4th district profiles: Jesse Mermell
"There is something about Mermell." Thats what my fellow colleagues in the Massachusetts Political world keep telling me. And to be honest, I agree one hundred percent, there IS something about Jesse Mermell. Despite not having as much cash in the nine candidate race of the 4th congressional district, the former Brookline Select Board member is seen as a favorite in this race due to her outreach, policy, and of course, her ability to gain endorsements. It was only in the last few weeks when Mermell managed to gain three high profile endorsements from prominent groups and lawmakers. Those three endorsements were from the National Women’s Political Caucus, The Massachusetts Nurses Association, and yesterday, twelve endorsements from political figures in the south eastern area of the district, including Taunton Rep Carol Doherty. But it isn't just the quantity of endorsements that makes Mermell such a powerful candidate, but also the quality of the endorsements. She is the only candidate to have backing from another federal house member from the Bay State, in this case, Representative Ayanna Pressley. In her endorsement of Mermell on October 29th 2019, Pressley states that, “Jesse has spent her career in pursuit of progressive change, and her leadership has always been undertaken in close partnership with the community."
While being an endorsement magnet helps Mermell quite a bit, this is not her only strength. One aspect of her campaign that makes her stand out amongst the field is the emphasis on education, an important part of many citizen's lives in the Commonwealth. On her website, two noticeable policy factors in education are immediate debt relief to students, and affordable higher education for all. Right off the bat you can see how Mermell manages to appeal to the two different areas of the district. The northern part is drawn towards the debt relief as students there have a hard time paying off the school debts as they keep rising, and the southern part of the district (Fall River, New Bedford etc) would be more attracted towards affordable education, as that is something many parents are concerned about their children not having. In fact, in a 2017 study, education is the most important issue for many Portuguese Americans living in Fall River, an important voting block needed to win the primary and the general election in November.
Jesse Mermell embodies the Massachusetts, "Pragmatic Progressive" to a T, following in the footsteps of Elizabeth Warren and the aforementioned Representative Pressley. Managing to tie the Green New Deal to the fiscal issue of transport, or equity to education, Mermell has shown versatility in her campaign. While she is not as cash strapped as her rivals, she should be taken very seriously, that even the great David Wasserman of cook is calling her the number one candidate in the race right now. So yes fellow readers, there is SOMETHING about Jesse Meremell.