Thank you for all the cards and phone calls for my recovery.
“You’re the Best”
To the People of Revere, Chelsea, and Saugus – my Constituents, Neighbors, and Friends:
I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying the last days of summer. I write to you today ahead of the September 4th Primary to personally update you on what we in the Legislature have accomplished over the course of the last two years, and what my office has been doing to help the people of my district.
In my short tenure in the House, I have worked hard to listen to your concerns, I have advocated strongly for your issues, and I have done my best to ensure that your voices are heard on Beacon Hill. I am forever grateful for the trust you have placed in me, and I once again ask that you consider voting for me on Tuesday, Sept. 4, so that I can continue to work hard for a better Revere, Chelsea, and Saugus.
On Beacon Hill, we have worked to find real-world and balanced solutions to save lives, support our communities, empower working families and businesses, as well as address the effects of climate change. Amid a charged national political atmosphere, we were able to find common ground and consensus among colleagues to pass two fiscally-prudent budgets, which have consistently no new taxes.
Additionally, we have adopted a bundle of legislation that serves our most vulnerable residents and keeps our cities and towns safe by supporting seniors, children, first responders, veterans and the small business community.
Some policy highlights of the 2017-2018 legislative session include passage of laws:
- Enhancing Environmental and Natural Resource Protection,
- Reforming the State’s Criminal Justice System,
- Strengthening Gun Safety,
- Combatting the Opioid Crisis and Addiction,
- Raising the Minimum Wage
- Protecting Women’s Rights and Establishing Pay Equity,
- Fostering Economic Development,
- Securing Veterans’ Benefits,
- Funding Programs to Help Senior Citizens, and
- Ensuring Consumer Data Protections.
Effective leadership begins with establishing a solid and bi-partisan working relationship with my colleagues in government – both at the state and local levels. Working together, I believe we have made a difference. I am proud of the work that we have collectively done in the Legislature this session. I thank Speaker DeLeo for his leadership, as well as my colleagues in the Revere, Chelsea, and Saugus State Delegations for their friendship to the people of my district and to me.
Representing a coastal district and having lived in Revere my entire life, my passion has always been to be a strong and effective advocate for our environment and for America’s First Public Beach.
As vice-chair of the Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, as well as the House chair of the Metropolitan Beaches Commission, I have made protecting our community’s natural resources and standing up for environmental justice my personal mission.
In 2016, I, along with prestigious and well-respected environmental groups like the Conservation Law Foundation, Clean Water Action, Toxics Action Center, the Environmental League of Massachusetts, the Saugus River Watershed Council, Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment, the Point of Pines Beach Association and Friends of Belle Isle Marsh, as well as local leaders and residents, collectively formed the Alliance for Health and Environment. This organization promotes environmental justice for communities like Revere, Chelsea, and Saugus that are impacted by waste incineration and ash disposal, and to raise awareness of their negative impact on public health and the environment.
The Alliance has been vocal in our opposition to any and all expansion of the 42-year-old unlined ash landfill on Route 107 in Saugus, and we have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the residents of the Riverside the Point of Pines, and East Saugus to do everything in our power to stop Wheelabrator’s proposal from moving forward. Regardless of the MassDEP decision earlier this year to allow Wheelabrator to continue dumping ash in its landfill over the next five to ten years, this Alliance is committed to continuing our fight to end this environmental injustice through litigation in the courts.
Those of us who live on the coast have always known how vulnerable our communities are during severe storms, but the winter of 2018 proved our worst fears true with regard to flooding during storm surges.
In response to failing coastal infrastructure around the Commonwealth, I am proud that the Legislature passed an Environmental Bond Bill, which will fund projects in neighborhoods that are most susceptible to flooding during storms and tidal surges. This includes $2.4 billion in proposed spending for improvements for coastal infrastructure that has been compromised over time, provisions for clean air, better water quality, as well as improvements for state parkways and trails. In passing this legislation, the Legislature is committing to making proper, targeted investments to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the Commonwealth. I am very pleased to report that some of the provisions in the bill will directly help aid neighborhoods in my district to combat climate change and rising sea levels.
Also, along with fellow members of the Metropolitan Beaches Commission, and with the assistance of Speaker DeLeo, we have been able to secure over $2 million in funds over the last two years to provide proper maintenance, adequate staffing and free family programing on Greater Boston’s urban beaches – including Revere Beach.
I am humbled, and honored, to say that I have received many awards and recognitions from some of the most respected environmental groups in the region for my work in standing up for our environment, including:
- a “Boston Harbor Hero” award from Save the Harbor/Save the Bay for championing Boston’s urban beaches, including America’s First Public Beach,
- a “River Stewardship” award from the Saugus River Watershed Council for outstanding leadership in protecting public health and restoring natural resources in the Saugus River Watershed, and
- a “Legislator of the Year” award from Clean Water Action for my leadership in the fight to protect Revere and Saugus from a long-term environmental injustice.
On the local level, I have been working very hard during my tenure at the State House to promote and spur economic development in my district. Recently, the House and Senate passed legislation that includes investments to grow jobs in coastal communities, boost manufacturing innovation, support technology development and innovation, and expand career technical training programs. The legislation establishes an apprenticeship tax credit for employers and limits the enforcement of and sets standards for non-compete agreements in Massachusetts. Further, it funds initiatives that help small businesses grow and establishes tax credits for businesses that occupy vacant storefronts in downtown areas. Also included was a provision to allow for the “Sales Tax Holiday” that occurred earlier this month.
In addition to my advocacy on environmental issues and economic development, I continue to work with my colleagues in government and my constituents to help combat the opioid crisis and addiction. Once again, and as recently as this summer, the Massachusetts Legislature has adopted some of the most comprehensive legislation in the nation to combat the opioid crisis. In July, we passed a bill with sweeping initiatives to promote behavioral health for adults and children and measures to prevent substance use disorders. This new legislation takes measures, including expanding access to non-opioid treatment options for pain management; establishing grants to benefit substance exposed newborn children and prohibiting discounts and rebates for certain prescription opioids. It also takes steps to improve the quality of patient care at treatment facilities, expands access to Narcan and increases training for law enforcement to respond to behavioral health crisis.
In closing, even after four years, I find it humbling to serve you as your state representative. It has been an honor and a privilege to work on your behalf for a better community and Commonwealth. For all these reasons, I hope that you will consider voting for me on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Thank you.
State Representative – 16th Suffolk District
Candidate for Renomination