My name is Katie Forde, I’m running to be the next Register of Deeds for Suffolk County, and I’m writing to ask that you consider supporting me in the Democratic Primary on September 4th. I am running for this office because I believe in the power of good government at every level. In Boston today, we’re facing a housing crisis that requires all of us to step up.
Too many families can’t afford to have kids and stay in our neighborhoods. Statewide, almost 70 percent of white families own their own homes, while less than a third of black, Latino and Asian families do. That’s the second-widest homeownership gap in the country.
We can, and we must, do better.
I moved to Massachusetts in 2005 to join the front lines in the fight for marriage equality. Since then, I’ve worked in JP and neighborhoods across our city to elect progressive champions like Attorney General Maura Healey, State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, State Rep Liz Malia, and City Councilors Matt O’Malley and Annissa Essaibi George, and I am proud to have their support in this race.
As a paralegal, I worked in a bankruptcy practice representing working families facing foreclosure. We had a client, Elsa, who worked three jobs and took care of her grandchildren. English was her second language, and buying her home was a critical step towards financial security.
After three years, her mortgage payment tripled. She had been sold a predatory adjustable rate mortgage, and hadn’t understood that her payments would increase. By the time she came to us, it was too late. We did everything we could to keep her in her home, but at the end of the day, the deck was stacked against her.
We have laws in this country that will protect Donald Trump’s casinos, but they won’t help Elsa protect her home. I’m running for office because Elsa and every resident of Suffolk County deserves better. You deserve better.
The Suffolk County Register of Deeds is paid $142,000 per year, and has a $2 million budget. You deserve more for that investment. I’m running for register because: as a paralegal, a homeowner, and the wife of a veteran, I know how difficult it can be to cut through red tape to get the services we need.
When I met my husband Jeff, we were celebrating President Obama’s first election. We’ve been through a lot together. He was an active duty member of Army National Guard. He spent 2010 in Afghanistan.
But nothing prepared us for the day our doctor told us there were two heartbeats on the monitor, and we took the leap into parenting twins -- juggling full time work schedules and childcare. We are lucky, and Abigail and Cecile are lucky, to have a support system and the resources to stay in our community. But many families, facing the rising costs of rent or a mortgage, and childcare on top of it, are forced out.
As register, I will transform this office into one that promotes homeownership and advocates for seniors and veterans. I will work hard every day to protect your most valuable asset, your home, and partner with community leaders and non-profits to expand access to homeownership.
We have the Community Preservation Act, but we need increased funding to provide meaningful support to every neighborhood. I will work with our legislators and city councilors to advocate for increased funding, which is generated through the fees collected at the registry.
As the hub that all real estate transactions go through, the Register of Deeds has a responsibility not only to record deeds, but to serve as a consumer protection agency for those who own or may seek to own a home. I will work to support and empower small business owners and families to protect their homes, businesses, and our neighborhoods from predatory lenders like the one that Elsa had to deal with.
I look forward to continuing this conversation, and hearing from you about the housing issues on your minds. I ask for your help and your vote on September 4th.