October District Work Period Recap
The October District Work Period offered a much-appreciated opportunity to spend time in community with my friends and neighbors in the 7th. From roundtable discussions on maternal health and immigration to visits with seniors and students, I spent the past two weeks updating the district on our fight for equity and justice in Washington and hearing directly from my constituents about key issues here at home.
As I return to Washington, I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the conversations and events in which I participated during the District Work Period. This work is best done in close consultation and partnership with those most affected by the policy decisions we make, and I’m so grateful for the partnership and insight of so many of you in my work on behalf of the 7th.
As always, I am here to serve you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my Washington or Dorchester offices if my team or I can ever be of assistance.
Member of Congress
Maternal Health Roundtable with Local Maternal Health Advocates
I joined in community with maternal health advocates at Brigham & Women’s Hospital to discuss the urgent need for community-based and culturally-competent health care. The United States has the worst maternal mortality rate of any developed country in the world, and Black women are more than 4 times as likely to die from complications during pregnancy and childbirth than white women. These statistics and the stories they represent are unconscionable, which is why we must push to pass my bill -the Healthy MOMMIES Act - comprehensive legislation to end the maternal mortality crisis.
Everett Art Walk Grand Opening
While in Everett, I stopped by Everett City Hall for the grand opening of the First Annual Everett Art Walk. The Everett Community Art walk exemplifies the symbiotic relationship between the creative economy and local businesses.Throughout the month of October, some of Everett’s local artists will have their work displayed throughout the city - a city-wide month long art scavenger hunt. One of my favorite Everett artists is Everett High School’s Lizzy B, who was the 7th District’s winner in the 2019 Congressional Art Competition. Lizzy’s winning piece, Eddie’s Duality, is currently on display in the Capitol building.
Boston Healthcare for Homeless Program Visit
I visited the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program for a tour and conversation with the staff about how we can work together in the fight for social justice and health care for all. BHCHP cares for more than 11,000 individuals in our district struggling with housing insecurity, providing everything from dental cleanings to cancer treatment.
Franciscan Children’s Hospital Visit
I spent some time in Brighton with the patients and staff at Franciscan Children's Hospital - the only pediatric post-acute care hospital in the New England region and one of the largest pediatric mental health providers in Massachusetts. I was inspired by the courage and joy that so many of the young patients displayed, and left Franciscan more determined than ever to ensure that every American has access to compassionate, comprehensive healthcare.
I joined scholars at the Henderson Inclusion School and Cristo Rey School in Boston to chat about my work as a Congresswoman and the importance of youth engagement and activism. In Washington, I’m working to ensure that every student has the resources and support they need to thrive. That’s why I successfully fought to secure federal funding for school-based health centers and it’s why I’m working to end hair discrimination and the criminalization of Black Brown girls in school.
Borrower Protection Conversation
Like too many Americans, I know firsthand the fear and trauma that come with living with untenable amounts of debt. Today, I’m fighting to ensure that others don’t have to experience the same kind of trauma-inducing harassment from debt collectors. I joined lawyers and clients at the National Consumer Law Center and EMPath in Boston to learn more about how they work to protect consumers and to discuss how we can work in partnership to end abusive debt collection practices once and for all.
In the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District, nearly half of all car trips could be made on foot, bike, or public transit with the right infrastructure. In the face of overwhelming gridlock and a transportation crisis, it is critical that we explore bold, innovative solutions to better connect our neighborhoods, reduce congestion and while getting cars off the road. I convened a roundtable conversation with local transportation experts and advocates to discuss some of those proposed solutions. I’m proud to announce that I recently launched the Future of Transportation Caucus - a new congressional caucus focussed on transit justice.
Medical Deferred Action Roundtable
Our district is 40% foreign born and we must continue to stand up for and with our immigrant neighbors. When this administration tried to abolish Medical Deferred Action (MDA), a program that protects critically ill immigrants receiving life-saving medical care in the US from deportation, I led more than 120 of my colleagues in demanding the reinstatement of the program. Over the district work period, I joined Senator Markey and immigration advocates and lawyers to discuss our efforts to save this program and how else we can uplift immigrant communities in our district and across the country.
World Day Against the Death Penalty Discussion
The death penalty has no place in a just and civil society. Earlier this year, the Department of Justice announced it would be resuming use of the death penalty In response, I introduced legislation that would prohibit the use of the death penalty at the federal level and resentence those currently on death row. In honor of World Day Against the Death Penalty, I joined in community with advocates of all backgrounds fora conversation on the corrupt and inhumane nature of our criminal legal system and the need for long-overdue systemic reforms needed to affirm justice for all.
Randolph Town Hall
I joined with community in Randolph for our latest community Town Hall. Our town halls offer an opportunity to provide an update on our work in Washington and in the 7th to create a more equitable and just world, as well as to hear about issues and concerns on your mind. I’m grateful to everyone who took time out of their weekend to join us and for the thoughtful questions and conversations. Keep an eye out for an upcoming Town Hall near you!
Generation Citizen meeting
I met with local advocates from Generation Citizen and Vote 16 to discuss our shared commitment to empowering and uplifting youth in our civic process. In our district and across our country, young people are leading the charge on issues from combating climate change and gun violence to protecting civil rights. They are organizing, mobilizing, and calling us to action, which is why one of the first proposals I introduced was an amendment to lower the voting age to 16.
Boston Home visit
I stopped by the Boston Home in Dorchester for a tour and to visit with the residents and staff. The Boston Home has been a leader in the care of adults with progressive neurological diseases like Multiple Sclerosis for over a century. TBH’s innovative programs and design allow residents to lead independent lives while ensuring the care and support they need. Earlier this month, I introduced the Improving Access to Higher Education Act, to improve college access and completion for students with disabilities.
Roundtable with DACA Recipients
Ahead of next month’s Supreme Court hearing on the termination of DACA, I joined DACA recipients from our district and their families to hear directly from them about what’s at stake. DACA has helped nearly 700,000 people in our country, including more than 5,600 of our neighbors in Massachusetts, live and thrive without the fear of deportation. We should be working to protect Dreamers and expand DACA, not threatening to eliminate it. That's why I was proud to sign on to an Amicus brief with my Democratic colleagues to show our support and solidarity for Dreamers.
Providence House visit
During a visit to Brighton, I spent some time at the Providence House assisted living center with local seniors. During our conversations, I heard repeatedly about the importance of protecting Medicare and Social Security. As Vice Chair of the Task Force on Aging and Families, I’m committed to protecting and expanding these critical programs so that every older American can lead a meaningful and dignified life as they age.