NOVEMBER 23, 2015

TOM PUTNAM:  Good evening. I'm Tom Putnam, Director of the John F. Kennedy

Presidential Library and Museum. And on behalf of Heather Campion, CEO of the Kennedy Library Foundation, and all my Library and Foundation colleagues, I thank you for coming, and acknowledge the generous underwriters of the Kennedy Library Forums:

lead sponsor Bank of America, the Lowell Institute, the Boston Foundation; and our media sponsors, Boston Globe, Xfinity, and WBUR.  

In 1961, Robert F. Kennedy remarked, "We know that it is the law which enables us to live together, that creates order out of chaos. And we know that if one individual's rights are denied, the rights of all others are endangered."

When John F. Kennedy made the unorthodox choice to name his brother, Robert, to serve as United States Attorney General, he quipped to the small group of journalists who had gathered for the announcement, "I can't see why it's wrong to give him a little legal experience before he goes out to practice law." [laughter] 

With both a scowl and sharp retort, Robert Kennedy showed his displeasure at the comment, to which JFK remarked, "Come on, Bobby, don't be so serious. You have to learn to make fun of yourself." To which RFK, with both a lawyer's precision and a younger brother's scorn, replied, "You were not making yourself, Jack. You were making fun of me." [laughter] 

As we know, and in the estimation of many historians, the political alliance forged between the two Kennedy brothers is unrivaled in our nation's history. And Robert Kennedy is viewed by many as one of our nation's finest Attorneys General, effectively wielding the powers of his office to build a more equitable, just and United States of America. In recognition of those efforts in 2001, President George W. Bush renamed the Justice Department after him, and no less than the most recent former occupant of that building's highest office, Eric Holder, cited Robert Kennedy as his role model. 

Just over a year ago, the voters of this state elected Maura Healey to serve as the people's lawyer, continuing her long career spent fighting for justice and equal rights in our commonwealth. John Kennedy, who believed in the nobility of public service, and perfected the art of the insurgent political campaign would surely have looked favorably on her historic victory in a first-ever run for elected office, driven by a strong grassroots effort where she bested two well-financed and formidable adversaries in a spirited and substantive campaign of ideas.

While JFK's success put an end to the so-called religious test for higher office, Maura Healey proved that one's sexual orientation need not be a barrier to winning a state-wide office in Massachusetts. She is the first openly gay state attorney general in the nation. [applause] 

Before her election, Ms. Healey was a senior leader in the state's Attorney General's office, serving in a number of roles, including as chief of the civil rights division. She's also a former Middlesex County prosecutor and was the starting point guard for a professional basketball team.

Her life experience has prepared her well, one senses, in boxing out special interests so that the people's business can be done, and understanding that while she was elected by a majority of Massachusetts voters, that the minorities living among us must have their rights protected and not be subjected to the whims of the ballot box. And in informing her judgment that while law enforcement plays a crucial role in protecting our communities, for some societal ills it represents only one part of a multifaceted solution and must be applied in concert with other public policies and private initiatives.

While we do not presume that everyone in this audience agrees with her on every issue – that is why we offer these Forums, to foster a dialogue in which our differences of opinion can be discussed – I hope I speak for others in saying, in times as perilous as these, that we are all united in wishing you success, Attorney General Healey, in protecting our interests, in keeping us safe. You honor us with your presence here tonight, and we thank you for coming. [applause] 

Let me add two brief personal notes as I conclude these remarks. This happens to be the last Forum introduction I will deliver as Director of the Kennedy Library, and there's an interesting historical connection to earlier times. When I was hired 16 years ago as Director of Education, one of my very first tasks was to help plan a major day-long conference on citizenship and service to help mark the Library's 20th anniversary.

We wanted to include as many surviving members of the Kennedy era – the likes of Ted Sorensen and Harris Wofford – and so, I wrote an invitation to Newt Minow, who served in the Kennedy administration as Chair of the Federal Communications Commission, and who may have done more in that role than any FCC chair in history, engaging the public at a pivotal moment in an informed dialogue concerning how best to regulate the media so that it better served the public interest. He is also, of course, and perhaps most importantly, the father of our moderator this evening, Dean of the Harvard Law School, Martha Minow.

Over the past 16 years, many of us here have gotten to know Dean Minow through her service as a member of the Kennedy Library Foundation's Profile in Courage Award committee. She's one of the most dedicated members of that group, dutifully attending meetings, ceremonies, and becoming a central member not only of that august committee, but also of our professional team here with her ethical judgment, seasoned wisdom and remarkably unassuming manner. I truly cannot think of anyone I am prouder to have invited to moderate the last Kennedy Library Forum that I had a hand in organizing. 

One final anecdote: The first and only state attorney general's office I have ever been in was years ago as a college student in my home state of Maine. And I'm so pleased that the occupant of that office at that time, Jim Tierney, is here with us tonight, along with his wife, the novelist Elizabeth Strout. Mr. Tierney now teaches at Harvard and Columbia Law Schools, educating those who aspire to serve in attorneys general offices throughout the country.

But what I learned first-hand from watching Jim Tierney in action was that while we are a nation of laws, those laws do not apply themselves automatically to the challenges of our time, but require the thoughtful and creative application by those we elect to administer justice on our behalf as best they can. That, too, is the lesson we learn from the history of Robert Kennedy, whose years as Attorney General helped to build a more equitable nation.  

And it is also what we sense with great portent from this commonwealth's newest Attorney General, whose heart seems as large as her mind is sharp, and who demonstrates a seemingly tireless resolve to face the legal challenges of our time, enabling us, in the words of Robert Kennedy, to live together, to create order out of chaos, and to ensure that our rights and the rights of our neighbors are not endangered.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming Maura Healey and Martha Minow to the Kennedy Library. [applause] 

MARTHA MINOW:  Tom, let me thank you for that wonderful presentation and introduction. And I think we all want to salute Tom, who's done just a spectacular job. [applause] 

Do I call you General? [laughter] 

MAURA HEALEY:  You can call me Maura. You can call me anything you want, Dean! 

MARTHA MINOW:  [laughter] Then you call me Martha. 

MAURA HEALEY:  I get called that sometimes. People still get confused. [laughter] 

MARTHA MINOW:  It is such, such an honor to be here with you. My first question to you, besides what do I call you, is to walk us through your career choices and your life.

Was there a plan? Was it serendipity? How did this come to pass?

