WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the seven candidates running in contested primaries for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).Below, in her own words, are the responses to this week’s questions from candidate Erika Johnson (D-Wilmington).#13) The Massachusetts education funding formula hasn’t been updated in 25 years. This Chapter 70 formula fails to provide the funding needed for school districts to fund core expenses. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center published a report last week (“Building An Education System That Works For Everyone: Funding Reforms To Help All Our Children Thrive“) detailing the problem. The Wilmington & Tewksbury School Committees have long advocated for the State House to update the Chapter 70 formula. Do you commit to fighting for an updated formula? What else will you do as State Representative to help our public schools?Education is the key to the future, therefore, our public schools deserve to be well-funded if not, fully funded. The current formula, Chapter 70 is outdated and absolutely needs to be updated. The formula, as it stands, is stacked against students in low-income communities.I have heard from several teachers along the campaign trail who tell stories of how much they’ve spent out of pocket to be able to provide their students the best education possible, it’s eye-opening. Our teachers need better support and the resources needed to provide a world-class education for all students.I was a strong proponent of the Millionaires tax, a ballot initiative that was recently struck down by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on a legal technicality (not the substance of the bill). This tax would have increased taxes for those receiving an annual income of over $1 million and all revenue would fund public education and public transportation. Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to hear Democratic Gubernatorial candidate, Jay Gonzalez speak at an event hosted by the Burlington Democratic Town Committee at which Gonzalez expressed that he would support a bill along the lines of the Millionaires tax that taxed the richest in Massachusetts to fully fund our public schools and public transportation, a measure I would be happy to champion if elected.There is currently a bill “S. 308: An Act Strengthening and Investing in our Educators, Students and Communities” that would update the Chapter 70 funding formula, mandates a moratorium on and replacement of the state’s high-stakes testing regime, promotes community collaboration in improving schools, and provides services critical to student academic and social-emotional development, such as recess for grade-schoolers and appropriate bilingual education services for non-native speakers (Summary provided by the Massachusetts Teachers Association). I fully support this bill as I believe it will vastly improve our public education system in Massachusetts for all students and urge our Legislature to act on this bill.I am also supportive of keeping the cap on charter schools, as I proudly voted “No” on Question 2, one of the ballot initiatives in 2016. Charter schools take taxpayer dollars yet are run by nonprofit or for-profit organizations and are exempt from regulations put forth by state and local boards of education in curriculum and hiring practices. Raising the cap or funding for charter schools takes away money and resources for our public school children with no accountability.Every child living in Massachusetts has the right to a quality public education that prepares them for current and future job markets. With that said, we must be sure that with any update to education funding, we are advocating for every child – regardless of their zip code, household income, if they are English Language Learners (ELL), if they require special education or Individualized Education Program (IEP), etc.#14) Define “negative campaigning.” Do you pledge not to engage in any negative campaigning during this election? Why or why not? When responding to an attack, will you follow the “when they go low, we go high” Michelle Obama mantra or the “when someone attacks me, I always attack back… except 100x more” Donald Trump mantra?I do not plan to engage in negative campaigning during this election. With so much on the line for our district, it is important to stay focused on the issues not personal attacks.I will be taking Michelle Obama’s approach, “When they go low, we go high”.(NOTE: Do you have a question for the candidates? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and it may be asked in a future Q&A or in a debate.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTATE REP RACE Q&A: Pina Prinzivalli Discusses Education Issues, Negative CampaigningIn “Government”STATE REP RACE Q&A: Mark Kratman Discusses Education Issues, Negative CampaigningIn “Government”STATE REP RACE Q&A: Judy O’Connell Discusses Education Issues, Negative CampaigningIn “Government”
Cliched as it may seem for chefs to love their spices, for Sanjeev Kapoor, one of the most celebrated ones on television, that was the topic of an ‘interesting’ discussion when he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and whipped a meal up for him in Abu Dhabi.During Modi’s trip to Abu Dhabi in August, Kapoor was flown in specially to prepare a vegetarian meal for the strictly vegetarian prime minister.“I spent over an hour with the prime minister and we were only talking about food and spices and the treatment through spices. It was interesting to discuss with the PM the correct use of spices and the miracles they can do when used correctly,” Kapoor told reporters when he was capital. Chef Kapoor also eagerly shared an anecdote Modi had related to him. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“The PM told me the story of someone he knows, who had a heart issue and doctors said nothing could be done to correct it. Then he was advised to empty a capsule and fill it with freshly ground red chilli. He (Modi) said the man never had a problem after that,” said the chef, recalling his hour-long conversation with the prime minister. The right combination of spices are the trick to dish out the best food,” Kapoor said. “For me, when I’m cooking with Indian food, spices are very important as I literally have to breathe them. The use of spices makes Indian food unique,” Kapoor added. He said a combination of cumin, clove, pepper and cardamom are his favourites from his spice-box and, barring cumin, he can even use the other three in his desserts! Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“All these spices —cumin, clove, pepper and cardamom are so diverse that they can create magic by changed combinations. One can accentuate pepper, underlay it with cloves, with a hint of cumin and cardamom, it’s like a whole another world,” said Kapoor as his senses came alive while speaking of spices. It is only Indian food that can take as little as two or three spices to as many as 20 in the same dish, unlike any other cuisine in the world, Kapoor added. Through his cookery shows as well, he always tries to bring in relevance to food to suit the times, Kapoor said, adding that it doesn’t mean that he serves the same at his restaurants as is depicted on his TV shows.“For the very reason, that I know how to target my audience and I know what to sell, that all my books sell so well. One needs to know what to write so as to make it sell,” the celebrity chef added.His chain of restaurants, Yellow Chilli, would soon be hitting the Gulf markets in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and other places within the next four months, he added.