In Updates from Jo, Newsletters, The People's Blog

We are in full swing over here at Team Comerford! 

District Director Elena Cohen and I began the day at the Delaney House in Holyoke, talking with Fire Chiefs from around the western Massachusetts region and learning how we can best support their life-saving work. One of their top policy priorities is a bill I’ve filed with Rep. Natalie Blais to establish a municipal building authority for public safety and municipal building support.

Then, off to Boston. 

Legislative Director, Brian Rosman attended an Early College advocacy event, where my Higher Education Committee Co-Chair, Rep. Dave Rogers, spoke out in favor of early college programs at the packed briefing. 

At the briefing, we learned more about the success of Early College programs here in Massachusetts. Early college has been shown to increase college graduation rates and prepare individuals to excel in their future jobs, particularly for minority and first generation students. 

I am grateful to Senator Crighton, Representative Roy, and Representative Lipper-Garabedian for leading the legislative effort to support these vital early college programs. I also thank Senator Kennedy and Representative Ultrino for their advocacy on these issues. Speaking of advocacy, I am grateful to the Alliance for Early College, the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, Latinos for Education, and the Board of Higher Education for their work in supporting these essential programs. 

At the same time, Constituent Services Director Rachel Klein attended the Feed Kids Education Briefing on behalf of our office. There, she heard from students, families, and educators across the state about how universal school meals have positively impacted students in their school districts – and why we must make this funding permanent. 

I sincerely thank Governor Healey, Rep. Vargas, Sen. DiDomenico, and Project Bread for their leadership in ensuring our children have access to universal school meals. I’m all in to support.

After that, I attended the Massachusetts Statewide Independent Living Council and Independent Living Centers of Massachusetts’ Education Day in the State House. 

It was an honor to speak to a packed room full of advocates about our Estate Recovery Bill, which eliminates all estate recovery not required by the federal government. Moreover, the bill would eliminate all estate recovery for people in the CommonHealth program! To learn more about the bill and what it would do, please click here

I’m grateful for the tremendous partnership of Senate President Spilka, Rep. Barber, Sen. Kennedy, and Sen. Moore in addressing disability rights issues. 

I also must shout out the strong presence from organizations like Stavros, Easterseals Massachusetts, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, Disability Policy Consortium, Boston Centers for Independent Living, and so many more. Thank you for your advocacy. 

[Pictured: Jo speaking at the Education Day Event and meeting with Stavros representatives.] 

To round out the day, many people from Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket came by the office to show their support for our Local Transfer Fee Option bill. This bill allows cities and towns to levy a local fee on the transfer of luxury houses, with the money generated put into that municipality’s affordable housing trust fund. To learn more about the bill, click here

Thank you to all those who traveled in to show their support, including the People of the First Light. I am also grateful to partner with Rep. Connolly on this important legislation.

Brian and Communication and Engagement Director Katelyn Billings are pictured below holding one of the shirts from the rally day.

My team and I thank everyone who came to the State House yesterday to advocate on behalf of the issues that matter most to them, our legislative partners, and the advocacy groups who organized these great events. 

Onwards, together. 

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