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

Greetings, all.

As many have said, in the hours following this weekend’s seismic news: The work begins anew. To build a nation — a Commonwealth — with dignity and respect for all. A place where everyone can thrive.

My team and I are honored to return for a second term.

At the start of this session, we released Progress for All — a comprehensive legislative agenda for my first term as your state Senator. We then hosted a March Academy, a series of webinars where we cracked open the legislative process and a few key issues.

And every day since, whether through a monthly newsletter, social media posts, office hours, a library tour, legislative listening sessions, newly-filed bills, budget amendments, and much more, we’ve done our best to engage with you as deeply as possible.

Because you hold the power in our democracy. Your advocacy makes government work better at every level. So let’s go go go powerfully into 2021. Together.

The People’s Town Hall

With just weeks left until the end of the 2019-2020 session, my team and I want to report back to you about what we’ve done together with you over the last two years and what’s still left to be accomplished. And even more important: We want to hear your agenda for the 2021-2022 legislative session.

Join us for The People’s Town Hall — a virtual town hall that’s one part report back from the team and one part feedback from you.

When: Tuesday, December 8; 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Sign up now: senatorjocomerford.org/the-peoples-town-hall-registration/

Out and about

On October 19, I was proud to join All Out Adventures to host 30 intrepid paddlers representing state and regional environmental, farming, and cultural organizations and agencies who set off to kayak between Northfield and Northampton on the exquisite Connecticut River in what we called A Tribute(ary) to the Connecticut River.

At every launch point, thanks to Rhonda Anderson, Western Massachusetts Commissioner on Indian Affairs and Co-Director of Ohketeau Cultural Center, we recognized the Native American communities that have thrived along the river for thousands of years, including the present day. Thanks also to Rhonda for sending the two watershed maps, above which note the names of the Tribes and state boundaries.

Rhonda Anderson and Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Deputy Commissioner Ashley Randle team up from Sunderland to Hatfield.

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, Deputy Commissioner Ashley Randle, All Out Adventures Executive Director Karen Foster, and State Representatives Natalie Blais, Mindy Domb, and Dan Carey (and me) gather before departing Sunderland.

A pack of paddlers on the final leg of the journey, en route from Hatfield to Northampton.

Huge thanks to the incredible team from All Out Adventures who helped lead logistics and supplied all the gear for many of the paddlers.

A beautiful aerial shot of the paddlers traveling down the Connecticut River from Northfield to Gill thanks to Northampton High School’s Joe Brooks Kahn.

Tor Olsson, from the Northampton High School Chapter of the Sunrise Movement, joined in Sunderland to speak about the vital environmental importance of the Connecticut River.

In closing (and you may have heard me say this before): Serving you in the Massachusetts Senate is the hardest and best job I’ve ever had. In my life. Our Senate team is second to none in its passion and skill. We’re all deeply grateful to do this work for you and with you.

Sending love.

Jo, Cameron, Sam, Brian, Jared, and Elena

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