On November 4th the voters of Massachusetts said no to “Taxation Without Representation” by voting Yes on Question 1. We repealed the legislation that raised the gasoline tax automatically every year without any further debate or vote of the legislature. In so doing the Commonwealth’s voters restored representative democracy, in it’s birthplace and cradle.
The vast majority of credit for this effort belongs to Watertown’s own Steve Aylward. He conceived this ballot initiative. He put together a team of volunteers that gathered 146,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot. Something “experts” said could never be done just with volunteers and who urged him to hire a professional signature-gathering firm. After leading the effort to gather signatures, Steve then developed the strategy and arguments needed to prevail at polls.
Steve performed just about every task possible in this campaign, because he is truly a “servant leader.” He’s not looking for credit; he’s looking to see that goal gets accomplished… No job is too little or beneath him. He licked envelopes, while others stuffed them, held signs, knocked on doors, made phone calls, and dropped literature. And of course he was lead spokesman for the cause, debating and demolishing well-established politicos several times on Television.
The real genius in Steve’s leadership is what he was able to do with so little money in comparison to millions of dollars spent by political cronies who stood gain financially from the automatic tax increases. While those who supported taxation without representation sought and garnered large donations from big business, big labor, and firms that had contracts with the Commonwealth, the Question supporters received smaller donations from the average working class citizen. The proponents automatic tax increases bombarded the airwaves with misinformation and out right lies. Steve Aylward, driven by his integrity and armed with the truth, motivated and led hundreds of volunteers to get the facts into voters’ hands and then made sure those voters got to polls on Tuesday November 4th.
The citizens of Massachusetts owe a debt of gratitude to Steve Aylward. The Republicans in the 2nd Suffolk and Middlesex District are indeed well represented by his servant-leadership as their State Committeeman. Finally the people of Watertown have good reason to be proud that their long-time resident played such a huge role in restoring representative democracy in the Commonwealth.