The Boston Globe, October 2023
With views on everything from library books to voter rights dividing Americans, residents and community leaders in this North Shore city are tackling a tough question: How can we best defend democracy? The answers are neither swift nor easy, but can be crafted by a look back at history to shape a vision for the future. That was the message conveyed by educators, local activists, and even historic reenactors who gathered Wednesday at Lynn Memorial Auditorium at City Hall for “Defending Democracy,” a community forum.
“The idea this evening is to think about ways to protect [democracy] because it is under attack,” Massachusetts Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler said to an audience of about 200 people. For Tutwiler, a former Lynn schools superintendent, protecting democracy is tied directly to equitable education for all students, particularly those of color. He specifically called attention to “leveling the playing field for historically marginalized groups” and breaking cycles of poverty. “That’s what it means to love our students,” he said.