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Former legislators urge political involvement

Carron part of program at Nichols

Nichols College student Mike Hill of Stoneham, left, talks to Constitution Day presenters Brian Knuuttila, center, and Mark Carron. Knuuttila and Carron were both once state representatives, the former from Gardner, the latter from Southbridge. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
September 21, 2009
DUDLEY — All the furor over health care, Sen. Ted Kennedy's replacement and other political issues converged rather quietly Wednesday in a lecture hall at Nichols College.

There, former state Reps Brian Knuuttila and Mark Carron, both Democrats, urged the small audience to pay attention to what's happening and get involved — to vote, petition, organize their community, even run for office at whatever level suits them.

"The historic election last year demonstrated the incredible power" of modern communications and an organized public, Knuuttila said. "... It brought a whole new meaning to the concept that all politics is local."

Both men have experienced that personally. Knuuttila was elected Gardner city councilor with almost no experience before spending 10 years as a state rep. Carron started by running a pizza joint and thought he knew enough people and issues here in Southbridge to run for council; he walked in unopposed, then served a couple terms in the Legislature himself.

See Monday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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