Candidate focuses on land use, economic development
| G. Michael Dobbs
Angus Jennings, the candidate for lieutenant governor running with Evan Falchuk, sees their candidacy as an effort to build something: a new party in the Commonwealth.
Jennings explained to Reminder Publications the goal is to “establish a framework that will entice smart independent people” to get into politics through the United Independent Party. He sees the current election as the first one in which this new party could then launch a second wave of candidates for uncontested races in the Legislature next year.
Uncontested races “certainly doesn’t lead to innovation,” Jennings said.
Falchuk has received considerable press as one of three independent candidates who has been frozen out of some of the gubernatorial debates, which has actually helped spread his message of challenging the status quo.
His selection of Jennings is also questioning the status quo. Jennings has not held public office before but is land planner who has served in the public and private sectors.
“I felt I could do more good as a planner than as a town official,” he explained.
Born in Springfield and raised in Wilbraham, he is a graduate of Trinity College and earned his master of Regional Planning degree from Cornell University. He and his family currently live in Concord.
When announcing his running mate, Falchuk said, “Angus’s housing expertise and longtime experience working productively with everyone from state agency personnel and city mayors to municipal decision makers and community activists make him an ideal choice. The cost of living in our state has risen steadily while incomes have remained stagnant – and the two biggest drivers of those increased costs have been health care and housing. For today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities, it’s easy to see the inherent value of having such a respected voice in housing on the ticket. My selection of Angus is reflective of the approach I’d take in filling other government posts. I will seek out valuable, real-world experience and a track record of meaningful accomplishment.”
Jennings said he has always been interested in public policy and that he has sought “a better way to make a difference.” In his experience, the two party system hasn’t been welcoming.”
He believes a “push-pull” between advocates of different points of view is a “healthier form of government.” He has been trained professionally as a moderator, which he described as “a honest broker among somewhat competing interests.” He believes the executive branch requires an element of neutrality in order to listen to all sides and form a solution.
He said, “For Massachusetts to reach its potential the role of municipalities are essential, especially with land use.” In terms of economic development, Jennings sees local government and Beacon Hill as “equal partners.”
Jennings sees statewide zooming reform as important for future economic development and said that current environmental regulations are “filled with contradictions.”
His “big picture philosophy of government” includes the concept “the path of least resistance for private capital” results in the best outcomes for public policy.
The private sector is in a “thicket of uncertainty because of regulation layered on regulation.”
He believes that simplifying regulations will help attract private investment as well as assist cities and towns.
Jennings said that part of his motivation to serve is due to a personal event: a car accident in his family 29 years ago that “transformed my whole life.”
He explained, “Life is short. It reminds you to make the most of what you are given.”
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