Rep. David LeBoeuf was elected in November 2018 to represent the 17th Worcester district, which includes Leicester and parts of Worcester.
(1) What got you involved in politics in the first place?
I first got involved in politics back when I was a junior at South High Community School. I organized a group of students to join members of the community in petitioning the Worcester City Council to increase funding to our public schools by 2%. I really saw the political process as a way for those of us who are often overlooked to have a voice and influence in our communities. What started as a simple volunteer effort turned into a passion of mine, and I moved on for advocating for more from just education policy to working on affordable housing issue campaigns, voter education drives, and eventually electoral politics.
(2) What inspired you to run for this office?
When I decided to run for this office, I initially was going to challenge the Republican incumbent before she decided to run for another office. I felt that our entire district wasn’t being represented and that she had taken votes that went against the needs of the people of my community. Those votes included to delay the implementation of earned sick time, to weaken wage theft protections, and a “present” vote on civil rights protections for transgender individuals. Although the dynamics of the election changed (an open seat with a three-way Democratic primary and Republican challenger), my motivation for running did not. I wanted to make sure my neighbors had a representative who would stand up for them, not when it was convenient, but when people needed someone the most.
(3) What were the most important lessons you learned during the campaign?
The number one lesson I learned was to be true to yourself. Many people doubted me when I ran and told me that my personality or my background wasn’t fit for the district. At the end of the day, people appreciated my authenticity and that I was willing to go out of my comfort zone to earn their vote. When you get to the bottom of it so many voters are frustrated with the labels and really want someone who is going to work hard, remain consistent, and be continuously be present in the community. I’m a proud progressive, and I did not run away from it–I embraced it. I learned quickly that people appreciated how open I was and were willing to engage in difficult conversations. It showed me that at the end of the day people across my district–regardless of if they lived in an urban or rural part–really wanted a State Representative who would stand up for them when they needed it the most and work their hardest to give them the voice they deserved.
(4) What are your priorities for the new legislative session?
My legislative priorities are focused on corporate social responsibility and consumer protection, universal pre-kindergarten, and regional equity. Representing Central MA, I want to make sure that the Commonwealth is committed to making sure all its residents, regardless of zip code, are given equal opportunity.
(5) Why is it important for more young people to get active in the Democratic Party?
I’ve been involved in my local Democratic City Committee since I turned 18. It is critical for young people to get involved in the Democratic Party because the decisions made both in the party, and in the legislature, will have a disproportionate impact on our generation. Climate Change is a prime example, since how we act now will determine the survival of future generations. I can’t stress enough how important it is for young people to have a seat at the table. Our voices matter and we need to be part of the decisions on how our Commonwealth, and our nation moves forward.