MAURA HEALEY:  I'll answer that question, but I do want to especially acknowledge Tom's contributions, his leadership of this incredible institution, an institution I've had the pleasure of visiting for many, many years now. And your stewardship, your vision, your leadership, you have certainly made your mark and left an indelible mark. I also appreciate that as a librarian you really did wonders to pull out those sports analogies for this former basketball player. [laughter] But in all seriousness, thank you so much for the contributions you have made and given to our community, and to the world that passes through these doors day in and day out. So another hand for our good friend, Tom Putnam. [applause] 

So plan, no, there was no plan, really.

MARTHA MINOW:  You were born in New Hampshire.

MAURA HEALEY:  I was actually born at Bethesda Naval Hospital down in Maryland, but had I think all of about nine months there before my folks headed back this way. They're from Newburyport on the North Shore. And we settled just over the border in a small town in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, about five miles in the shadows of Hampton Beach and the Seabrook nuclear station. I remember growing up as a kid, there were protestors that paraded through our streets, and I think camped out even on our property, members of the Clamshell Alliance. So I saw social protest in action from an early age. 

But my perspective is formed really by my family. I'm so lucky to have had the support of my parents, my grandparents. My mother's a school nurse. My dad worked for the federal government. My stepfather is a teacher and a coach. He was my basketball coach, so I actually owe him a great deal in particular. 

But as the oldest of five children growing up in this small town, I think we all learned a lot about values and principles from them. They were really engaged in their community, involved in their community. And impressed upon us, without saying so directly, that it was important to pay attention. It was important to be engaged. It was important to be involved in your community. And that didn't matter if it was everything from being on a conservation commission, to serving as a selectman, to starting our Troop 374. I remember being seven years old and I wanted to be a Brownie. And I asked my mom about these Brownies. And our town didn't have a Brownie troop, and she up and started the Brownies.

So that's sort of how I grew up. Went to public school there, and then went on to Harvard.

I knew from an early age I wanted to be a lawyer. 


MAURA HEALEY:  Yeah, I had the opportunity, I think it was about third or fourth grade and there was this enrichment program, and you got to go spend a day with somebody who had a career that you might like to explore. So I chose to go to work for the town lawyer for the day. In fact, there was a picture of this during the campaign, just to show people I was pretty serious about this whole lawyering business. [laughter] 

So back in third grade, I sat with her for an afternoon. I really did believe that I wanted to be a lawyer because I wanted to be an advocate. And I thought about the law as a tool through which and by which you could help people.

I also knew that I didn't want to go to law school right away. And so, when I graduated from college, I think I was 21 at the time, and knew I wanted to do a few things before I went to law school. And I chose the most unlikely path, which was to pursue a professional basketball career – I didn't want to get a real job – over in Europe, and had a chance to do that. See the world, live a little bit. And then returned here to Boston where I went to Northeastern and then began after that a terrific and incredibly fulfilling legal career. 

MARTHA MINOW:  And what a distinguished one it is. You were a law clerk. You were a special assistant district attorney. You became the chief of the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General's office. And then beyond, the chief of the Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau, the chief of the Business and Labor Bureau. Which of those jobs did you feel gave you the chance to do something that you had hoped to do most? And which was like a new challenge?

MAURA HEALEY:  When I left private practice, I clerked for Judge Mazzone, who by the way was the judge who ordered the cleanup of the Boston Harbor. And I learned from him the value of government. He believed in government. He believed in good government and the possibility of good government. And through that case, I learned so much, through my work with him, and was really part of the seed for wanting to pursue public interest and public interest lawyering.

But I did go to Hale and Dorr, which was wonderful, WilmerHale, for many years, about eight years, as a business litigator. But I made a decision to take, I think what was then a 70% pay cut, to become head of the Civil Rights Division. And I made the seamless transition from securities litigator to civil rights chief. [laughter] Because I had this abiding passion for civil rights, and what that was about, and justice, and the possibility of using the law to do some good.

And in that role – and I give great credit to my predecessor, Martha Coakley, who allowed us to pursue this case – we brought the nation's first successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act. And I was lead counsel on that case. Worked with a terrific team in the office. And we challenged the federal government, alongside the legal team at GLAAD who brought a case on behalf of the plaintiffs. And that was an incredible experience, and I certainly couldn't have asked for a better example or reason for why I was making the move from the private sector to the public sector. We know how that story ended. And to me, it's an illustration of the power and the possibility of law.

MARTHA MINOW:  You've really made history with that case, and with what it's led to. There really was an insightful approach, particularly coming from your office, that it's about federalism. It's about letting the states have some control. Did you think about it that way, or was it just a stepping stone to the broader rights?

MAURA HEALEY:  Well, this was all about strategic litigation. This was about thinking how do we use the laws and formulate claims that ultimately would be successful at the Supreme Court. Because I think we knew at the outset that ours was a case that would end up at the Supreme Court. And indeed, it ended up at the Supreme Court. 

The folks at GLAAD were able to frame a case that told the stories of families in very powerful ways, and the ways that they were hurt by DOMA. And as a state bringing an action, you have to think – and I'm looking out at Jim Tierney – you have to think about an actual claim you can make as a state.

And so, one of the things we thought about was, we're going to tell the tale of equal protection, and we are going to talk about stories. And we're going to talk about the way that Massachusetts same-sex couples are treated differently than other couples and put in this second class category. But we're also going to have to articulate a harm to the state, beyond the harm to the dignity and the respect of couples and their families.

And so, I thought it was fun to be able to turn what had been traditionally a conservative argument of federalism and apply it to a gay rights case. And so, that's what we did. And we basically took the position that for as long as we can remember, states have had control to license marriages and to set the rules for marriage. And all we're asking, federal government, is for you to do what you've always done and respect our determination.

So it was a federalism argument that ultimately I think you see the threads and the strains of that in the court's decisions out of the First Circuit. And ultimately out of the Supreme Court. And I'll just say that we had a lot of fun thinking about, strategically thinking about how to bring that case.

But it was just great. I've got to tell you that to flash forward three, four, five years, we brought the case back in 2009, and a lot of people tried to talk us out of it, said it was a loser, too much too soon, don't do it. But I'm glad we stayed the course. It was really terrific, for me personally, and poignant, that the first brief filed in the Supreme Court with my name on it as Attorney General this time, was in the marriage equality case earlier this term. And obviously we were celebrating like crazy on June 26th when the court issued its decision. 


MARTHA MINOW:  Phenomenal. You have made your career in the state. I'm wondering how you think about priorities right now in Massachusetts.

MAURA HEALEY:  Well, there are so many issues. That's one of the great things about this job. And I absolutely love the job, I love the office. And I am so blessed to work with such terrific colleagues who are really giving it their all, every day. And we need that, because the challenges we face as a state are great. We've got a terrible crisis on our hands with the heroin/opioid addiction. We have gun violence that continues to plague and ravage communities and neighborhoods. We have growing income inequality and real concerns; families are so concerned about the economic security and welfare for their families, for their kids. I think we have an impending crisis around student loans right now, and student lending. 

