Ben Sigel is a civil litigation attorney and the president of the Hispanic National Bar Association in New England. He has served on the board of over a dozen nonprofit organizations.
What should high school students know about your platform?
We are the only candidate talking about from the beginning, about how there is strength in unity and strength in community. Our entire theme is ‘We the Fourth,’ that we are all in this together. And that’s the theme you’re seeing now under COVID-19 and now after the death of George Floyd, that we are all in this together. If we’re going to fix the structural racism and inequality in our country, if we’re going to fix the healthcare system in our country, we have to be all together because we are stronger when we are united than [when] we are divided. I got into this race because I was sick of the divisions that we were seeing. I was the only candidate not just talking about specific issues, but talking about how we all 34 cities and towns need to work together. Because if we don’t, it doesn’t matter what the issues are. The other piece just for high school in particular is that I am very adamant about making sure that the voices and perspectives of high school students and college students and even younger than high school will have a seat at my table and will be heard and will be a part of how I legislate. That’s how I’ve worked as a leader in the nonprofit world for the last dozen plus years, and that’s how I will legislate.
How has your campaign been impacted by the coronavirus and what challenges and opportunities have you encountered?
Like everyone else, it’s very difficult under COVID-19 to go from a campaign in which you go see people to a campaign that is virtual. I’m the only candidate who has visited all 34 cities and towns. That was a big part of my campaign, getting out into the community, because it goes with the theme of my campaign.
We’ve put together what I believe is the strongest virtual campaign of any candidate. Everything we do is about informing, educating and supporting the community. Just yesterday, we did our 27th Facebook Live session with a different expert and leader in the community in order to inform, educate and support. And in fact, two of those sessions were with members of Newton South High School.
No other candidate has come close to putting together the programs that we have. We look at it as that’s how I’m going to be a member of Congress, and that’s how we should be acting now. And so we’re really proud that we have probably over 20,000 already viewing our sessions, and we’ve had over 50,000 seeing the invite, and seeing what we’re doing.
If elected, you would make history as the first Latino Congressperson from Massachusetts. What would that mean to you?
It’s not about what it would mean to me. It’s about what it means for the community, quite honestly. If you’re truly someone who’s enraged by what we’re seeing in structural racism and inequality, part of what underlines that structural racism is that minorities, especially black and brown communities, don’t have access to decision makers and are not in a role of making decisions.
If I become the first Latino, I’m going to be not only having access to decision makers, I’ll be a decision maker myself, understanding and coming from the perspective of communities that are not represented. What it also does is it opens up the door for so many other people — young Latino and young black kids and young Asian American kids — who can look up and say, here’s a role model. There is a leader who looks like me, sounds like me and understands me. Finally, no one should ever vote for someone because they’re black, because they’re Latino, because they’re Asian American. But I should also get a vote because I have been advancing diversity, equity and inclusion for numerous years, helping to move our country forward and lift up all voices.
To learn more about Ben Sigel, visit https://bensigelforcongress.com/.