Column: Working Together to Strengthen Our Communities

In the weeks since I was sworn in as your state senator, I have had the pleasure of meeting with many of you at events across the 5th Middlesex district.  I am eager to hear your ideas and concerns, and to continue the dialogue that we started on the campaign trail many months ago.

During my tenure in the state House of Representatives, and even before that during my many years in the private sector, I have found that communities are at their strongest when residents, local businesses, community leaders, municipal elected officials, and state legislators all work together as a team.  As such, I am excited about being your partner in working to help our cities and towns continue to grow and thrive.

It is my highest priority to maintain open lines of communication with you and to be fully engaged in every corner of the district.  Please contact my office anytime at (617) 722-1206 or e-mail me at with any questions or concerns; and, you are welcomed to visit our office in the State House, Room 511-B, if you’re in Boston.  You are also encouraged to attend our office hours in each of the six communities of the 5th Middlesex district, the times and locations for which are currently being finalized.  I want you to know that my staff and I will always be available to offer our assistance in any way we can.

We already have successes to report.  I am very pleased with the recent passage of the transportation bond bill, which includes nearly $15 Million in funding for transportation infrastructure projects directly benefiting the 5th Middlesex district.  Additionally, the legislation includes the Active Streets Certification Program, a proposal on which I led the charge.  This program is aimed at encouraging communities to routinely include complete street design elements in local road projects.  By providing accommodations for all modes of transportation, including walking and cycling, this program will promote increased physical activity and wellness.  Municipalities will be eligible to be certified as Active Streets communities after adopting certain complete streets policies and procedures.  Once certified, they will be eligible to receive additional Chapter 90 transportation funding from the state.

The next major item on the legislative agenda is the state budget, currently being debated in the House before moving to the Senate.  As I did while serving in the House for the past five years, I will continue to make state funding for our communities my top legislative priority as your Senator, including Chapter 70 education funds, Chapter 90 transportation funds, unrestricted local aid, the special education circuit breaker, and other essential programs and services upon which our communities depend.   I will also be a strong advocate for local economic development opportunities and infrastructure investments that improve the quality of life for us and our neighbors.

I look forward to working together, and welcome your input and feedback anytime!