And there's just so much ground to cover, which is what makes, I think, the job exciting. But it's also really important that we as an office prioritize and that we find ways to leverage and work with partners – in government, at the local state and federal level; with business; with nonprofits; with academe. Because to truly solve problems and make a dent on the problems we have today, I think we need to find a way to do all we can to leverage and harness what we have here in Massachusetts. 

And we've great human capital. We've got great intellectual capital. We've got businesses that care. It's a great place to be, and it's a great place to Attorney General. 

MARTHA MINOW:  What can your office do about gun violence?

MAURA HEALEY:  I think that there is a lot we can do. I think that ultimately we need the federal government to step up, and we need Congress to act. I am so dismayed that right now in this country more toddlers were killed last year than members of law enforcement by guns. Just think about that. More toddlers were killed by guns than members of law enforcement. So you sort of scratch your head and say, post-Sandy Hook and Newtown, what more does it take? What more does it take? 

And so, we'll continue to advocate and make the case to those in DC who I think have abdicated their responsibility, have given a pass to gun manufacturers, and have turned their backs on the children of this country.

What we're going to do right now in this state is we're going to make sure that we're doing everything we can to crack down on the trafficking of illegal guns. But here's the problem: We live in a state, and I grew up on the border, when until and unless we have a federal solution that better controls the flow of guns and the ease with which people are able to purchase guns, we're never going to get there entirely.

But I think that we can work, and we will continue to work to address the trafficking of guns, to work with young people. One of the interesting programs I participated in a little while back was a program here where women have organized– these are women who lost primarily sons to gun violence. And they're taking this back. And they're taking their communities back. And they're training their young girls, daughters, sisters, to not be straw buyers or purchasers of guns for boyfriends or brothers. Increasingly, it's women that are going to jail for gun offenses.

We need to close the loopholes that exist around some of the private sales of guns. It's too easy for people to buy guns and sell guns to people who shouldn't be having guns. We need to close some of the loopholes that exist around the flow of information. There are gaps, I think, in our local, state and federal systems. And we need to fix that. And that's something that we're working on.

And I think everything should be on the table, from microstamping of bullets so that we can better trace illegal gun activity, to smart gun technology and how do we use that, how do we incent that in the marketplace. Looking at issues around insurance. Looking at issues around liability. And fixing what was wrongly done, I believe, years ago in creating the loophole for gun manufacturers to not be liable.

So those are some of the things that we're working on, and there's a lot of work to do,

Martha. But it is just heartbreaking when it becomes so normalized when we turn on the 11 o'clock news and we see a report of another shooting. That's somebody's son, that's somebody's daughter, that's somebody's parent. It's just not right.

MARTHA MINOW:  There's a professor at Harvard School of Public Health who says this really is a public health issue. And if we brought public health approaches, we would talk about redesigning guns, and he used the analogy to actually auto accidents. So about 30 years ago, lots of people died on highways. And people actually said, Cars don't kill people, people kill people. We've heard that, right, with regard to guns. And he said, Well, what happened was a series of public health-driven efforts to redesign cars, redesign traffic.

There might be ways in which the Attorney General's office and criminal justice could work along with public health approaches.

MAURA HEALEY:  Absolutely. And we've been looking at some of those studies. And I think that's the case that we need to make. And to stand up to the NRA, to stand up to the powerful lobbyists on this issue, because I think of those toddlers and I think of the innocents gunned down in communities and neighborhoods across our state, and certainly across this country, and we need to say enough is enough.

MARTHA MINOW:  You mentioned student debt. I put that in the context of consumer issues generally, but how much is the problem people being misled? How much is the problem we've had a terrible economic downturn? Higher education has escalated its tuition. What's the nature of the problem? What are the tools you have available?

MAURA HEALEY:  I think this is such a significant problem. I tend to think that what we see with student debt is akin to what we saw with the mortgage crisis. I do think that student lending in this country and student debt is the next great crisis for our economy.

And why do I say that? Well, right now I think we're $1.4 trillion in debt, in student debt right now. And these are people who are beginning their careers. And we're talking about tomorrow's employees. And you have to think, how is it that these kids today are going to be able to pay off those loans, let alone afford a house, let alone afford to raise children and a family, and do the things that are necessary to grow and sustain and have a vital economy.

So there's a lot we can do in the office. One of the hats we wear as Attorney General is that of consumer advocate, to really be there, to make sure that consumers aren't getting taken advantage of, aren't getting victimized. And we've taken steps already. We've gone after some of these predatory for-profit schools that market themselves by promising terrific careers, where people are going to earn salaries at X-number of dollars. And they lure these students in with really high pressure sales tactics; 90% of their dollars are spent on marketing to students. They get them in the door. They sign the bottom line. And by signing the bottom line, they have signed themselves up for decades, boatloads of nondischargeable debt.

So the companies make out because what happens, most of these students who are targeted are veterans or service members who qualify for GI Bill money. Or they're low income folks who qualify for federal loans. Many of whom are single moms, looking for a leg up through an educational experience. And these entities don't care. They don't care because they're just a passthrough, the students are just a passthrough for investors to get their money, on our federal taxpayer money, line their pockets. Does this sound familiar to some of what we saw with the subprime lending mess? I think it does. 

So we have gone after those kinds of entities. But we're also looking at problems that we see with loan servicing. Those companies that are out there, the Sallie Maes, the Navients of the world, Nelnets, these servicers are not doing what they're supposed to be doing when students need to refinance or can be moved into a different model. 

And we've also gone after some of the debt consolidators. A lot of companies are out there marketing to students and families saying, "We'll save you. Come with us. We'll consolidate your debt." And what ends up happening is they just have fees tacked on.

And again, they end up further behind, deeper in the hole than ever before. 

So we need to be aggressive. This is an area where our office has worked very closely with Senator Elizabeth Warren. Because I believe that today the United States Department of Education has an opportunity to step up and act and make sure that more responsible loans are being made, and that students are being helped in the process. 

MARTHA MINOW:  That's really good to hear, and I'll pass it on to my students. 

MAURA HEALEY:  We do have a hotline, actually, for students. Because this issue is so prevalent, one of the things we did is, we have a hotline now in the office for those who are having trouble with their student loan. And we'll actually work with you and the servicer to try to help to get you into something affordable that works with you. And this is a problem. The servicers have fallen down; they're not doing their job. So we want to step in with some resources today for students in Massachusetts and their families.

