Climate change is one of the defining priorities of our time. I am a major proponent of advancing climate resiliency and sustainability. As a member of the Executive Committee of the MA Sierra Club I participated in advocacy programs and led local legislative outreach to help enact the Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy. It mandates a comprehensive set of environmental programs, provides for education, develops a Green Jobs program and allocates funding to make Net Zero a reality in our state. Massachusetts has already achieved a 23% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the benchmark date. We need to continue this progress and achieve Net Nero emissions by 2040.
I am a major proponent of further developing an offshore wind energy and an offshore wind energy industry in Massachusetts. Not only would this be a tremendous source of renewable power, but it would set up a structure to develop an industry that Plymouth is situated to benefit from.
The 2020 Climate Ready Healthy Plymouth report prepared by the Massachusetts Area Planning Council proposed many initiatives for Plymouth to prepare for climate change. We must do more to protect our shoreline, our pine forests, and our downtown locations. I support the Plymouth Select Board’s recent declaration of a Climate Emergency. As a member of the Plymouth Climate Action/Net Zero Decarbonization Plan Advisory Committee I will work to implement initiatives that protect our community.
Ensuring our children and future generations have a healthy and sustainable environment is one of my legislative priorities.
I know first-hand how mental and emotional health issues consume and destroy the dreams of families. We can and must do more to help those suffering from addiction and mental health trauma. Guidance and resources must be provided to the families who confront this crisis daily.
More than half of the people in Massachusetts with mental health needs do not receive mental health treatment. I am committed to making mental and emotional health care more comprehensive, accessible, and affordable in our schools and communities. I support programs and funding that provide a pathway to grow our work force so that nobody gets shut out.We need to increase access to treatment as well as education on how and where to get help. The use of NARCAN must be expanded so that it is easily accessible in every emergency.
Too often, stigma and shame stand in the way of seeking help. Not only for those who suffer, but for those who love them. I know what it feels like to admit to your doctor that your child or spouse is suffering from mental or emotional health issues or addiction.
Championing the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Roadmap will be one of my legislative priorities. Once implemented, it is an easy way for anyone seeking behavioral health treatment to find and access the treatment they need through a central phone line. It provides for Community Behavioral Centers with real time urgent care and 24x7 community crisis response programs. The program also includes specialized services for children and youth. For all those who face these challenges, I will be your voice on Beacon Hill.
When I first heard of the plan to dump radioactive water into Cape Cod Bay, I did not believe it. But it was true. Holtec, the company contracted to decommission the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant, planned to dump --and still plans to dump-- one million gallons of radioactive water into the bay after treatment. How safe it is, is a matter of scientific debate.
I do not support dumping this water into our bay under any circumstances. It is a threat to our health, our environment, and our commerce. I stand in solidarity with the Save Our Bay coalition who is committed to stop the plan to dump this contaminant. I support the shellfish industry and other groups who fear even the idea of radioactive dumping will cause them harm in the marketplace. The Save Our Bay community group has stated, “there are far safer alternatives to disposing of this water”. I am proud to join them and other community voices that speak out against this plan.
I support a person's right to choose. These are deeply personal and agonizing decisions that a person must make. I do not believe that the state or federal government has the right to intervene and dictate this personal and private choice.
I support the Massachusetts Roe Act which enshrined a person’s legal right to an abortion in MA. This act also eliminated barriers to an abortion such as a waiting period, consultation requirements, and other bureaucratic procedures. I support scientifically accurate programs for family planning and sex education and oppose bans that prohibit or restrict insurance coverage. I am also committed to developing new programs that offer
scientifically accurate and medically certified state funded counseling for women before, during, and after pregnancy.
In Plymouth, seniors are a vibrant part of our community. More than 40% of residents are over 55. I am a proud member of the Center for Active Living and enjoy many of their programs.
I am in favor of the needed increase in the MA budget that provides additional funding for elderly services and persons with disabilities. If elected, I commit to holding bi-weekly discussions with seniors to ensure their interests and viewpoints are represented on Beacon Hill.
Our seniors need convenient, accessible and affordable transportation so that they can get around with the dignity they deserve and participate in our community. I am totally in favor of more funding from state agencies to develop transportation that serves the special needs of seniors. Over the next five years, MA is slated to receive Federal funding of $10 billion for transportation infrastructure. I will build alliances in the Statehouse to prioritize the needs of seniors.
I am a major proponent of community health centers. During the worst of the COVID epidemic they were the backbone of health care for uninsured and underinsured residents. Community Health Centers have been proven to save tax dollars. I will advocate for a comprehensive plan that enables them to expand needed services, modernize their built environment, provide for competitive pay, and invest in programs to increase the workforce.
Access and affordability remain major impediments to 100% healthcare in Massachusetts. Nearly one-quarter of MA residents have unmet healthcare needs due to cost. I am in favor of a public option for individuals and small businesses. Too often, our small business community is forced to choose between their sincere desire to provide health care and their profitability.
Even in Massachusetts health care is not equitable. Safety net programs do not cover the full range of services many kids need. There is limited coverage for mental health, caps on dental and prescription drug coverage, no coverage for wheelchairs, home nursing, eyeglasses and hearing aids.
I am committed to expanding health care choices and affordability to all.
Plymouth is a top destination for millions of tourists thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our community groups. I am committed to working with town officials and community partners to maximize grant funding, so that our tourism industry continues to grow. Our tourism industry will greatly benefit from a more holistic state transportation infrastructure system so that commuters and tourists can conveniently travel to our rich tourism hub. Massachusetts is slated to receive $8-10 billion from the Federal Government to improve transportation infrastructure. I support improving Plymouth Commuter Rail Station to make it convenient, accessible, and practical. I will prioritize investments that reduce the 2-hour ride time in half, triple the number of scheduled trains, and modernize the station to make a tourist visit in Plymouth an attractive and enjoyable experience.
For too long our Downtown areas in Massachusetts have been neglected. There is a long list of needs. Buildings need to be modernized and made more resilient in the face of climate change, transportation must be convenient and affordable, and downtown areas must be vibrant and attract commerce. I support using the multi-billions already approved ARPA funds to revitalize our downtown areas.
A just public education system is essential to our society, our individual well-being, and our economy. I am committed to Universal Pre-K,and debt-free higher education for state and community colleges so that all students and families have equitable access to educational opportunities throughout their life.
Schools must have the necessary funding so that all students can be successful and safe. Our teachers and administrators are the backbone of our education system and always put their heart and soul into their calling. I am committed to increasing pay for our educators so that they are fairly compensated. I support state legislative initiatives that prioritize more funding for early education, mental health programs, and increased local reimbursement for special education.
I am in favor of the Fair Share Amendment which will raise two billion dollars to be used exclusively for education and transportation. Currently, higher income households pay a lower effective rate for local and state taxes. The Fair Share Amendment will establish parity in the effective tax rate, and no longer disadvantage the vast majority of households. We need this investment in education because well resourced K-12 schools, community colleges , and state colleges lead to more job opportunities, have better social outcomes, and propel the economy of Massachusetts.