Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As voting rights are under attack elsewhere in the country, in Massachusetts we are working to expand access to the ballot to ensure every resident has the ability to vote. Yesterday, I joined my colleagues in the House of Representatives in voting in the affirmative on the VOTES Act, which makes multiple important changes to our elections in the Commonwealth. As part of the debate, I spoke to my colleagues on the floor regarding the importance of ensuring individuals with disability have accessible ways to participate in our democracy.
This legislation includes provisions:
- Making vote by mail and expanded early voting permanent;
- Decreasing the deadline to register to vote from 20 days to 10 days before the election;
- Increasing voter education efforts for eligible incarcerated voters; and
- Requiring Massachusetts to join the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) security system, which helps improve the accuracy of voter rolls.
To learn more, please see a summary on my website here.
Yours in Service,
- In Needham, the Needham Select Board is now accepting applications for the Babson College Needham Town Scholarship which is open to Needham Residents and Needham High School students and alumni who are interested in attending Babson College for the 2022-2023 academic year. Scholarships applications must be submitted to the Needham Select Board no later than March 4, 2022 at 5:00 PM. For more information, click here.
- Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital – Needham is holding two virtual listening sessions as part of conducting their community health needs assessment. These sessions are being held on February 2 at 9:30 AM and on February 8 at 7:30 PM. Please note the updated time for the February 8 session. To learn more and register for a session, click here.
- In Dover, the Dover Planning Board has completed the process of creating a Housing Production Plan. This plan allows the Town to study local housing needs, market conditions, environmental constraints, and issues of affordability to inform policies and strategies to produce affordable market rate housing. To view the plan, click here.
- Medfield, the Zullo Gallery will be hosting Michael Blanchard via Zoom as part of its continuing Meet the Artist series on February 3 at 7:00 PM. Michael is an award-winning artist, author, and gallery owner and he will be sharing how discovering a career in photography transformed his life. To register for this free event, click here.
- Thursday morning I testified before the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities on H.222, An Act providing educational stability for vulnerable children. Children and youth involved in the Department of Children and Families have poorer educational outcomes than their peers due to a multitude of factors, including absenteeism due to placement changes. This legislation addresses this by codifying the position of Education Manager under DCF and requires each area office to have one full-time DCF staff member dedicated to the education of children under their care and custody.
- On Wednesday, I joined the Mass Health Policy Forum for a virtual forum on “Massachusetts Local Public Health Infrastructure: Protecting Public Health and Preparing for the Next Pandemic.” This forum included a presentation on our local and reginal public health, which identified our ongoing public health needs and how other states are addressing their public health issues. During this conversation, I sat on a panel and discussed legislation I have filed to strengthen our local and regional public health, SAPHE 2.0. To learn more about this bill, click here. To view materials from this event, click here.
- Due to the impending snow snow, the Registry of Motor Vehicals (RMV) has cancelled all road tests scheduled across the state for Saturday, January 29. To monitor RMV closures, cancellations, and delays, click here.
- Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are free, safe, and effective against COVID-19 and are available to individuals who live, work, and study in Massachusetts. To find a vaccine clinic, click here.
- Individuals age 18 and older are eligible to receive any vaccine or booster
- Individuals ages 12-17 are eligible to receive a Pfizer booster
- Individuals ages 5-17 are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine
- Massachusetts is now offering digital vaccine cards through the MyVaxRecords tool if you received your vaccine in the Commonwealth. MyVaxRecords utilizes your vaccination records from the Massachusetts Immunization Information System. To access your digital vaccine card, click here.
If you are in need of information, resources, or support please visit my website for a list of resources regarding unemployment assistance, food assistance, housing, and mental health. Additionally, for town specific information visit the Towns of Needham, Dover, and Medfield‘s websites.
If you are in need of assistance, my office is still accessible by phone and email so please contact my office and we will get back to you.