September 9, 2019
August District Work Period Recap
Over the last 6 weeks, I’ve re-connected with so many of my friends, family and neighbors in the 7th – from conversations on how we can make housing more affordable to working with you on how we can collectively ensure that our communities are seen, heard, and invested in. These past several weeks have been an invaluable opportunity to update you on my work fighting for equity and justice in Washington and to hear firsthand about what’s on your mind back home in the 7th.
I wanted to take a moment to share some highlights from my time back in the district. I’m grateful to each and every one of you for becoming part of the #squad and joining me at events across the district. I couldn’t do this work without your partnership.
I head back to Washington this week ready to fight for common sense gun legislation that saves lives, immigration policies that keep families together, and a more just society informed by the lived experiences of our district.
Member of Congress
I joined neighbors, local officials, and Rope Burners double dutch team in Roxbury for my 6th annual Jump Into Peace celebration. I started Jump Into Peace as a Boston City Councilor to create a space for healing, joy, and community building among women and girls who are survivors of trauma. I look forward to continuing to advocate for trauma-informed policies at the federal level and I am grateful for the chance to elevate the voices and unique experiences of our community in the halls of Congress.
In Roxbury, more than 200 of our neighbors in the 7th came together for a conversation on pressing issues impacting the community. During the town hall, I answered questions about my work in Washington and updated constituents on our fight for equity and justice in the 7th.
I convened community members, activists and housing experts for an Equity Agenda workshop on housing in the 7th district. These workshops are great opportunities for my team and I to hear directly from those most impacted by an issue and the policy solutions that you would like to see explored at the federal level. At the event in Jamaica Plain, we participated in breakout sessions on topics ranging from housing affordability, to gentrification, to tenant’s rights. These discussions offer incredible insight and have informed my work to draft legislation that would establish federal tenant protections that protect tenants from unreasonable rent increases, protect people from unjust evictions and provide universal access to counsel.
In partnership with City Awake, I hosted a Millennial Housing Discussion in Cambridge. During the discussion, I spoke about the public health implications of the affordable housing crisis and heard from constituents on what we can do to guarantee access to safe, affordable, and accessible housing for everyone in the community. Millenials are the first generation more likely to rent than own a home, which is why I am committed to working to advance legislation that will help make home ownership a reality for young people in the MA-7th.
I stopped by Project Bread Summer Eats meal sites in East Boston and Charlestown to learn more about Project Bread’s work to nourish the bodies and minds of young people in our district. This work is a top passion of mine and is one of the reasons I pushed for increased funding for the summer EBT program and the federal Farm to School program. I firmly believe that sustaining our children with nutritious food year-round is a matter of justice, cognitive development, wellness, and trauma prevention.
In preparation for the 2020 Census, I joined VietAID and Massachusetts Voter Table in Dorchester to launch the #MassCounts campaign. The Massachusetts 7th is one of the hardest-to-count Congressional districts in the country. In my role on the House Oversight Committee, I have made protecting the integrity of the Census a top priority. During the event, I expressed my commitment to ensuring an accurate census count so that the 7th Congressional District can secure the necessary resources and representation.
I joined Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, City Councilor Ben Ewen-Campen and other leaders and activists for a roundtable discussion on the threats of facial recognition technology to civil rights and civil liberties. During the event in Somerville – the first municipality on the East Coast to ban government use of facial recognition technology – I discussed my bill, The No Biometric Barriers Housing Act of 2019, which would ban surveillance technology in federally-subsidized public housing.
I visited with senior constituents at the Randolph Intergenerational Center and Standish Village in Dorchester. As Vice-Chair of the Congressional Task Force on Aging and Families, I am working to ensure all Americans are able to lead meaningful and dignified lives as they age.
I traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota for a Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) forum hosted by my Sister in Service, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN). During the visit, Congresswoman Omar, fellow CBC Members, and I participated in two days of panels, roundtables, and site visits examining the state of Black America. I am honored to have the chance to host a similar upcoming session at home in the 7th in October. These forums provide my colleagues and I meaningful opportunities to learn about the unique challenges and best practices in each others’ districts and inform policy priorities we work on together.
In honor of Labor Day and the contributions of organized labor to our country, I joined SEIU 32BJ members for a Labor Day rally in Copley Square. I have been working in close partnership with 32BJ to secure backpay for federal contract service workers who went unpaid during the partial government shutdown earlier this year.
I convened a roundtable discussion with young women and girls of color from across the 7th District to hear about their experiences with hair discrimination in school. I am a staunch advocate for a woman’s right to self-agency, which includes the right to wear a hairstyle of their choosing. Too often excessive school discipline policies–including hair and appearance policies that punish black and brown girls for being their authentic selves are leading to school push out and robbing students of precious learning time. I look forward to working on legislation to address these disparities and strengthening pathways to opportunity and education in our district for all students.