April 4, 2016
The House is in the midst of a two week District Work Period. I am using the time to catch up on meeting requests and attend events in the district.
Federal Transit Administration
I met Tuesday with Deputy Regional Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Mary Beth Mello. As many of you know, I am a strong advocate of the Green Line Extension (GLX). I am working hard to ensure that this long-delayed project and the nearly $1 billion in federal funds allocated to it are available for transit riders. As part of that process, I am meeting regularly with local, state and federal officials to emphasize my support and make myself available to answer any questions officials may have. This meeting was part of that process. The FTA supports the GLX and we are both looking forward to the state’s revised plans which are expected in May.
Green Line Extension
On Wednesday evening I joined Green Line Extension (GLX) advocates at a Massachusetts Department of Transportation meeting. This was one in a series of meetings that state officials are hosting to hear from the community about the GLX and share their progress. These meetings have been well attended, which speaks to the importance of this long overdue transportation project. I thank everyone who has been pushing for the GLX. Like me, many of you have been advocating for years, urging the state to fulfill its commitment and build the GLX. I look forward to reviewing the state’s plans for addressing the GLX budget issues.
Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
Everett Director of Planning and Development Tony Sousa, Congressman Mike Capuano, Coordinating Attorney for Housing Families Inc. Jayna Stafford, Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria, State Senator Sal DiDomenico, State Rep. Joe McGonagle
On Monday I joined Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria to award 5 Everett organizations $100,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money. CDBG funds are distributed to cities and towns for eligible services such as affordable housing, health care, small business support and nutrition programs. This federal money can help communities and local organizations expand existing programming and establish new services. On Monday, Mystic Valley Elder Services, Housing Families Inc, Rediscovery at JRI, Bread of Life and the Everett Adult Learning Center received funds. This federal money will allow these organizations to expand their programming so they can provide services to more individuals and families. I was happy to have the opportunity to meet with staffers from the 5 organizations and participate in the ceremonies.
I met this week with officials from the Bostonian Society, responsible for managing the Old State House located near Faneuil Hall. The Bostonian Society is beginning an extensive restoration of the building as part of an ongoing effort to preserve this historic building. Many historical figures, including Sam Adams and John Hancock frequently met here. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read aloud at the Old State House. After the Revolutionary War, it became the first official State House for Massachusetts. In later years, the building was restored and the Bostonian Society now operates it as museum and educational space. Officials met with me to share details of their restoration efforts. I enjoyed learning more about how the Bostonian Society is working to preserve this important historic space.
Cambridge Housing Authority
This week I participated in a ribbon cutting for the Temple Place apartments in Cambridge, located right outside of Central Square at the site of an old YWCA facility. This Cambridge Housing Authority development contains 40 units of affordable housing in one of Massachusetts’ most expensive zip codes. The project was made possible in part by the City of Cambridge, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Temple Place is a great addition to the region’s affordable housing stock and I appreciated the opportunity to celebrate its completion.