As you probably know, here at ACMi we have been very busy over the last few weeks with our coverage of the State Primary Elections coming up on Tuesday, Sept 9. We have done in-depth interviews with 24 of the 33 candidates on the ballot, and we also hosted a debate (the one and only one, in fact!) in the race for Governor’s Council. I had the privilege of doing 14 of those interviews, as well as hosting the debate. I am grateful for the chance to participate in this way, both because it is an excellent example of the unique resource we provide for our community, and because the experience offered several revelations for me personally.

Like many of you perhaps, I have lived long enough to grow quite weary of “politics” as we mostly experience them – from the morass of bickering inertia that is the current U.S. Congress, to the strident caterwauling that emits from the respective ends of the political spectrum, to the persistent disconnect between campaign promises and in-office actions. So I’m very happy – thrilled, even – to report that after taking part (either on camera or behind the scenes) in the vast majority of the 24 profiles we have here on our website, I’ve come away with a certain degree of reassurance. Here’s why…

While the candidates we interviewed aspire to 13 different state and national offices, and they represent a very broad range of experience from neophyte to decades in public service, almost to a person they exuded a genuine sense of commitment, even zeal, for this work. Some were more directly responsive to the questions asked than others, but on the whole the candidates displayed a commendable respect for the process, yes, but even more importantly for their audience. Sitting across the desk from the candidates as the proxy for the audience they were speaking to, I could palpably feel the earnestness with which they were attempting to connect and communicate with their constituents, and I have to say it felt real.

In the end, am I more confident that those we vote into office in this round of elections will be better at genuinely and effectively representing the interests of Massachusetts residents than their predecessors may have been? I wish I could shout Yes! to that…

But what I DO believe is that my own time was very well spent listening to what these folks have to say. On Tuesday, I will walk more confidently into the voting booth to exercise MY right and responsibility as a citizen in a more informed way than I ever have, and with the conviction that I will be choosing among a slate of candidates who have earned my thoughtful consideration, and are not simply faceless politicos.

Don’t forget that you can find all the profiles and the full debate here. If you would like to respond to what I’ve written here, please feel free to email me at James@acmi.tv, and thanks for listening.