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Guardians at the Gate

BC Law’s public servants in Congress proudly stand for ‘an equal opportunity America.’

Photograph by Stephen Voss

BC Law has a storied history of public service as exemplified by past and present members of Congress. Two of the best known during the mid-twentieth century were Margaret Heckler ’56 and BC Law Dean Robert F. Drinan, SJ.

The historic roster also includes Representative Edward P. Boland ’36, Representative Silvio O. Conte ’49, Senator Warren Rudman ’60, Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry ’76, Representative Paul Hodes ’78, and Senator Scott Brown ’85.

Carrying on the tradition today are five others, who responded to inquiries from BC Law Magazine about their values and aspirations for the new Congress.

Senator Edward Markey ’72, Massachusetts: “The lessons I learned at BC Law have stayed with me throughout my life. Since I was first elected to Congress, I have been shaped by these principles in standing up for the powerless and developing and supporting legislation that provides opportunities for hardworking men and women who are struggling to improve their lives and the well-being of their families.” (This quote is from a previous BC Law Magazine interview with Senator Markey.)

Congressman Bobby Scott ’73, Virginia, 3rd District: “We need evidence-based policy, not laws based on slogans and sound bites instead of research. We need to engage community leaders in education, law enforcement, health services, and other fields to identify real solutions to our problems. This is the best path to creating good effective policy. I’m proud of my work to create jobs, increase access to health care, improve education and economic opportunity, and promote evidence-based crime prevention strategies. One of my proudest accomplishments was working on the Affordable Care Act, expanding access to health insurance for millions of Americans.”

Congressman Michael E. Capuano ’77, Massachusetts, 7th District:  “I’m proud to have earned a seat at the table to serve my constituents. I am proud of my persistence, fighting some fights, such as the fight for equality, all of my life. My Jesuit beliefs and my values are related. I’m working toward an equal opportunity America. That won’t necessarily mean equal outcomes, but there should be a basic floor as a society that we provide to people below which they can’t fall. We’re not there yet, and America is not there yet, but equal opportunity is one of my core values.”

Congressman Jared Huffman ’90, California, 2nd District: “We can look to the teaching of Pope Francis for values to guide us, including kindness, inclusiveness, and tolerance, especially of immigrants and the politically disadvantaged. I also believe strongly in protecting our environment as good stewards of the Earth. We have to build coalitions to protect our core values, but it will be an uphill fight with respect to immigration issues in particular.”

Congressman Stephen F. Lynch ’91, Massachusetts, 8th District: “My priority is ensuring representative government that functions for the people. We need mutual respect between Democrats and Republicans, lifting up expectations that average citizens hold for their elected leaders. I would also like to reduce the amount of money in politics, limiting the corrosive effect that it exerts on our government.