MARTHA MINOW:  This is a moment in the country when criminal justice reform is very much in the public eye. We're sensing reform may actually happen in the Congress.

Are there things that Massachusetts can do? Are we a leader? Are we behind?

MAURA HEALEY:  There's a lot we can do. I look at criminal justice reform through the lens of civil rights when I think about the disparities that exist and the disproportionate rates of incarceration. There are many things that lead to incarceration, and there can be debate and discussion about that, but the fact of the matter is that here in Massachusetts, if you're African American, you're six times more likely to be incarcerated than if you're white. If you're Latino, I believe it's four times. Or three times.

Those are the facts. And one only needs to walk into a community court tomorrow or a jail or house of correction or our state prisons to see that the demographics in those places don't match up with the demographics of the population. 

Now, I am heartened that we are having a national discussion about this. I am heartened that we are having a very real discussion in Massachusetts about this. There are things that we can do. We need to invest in programs that support efforts to keep particularly young people out of the criminal justice system, to give them opportunities and programming and support to keep them out of the criminal justice system.

MARTHA MINOW:  Basketball.

MAURA HEALEY:  It's a small thing, and sports is not for all, but I do spend a lot of time playing basketball with kids, because where funding has been cut for afterschool activities, where libraries are closed on weekends or evenings, this is a problem. Why do I say that? Because think about libraries: one of the greatest predictors of whether a kid is going to end up in college or in jail is third-grade literacy level. How important is it that we invest not only in early education, but also prenatal, neonatal care. We need to take care of these young people. And we need to understand the fact is in Massachusetts today, 72% of juveniles in our DYS system are foster kids, have been through the DCF system. 


MAURA HEALEY:  It's not surprising, really, when you think about it. But that's why those sorts of investments are important. I think we need to do a lot more in investing in successful reentry, we call it. The fact of the matter is, so many people who are incarcerated are going to get out. And they need to be prepared to do well. That's how we break recidivism. That means more counseling, more job training.

It's heartbreaking. I sat with a number of women at the Suffolk County House of

Corrections recently. All of them, to a person, had been victims of violence, sexual abuse. Nearly all of them had drug addiction issues and mental health. And that's the reality of much of what you see.

So investing in efforts to better prepare people to get out. And certainly looking at sentencing. I've advocated for elimination of certain mandatory minimums, I think that important. 

I think that removing barriers to people's success. I went after the FCC for allowing the charging of exorbitant phone call rates. One of the things we think is important is that people who are incarcerated maintain ties with their family, maintain ties with their mother, maintain ties with their child. But I met a woman who had to take an extra job just to afford the extra two, three hundred dollars a month it cost her to call her son in prison. That's wrong, we've got to get rid of that. 

We need to get rid of the automatic suspension of driver's licenses for those who are convicted of drug offenses. I met a young man; he got convicted of a marijuana offense, went to the House, got out. Wanted to get his job back at the mall, but can't get his driver's license back because he can't afford the $800 it's going to cost him. Not only is he unable to get to his job down the South Shore Mall – he lives in Roxbury – he can't take his grandmother to her medical appointments. He can't pick up his young brothers and sisters from school. 

These hurt us. These not only are barriers for that individual, they're a barrier and a burden for that individual's whole family. And we've got far too many families, African American families with far too many of their members in jail, incarcerated. And that's had a significant impact on their health and wellbeing, the ability of these families to accumulate wealth. And as somebody who cares a lot about creating opportunities for all, criminal justice reform is where we need to be. And we need to lead in Massachusetts. 

MARTHA MINOW:  Can you explain this opioid crisis? Where did it come from?

What are the reasons that it's particularly difficult here? And again, what can you do?

MAURA HEALEY:  Well, I have to say, Martha, I was blown away when I was campaigning. I think I was campaigning for, what, a year-and-a-half or more, and no matter where I went – rural, city, suburban, community – I could be in a room with lawyers, I could be in a room with bankers, I could be in a room with grassroots organizers – inevitably, somebody would come up to me afterwards and say, "I have a problem with my son," "I have a problem with my brother." And I saw this phenomena taking place, where there was this silent, but absolutely deadly creeping epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse and just devastation.

Where did it come from? I'm not sure. I'll tell you a couple things. The Northeast has been particularly hard hit by this epidemic. Here in Massachusetts, four out of five of our heroin users today started with prescription pain medication. Heartbreaking to hear from so many parents who had children who were so successful in high school, who were injured playing sports and were prescribed painkillers, and then in a year or two or three, found themselves using heroin. People who went to the dentist for surgery and were prescribed painkillers and found themselves hooked. People who were injured at work, same story. 

What I also have come to understand is that here in America, we're just 5% of the world's population, but we consume 80% of the world's opioid supply. 80%. I think we are a pillhappy culture. I think we are a pill-dependent culture. And I think we are paying the price.

And from my perspective, within the office – and this has been an area where I've worked really closely with Governor Baker, and I think he is right on in being aggressive about things – we have done everything from look at the marketing and sales practices of pharmaceutical companies, look at the prescribing practices of doctors and dentists and the dispensing practices of pharmacies. Look at what the barriers are to people being able to access treatment. What are the issues around insurance? 

MARTHA MINOW:  Self-medication going on here.

MAURA HEALEY:  Well, there are any number of ways that people get into it, but once they're into it, we have a shortage of beds, we have a shortage of programs. And fundamentally, Martha, I think it's because– and we talk a lot about mental health parity law. I think the reality is, we don't treat addiction. We don't treat mental health. We don't treat substance use in the same way that we treat heart disease and diabetes. And we're paying a price for that now.

So we've been really active on it, on the fronts I just listed, but also working to make Narcan more available to first responders. I got really concerned about potential price gouging and what we saw with the increase in price in the midst of this crisis. And I reached out to the manufacturer. We were able to secure an agreement to be able to bulk purchase the drug at a much lower cost and get that in the hands of first responders.

And educate about the law, too. People need to know about the Good Samaritan law. They need to understand that it's okay to call the police if somebody is ODing; you won't get in trouble. This is about saving lives. 

So a lot of work to be done. It is definitely a public health crisis, and in law enforcement it is recognized for what it is, which is a public health crisis. 

MARTHA MINOW:  Where does medical marijuana fit in to this? 

MAURA HEALEY:  People ask me that, and I really put it in a separate bucket. There is no doubt in my mind that one of the things I think needs to happen is, we need to be exploring alternatives to opioids when it comes to pain management. And we should train medical students about it, and we should train doctors about it, and we should make sure that they get reimbursed for being able to pursue those avenues. That's important. 

