WORCESTER – With a handful of endorsements and an army of volunteers behind him, Doug Arbetter is preparing for Tuesday’s preliminary and election and is hoping the residents of District 5 are ready for a progressive candidate.
“Things are going well. I’ve been knocking on a lot of doors and I’ve got some exciting endorsements from Mass Alliance, Our Revolution Massachusetts, the Bay State Stonewall Democrats and Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund,” Arbetter said in an interview on Friday, Aug. 25.
Arbetter was also one of 65 young people in the United States to be endorsed by Run for Something — an organization started by Hillary Clinton staffers to get young, progressive millennials elected into
“It was a real honor for me to chosen and endorsed by them,” Arbetter said. “I’ve had some great help from the Our Revolution people and have been able to use staffers from Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund to get out and knock on doors for me.”
Arbetter, 26, of 112 Moreland Rd, is an Associate Biostatistician with Veristat – a clinical research organization in Southborough. He graduated from Doherty Memorial high school in Worcester and George Washington University. Arbetter earned his Master’s Degree in Public Health at Columbia University.
In his freshman and sophomore years at George Washington, Arbetter worked in Congressman James McGovern’s office in Washington, D.C. — an experience he said help push him into local politics.
“My initial spark and interest grew from working with Congressman McGovern. I enjoyed speaking with constituents, giving Capitol tours and building relationships,” Arbetter said.
On Sept. 12, Arbetter will be one of four candidates running in a preliminary election for the District 5 Worcester City Council seat.
Arbetter said, “I’m proudly running as a progressive candidate. I’ve gotten a lot of emails from people that know that I’m against one candidate in this election that’s really conservative and they’re worried about him being elected. These people have asked to put my signs on their lawns and have asked to door knock for me.”
Arbetter, who was recently appointed to the board of the Jewish Community Center, has outlined two major areas he would like to see addressed if he’s elected into office: capital funding for Worcester public school buildings and a tax program to help senior citizens living on social security.
“I’d like to see some kind of tax initiative program that allows seniors who are on a fixed income like social security to get some reduction in their property taxes or a freeze,” Arbetter said. “In my district, it’s an issue right now with families moving into the surrounding towns. I think it’s important to keep people here that have been here for generations and not allow them to fear that they will lose their home because of rising property taxes.”
Additionally, Arbetter said he would like to see the city council invest a good percentage of the city’s capital funding into the public schools and their programs.
Arbetter said, “We need to show people that we’re committed to improving and investing in our schools so that parents will want to send their children to our schools.”
“Public schools are an institution I want to keep fighting for. I think it’s great that we have high schools in the pipeline to be rebuilt, but I think we forget that we have a lot of elementary schools that are old and need to be updated too,” he added.
Although he said he feels confident about his chances on Sept. 12, Arbetter said he would remain involved in the District 5 neighborhood associations and is weighing the idea of starting the city’s first ever neighborhood council.
“It’s funny because that idea comes from [current District 5 City Councilor] Gary Rosen. It’s something I would like into and am interested in starting the first one,” Arbetter said.
On the day of the preliminary election, Arbetter said he will be knocking on doors around the district and will be orchestrating others to do the same.
Arbetter said, “I’ll make trips to polling locations and stay in touch with my supporters to get them out to vote. I feel confident that I’ll be competitive on the 12th. You always feel like you can do more and knock on more doors, but I think we’ve put ourselves in a good position to win.”