Clinton talks with Boston voters: Attends substance abuse forum with Walsh

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By Madeleine Longwell
Staff Writer

Photo of the panel

(Photo from WBUR)

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton stopped in Boston this past Thursday to participate in a forum about substance abuse with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

The forum, which she attended after a fundraiser in Holyoke, Mass., discussed the prevalence of addiction in U.S. and how it should be addressed. More than 400 people were in attendance.

The discussion and treatment of substance abuse is a major part of Clinton’s campaign. A basic plan to reform how substance abuse is treated and discussed in government is outlined on her website: “Hillary’s initiative is built largely on federal-state partnerships that empower state and local leaders to effectively tailor programs to their communities.”

While a plan is outlined on her website, the forum mostly focused on the importance of being able to discuss the substance abuse problem that exists and the need for treatment to be available.

Though it is clear there is a still a lot of improvement to be made, Mayor Walsh was optimistic about the direction the discussion was heading. “We’ve gone from having a problem that we kept in the closet to talking about it on the presidential stage.”

This is not the first discussion about substance abuse Clinton has had on the campaign trail; in September she held a similar discussion in New Hampshire.

The topic, which also came up in the GOP September debate, is one that affects millions of Americans. Clinton often says that she became more interested and involved in the issue after meeting so many people affected by it on the campaign trail.

Clinton’s stop in Massachusetts—which included two fundraising stops and the forum—came right before Vermont Senator and fellow Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders’ rallies in Springfield and Boston on Saturday.

Sanders, who has rivaled Clinton in the polls recently, held a rally in Boston on Saturday with record attendance, though Clinton still maintains the lead in recent national polls.