ELECTION 2011: State Rep. Candidate Q & A With John Lawn
Learn about John Lawn!
With days to go until the Tuesday, April 12 primary election, Patch recently asked John Lawn, a Watertown Democratic candidate for the 10th Middlesex District state representative seat, about why he is running for the seat. Check out his email responses below.
The general election will be held Tuesday, May 10 and its winner will replace former State Rep. Peter Koutoujian, who was appointed Middlesex County Sheriff earlier this year.
Patch is planning to post stories on all five candidates, pending submission of information by each candidate.
John Lawn (To view a video of Lawn, click on the photo box to the right.)
Jobs: I have a diversified background in financial services and as a small business owner. I worked for over 11 years for Fidelity Investments in many different roles and was a trader on the Boston Stock Exchange for Fidelity until being laid off in 2002 after the stock market correction.
I then worked for a small real estate business before opening Charles River Real Estate, Inc. in 2004. The challenges of opening a small business, start up costs, regulations and community outreach were all a learning experience. In 2005, I ran a successful campaign for Town Council in Watertown. I have been serving for six years as the District D Councilor.
Education: I attended Rosary Academy for kindergarten, Saint Patricks Grammar and High School graduating in 1987. I then attended Merrimack College and graduated in 1991 with a double major in Political Science and Sociology.
Family: My wife Shannon and I have five children: Katherine, 11, Jack, 9, and six-year old triplets: Liam, Maeve and Owen.
Personal Activities: My favorite personal activity is being with my family.
Why is Lawn Running for State Rep? I am running because I am a father, a husband, a son, a small business owner, a coach and a town councilor. I have the experience of being laid off as well as employing people in our community. I want to bring all of that experience to Beacon Hill and serve my community in the House of Representatives.
What Issues would Lawn work on as a state representative? My three biggest issues:
- Job Creation: Having the experience of being laid off with 2 young children at the time is something that I will never forget. I will work with other legislators to be creative so that others do not have to experience the loss of a job. Supporting small business is the key to creating local jobs and getting our economy back on track.
- Health Care: Being in municipal government has provided me with a solid understanding of our biggest problem facing all of our communities: healthcare. The rise healthcare costs have slowly destroyed the ability of municipalities to deliver basic services. We need to have everything on the table, from a single payer system to dealing with our large private insurance companies. We need to reform healthcare and need to work together so this happens.
- Cutting Wasteful Spending: I, as a taxpayer, have been outraged with the wasteful spending that has gone on in state government. From the probation department to a recent investigation that found Massport parking attendants are being paid over $100,000. We need to break down the state budget line by line and cut wasteful spending.
Would Lawn keep his town council seat if elected as state representative? I would finish my term and not run for re-election. I believe the job as state rep. needs to be full time to be effective. I will always be involved locally.
Lawn's Biggest Strength and Weakness? I think that the one of my strongest assets is that I am able to see the big picture in a situation. The worst thing about me is that I can see the big picture in a situation.
This is the best thing because I can remove myself from the emotion of a decision that needs to be made and act accordingly. It is a bad thing because I often see the conclusion quicker than the other participants in a project and that can cause frustration sometimes amongst them. I need to remind myself that I need to be more patient.
What makes Lawn tick? What are his inspirations? Caring about my family, friends and community is what drives me. My only aspirations is to leave this world a better place. I know I don't have a magic wand and times are difficult but I want to try and help us all get through this as best we can.
How would Lawn work to improve economy? I would close tax loopholes for corporations and support small business. We need transparency in the tax credits that have been given out so that we know that we are investing in businesses that are creating jobs.
How would Lawn deal with health care costs? As I mentioned, I would work with others in the legislature and look at all options including a single payer system and also work with private insurers to find ways to stop these out of control increases in healthcare.
How would Lawn work to create a balanced budget? Cut all unnecessary spending. Go through the state budget one line at a time and create a list of priorities that we need to focus on.
We must restore faith in the taxpayer in our state government. We have seen a state probation department's spending which was out of control. We need to reform all agencies so that we can spend every tax dollar wisely. I will be a leader in the state house for transparency in our state budget!