Linde Touts Local Roots, Years of 'Giving Back'
Mark Linde (D-Brockton) puts emphasis on education, jobs, taxes, public safety and senior citizens in race for State Rep in 11th Plymouth District.
It's no surprise that if Mark Linde is elected State Representative, he wants to set up a district office on the Easton-Brockton town line.
After all, that's where he feels most at home.
Linde was born at Goddard Hospital in Stoughton, graduated from Brockton High in 1979 and continues to work in the area today. He is the General Manager of Brockton Community Access Television, the Chair of the Southeastern Regional School Committee and a teacher at Massasoit Community College in Brockton.
Giving back to the community where he grew up, lives, and works is a key reason behind his campaign for State Representative in the 11th Plymouth District, made up of Precincts 1-5 in Easton and all of Ward 1, Ward 3-D, Ward 7-C and 7-D in Brockton.
"I ran primarily because people called me up and said ‘why don’t you run? You’ve always helped people your whole entire life, I think this is a great opportunity,'" he said. "I thought about it and it didn’t take long to [decide]."
Linde joined a Democratic field made up of Brockton City Councilors Robert Sullivan and Jass Stewart, and Easton resident/Brockton lawyer Claire Cronin. After a Sept. 6 primary, the democratic candidate will face Easton Selectman Dan Murphy (R-Easton) in a general election.
The seat is currently occupied by Geraldine Creedon (D-Brockton), who announced earlier this year that she would not run for re-election.
"I heard rumors that she wasn’t going to run and there were people waiting in the wings," he said. "I was the fourth one in. Three people jumped in before I did. I didn’t go out and do the listening tour or any of that. I just took phone calls. I took phone calls from all sorts of people in Easton and in Brockton."
Serving his constituents and listening to the people of the Shovel Town and City of Champions would be a top priority, which is why he hopes to set up a district office to connect with local residents. While he acknowledges that the state doesn't pay for district offices, he feels it would be beneficial to improve communication with Beacon Hill.
"I’ll actually have a conversation with you," he said. "I’m not going to tell you what you want to hear. I’m going to tell you what I think; I’m going to have the conversation with you. If you can convince me otherwise, then I will change. I don’t have a big ego. If someone educates me I can learn something new."
The son of two teachers, Linde graduated from Brockton High and went on to study Political Science at George Washington University. After transferring to Stonehill College for a year and a half, he finished his degree in Broadcast Journalism and Politics and Public Affairs at the University of Miami.
The degree led to job offers in broadcast media, and eventually to his current position as the leader of Brockton Cable Access. Along the way, he receiveda Masters Degree at Fitchburg State in Media Management.
Ultimately, however, it was an experience at Brockton High that taught him the importance of both education and staying involved.
"I was a student rep. to the school committee in high school," he said. "It was a student advisory council and I represented my building for three out of four years. The school committee actually listened to what we had to say. They wanted to know what the student issues were. We sat at a table and we didn’t have a vote but we had a voice. I decided I really liked doing that."
Linde's interest in public policy and education was born.
Now a teacher at Massasoit and a School Committee member at Southeastern, he touts education as a key component to his campaign and says he is a strong believer in public education.
"I see what we do at Massasoit and Southeastern," he said. "We save lives; we transform lives. We have people that drop out of school, don’t go to school right away, come back to Massasoit and those are my students."
Linde said he hopes education can be affordable and accessible for all people of all ages in the area, and he would like to offer state funded college courses at Brockton High, Oliver Ames High and Southeastern Regional. He also wants to ensure adequate resources for public education, K-12, vocational, and higher education and provide educational opportunities for senior citizens and veterans.
"Some people will say the schools are too funded," he said. "It’s an investment and it’s everybody’s responsibility to pay for the next generation. People paid for me when I went to school. I don’t mind paying for people to take the courses."
Education is the first point in Linde's "Five Point Plan," which also includes jobs, easing the tax burden, public safety and protecting senior citizens.
Linde also believes education is key to creating jobs.
"I believe that my plan is economic development through education," he said. "If you have people that have skills and have a good education, [they] have jobs," he said. "It’s a proven fact that those who have an associate degree make 'x' amount of dollars more. If you have a bachelors degree you make 'x' amount of dollars more."
While he acknowledges that freshmen representatives often don't have their choice as to which committee they serve, Linde hopes he can serve on the joint committee on education to ensure the area is getting proper funding.
He says in his plan that it is important to explore opportunities such as solar, wind and biotechnology in order to creat jobs.
Linde's plan also hopes to "ease the tax burden" by working with the state treasurer to "ensure a fair return of Lottery revenue to our Brockton/Easton District" and ensuring that "public monies are spent correctly under the oversight of the State Auditor."
In regards to funding, his plan puts a priority on public safety and working to secure proper state and local funding for Easton and Brockton's police and fire officials.
He also puts an emphasis on Easton and Brockton's senior citizens. He wants to "work to ensure that no cuts are made that would hurt our Brockton/Easton District Senior Citizens" while fighting to enhance programs and transportation for the area's elderly.
Linde said he was impressed with Easton's response to an issue involving his own parents, who reside in the Shovel Town.
"They had a problem one day at their house," he said. "Their water main broke. It was a Sunday. That water department was right there. They fixed that problem. They had stellar customer service. I wrote a letter to the head of the water department and I was impressed by that."
While Linde said he may not have all the answers, he is willing to work hard for his community. When it comes to giving back, he is no amateur.
"I’ve done the groundwork," he said. "I’ve done it since I was young...I’ve gotten involved in every cause and every activity, from kids to seniors my whole entire life I’ve given back."
Editor's Note: This is the second in a series profiling all of the 11th Plymouth District State Rep candidates. Last week, we profiled Jass Stewart. Keep an eye out for future profiles. Additionally, all five candidates are blogging on Patch. Check out our Local Voices section to see what they have to say!