October 20, 2018
It is easy to forget that state Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro, is only finishing up his freshman term on Beacon Hill. During the past two years, Cyr has taken on an outsized role in shaping the relationship between the Statehouse and Cape Cod. He has worked assiduously on behalf of his constituents, frequently reaching across the aisle to work with Republicans on any one of a number of issues of common interest, all to the betterment of the voters who sent him to Boston in the first place.
Cyr has championed or co-sponsored efforts that have brought tens of millions of dollars in state funding to the Cape to help underwrite everything from high-speed Internet access in Provincetown and Hyannis to an aviation job training program at Cape Cod Community College to dredging projects, environmental restoration efforts, and so much more. His work includes securing money for projects both large and small, demonstrating an active interest in the community, whether those projects grab headlines or not.
Furthermore, Cyr, working with state Rep. Sarah Peake, D-Provincetown, helped pen legislation that will prove invaluable to Cape Codders for many years to come. As part of a short-term rental bill, Cyr and Peake ensured the inclusion of a provision to establish the Cape and Islands Water Preservation Fund, which will derive funding through an additional tax on short-term rentals and which will help offset the region’s multi-billion dollar price tag for waste water management.
In addition, working with state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Woods Hole, Cyr created legislation that authorizes the creation of a special commission to study the impact coastal and ocean acidification may have on the marine life on which so many coastal communities rely. The study could ultimately have a substantial impact on state environmental policy.
Cyr has also consistently favored an expansion of civil liberties, supporting measures that offer protection for pregnant women in the work force, medical leave for employees, raising the minimum wage, and common-sense firearms protections. He has also championed provisions designed specifically to protect the well-being of LGBTQ prisoners. In short, he has worked to ensure that those who may feel maligned or sidelined enjoy the same full spectrum of rights as anyone else.
Were Cyr not such a strong candidate, his opponent, Barnstable Town Councilor John Flores of Cummaquid, may have secured our endorsement. Flores has proven himself an independently minded, moderate Republican, and brings a wealth of experience from his time as a former teacher, business owner and schools superintendent.
His support of Questions 2 and 3, as well as the fact that he views health care as a fundamental right rather than as a privilege, indicate that he is not hamstrung by any party’s platform, and he demonstrates a firm grasp of the issues facing the Cape and Islands. Flores also has some creative ideas that we feel make eminent sense, such as a proposal to keep retirees from relocating to states with lower taxes. Flores believes retirees who have worked in Massachusetts more than 20 years should have the first $100,000 of their income exempt from income taxes.
However, Flores’ charge that Cyr is some sort of ideologue simply doing the Democratic Party’s bidding rings hollow, especially as Cyr has consistently worked with Democrats and Republicans alike in the Cape delegation to bring meaningful legislation forward.
Although we hope that Flores will throw his hat back in the ring when a future opportunity for higher office emerges, our endorsement goes to Cyr, whose clear-headed and Cape-centric approach to legislation and funding opportunities has already yielded many victories that the entire region can celebrate. We know that he will be fighting just as hard for his district during his second term.