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Friday, June 7, 2024

 

                           

 

 

It is with great PRIDE that I joined with Governor Healey, Massachusetts Legislators, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and many, many allies as we raise the PRIDE flag over our State House in the capital city of Massachusetts. We commemorate the passage of same-sex marriage in the Commonwealth 20 years ago. Honoring and respecting individuals’ lives and their loves. We reflect on the work and celebrate that we come a long way including state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, and credit practices. In November 2018, we supported transgender practices through the popular vote. We also acknowledge that we still have work to do and have a long way to go.

“We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity.”

-Takei

With respect and love to all,

Denise

 

 

District Updates

 

 

Needham

  • The Needham High School Civics Showcase is this Saturday, June 8th. The civics showcase will be held in Powers Hall at Town Hall from 2 PM to 3:30 PM. Over 100 students in 50 groups will be showcasing their research on topics such as climate change, mental health, education, gun control, and many more. To learn more, click here.
  • The annual Race Amity Day is set for June 9th. The Needham Diversity Initiative and the Needham Human Rights Committee are holding Race Amity Day from 3 PM to 5 PM at Amity Path at the Needham Reservoir (500 Dedham Avenue). This free event celebrates the friendships between people of different races and cultures and recognizes the collaborations that advance equity and social justice. To learn more, click here.
  • The Needham Commuter Rail Line will be replaced by shuttle buses for select weekends throughout June. The MBTA will be conducting routine maintenance and signal work in support of Positive Train Control (PTC), a federally mandated safety system. The Needham line shutdown will impact both inbound and outbound service. Shuttle busses will be available to commuters between Needham Heights and Forest Hills. For a full list of affected days and more information, click here.
  • Needham has its first peer recovery coach. Angi MacDonnell, who has already been working with the Town’s Public Health Division in substance use prevention is the town’s new peer recovery coach. This position is made possible by funds from the National Opioid Settlements. Services from the peer recovery coach are free to those who are 18+ and live and work in Needham. Needham residents and community members who would like to speak to Angi can contact her at amacdonnell@needhamma.gov or (781) 708-1752.

Dover

  • The Town of Dover and Dover Parks and Recreation will be hosting Satur-PLAY this Saturday, June 8th. The event will be held at the Dover Town Common from 1 PM to 2:30 PM. This event is free to attend and will include interactive music and activities for all ages. For more information, click here.
  • Join the Dover Open Space Committee for a walk through Wylde Woods, Dover’s town-owned conservation land on Saturday, June 8th. The walk will begin at 10:30 AM. This is a free event but RSVP is required. For free tickets and more information, click here.
  • Algonquin Gas Transmission will be performing maintenance work in the town near Claybrook Rd. The construction work began mid-May and takes approximately two months to complete. For more information, click here.

Medfield

 

  • Applications for Fall car wash fundraiser dates are now open. Applicants must be local Town of Medfield nonprofit organizations. All car wash fundraisers will be postponed if the Select Board declares a partial or total water ban. For more information, click here.
  • Medfield Community Electricity is now available to residents. The program offers new electricity supply options that provide more renewable energy and stable prices for all Medfield residents and businesses. The program is a Town-vetted alternative to Eversource’s default supply and other third-party electricity suppliers. To learn more, click here.
  • The Medfield Swap Shop is looking for volunteers. The Swap Shop recently reopened and will be running until the end of September. The Swap Shop is run entirely by volunteers and is seeking more to help the shop run smoothly. Interested parties should email Nancy at n.nancyirwin@gmail.com or medfieldswapshop@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Legislative Updates

 

 

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

 

On Wednesday, I voted in the affirmative on H4707, the Affordable Homes Act. This major piece of legislation would authorize $6.2B in bonding to address our housing crisis and seek to make housing more accessible and affordable in our Commonwealth. It is important to note that this legislation is a bond bill. This means that it is legislation that authorizes bonds to be issued to fund housing, not an immediate deposit to the initiatives.

 

Beyond statewide programs, the bill also authorizes bonding allocations for local projects: The bill authorizes $3M to the Needham Housing Authority for construction costs associated with the redevelopment of affordable public housing units on Linden Street. The Needham Housing Authority’s Linden Street apartments are over 60 years old and in dire need of replacement to provide safe, well-designed, and affordable housing for seniors and disabled residents. The funding provided from this bill will help preserve and renovate the existing 152 units and build an additional 95 units to meet the demand for affordable housing. The bill also includes a line item that would expend $15M to Medfield State Hospital for hazardous materials remediation. The Medfield State Hospital is undergoing a redevelopment that would create 334 new units, 25% of which will be affordable. The funding will help remove the hazardous materials from the Hospital buildings established over a hundred years ago. The bill funding will grow housing in our district to maintain and provide affordable housing for our community.

For more information on the bill, read my full statement here.

 

 

Statewide Updates

 

 

  • $1.2M in grants will be awarded to school districts for early literacy material and professional development. These funds will help schools adopt and implement high quality instructional materials to support early literacy. This grant will allow for professional printing of Appleseeds, a package of materials for teaching foundational reading skills in kindergarten through second grade.

          “The House of Representatives members know how fundamentally important literacy is for our youngest learners in every single district in our Commonwealth,” said State Representative Denise Garlick (D-Needham), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education. “It said that children need to learn to read by third grade so that they can read to learn their whole life long. These grants are key in increasing access to evidence-based literacy materials and to provide educators professional development and support.”

To learn more, click here.

  • The Massachusetts Summer Child Nutrition Program will launch this summer. Massachusetts has received federal approval for its summer child nutrition program which will help feed an estimated 600,000 students while schools are closed for the summer. Low-income Massachusetts families with school-aged children will be eligible to receive financial assistance to buy groceries. To learn more, click here.
  • The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) encourages residents to take the necessary steps to prepare for Atlantic Hurricane Season which began on June 1st. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasters anticipate an above-normal 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season. To learn more, click here.
  • The Early Childhood Educators scholarship is open for the 2024-2025 academic year. This scholarship is available for educators who work at programs licensed and/or funded by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), including center-based, family child care and out-of-school time programs. For the first time, the scholarship is now available for staff who work at residential programs licensed by EEC. The application process has also been simplified and eligible majors have been expanded to better support the career pathways for out-of-school time educators. To learn more, click here.
  • The Healey-Driscoll administration has launched a call center and website for patients as part of the next step in its Incident Command structure in response to Steward Health Care’s filing for bankruptcy. The dedicated Steward Health Care call center can be reached at (617) 468-2189 or toll-free at (833) 305-2070. The website can be accessed here.
  • MassDEP is now accepting applications for paid internship opportunities for the early fall session. The internships are available for programs in MassDEP’s Boston headquarters as well as in all four regional offices. The positions are all important in helping environmental protection across the Commonwealth. To learn more, click here.
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