By Ling-Mei Wong
For Mike Lake, the lieutenant governor’s role is more than the governor’s second-in-command.
“The lieutenant governor is not just a liaison to governor, but a liaison to the rest of world, for people around the globe to know our assets,” Lake said.
The Melrose native stopped by Chinatown in July to campaign for lieutenant governor. The Sept. 9 primary will decide whether Lake will be on the ballot in November.
As CEO of international nonprofit Leading Cities, Lake works with eight cities outside the United States to find municipal solutions for Massachusetts. This experience ties directly into the lieutenant governor’s duties of going beyond state lines.
“The challenges of the 21st century do not know manmade borders,” Lake said. “The challenges are universal and we need to make sure the solutions are universal.”
While the governor works on day-to-day crises, the lieutenant governor partners with other states and nations. An example Lake envisioned was a high-speed railway connecting Boston to Washington, D.C. and New York City, put in motion by northeastern states working on common regional goals.
“That’s where the lieutenant governor can have a real impact,” Lake said.
Lake believes in the Massachusetts promise: good education, safe communities and jobs that pay a livable wage for all.
“A child in Chinatown should have the same opportunities that a child in the Berkshires has,” he said. Lake advocates for an educational pipeline from universal preschool to retirement for adults.
Lake wants the world to know about Massachusetts beyond Harvard University — that it is home to top talent, biotechnology and sustainable energy.
“The universities we’re famous for are the base of a talent pool companies are looking for,” Lake said. “It’s our competitive advantage.”
Being inclusive is one of Lake’s priorities, winning him endorsements from the Democratic Minority caucus and former Gov. Michael Dukakis. His campaign staff is 20 percent Asian American women, which he takes pride in and promises to bring to state office.
“It’s not enough just to reach out to the community but also to work together,” Lake said. “The state government should reflect what the Commonwealth looks like.”
This post is also available in: Chinese