Candidate Kayyem visits Amesbury

Gubernatorial candidate Juliette Kayyem speaks to Amesbury Democrats

Gubernatorial candidate Juliette Kayyem speaks to Amesbury Democrats about local issues.

Cambridge Democrat and candidate for governor Juliette Kayyem recently visited Amesbury, and met with several enthusiastic supporters.

The former state and federal homeland security official talked about her time as a civil rights lawyer, reflected on her grandmother’s influence, and spoke of her vision for the commonwealth, all while injecting self-depricating humor and genuine concern for local issues into her presentation.

Kayyem’s qualifications are formidable. A civil rights attorney before moving into government, Kayyem specializes in working with different government departments and agencies to tackle large-scale issues and tasks. For example, in the aftermath of the BP oil spill, Kayyem was directed by President Obama to coordinate disparate departments and agencies and jump-start recovery efforts.

Earlier in her career, Kayyem was a civil rights lawyer, and argued vehemently for the integration of women into military institutes such as VMI and The Citadel. Her later commentary on the topic as a Boston Globe columnist earned her a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

During her talk with Amesbury Democrats, Kayyem emphasized, the need to reform the state’s criminal justice system, pointing out the absurdity of spending $1 billion on prisons instead of  schools. She also addressed the connection of  business interests throughout the state via more solid physical infrastructure and transportation improvements.

Finally, Kayyem addressed the caucus process, and outlined the steps necessary to secure a spot on the primary ballot this summer, and encouraged all local democrats to take part.(Kayyem must secure the pledges of 15% of delegates at the summer convention in Worcester, to be included on the primary ballot.)

For more information on Kayyem’s stance on various issues visit,

Written by Ed Justen