Medical marijuana is available now in this state. I know it took some time to get up and running. It may work for some in terms of pain management. But I just know that we've got a real problem with the high prevalence of pills generally, and we need to turn off the spigot and make sure that the right people are getting the right pills for the right reason. 

MARTHA MINOW:  In all of your work and in your comments here tonight, civil rights and equality figure so prominently. And I wonder what you think about the growing diversity of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, about issues of race and racial justice, and about immigration.

MAURA HEALEY:  There's a lot in that question. This is something I feel really passionately about. One of the things that– well, there are a few things that I learned when I ran, one of which I knew, which is that running, nobody knew who the heck I was because I'd never run for office before. So I was running as an unknown.

But the other thing that surprised me a little bit was people didn't know what the Attorney General's office does. They didn't know how the Attorney General could help them. And particularly for those who I think the Attorney General is really there to serve, we'd better be there to stick up for the vulnerable. We'd better be there to give a voice to those who are voiceless – seniors, kids, people with disabilities, communities of color that have been traditionally unserved or underserved. 

So this is something I'm really passionate about.

MARTHA MINOW:  It's clear, yes.

MAURA HEALEY:  I think one of our jobs it to make sure that everybody in this state, no matter your race, no matter your socioeconomic status, no matter the zip code you live in, you have an opportunity, an opportunity to participate in the basics of what I think about for a civic society – healthcare, education, employment, transportation access, housing, just to name a few. 

And we have a lot of work to do, because there are a lot of disparities as you look across this state, both drawn on a color line and also on an income line. And we have work to do. 

I'm mindful that it's Thanksgiving. One in nine people in our state right now has food insecurity, is hungry, in Massachusetts. We can do better. 

So one of the things I did to try to make people feel like the AG's office is the people's law firm, belongs to them, is we set up a Community Engagement division. And so, what we're doing is, we've got this division and the job is basically to take the office to the streets, take the office to the neighborhoods. We've done community action hours in churches, in community centers, in Boys and Girls Clubs. After hours; so between the time of five to nine. We've said to people: Come with your issue. You've got a wage complaint? You've got a problem with a bad car loan? You've got a question about CORI and need help? Come see us and let's meet people where they are.

And I think that's one way that we're trying to better connect with communities of color and immigrant communities, which really add to the fabric of our state. Last week, we did a training in all Arabic on "know your rights." Recently we've done them in Portuguese and Spanish and Haitian Creole. And that's the kind of office I want to be, I want to be an office available and accessible to all.  

MARTHA MINOW:  The people's lawyer. One of the things I think many people who are not lawyers don't think a lot about is, law is not self-enforcing. Rights may be in a book, but they don't come into being unless somebody pursues them. Your office, that's your dedication. But you can't do everything. And so, how do you leverage what you have? How do you partner? 

MAURA HEALEY:  One of the things I am just so grateful for, I've just got a terrific team of colleagues – lawyers and non-lawyers, investigators, secretaries, paralegals, troopers – who day in and day out are thinking about this. And you have to prioritize and you have to think about impact, where can you have the greatest impact.

One of the things that's happened is, and I'll try to be non-legal-speak about this, but one of the things that has happened is that the United States Supreme Court has basically really cut out people's ability to seek relief when they get taken advantage of by banks, or by loan companies, or by employers. You've seen the evisceration of what we call class action principles and support that allow people to band together to fight against an alleged wrong. 

Given that, Martha, I think that more of a burden falls on state attorneys general to be there, to take on subprime predatory lending, to take on unfair student lending practices, to take on the Volkswagens of the world, right, who perpetrate terrible corporate wrongdoing.

So part of it is thinking about big impacts, where can you do the most for the most people. But you can't lose sight of the fact that you've got to be there to help the person who's got a service animal, who just tried to walk into a restaurant and was turned away. Because our job, I believe, we've got to do both. We've got to be there to help individuals who are discriminated against or whose rights are violated, but we've also got to think about what are the big impact areas, and prioritize around that. 

MARTHA MINOW:  On the latter, how much do you think about collaborating with other attorneys generals? How much do you think about a national strategy?

MAURA HEALEY:  It's an interesting exercise. I think that there are some areas where state AGs can band together, although increasingly it's become far more partisan, I think.

Which is unfortunate. There's a wonderful organization, the National Association of Attorneys General, and there's a lot of professional development and training that's provided through NAAG, which is a terrible acronym, NAAG. [laughter] 

But unfortunately, you see cases where there are state attorneys general looking to take down Obamacare for the umpteenth time, looking to reverse marriage equality, looking to cut off and eliminate women's access to reproductive healthcare. So there are some states that I can work with and that we can work with in Massachusetts [laughter], and then there are other states where we find ourselves on the other side of the V. 

That's happening now in some of our environmental cases, where we are there as an office– I created when I came in an Energy and Environment Bureau, because I do believe that we are so past the time to take seriously climate change, the sustainability.

This is a moral human issue.

MARTHA MINOW:  Survival.

MAURA HEALEY:  It is. And so, we do things like stand up for President Obama and the EPA and support the regulations that they promulgate to address greenhouse gases.

But we have to defend that against states that sue to take those down.

So there are some states we can work together with, and other states you can't. But certainly, we find opportunities to band together where we can. And it can be powerful when we do that.

MARTHA MINOW:  You referred to working with Governor Baker. That's also interesting, so say some more.

MAURA HEALEY:  We got to know each other a little bit over the course of the campaign. We even played basketball together before we took office.

MARTHA MINOW:  You beat him, right?

MAURA HEALEY:  Barely. I think we both recognized in running that the heroin/opioid crisis was taking over the state and we both made it a top priority. Our teams have been working really closely together on that issue.

It's a really important relationship. As I say, the problems that we face as a commonwealth, when you think about healthcare costs, when you think about the cost of energy and what's happening, and what our needs are, there are any number of ways that we can work together and try to solve problems. At the end of the day, I think that's what a lot of people want out of their government and out of government actors – what are the problems and how can you solve them?

Of course, when he or his cabinet secretaries are sued, we're their lawyers. So we have that relationship.

MARTHA MINOW:  But it's so fascinating. Tom talked about the national system, where the president appoints the Attorney General. We have a very different system here.

MAURA HEALEY:  I feel so blessed as I talk to colleagues around the country, because this is a position that is independently elected, constitutional office. And we have the authority to enforce civil laws and criminal laws, and really answer to no one other than the voters of Massachusetts who gave us the privilege and the opportunity to serve.

