< Back to Blog

Thursday, October 19, 2023


Yesterday, I voted in the affirmative on An Act Modernizing Firearm Laws, a violence prevention bill that would update our gun safety laws. Here in Massachusetts, we have one of the strongest gun safety laws in the country and one of the lowest rates of death by gun violence. However, new technology and recent Supreme Court decisions have impacted our gun laws while violence persists. The bill was introduced this past summer and has been revised to reflect the feedback and address the concerns voiced by members of the public, including some of our neighbors in Needham, Dover, and Medfield. As an omnibus bill, An Act Modernizing Firearm Laws addresses gun safety in multiple areas including licensing, training, ghost guns, prohibited areas, and more. To read more about the bill and to view my statement, click here.



District Updates


  • On Saturday, October 21st, join the Needham Police Department at their open house from 11 am to 3 pm. Attendees will tour the station and police cruisers, meet Officers Rocket and K9 Ghost, and enjoy free snacks. For questions about the event, call (781) 455-7570 or email Officer Kelly Scolponeti at kscolponeti@needhamma.gov or Officer Joe Brienze at jbrienze@needhamma.gov.
  • Needham Housing Authority hosts an informational meeting on the redevelopment project on Monday, October 23rd. The meeting will be held in the Linden-Chambers Community Room (5 Chambers St) from 7 to 8:30 pm. Information will be shared about the upcoming redevelopment of its Linden Street and Chambers Street properties. If you are unable to attend and would like more information, email Reg Foster at chair@needhamhousing.org.
  • The Charles River Center will be holding a free “Wings for Autism” event on November 4th for families and their children with special needs, to practice a trip to the airport. Please click here for more information and to register.
  • Save the date for Needham’s 12th Annual Diversity Summit on Sunday, November 5th. It will be held at Pollard Middle School from 1 to 5 pm. This year, the focus is on the state of belonging in Needham and the extent to which people live, study, and work in Needham. To RSVP for the event, click here.
  • Needham’s Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 2498 invites local students in public or private schools to participate in their two Student Scholarship Essay Contests. The contest for high school students, “The Voice of Democracy”, requires applicants to write and record their essays while the contest for middle school students, “Patriots Pen”, requires a written essay only. The application deadline is October 31st. Learn more here.


  • The Charles River School Fair will be held on Saturday, October 21st from 11 am to 3 pm. The fair is free and open to the public. There will be food trucks, games, raffles, community art, and more for attendees to enjoy. Book donations are being accepted for Storytime Crafts. To find more information on the event, click here.
  • The Powisset Farm Trail Run will be held this Sunday, October 22 from 7:30 to 11:30 am. Sign-ups are still open for the three races this Sunday, an 8.3, 5.6, and 3.1 mile run! In addition to the race, the farm will be open for participants and attendees to enjoy cider donuts, animals, and free pumpkin painting. For more information on the events and registration, click here.
  • The Dover Police Department uses Onsolve CodeRed to notify residents about emergencies and significant events in the community. Sign up for notifications here.



  • Medfield Together is partnering with the Medfield Food Cupboard in holding a food drive from October 13 to October 27. They are asking for donations of non-perishable food items such as canned foods. Donations should be dropped off in the cooler at 151 North Street. For a list of the most needed items, click here.
  • Medfield Public Schools will conduct screenings of children throughout the school year at Memorial School. Massachusetts Special Education Law requires that each school district conduct screenings as part of a “child find process” in order to identify those children in need of special education support. The screening is voluntary and is for children ages 2 years, 9 months up to the age of 5 years old and is designed to review a child’s development and to assist in the identification of children who should be referred for an evaluation to determine eligibility for special education services. To learn more about the screenings, click here.
  • Sustainable Medfield is offering free showings of the nature documentary, “The Biggest Little Farm” on Sunday, October 22nd. The film will be shown at 2 pm at the Public Safety Building. To learn more about the event and Sustainable Medfield’s initiative, click here.
  • Registration for Medfield Foundation’s annual Angel Run, being held on December 3rd at 12:30 pm, is now open. The Angel Run 5K is a community “fun” raiser and family event. It brings members of the community together for a festive event to generate funds in support of Medfield residents in need. In 2006, family and friends created the run in remembrance of Natasha Domeshek. The Medfield Foundation Inc. (MFi) took up the tradition in 2012 and has raised over $280,000 with your help. Please continue the tradition of helping residents in need and register to run, walk, or stroll in 2023. To register, click here. For questions, email info@medfieldfoundation.org.



Legislative Updates



  • Effective November 1, 2023, employees receiving Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits may supplement their PFML benefits with any available accrued paid leave (sick time, vacation, PTO, personal time, etc.). This new feature, referred to as “topping off”, will allow employees to supplement their PFML benefits up to the limit of their Individual Average Weekly Wage. This enhancement passed by the legislature is designed to provide individuals with greater financial flexibility and support during their PFML leave. To learn more about the new update, click here.
  • The Governor unveiled a $4 billion plan to jumpstart the production of homes and make housing more affordable across Massachusetts. The Affordable Homes Act, a comprehensive package of spending, policy, and programmatic actions, represents the largest proposed investment in housing in the state’s history while simultaneously striking at the root causes of housing unaffordability and making progress on the state’s climate goals. To read more about the Affordable Homes Act, click here.


Statement on Violence in Israel


I abhor the acts of terrorism by Hamas on the people of Israel. I stand with President Biden in our country’s support of Israel’s right to defend itself. My thoughts, words and actions also include the people of our country, Commonwealth, and District who are grieving and may also be traumatized in these perilous times.

-Representative Denise C. Garlick



Statewide Updates


  • The Department of Public Health introduced performance standards, credentials, and workforce training requirements for local public health departments. The standards aim to ensure consistent, high-quality public health services throughout the state. This initiative is seen as a crucial step to address public health challenges and enhance health outcomes across Massachusetts. Find more at www.mass.gov/dph.
  • This week, the governor released the Statewide Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan known as ResilientMass.The ResilientMass plan outlines 142 actions the state government can take to prepare for more frequent and intense extreme weather events. The plan includes developing floodplain management, flood resilient construction standards, and measures to reduce flooding and heat risks, and emphasizes the need to communicate heat risks effectively and prepare for rising sea levels. To view the ResilientMass plan, click here.
  • The Biden administration has relaunched a website for Americans to order up to four free tests per household in anticipation of a potential increase in COVID cases during the fall and winter months. At-home testing is essential to slow the spread of the virus and reduce the number of new cases across the Commonwealth as the weather gets colder and more events move indoors, increasing the risk of transmission. To place an order, visit COVIDTests.gov.
  • The Massachusetts Bureau of Community Health and Prevention is conducting a community health equity survey and wants to hear from you. All responses are anonymous and cannot be traced back to you. To complete the survey, click here.
  • The EOPSS Office of Grants and Research (OGR) makes available several funding opportunities for local municipalities/police departments and nonprofits to competitively solicit funding to address security protection, prevention, intervention, and suppression programming needs. Organizations from municipal police departments to non-profit organizations are eligible for grants. For a full list of available grants, click here.
Get Newsletter