I represent the 8th Norfolk District; which includes the town of Sharon and parts of Stoughton, Walpole and Mansfield. I am a member of the Speaker DeLeo’s Leadership team, serving as Floor Leader of the Second Division. In addition, I serve as a member of the Rules Committee. This year marks my 26th year serving in the MA legislature and during this time, we have championed many issues to help make the state more responsive to the needs of our constituents. Great changes in areas of mental health, education and developmental disabilities have offered hope to individuals and families who struggle daily to improve their lives.
Over the years, I have advocated strongly for Early Intervention services; which is a system of services and programs that help babies and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities. The focus is to help eligible babies and toddlers learn the basic and brand-new skills that typically develop during the first three years of life, such as: physical, social, communication, cognitive and self-help. The chance to provide services from zero to age three means there is a greater chance that these children can have a greater opportunity to develop those skills necessary for healthy growth and development. Our investment in the well- being of vulnerable children is not only cost effective, it’s simply the right thing to do.
During my time in the legislature, I have witnessed the real benefits that results from our conscious investment in the well-being of all our residents. It is with great honor that I serve both my constituents in the Eighth District but also all the residents of the Commonwealth.
My district, the First Hampden includes the towns of Brimfield, Holland, Palmer, Wales, Sturbridge, Warren and sections of Ware. I serve as the ranking minority member on the House Ways and Means Committee as well as on the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. The honor of serving on the legislature’s budget writing committee offers the distinct privilege of reviewing every aspect of state spending. In addition, I also serve on the FY’17 budget conference committee with five other members to help reconcile the various differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget.
I enjoy working closely with The Arc’s Center of Hope Foundation; which serves those with intellectual and developmental disabilities in my district. One of the things that strengthens my relationship with them is their continued effort to keep me apprised of critical issues they feel are important for those whom they serve. I also appreciate when The Center of Hope visits the State House and I can show them the many special features and attractions in the building.
Central Massachusetts is a very unique area with special concerns that affect my constituents. I feel I have a good working relationship with my fellow central MA legislators and together we can address problems that come to our attention. One of the greatest rewards I receive as the State Representative is the encouragement and support from my constituents. I do feel that I receive so much in return from any efforts I undertake to better serve the First Hampden District.
My district is the Thirty First Middlesex; which includes the towns of Stoneham and Winchester. In the Legislature, I am a member of the following committees: Judiciary; Education; Mental Health and Substance Abuse; Post Audit and Oversight. As a lawyer, I have always had a strong interest in advocating for civil rights and civil liberties. The basis for that belief can be traced to my own family who taught me, from an early age, that every person is unique and special and everyone deserves equal treatment and opportunity in life.
One of the reasons I ran for office is to continue the work we do to insure that all individuals have opportunities to achieve their highest potential. This goal applies whether individual differences are social, economic, religious, gender, age or physical and/or emotional conditions. When we respect each other and advocate for the best for each other we strengthen our neighborhoods, our communities and our country. As a State Representative, I have had the wonderful privilege to meet many individuals advocating for a shared vision of society where each person is treated with respect and dignity. Our differences are not obstacles. They represent opportunities to for us to better understand how we can have a positive influence on every person we meet.
I represent the 1st Essex District; which includes Amesbury, Newburyport, and Salisbury. I serve on the following Joint Committees: Education, Economic Development, and Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. I have enjoyed working with The Arc of Greater Haverhill-Newburyport where some of my constituents receive services. One of the most unique aspects of being a state representative is learning about the experiences and challenges that families and individuals face. I look forward to continuing to work with this terrific organization.