So look, this is why I think it's the greatest job in the world. I didn't know much; I sure didn't know about politics or running for office, but I knew when I got in that this was the greatest job in the world, because of the power and the authority and tools of the Massachusetts Attorney General's office.

MARTHA MINOW:  I'm going to ask just one or two other questions, so start thinking about what you want to ask. There are two microphones in the aisles here. And when you line up, I will recognize you.

One question I am really interested to ask you, a little selfishly, is that you're also a leader and you're also a manager of a large organization. I hate it when people say to me, What's it like to be a woman in power? Like, I've never been anything else. But still, there are issues, right? There are issues sometimes about being seen as a leader, being seen as a role model. And, are there aspects of your leadership style that you are very selfconscious of, in trying to demonstrate this is what it is to be a woman in leadership? Or not at all?

MAURA HEALEY:  I think that there are a few things that were very important to me at the outset. One of the first things that we did is we had a mandatory training for everybody in the office – everybody in the office – on implicit bias. And boy, it was great. And it was hard, and it challenged us, but I just thought this is where we need to be. It'll help us better interact with one another. It'll help us in our recruiting and hiring. And help us to better reflect the people we serve. And, to better serve the people of this state.

So that was something that I thought was really important as you think about the rule of unconscious or implicit bias, whether it's with respect to gender or to race. I thought it was an important thing to do. 

We also instituted paid parental leave. I just think it is so important to equality, and gender equality in particular. We did a review of our wages and compensation. I wanted to see what our own house looked like.

Those are some of the perspectives I think I brought to this, knowing a little bit about discrimination and civil rights, and being sort of mindful of that and the tone that we wanted to set as an office. 

Basketball's a team game, and so my view is, we are a team in that office and we're only as strong as our weakest link. And it's about collaboration. It's about recognizing that everybody brings– and this is why it's important to have a diverse work force, and a work force of diverse experiences, too, because everybody brings a different skill set, a perspective to something. And I think we're richer for that.

But it also means I'm going to be the first out there advocating equal pay for equal work, transgender equality in this state, and addressing some of the disparities that we've talked about when it comes to race. 

MARTHA MINOW:  My last question is about new media. How do you relate to the tweeting of the world and to email and texting. Do you have a Facebook page? And is it something that you think is an important way to be the people's lawyer? Or stay far away from all of that?

MAURA HEALEY:  Oh, no, we're all over it. I have a social media person, actually, a director who does that. Because we know that is a great way for us to connect with people, whether it's Instagram or Twitter or Facebook.

MARTHA MINOW:  Listen to this! Wow!

MAURA HEALEY:  My team will laugh and make fun of me. We do a lot with little videos, too, and we pay attention to this, because it's about how do you make sure you're connecting with people. So we pay attention to hits on the site and what times of the day people tune in. What kind of image or visual are they more likely to pay attention to.

Because I want them getting the information. When we put information out for consumers or when we put information out about landlord/tenant law– we did that at the start of school this year, actually, because all the kids coming into Boston, I wanted to make sure they knew what their rights were.

This is how we've got to connect. We need to be fresh and cutting edge, and

Massachusetts, given the number of young people, given the innovation in this state, we need to have and should have the most innovative, cutting-edge social media program.

It's not there yet, but we're working on it. 

MARTHA MINOW:  It's fantastic. So questions. Please come up and line up. Thank you. As you do, if you would be willing to identify yourself, your name, where you're from, that would be great.

Q:  I'm Bob Binney. You are a breath of fresh air, you truly are. That's number one. Number two, I'd like you to answer, if you know this, are you the first professional basketball player that ever became an attorney general? [laughter] That's number two. And number three, I know there's so much fear, people are sticking their head in the sand with this Syrian refugee crisis. And I'd like to just hear your comments on that, if you wouldn't mind. Thank you.

MAURA HEALEY:  I don't know if I'm the first. Jim Tierney can probably answer that question. I know I'm the shortest. [laughter] I think I can safely say that. 

So Syria. Here's what I think about that issue. Of course, we need to do everything we can to protect public safety, to public the integrity of this country and keep people safe. That goes without saying. And of course, state, local and federal officials need to be in regular communication and need to make sure that all steps and measures are being taken.

But I was so disheartened this week and last week to listen to the discourse, if you even want to call it that in some respects. I think about, for many of us in this room, our grandparents, our great-grandparents who came to this country as immigrants. I think about those who came to this country as refugees, whether they were survivors of the Holocaust and fleeing, survivors of the Armenian genocide, the 100th anniversary we just commemorated. I think of my friends in Lowell and the Cambodian population. We could just go on and on.

And this country, of course it's about standing strong, and we've got to do everything we can to stand up to and fight against global terrorism. But you better believe it, we need to stand strong for our values, who we are as a nation, what got us to this point. And never, ever turn our back on those in need.

I don't know how you can watch the news, look at the paper, and see the images – these mothers changing their babies in fields, these young kids hopping off life rafts and not know that saying no or saying you're not welcome is not American and not who we need to be.

So that's where I am, Bob, on that. [applause]  

MARTHA MINOW:  Say your name.

Q:  My name is Duane Desonay[?], and I'm a resident of Boston, over in Jamaica Plain. Congrats on your success, so far, in the position. And congrats especially on the outreach that you take. I think it's fundamentally important to the effectiveness of the office, so that's terrific.

And I'd gladly contribute to your future campaigns, assuming I haven't lost it all on Draft Kings. [laughter] 

MAURA HEALEY:  We're trying to look out for you there, too. 

Q:  Serious question about opioids, and you addressed it a little bit this evening. We have a family on our street that is literally in crisis tonight, because of an opioid addiction. And I've been stunned to hear more about their story and how difficult it is to get the physician to ease back on the prescriptions. The spouse has been calling, to the point where the doctor's office literally hangs up, "can't help you."

So in the work that you're doing, what are the chances, do you think, of a chance in standard of care regulations and law? And do you think that's something that actually can be effective as a part of an, admittedly, really complicated situation.

MAURA HEALEY:  I'm so sorry to hear about that family. These are the kinds of stories we hear about all the time. I think that this is why we need legislation. There's legislation that's been proposed around prescribing limits. Now, we can debate how many days it should be. And I'm heartened to see the Massachusetts Medical Society say and agree that some limitation, guard rails, guidelines are appropriate. That's something we need to sort out and make happen as soon as possible. Because the fact of the matter is, too many people can become addicted too quickly, in a matter of days, to something that is just absolutely devastating.

We also need to make sure that prescribers are given the opportunity, though, to learn about alternatives to pain medication and different approaches. They need to be supported in this. There are a lot of people who come through the doors looking for help from doctors. They may not want to do the physical therapy. Time is short, lives are busy, and they'll take the pills. Here's where I say we all need to do a better job of being educated as consumers and as patients, making sure we ask the right questions.

