< Back to Blog


Hello Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you and your loved ones are well. I would like to continue our dialogue on racial equity by sharing with you a brief update on the work of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. 

The House has announced a public process for soliciting feedback to allow the public and stakeholders an opportunity to weigh in on police reform and racial equity legislation prior to a vote of the full House. The Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, in cooperation with Rep. Claire Cronin, Chair of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, will accept written testimony on S.2820, which was passed by the Senate early Tuesday morning. 

If you would like to share your thoughts on police reform legislation, please email comments to Testimony.HWMJudiciary@mahouse.gov no later than Friday, July 17, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. The Chairs request that your testimony include your name, organization (if applicable), and phone number. I ask that you also share a copy of your testimony with me at Denise.Garlick@mahouse.gov.

Debating serious legislation in the midst of a pandemic adds significant challenges, but as your State Representative, I am committed to working with my colleagues to pass police reform and racial equity legislation by the end of the session, July 31, and to continue working on comprehensive reform.

During these many months, I have listened carefully to my colleagues in the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus (see attached). Therefore, I have co-sponsored the following legislation:

  1. Creating a Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) system to certify police officers and enable de-certification for misconduct and abuse;
  2. Establishing civil service exam review and oversight to review examinations for appointment and promotion of peace officers;
  3. Creating a commission on structural racism to study how the systemic presence of institutional racism has created a culture of structural racial inequality; and 
  4. Adopting clear statutory limits on police use of force and requiring an independent investigation of officer-related deaths.

In addition, I support Representative Mike Day’s bill, H3277An Act to secure civil rights through the courts of the Commonwealth, as reported favorably by the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. These are only the first steps of the legislative policy in which I am participating. I will continue to listen to you, my constituents, along with my colleagues in the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus to ensure our words inform the necessary actions to achieve racial equity in the Commonwealth.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

Yours in service,
Denise