Dave Cavell is a former assistant attorney general in Massachusetts and speechwriter for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. His endorsements include Tom Shack, who dropped out of the race in May, and Brookline Select Board Chair Bernard Green.
What should high school students know about your platform?
Young people in this country are fed up with leaders who just talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. So it’s easy, for instance, to say that the climate crisis is an important issue. But my policy is developed by having actually worked on this issue, having investigated Exxon Mobil in the attorney general’s office, having sued the Trump administration’s Environmental Protective Agency to protect the Endangered Species Act and other environmental regulations. When I say I’m going to fight for the Green New Deal and vote to pass it as one of the first things I do in Congress, you know that that’s true. And when I say that environmental justice, climate justice and remaking our economy to be a clean energy economy [are] going to be part of every single day of my work in Congress, that should be clear as well.
How has your campaign been impacted by the coronavirus? What challenges and opportunities have you encountered?
My experience in politics was informed by what I saw Deval Patrick do when I worked for him, what I saw Barack Obama do when I worked for him and what I saw Maura Healey do when I worked for her, which was go everywhere and talk to everyone. So that’s what I was doing until the coronavirus, of course, made it impossible. But we have still tried to bring that same commitment to this work and reach out to people in every way that we can.
Mine is the only website that is fully available in English, Spanish and Portuguese in this race because we are serious about talking to everyone. And we had our volunteers and staff create a whole page of resources for every single one of the 34 cities and towns in the district about food banks, educational options and other resources.
What message do you have to people in the Massachusetts 4th Congressional District during such a time of economic and social upheaval?
What we really need right now is someone who wants to do this job and knows how to do it. And there’s really only one of us who has been in Washington and on the front lines of this fight. There’s really only one of us who worked with President Obama and stood up to make real change in people’s lives. There’s only one of us who has stood up to the Trump administration and helped sue that administration 50 times. There’s really only one of us who has taken on the biggest and most powerful companies in the world, whether that’s the NRA, Exxon Mobil [or] Purdue Pharma, who makes oxycontin. And so I think at this time of crisis, at this time of economic crisis, public health crisis, potentially even constitutional crisis, we need somebody who is ready on day one to fight for our values and to make real change in people’s lives, from tearing down systemic racism to leading the fight on the climate crisis.
I also recognize that the Black Student Union at South helped found the South Human Rights Committee, and I was hearing about the work that they’re doing to convene teachers to share resources against systemic racism and host discussions. Having joined the BLM protests in Newton, I just think that it is really wonderful that the community is coming together to respond and to think about how to engage in this work. This is a moment that is not just about saying the right thing, it’s about doing the right thing. And so I’m really I’m really proud that Newton South is leading the way.
To learn more about Dave, visit https://www.davecavell.com/.