Rebecca Stone’s campaign for State Rep kicked off February 11, with a packed party at the home of Stuart Shieber and Cassia Wyner, in the heart of the district she hopes to represent, the campaign announced Sunday night.
The former Chair of the School Committee and longtime Town Meeting member, told the crowd that home was where she launched her campaign that won her seat for School Committee in 2005. “Stuart and Cassia’s house is my good luck charm,” she said.
Stone is seeking the Democratic nomination for State Representative from the 15th Norfolk District, the seat held by Rep. Frank Smizik, who announced his decision to retire late last year. She’s up against Town Meeting Member Tommy Vitolo so far.
Stone’s campaign is co-chaired by Casey Hatchett, a Brookline police officer who is also co-chair of the Brookline Women’s Commission and a Town Meeting Member from precinct 12. Former Advisory Committee Chair Harry Bohrs is her other campaign co-chair.
“The work and experience of being on the School Committee prepares you for the challenges and responsibilities of being a State Representative in ways few other things can,” Bohrs told the crowd, according to a press release.
Bohrs gave Stone credit for sounding the alarm on increased school enrollment, the need for additional school space, and the need to begin acting immediately, according to the campaign.
Stone credited her parents for inspiring her career in public policy and public service. At the dinner table growing up, she told the crowd, “they would talk about what really mattered: how we treat each other, what it means to act with integrity, and whether you are willing to stand up for what is right.”
Stone related that her father directed a pathbreaking play in 1963 about the African American experience called In White America. Her math-teacher mother founded a non-profit, opening the world’s first community technology access center in the basement of a Harlem housing project in 1980.
“My brothers and I understood that success in our parents’ eyes meant not just making a living, but making a difference,” Stone said.
Stone’s own professional history includes editing a newspaper for consumer advocate Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen, handling human rights and foreign policy legislation for two Members of Congress, advocating for adolescent reproductive rights and health care, and studying the dynamics of race and power imbalances in community building efforts.
Stone said her 12 years of Town-wide service on the School Committee was an eye opening experience that would help her serve Brookline from Beacon Hill.
“Rebecca is committed to achieving the shared goals of those she represents, and she works collaboratively with those outside her immediate constituency to achieve those goals,” said Town Meeting Member Bobbie Knable.
That appeared to be the theme of the evening.
“Political expediency creates laws with unfunded mandates that steal time and money from our schools and Town. Brookline needs someone on Beacon Hill who knows how these things affect our students, our teachers, our seniors, local businesses, our Town,” Stone said according to the campaign. “Someone who is watching out for Brookline and ready to act.”
Stone has lived with her family near the Lawrence School in Brookline Village/Coolidge Corner South Side since 1999. She has been a Town Meeting Member since 2002 and was elected to the Brookline School Committee four times, serving from 2005 – 2016. Stone was Vice Chair and then Chair of the Brookline School Committee from 2009-2012. She and her husband have two children who graduated from the Lawrence School and Brookline High School. She has been a consultant to non-profits and philanthropy for the past fifteen years, most recently developing special grant initiatives in family strengthening for the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation. Stone has served on myriad committees over the years in Brookline, including the original Green Dog Program committee, the Selectmen’s [sic] Climate Action Committee, the Community Development Block Grants committee, B-SPACE, and the Steps to Success Board of Directors.
Stone’s endorsers include Select Board Chair Neil Wishinsky, BCAN founders Carol and Frank Caro, School Committee Chair David Pollak, Library Board Chair Puja Mehta, Housing Board Chair David Trietsch, Building Commission Chair Janet Fierman, and former School Committee Chairs Kitty Ames, Helen Charlupski, Kevin Lang, Judy Meyers, Alan Morse, and Henry Warren, according to the campaign.