4th District Profiles: Alan Khazei
Out of all nine Democrats running for Massachusetts's Fourth Congressional District, Alan Khazei might just be the most recognized name in the race. Khazei, a social entrepreneur, is no stranger to Massachusetts Politics, as he has ran in the 2010 and the 2012 Senate Special Election Democratic Primaries. Even though he placed third in the former race and withdrew in the latter race, his impact was felt on the Bay State Political landscape. Not only did the Boston Globe endorse him in the 2010 election, but he swore off donations from PACs and lobbyists, something not practiced normally within the mainstream parties at that time. Today, Mr. Khazei is still sticking to this pledge of building a grassroots campaign as he seeks to fill in the vacant seat of Joe Kennedy III, but there is more to the man than simply being a well recognized name in the commonwealth.
Mr. Khazei's greatest achievement would of course be his foundation of. the City Year Program along with his Harvard Roommate Michael Brown in 1988. City Year, is a non profit organization devoted towards education that gives 17 to 24 year olds the opportunity to participate in service to help communities. This service, similar to the AmeriCorps program (another organization Khazei has devoted time and money towards) managed to employ several Americans as well as gave over 30,000 young Americans their first jobs. Not only is this program successful in America, but across the world too, in areas such as South Africa and the United Kingdom. Khazei believes that through these types of programs and service, it can help bring together a divided nation, In an interview with WCCS Wheaton College Radio, Khazei notes that, "I’ve learned is not everybody agrees when they’re serving on a city or team together or an AmeriCorps project together, but they learn to walk in other people’s shoes. Or like I say, moccasins, they learn not to judge them." In a time where polarization is running rampant across the nation, bringing people together and having conversations is an important necessity that needs to happen.
Another strength that Mr. Khazei possesses is his clear stance on Health Care. While other candidates will state broadly they support Medicare for All or an expansion on the ACA, Mr. Khazei, flat out states that he wishes for a "Medicare for All Who Want It" plan, the option originally suggested by Presidential Candidate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Khazei wishes to not only transform the Affordable Care Act, but push it beyond its boundaries to include a public option. This would help bridge the progressive and moderate vote in the suburbs of MA04, as many have been open to the idea of Medicare for All yet are worried about the idea of it being implemented too fast.
Yes, it seems that Mr. Khazei is a strong contender for this race, but we still have around a month to go. He is neck and neck in terms of fundraising with Newton City Councilman Jake Auchincloss and has yet to make the big push to really get him to a higher pedestal. Yet, he is really making an effort to be THE candidate of this race, and will try his hardest to make sure he puts people over politics.