Getting Involved in the 11th!

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I am grateful that in these days of the 1st pandemic anniversary, the state’s vaccination drive offers some hope for freedom from isolation, and for a return to the communities and routines we didn’t know we’d miss. The ongoing challenges of pandemic response have created a very busy 3 months in the legislature, and I wanted to take a moment to fill you in on my work so far this session.

Wrapping the end-of-session business from the 191st General Court spilled over into this year; we passed the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget in early January, alongside police reform, climate change, the ROE act, Boston’s Inclusionary Development home rule petition and economic development and transportation bond bills. Since passing those, we’ve been hard at work re-passing the climate change bill to address the governor’s vetoes, filing our own legislation, holding Ways and Means hearings to start the fiscal year 2022 budget process, and deciding which of the 6,635 bills filed by our colleagues in the 192nd General Court merit co-sponsorship.

On top of the intense legislative pace, my staff and I have been working hard to support members of our community as they face the virus and its consequences. We have reached out countless times to the good people at the Department of Unemployment Assistance on behalf of members of our community. The staff at DUA has been overwhelmed by the number of claims that the pandemic has thrown their way, though they’ve still been generous when we ask for help.

My staff and I will keep plugging away to help when possible with the things that have so deeply challenged so many of our friends and neighbors. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email if you need that help.

Looking forward to a time beyond Covid, we will also begin to think of the ways we can build our community back stronger. I have been so heartened lately by the number of people who have reached out asking for greater transparency as a means of engaging the democratic process more fully. While we might not always agree on the ways to fix the imperfections in our system, I am convinced that robust discussions around the issues which drive such conversations can often lead to even stronger solutions.

My hope is that more people will join their local ward committees and the neighborhood associations that have been working to help our community for years. Increased membership and participation in those groups will help to ensure that together we can commit to a more fully democratic process as we dream of our future together. I will continue to be transparent with you and make myself available via email or office hours to discuss how we can work together.