Mara Dolan Massachusetts Governor Council District 3
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I have been a public defender for 15 years, and deeply love the work and the law. I have worked with children, young and emerging adults, and adults in the District, Superior, and Juvenile Courts. As a public defender, I see the court system through the eyes of my clients. They can either leave court better positioned to make their lives the way they want them to be, or face an even higher hill to climb.
Why are you running for office?
In MA, we don’t elect our judges, but we do elect the people who choose them, the Governor’s Council. Our judiciary is loaded with prosecutors, we need a public defender to help us decide who our judges are going to be to bring balance to the system.
What are the three biggest issues facing your community?
First, the opiate crisis; in 2020, more than 2,000 people in Massachusetts died from an opioid overdose – more than ever before. Massachusetts is suffering from an exponential increase in opioid-related overdoses, overdose deaths, and people seeking substance use treatment. Next, like everywhere else in the country reproductive rights are threatened in MA. Finally, decarceration of those convicted of non-violent offenses.
How do you propose to solve those problems?
I can contribute to solving these problems by choosing judges who are pro-choice, understand the science of addiction and will work to support recovery, and who are anti-racist.
What is your stance on environmental and climate concerns that are facing your community?
Our climate is in crisis. We must do everything we can to help protect our environment.
What commonsense gun safety measures would have the most impact on your community?
Massachusetts has the best record on gun safety in the country. I would choose judges that would protect those gun safety measures.
How would criminal justice reforms impact your community?
We are locking too many people up, and we are keeping them behind bars for too long. I vow to select judges that rule with the compassion and wisdom needed to reduce our incarcerated population.
How would you work to protect a woman’s reproductive health?
By making sure all judicial nominees are pro-choice before I vote yes. My opponent just cast a vote to confirm an anti-choice judge to our Superior Court.
What measures would you advocate to ensure that your constituents have the right to vote?
I will support judges who support the enforcement and expansion of our voting laws, including same-day voter registration and ranked choice voting.
I am running to be the first public defender on the Governor’s Council, which has the final say on our judges, our Parole Board, and on who receives a commutation or pardon.
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