April 04, 2023

#FiveQuestions for Rep. Jake Auchincloss

First elected to Congress in 2020, Jake Auchincloss represents Newton and the rest of the Massachusetts Fourth Congressional District, which stretches from Newton and Brookline to Fall River, Taunton, and Attleboro. Before he was elected to Congress, Rep. Auchincloss served in the Newton City Council. He lives in Newton with his wife Michelle and two children. 

Fig City News spoke with him recently, and asked him the following:

1. What did you learn from your recent Congressional trip to Taiwan?

In Taiwan, I met with the president, government officials of both parties, business executives, and military commanders. The trip reaffirmed that we must remain committed to standing up to the Chinese Communist Party. The United States and Taiwan should help support each other’s democracies through collaboration on countering disinformation and propaganda. We should also strengthen one another’s economies through increased flows of trade and investment. Specifically, we should negotiate expanded market access, common rules, and the end of double taxation on Taiwanese investment in the United States, which is especially critical as we seek to revive US semiconductor manufacturing. As the United States seeks to strengthen our position in the Indo-Pacific, we must commit to Taiwan as a long-term ally.

2. Does the Massachusetts delegation meet as a group regularly and if so what is the group’s main focus?

Yes. The meetings are hosted by Chairman Neal (who is Dean of the Delegation) once a week when we are in session. He does a fantastic job of bringing in various stakeholders as outside guests for candid, off-the-record conversations about individual and collective priorities. The topics have ranged from collaboration between federal and state officials on spending priorities to childcare and mental health policy.

3. How does your Marine Corps experience inform your political perspective?

I commanded Marines on two tours overseas, one in Afghanistan and one in special operations in Panama. The Marine Corps taught me that in conditions of high stakes and fast decision-making, individuals do not rise to the occasion. They fall to their level of training. Elected officials should have the ‘training’ – the experience and education – to make thoughtful, high-integrity decisions in intense scenarios, rather than bending in the political winds.

4. How do you balance the needs of the newer cities you represent with those of your hometown of Newton?

I represent 35 cities and towns, from the inner suburbs of Boston to Gateway Cities on the border of Rhode Island. To make sure I’m hearing from every corner of such a diverse district, my staff and I employ a kaleidoscope of different formats: in-person town halls, Zoom roundtables, tele-town-halls, Main Street visits, outreach to advocacy groups, social media, direct mail surveys, written & email correspondence, state & local elected 1:1s, and more. I started my career knocking doors and having individual conversations with voters in my hometown. It was my most important political education, and while knocking doors doesn’t scale across 35 cities and towns, I remain fixated on hearing from everyday constituents, in whatever format is best for them.

5. Are there any non-Congressional activities that you enjoy in Washington DC?

Very little time for extracurriculars in Washington: I pack my calendar so that I have more time with my kids back in Newton. But when possible, I do enjoy the Library of Congress dinners that feature distinguished speakers on a host of interesting topics, from Abraham Lincoln to gene-editing.

This is the first in Fig City News‘s series of #FiveQuestions for our elected representatives and other government officials.

NOTE: Rep. Auchincloss will host a virtual roundtable with Newton residents on April 11, 4PM-5PM. RSVP here to get the Zoom link.    

By:  Alan Spatrick
Source: Fig City News