this man.