It has been just over a hundred days since I began my term in office on January 4th, 2017. Serving as a State Representative the past few months has been a great honor, and I am privileged to have the opportunity to work on Beacon Hill as an advocate for the people of my district and Massachusetts.
While campaigning I focused heavily on protecting our local skies, preventing further price inflation for necessary medications, and preserving the Blue Hills and local reservation land. Upon arrival at the State House, I dove into these issues headfirst. I’ve filed bills to authorize an independent study on the health of the Blue Hills, to survey traffic safety concerns at intersections in the district, and to require Massachusetts agencies to pay no more for prescription drugs than the cost paid by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, ensuring affordable costs for life-saving medications. Additionally, I have signed on as a co-sponsor for over 50 other proposed bills, including the Safe Communities Act and the creation of Paid Family Medical Leave.
Of particular concern for residents of our district have been the low-flying planes to and from Logan Airport whose flight paths are directly over Milton, and proposed cuts to the MBTA’s RIDE program. I have attended hearings held by MassPort and the MBTA’s Fiscal Management Control Board, publicly urging members to consider my constituents’ concerns by exploring fair distribution of planes in and out of Logan, preserving the RIDE program, and rejecting plans to privatize MBTA service. Due to these efforts and those of many others, as of today, we are pleased to share that cuts to the RIDE are off the table.
Regarding the flight navigation changes that are desperately needed, I continue to work with Representative Dan Cullinane, State Senator Walter Timilty and the rest of Milton’s elected delegation at all levels of government from the Selectman all the way up to our US Senators in Washington because this fight is a marathon, not a sprint and needs a whole community approach to succeed. During these first one hundred days I also began conferring with state representatives from other affected parts of Massachusetts facing similar hardships from air traffic. In the next one hundred days I will be reaching out to even more colleagues and doing my part to build a coalition among the representation of the most affected communities in the Commonwealth.
I am very proud to share that we were able to secure $25,000 for the creation of the Randolph Economic Opportunity Center. This new center, modeled after the successful “Connect” program in Chelsea, will aim to improve financial stability, employment services, job training, educational services, language skills, and financial literacy for all Randolph residents. I am excited to support Randolph Town Manager, David Murphy, in this effort and to watch the development of the center, and am grateful to my fellow Randolph elected officials, Representative Ayers and Representative Cusack, for their support in co-sponsoring the amendment.
I have heard from a number of constituents lamenting the Governor’s 9C cuts that took away funding from the Blue Hills Trailside museum last year. As a lifelong Milton resident and frequent visitor of the museum with my son, I too was disappointed to see funds cut from the museum in FY17 and then adding insult to injury the museum was left out of both the Governor’s Budget proposal and the House Ways and Means Committee’s budget for FY18. I filed an amendment and was successful in working to get the Blue Hills Trailside Museum included, at least minimally, in the FY 2018 budget. While at this time the museum remains underfunded for operation next year, I will continue to work with our State Senator, Walter Timilty, and other colleagues in the legislature to secure adequate funds so that this great resource will stay open and available to all.
During the first 100 days, I was assigned to four committees – Transportation; Bonding; State Administration and Regulatory Oversight; and Export Development. These committees address issues that are important to my constituents and also have broad implications for all residents of the Commonwealth. I’m proud to be able to serve and work collaboratively on these committees with my fellow lawmakers, including our State Senator, Walter Timilty, on the Joint House and Senate committee for State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.
With Governor Charlie Baker and the Patriots Superbowl Trophy
As a State Representative, I also have had the privilege of attending numerous events in our district and beyond. In the past few months, I have spoken at legislative breakfasts for South Shore Elder Services and the ARC of the South Shore, been a co-host at the Old Colony Library Network’s breakfast at the Turner Free Library, and honored new citizens at the Randolph Community Partnership’s Annual Dinner. These events, and others like them, have given me the opportunity to meet constituents and learn more about the important work that is done by local and state level organizations to increase opportunities and quality of life in Massachusetts.
Most importantly, I want to make sure that my constituents know that my door is always open to them. My office is dedicated to ensuring that all questions and concerns that we receive are addressed, and I welcome the chance to meet with residents in person, which is why I regularly hold office hours in the district. I encourage anyone who is curious and would like to learn more about what’s going on in the State House to visit these office hours, give my office a call, or send me an email.
With the State Champion Girls Track and Cross Country teams from Milton High
My official office website is updated regularly and is a great place to learn about the various legislation, initiatives or other activities week-to-week that I and my staff are focused on. Of course you can always follow us day-to-day via social media on Twitter and Facebook as well.
Thank you for the honor of electing me to serve as your State Representative. Holding this office is a great responsibility, and I am grateful to have this opportunity to work to make our community a better place. I am excited to continue to work for Randolph and Milton in the next hundred days and beyond.