Former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis will speak in the auditorium at North during f-block on Tuesday, May 15, according to NNHS Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) co-director Claudia Wu.
The CCE, Wu said, arranged for Dukakis to speak at North to “create an opportunity for students to hear from someone who has been in public office his entire life, a local and national figure, to discuss what service means and why he feels it’s important when young people at North are getting active on certain issues.”
Wu cited Dukakis’ book How to Get into Politics and Why as one of the governor’s strongest calls for young people to be involved in government.
Dukakis, the 65th Massachusetts governor, served three terms and is the longest-serving governor in state history. He was the Democratic party nominee for U.S. president in the 1988 election, which he lost to Republican nominee George H.W. Bush.
According to history department head Jonathan Bassett, “Dukakis was a very dedicated public servant. Whatever you think of his politics and policies, he remains committed to encouraging young people to enter the field.”
Bassett added that he hopes students will like hearing Dukakis talk and that “some North students walk out of there thinking that maybe they ought to get involved in politics.”
Wu said that the CCE will be spreading the word on the Governor’s appearance through homeroom announcements, posters, school TV screens, and social media.
“I think it’s very easy today to be very cynical about politics and politicians,” said Bassett, “and one thing that is really important to Dukakis when he does these sort of talks is that he wants people to consider a career in public service.”
According to Wu, there will be an opportunity for students to ask questions of the governor after his speech, which will “focus on why young people should get engaged in the community.”
The CCE, led by Wu and co-director Terry Yoffie, first reached out to Dukakis’ office and is sponsoring and organizing his event at North, keeping with its mission “to provide opportunities for every Newton North student to engage in community service and to run special events relating to politics, leadership, service, and civics.”