My name is Tomi Olson (Tommasina Perretta Olson), and I’m running for State Representative in the 24th Middlesex District. That includes all of Belmont, Precincts 2, 4, 8,10 and 12 in Arlington and Precincts 11-1 and 11-3 in Cambridge.
I’m running as an independent-thinking and reform-minded Republican. I believe in a “people first” approach, trusting our own judgment in place of the decades long “government first and government always” approach that has dominated the State Legislature.
There are three candidates in this race. All of us have both public and private sector experience. But it’s not enough to be experienced. We need experience that makes a difference.
My opponents have “Washington Experience.” Their public service involves being an insider, part of a large bureaucracy that is as interested in self-preservation and expanding its authority, as it is serving the people’s interest.
My experience is quite different. For two decades I’ve served at the local level as Town Meeting member, Traffic Advisory Board, and more recently on the Council on Aging and Economic Development Committee. These are local legislative bodies, where I’ve already effectively worked with fellow citizens of diverse perspectives to solve real-life everyday problems. I therefore have a far better understanding of District issues and concerns that are discussed at the dinner table, water cooler, or the local public hearing.
We need restore a balance of power in the Commonwealth. Our two-party system can only work well if we have a reasonable representation from both parties. At the same time we need people who already have experience reaching across the aisle to serve the people. I’ve been doing just that for 20 years.
To be effective your State Representative needs committee assignments at the State House. According to the rules it is necessary to caucus (belong) or negotiate with a political party to receive a committee assignment. That is simply the way our system works. Therefore any independent elected would be at a distinct disadvantage. Either way, his independence would be compromised.
My private sector experience also makes me the most qualified. For decades I’ve worked as a Financial Services Professional. Day after day I sit across the kitchen table with clients talking about their financial concerns. I hear their problems; I hear their dreams and aspirations. My clients want to know how to get out of debt, how to make ends meet. They want to retire, knowing they will be comfortable without being a burden to their children or the taxpayers. They want to send their children to good schools and eventually a good college. Being accountable for other people’s financial security is something I experience everyday. My understanding of economic issues is real life, not theoretical. And that’s the approach I’ll take when advocating for and overseeing the people’s interest.
I encourage you to visit my website www.tomiolson.com. I will also be hosting office hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 1:30 p.m. (ending Nov. 1st). Please feel free to stop by get to know me in person. Please join me in promoting a “people first” approach to citizen government, by giving me your vote on Nov. 6th.