Over twenty residents packed into a North Andover livingroom on Wednesday evening to meet and speak with former State Representative Barbara L’Italien.
“I got to know Barbara several years ago when she represented parts of North Andover in the State Legislature,” said Jack McManus. “Now that district boundaries have been adjusted, I really wanted to introduce my neighbors to Barbara.”
McManus and his wife, Marsha, invited neighbors and friends to their home to learn about Barbara’s candidacy. While L’Italien is a Democrat, McManus said many of his guests were either Republicans or unenrolled in any party.
“I got to have a great discussion with many new people,” explained L’Italien. “Regardless of where they fell politically, every person expressed frustration with the gridlock and partisanship. I was excited to speak about how many of my accomplishments wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t worked with both political parties.”
While speaking to the gathering, L’Italien emphasized bipartisanship and specifically pointed to the coalition of legislators, residents, and activists she organized to expand health insurance for Autism.
“I reached out to everyone I could about how important this law would be,” explained L’Italien. “I didn’t discriminate based on party. I got most Republican legislators – including Scott Brown – to sign on in support of this law. In the end, we were able to pass this bill unanimously.”
“Its funny, really, when you think that Democrats and Republicans in Washington can’t seem to agree on anything - especially about healthcare,” continued L’Italien. “But here in Massachusetts I was able to get members of both parties to agree on to such a monumental piece of healthcare reform.”
“I think Barbara has an impressive record of accomplishments that include bringing people of many different political stripes together,” explained McManus. “If we want a government that works, then we need to elect officials who are willing to work together. That is why I am excited to support Barbara L’Italien.”