In our office, we've actually gone after some doctors who have been pumping and prescribing pills out in unsafe and unlawful amounts. And we'll continue to do that work. I think we need to work with licensing boards for doctors and dentists and others so that they are trained on appropriate prescribing practices, and so that they're held accountable for those practices. Because lives are stake; this is serious, serious business.  

Q:  Hi, thank you both for this wonderful conversation. My name is Eric Shulga[?]. I'm an English teacher at a local charter school. I have two questions, both related to charter schools and the law governing them. The first one is, what does the law say about school enrolment and whether or not– does it say that student demographics in charter schools need to mirror the areas they serve? 

And then my second question, do you have any thoughts on the recent story in the Boston Globe last week about charter school employees using public funds to advocate for political causes, like the lift in the charter cap?

MAURA HEALEY:  I think what you're pointing to is the important discussion that we're having right now in the state. It's happening at the legislature. There's a proposal to lift or to raise the cap on charter schools here in this state. There's also a lawsuit that's been filed against the state that our office is defending, as the Attorney General represents and defends the state. And when a law's challenged, it's our job to defend that law.

So it's an important time right now. It's an important discussion. I'll tell you where I come from on this. To me, it's about ensuring and remedying the fact that some of our poorest students across this state are not receiving the education they deserve. Everything should be done to address that, in my view. I think about the consequences of not doing that. You're an English teacher. I mentioned literacy and how important that is in development and what failure to ensure an educated student can look like and result in.

So that's where we need to be with doing everything we can to support education investment. We'll see what the legislature does; that's not in my hands. And we'll see what the court does; that's not exactly in our hands either. But I sure hope that we get to a place where there is far more investment and attention paid to education in this state.

MARTHA MINOW:  The second question, I guess, was about the lobbying by charter school teachers. And I might generalize that to lobbying by any kind of government official; are there restrictions? Should there be? Are charter school employees public officials?

MAURA HEALEY:  I guess it depends, right? Some are and some aren't. I'd have to know the specifics. I've seen, and we've heard from– I think that when it comes to lobbying – and I'll probably get myself in trouble here – I think the lobbying that is most effective is the lobbying that comes from people, real people who are aggrieved, and not necessarily the lobbyists; people who can talk about their story and tell their story. And it doesn't really matter, the issue. And I always encourage that; it doesn't really matter what the issue. I think that that kind of civic engagement is good and healthy.

MARTHA MINOW:  Petition the government, constitutional right, absolutely.

MAURA HEALEY:  Right. And overturn Citizens United. Get rid of that. [applause] 

MARTHA MINOW:  I think you've been waiting, so please identify yourself.

Q:  Thank you. Carol Donovan, a former state rep, retired state rep. And I'm a firm supporter of the Governor's bills on the opiates, and I think you are too, Maura.


Q:  How do I deal with my friends who are members of the ACLU, which I was a proud card-carrying member in the past, how do I deal with them when they tell me it's against the law to keep somebody for 72 hours in a hospital?

MAURA HEALEY:  Just a little context here. The Governor's legislation, there are a lot of aspects to it. There are pieces that set prescribing limits for doctors. There's a piece that would require hospitals to hold patients for a certain amount of time, commit them essentially, so that they can get access to treatment or help. There is mandatory training for students and school. There's just a variety of things in this legislation. I think that the thrust of the legislation, it is where we need to be, it is in the right direction. 

That specific issue about commitment, here's what I think is important there. I think that this is about a system for getting people into treatment. I think a question and a detail that needs to be answered is, where are the beds? Where are the programs? Because we don't want to see people held in an ER or in a hospital. We want to see them in a treatment setting, in an appropriate clinical treatment setting. I think that's something that is very much and should be the discussion right now as this legislation gets debated; what does that look like.

So I would just encourage folks to keep an open mind and let's try to shift to what do treatment and treatment options look like. And, is there a way that we can better intervene? Because I think that's what this is about. The other day, not the other day, a couple months ago, I was at home in Charlestown and I was going out to work. And there's a park that our house is on, and there was a young man on a bench. And he had just used. The firefighters were making their way over, and I walked over with them. He was still in hospital scrubs. He had just been let out the day before from a hospital, having ODed. And when he came to, the first thing he said to us was, "Can somebody take me to Cambridge Hospital?" 

So how do we respond to, how do we help people like that? That's a challenge.

MARTHA MINOW:  But it's one we've got to meet, get on a different path. 


Q:  Hi, my name is Manuel Castro. I am a student at UMass-Boston, and I'm actually interning for the Attorney General. So I guess a question for you, Martha, and for you, Maura. 

Martha, I've watched dozens of your interviews, from Associate Justice Kagan to Maura. How as a moderator do you choose the questions to share and convey information with us audiences? What do you feel is most important? 

And then to you, Maura, a lot of us in the office are very inspired by Maura. And I see a lot of leaders in this room. So to you, Maura, I know a lot of leaders and people who are high achievers get tired. How do you reset the clock every morning and keeping going and make it look so graceful? [laughter] 

MARTHA MINOW:  A great question. I want to hear the answer to that one. 

MAURA HEALEY:  We've got a lot of energy. And thank you for the work you do in the office on behalf of the people. I hope you're having a good experience. I'm grateful for the interns that come through our doors, and hope it does inspire them to some day take up public service and to want to return in some capacity to the Attorney General's office.

Look, inspiration is not hard for me. I see it in the faces of the people I meet day in and day out, listening to their stories, hearing about their needs. Some of it is desperate, some of it's really sad, and it leaves you fired up to want to do– and I think it leaves us as a team fired up to want to do all we can to help. It's an incredible privilege to work in the office and to have the opportunity to try to do something for someone, to try to make a difference.

I'm also inspired by something that surprised me; I didn't see this coming. But there's a lot of goodwill out there. There's a lot of goodwill, and there are a lot of people that want to see us succeed, that want to see us succeed so that people succeed, so that people are helped. And they want to help bridge that. 

You heard my comments about Deflategate. That's another thing: you're Attorney General, they ask you about anything and everything. [laughter] Like you're supposed to have an opinion. So I get asked about Tom Brady and Deflategate, to which my response is: Far too much time spent on air pressure. NFL ought to be thinking about and talking about domestic violence and sexual assault. [applause] 

MARTHA MINOW:  Hear, hear! 

