I fly the Boston-Provincetown route on Saturdays in the summers. I love it—I can’t think of a nicer way to spend a Saturday.
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I sort of look at Harwich as the fulcrum of the Cape. East of Harwich, a lot of it is the National Seashore. You go west and you’re in the more densely developed part of the Cape. Harwich is in the middle. There’s a lot of interesting history to the town—“Tip” O’Neill and his family were in Harwichport. There’s a huge Cape Verdean population, and to this day, there’s a lot of diversity in Harwich, which is a very positive thing. It’s still a vibrant agricultural community—primarily for cranberries, but there are other types of farming in town, too. There’s a great mix of rural, second-home owners, and tourism industries here. Harwich, in so many ways, is the quintessential Cape Cod town.
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The political process is something you have to be patient about because it’s very deliberative. I’m learning how to be patient and spending a lot of time working with and listening to constituents to even better understand some issues that need attention and need work here. But I’m hugely privileged to be able to serve this district. If you take the environment and the diversity of the people that live here, I can’t think of another state senate district that comes close.
I was making a speech a while ago about regional wastewater—about why we have to approach the problem regionally. I made the point by saying when you go to California and tell people where you’re from, you don’t say, “I’m from Harwich” or “I’m from Brewster” or “I’m from Centerville.” You say, “I’m from Cape Cod.” But when you’re on Cape Cod and someone asks where you’re from, you say, “I’m from Osterville” or “I’m from Harwich.” On certain issues, we need to be Cape Codders and see ourselves as Cape Codders.
We define ourselves depending on the context we’re in. If I’m in Europe, I might be from New England. But even Cape Cod has enough cache internationally.