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October 16, 2005

Andrea Silbert Makes Her Case

[Blue Mass Group recently spoke at length with Lieutenant Governor candidate Andrea Silbert about her campaign. As is our practice David, Charley and I will post our reports without prior consultation. Full disclosure: Andrea and I went to college together and have been friends for almost 20 years. I think very highly of her and am supporting her campaign.]

Andrea Silbert, the leading fund raiser in the Lieutenant Governor's race, laid out her compelling case for the office with a characteristic mix of idealism, realism, determinaton and enthusiasm last week in an extended discussion with our Editors.

"My campaign is first and foremost about economic development, job creation, and urban development. Massachusetts is currently 48th out of the 50 states in job creation. I have a proven track record of having done that in the private sector -- the organization I co-founded, Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE), has helped companies create more than 14,000 jobs and $400 million in new wages in over 200 communities across the state," she said.

Economic development, however, will mean little if it does not flow through to the most disadvantaged members of society, Silbert said. "I believe in social justice for two main reasons. First, it is the right thing to do from a moral point of view. Second, as a practical matter we need everyone if we are going to succeed as a society," she said.

CWE, which Silbert started at her kitchen table, helps entrepreneurs -- primarily women, but also men -- start new businesses and expand existing enterprises by providing education, training, technical assistance and access to debt and equity capital. The non-profit employs about 30 staff, has offices in Boston, Worcester and Providence, and had revenues of approximately $2.5 million last year, according to Silbert.

Silbert said her development work has required frequent trips to Washington. "I have learned, to some degree, how to work with the system in Washington. I intended to bring that experience to bear if I am elected," she said. Development of the regional rail network, for example, is an area that should receive priority state and federal attention, she added.   

Silbert lives in Harwich with her husband, Craig Caldwell, and their three children. She earned a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Harvard. She was a financial analyst with Morgan Stanley in New York, then left the country in 1988 to serve in grassroots economic development in Costa Rica, Colombia, and Brazil.

She worked for Women's World Banking, an international network of micro-loan funds, in Latin America, and with the poorest of the poor at a non-profit organization serving "street children" in Brazil. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Silbert's campaign fundraising total recently topped $200,000, which puts her first in the money race, Cape Code Today reported on 12 October. The Harvard MBA says most of that sum is still in the bank. Silbert, who is not independently wealthy, launched her effort with $5,000 of her own funds.

Silbert has been endorsed by former US Ambassador Swanee Hunt, State Representative Rachel Kaprielian, State Representative Matt Patrick, AIDS Action Committee Executive Director Rebecca Haag, John Kerry LGBT Finance Committee Chair Will Woodruff, former State Representatives Jim Collins and Peter Larkin, and business leaders such as realtor Chobee Hoy and venture capitalist John Cullinane, Jr.

Posted by Bob at 02:09 PM in Vote 9.16.2006 | Permalink


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I hope those that think Andrea Silbert lacks sufficient gravitas to hold the position of Lt Gov (or Gov), reconsider. I'd suggest she has more of a background in economic development, in public-private partnerships, than the current Governor. She's done the hard work in the trenches. Creating economic opportunity is the great equalizer on many of the social issues we care about, it's a good place for the party to stake a claim.

I encourage everyone to strongly support her candidacy.

Posted by: Steven Leibowitz | Oct 16, 2005 7:33:38 PM

Impressive endorsement list. Please! The only significant one is Cullinane because that equals money, Reps Kaprelian & Patrick (real heavyweights) and Collins (did he ever pass a bill or was he the one-termer that lost to Voke with big ears) and Larkin (Finneran's water boy in the House and now at Mass Biotech) HEY when you're out, you're out and endorsements = nothing, only money wins these types of elections

Posted by: John Galway | Oct 16, 2005 9:07:40 PM

The only significant one is Cullinane because that equals money
Swanee Hunt is, I believe, an heiress to the Hunt's ketchup fortune. She has tons of money herself, and she therefore knows lots of other people who have lots of money.

Posted by: David | Oct 16, 2005 11:55:21 PM

I wanted to share my toughts from another posting about this candidate. (http://masspolitical.blogspot.com/2005/09/lt-governors-race-up.html#comments)

In short, there seems to be a much-a-do about nothing in my opinion.

Her platform is quite clear... Job creation.

But as a so-called expert in job creation one would expect that Andrea Silbert would understand that loss and lack of jobs is only a symptom of a much larger issue. That larger issue is the cost of living and doing business in MA. It is the extremely high tax rates, the unaffordable housing, and the overwhelming cost of healthcare. Therefore, her "experience" is irrelevent.

We need a tax expert, a housing expert, a healthcare expert and an economist- not a venture capitalist/ small business advisor. By the way, wasn't Mitt Romney a venture capitalist who created jobs and was going to use his experience to create jobs for MA? We do not need another Mitt Romney (even if they are a registered Democrat). We need experts in the fields of the real problems not in the areas of the symptoms.

Posted by: Isaac | Oct 27, 2005 1:08:04 PM

Isaac, you can't seriously be comparing Andrea Silbert to Mitt Romney and shame on you for doing it. Mitt has dedicated his life to cutting the legs out of people in the name of profits. Andrea has dedicated her life to helping people and public service - and has done it through a applying her business experience and training. That's anything BUT Romney.

Posted by: Juan | Nov 1, 2005 5:22:35 PM

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