MAURA HEALEY:  Pervasive in the League. But that resulted in, a little while later, I received call from Robert Kraft, saying, "Let's team up, let's do something." We cooked up this program called Game Change, where we're now going into schools, free of charge, starting in 2016, through a curriculum developed by Northeastern Center for Sports and Society. And building in domestic violence agencies, who also stepped forward and wanted to join in this.

We've got this program called Game Change. We're going to teach and train teachers, coaches, parents on preventing and responding to and intervening on issues of violence. And we're going to train students, too, so that they build and develop better emotional competencies, so that hopefully we see less relationship violence and gang violence and gun violence.

But that just happens because there are people in this state who are willing to step forward and willing to partner. And that's inspiring to me and to us as an office. 

MARTHA MINOW:  For me, it's just an unbelievable privilege and honor to be able to ask people I admire questions. And I'm selfish, I'm curious. I ask the questions that I want to know the answers to. I did have the honor of recently interviewing Associate Justice Elena Kagan. She had been my student, so that one wasn't intimidating. [laughter] And she later became my colleague and then my boss. And now, as I tease her, she writes my teaching materials. [laughter] 

But for me, it is a great privilege.

Q:  Hi, my name is Brendan Rooney. I'm a junior in high school at Catholic Memorial, alongside my classmates. And I think I speak for all of us when we say we're very grateful that you feel so strongly about the issue of student loan debt that's staring at down the future. But how difficult will it be to get private universities and private colleges on board with trying to lower tuition costs, where they may not receive the public funding that a school such as UMass might receive?

MAURA HEALEY:  It's a really important conversation right now, Brendan. I'm looking at all of you in your blazers, you all look so sharp. The fact of the matter is, I believe that the cost of college nationally has grown 60%, increased 60% since 2000. It is a serious problem. I think for the private colleges – I'm maybe not the best one to speak on this stage to the issue – the fact of the matter is, they're not going to have students.

People aren't going to be able to afford to go. 

So I don't know where this gets us if there aren't some changes. I think we need to look at that. I think we need to look at what's driving cost.

I also think it's really important, too, with this on-demand economy and with some of the industry, even if you look within Massachusetts, we have to remember that a four-year liberal arts education – I received that, I had a wonderful experience – it may not be for everyone. There are lots of ways to work and make a living in our community, in our state, in our country. And I think we need to evolve a little bit more and support the vocational programs, support some of the trade programs that frankly may better suit people and set them up for fulfilling careers.

So I think that we're at an interesting time right now. But look, that's what I'm talking about when I say this is a crisis. And you are our future, and you are our future employees. But you're our future. And we need to be doing everything we can.

I think it's important that it's been a national discussion. I think you see it in the presidential debates. And that's absolutely right. 

And I wish you all the best. What year are you?

Q:  Junior in high school.

MAURA HEALEY:  Junior, okay. You've got time. Don't be stressed. That's the other thing, if I might just offer this to young people. I think there's a lot of burden and strain and stress and pressure put on young people, a stress and strain that I didn't feel or know growing up when I was your age. And I think it's just important that you not succumb to that. Life is long. You'll have a lot of paths, you'll take a lot of turns. You want to explore a lot of things. And if I'm any example, I sure could never have predicted where I'd end up, sitting in your shoes many years ago.

So try to have some fun. Enjoy it along the way. Be good to each other. But don't be afraid to take chances and do things that may even be unconventional, because it'll make you a lot happier in the long run. [applause] 

Q:  Thank you very much.

Q:  Carol Hillman from Brookline. Thanks, first of all, for all the wonderful new initiatives you've mentioned in your office. I think they're going to go a long way to helping the citizens of this state. You mentioned the two words – Draft Kings. And I'm wondering if you could elaborate a bit on what you see happening there, what are your objectives. And especially in light of the fact that, on the other hand, we are inviting gambling institutions into the commonwealth.

MAURA HEALEY:  Well, Carol, when I was running, there were some things that I envisioned dealing with – the heroin/opioid crisis that we talked about; gun violence; consumer issues. Daily fantasy sports, not on my screen. [laughter] But this is what makes that job fun.

So, new industry, big industry. And what we did in the office was we had to look at the facts, look at this industry, try to understand what was happening. And we came to the decision that at this juncture, what exists in terms of the laws doesn't neatly match up with what this industry is about. Yes, it is a form of gambling; it is gambling. We can debate skill, chance, all that; doesn't really interest me. What interests me as Attorney General is making sure that we have the strongest, most robust consumer protections in place. The industries will either be able to comply with that, or they will not be able to do business here.

I know that other offices have taken other approaches. The New York Attorney General has sought to shut them down based on existing criminal law in New York. I have to look at Massachusetts law.

And what we've done, we just announced this the other day, was – I had a team that worked really hard in the office – that over a relatively short period did a thorough review, looked at a lot of documents, got a lot of information from these companies. And we just recently came out with the strongest consumer protections in the country on this issue.

We'll see how things go going forward. Our investigation continues. But in the meantime, that is the approach we're taking, so that there's no play by anybody under 21. There's no play on college sports. If you want to play this game, you're cut off at $1,000 a month until and unless you can demonstrate an ability to absorb more losses than that. Really full disclosures. No insider play or use of insider information. 

I imagine they may be challenged. I imagine that the companies in the industry are not happy with all of what we've proposed. But I think that's the right thing to do by consumers here in the state. And the discussion will continue. If the legislature or the Gaming Commission wish to take it up, whether it's to think about revenue sharing or taxation, they can do that. But I wanted to take immediate action on what is our existing authority, which is consumer protection rights.

So that's where we are on that issue. 

MARTHA MINOW:  Your themes, so clearly: Do the right thing. Do it on behalf of ordinary people. Be the people's lawyer. Help people understand their rights. Would everyone in join me in thanking our Attorney General, Maura Healey? [applause] 

MAURA HEALEY:  Thank you. I want to thank Dean Minow for her job here tonight. I've long admired her work, and the work of her law school. We have terrific law school interns and assistants in our office, so we appreciate that.

MARTHA MINOW:  Thank you for taking them, thank you.

MAURA HEALEY:  And it is incredibly humbling, I'm looking at my parents who brought my sister and the rest of us here at early ages. And any time anybody, cousin, would come over from Ireland, this was the first stop on the tour. [laughter] So it is incredibly humbling to me, and I'm sure to my family, to be at the Library here this evening. And we will do our best in the Attorney General's office to honor the amazing legacy of the Kennedy family in the work that we do. [applause] 

MARTHA MINOW:  Maura Healey represents the best of public service. If people want to come and talk to her right now, she's willing to stay a little bit. So thank you all for coming. 

MAURA HEALEY:  Thank you.