Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Thirty-one years ago, the first Disability Pride Day was held in Boston to promote visibility and awareness of the positive pride felt by people with disabilities. Still today, people with disabilities are often not treated as equals and continue to experience discrimination in their communities. In Massachusetts, we have come a long way in our understanding and appreciation of individuals with disabilities, but we still have more work to do.
On your own, you can continue to educate yourself on ways to effectively support this community. I am sharing an article on How to be an Effective Ally of the Disability Community, which may be useful in your own self-learning process. For myself, I am continuing this work by serving as a Commissioner on the Permanent Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, which works to advance the cause of all persons with disabilities in the Commonwealth. To learn more about the commission, click here.
Yours in Service,
- In Needham, the Town is currently seeking qualified candidates to fill a vacancy on the Permanent Public Building Committee, which is responsible for the construction, alteration, and enlargement of town and school buildings. Additionally, the Select Board and Planning Board are asking residents to complete a survey regarding outdoor dining as part of their work on zoning changes for restaurants in Needham.
- In Dover, the Colonial Water Company has shared a letter with their customers regarding the water discoloration some residents are experiencing. Residents are encouraged to contact Colonial Water if they notice water discoloration.Colonial was supposed to submit a corrective action plan yesterday, July 7, and I am deeply concerned that we have not yet seen such a plan – this is unacceptable. Additionally, the Dover Police will be hosting the Dana-Farber Blood Mobile on Monday, July 12 from 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM. Appointments are recommended and walk-ins will be taken as time allows.
- In Medfield, the Board of Selectmen are currently seeking volunteers who wish to serve on a Town board or committee including the Community Gardens Committee, Conservation Commission, Cemetery Commission, Emergency Management Planning Committee, Medfield Community Choice Aggregation Committee, and Medfield Wildlife Committee. If you are interested, please contact Town Administrator Kristine Trierweiler with a letter of interest.
- On Tuesday, I testified before the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs in support of legislation I have co-filed with Senator Rush, H.3654, An Act relative to providing veterans’ survivor benefits. This legislation seeks to provide a financial life line to veterans’ families following the death of a veteran.
- On Wednesday, I joined with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to vote on the House rules for the 2020-2021 legislative session. Since January, the House has been operating under emergency COVID-19 rules that allow remote committee hearings and remote formal sessions. The rules include substantial new provisions, including posting the results of all roll calls to the public website after being tallied by the Clerk, requiring livestreams of formal and informal session, and requiring the Votes taken by committee to be posted to the public website within 48 hours of the final tally of the vote, along with the aggregate number of votes in the affirmative, Members not voting, and the names of Members reserving their rights members voting in the negative.
- The Department of Public Health confirmed the first positive sample of West Nile Virus has been found in Massachusetts for the first time this year. This sample was collected from the town of Medford. At this time there has been no human or animal cases of WNV or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) detected in Massachusetts this year. To learn more about the prevention of mosquito-borne illnesses, click here.
- Massachusetts residents ages 12 and up and who are fully vaccinated are eligible to enter the Massachusetts VaxMillions Giveaway. Residents ages 18 and older have the opportunity to win one of five $1 million cash prizes and residents between ages 12-17 have the opportunity to win one of five $300,000 scholarship grants. For more information on registering, 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.