There are many important issues facing the Plymouth and Barnstable District which have an impact on our daily lives and our long-term success as a community. Some of the key issues that will drive our efforts on Beacon Hill are:
As the economy in Massachusetts continues to improve, we are starting to see a strong demand for new commercial and residential growth. To meet these demands, it is imperative that we invest in our infrastructure to foster this growth. Improving our roads, bridges, transit systems, communications and utilities are vital investments that will ensure we capitalize fully from this growth for many years to come.
Developing our local economies by promoting positive job growth is critical to the overall health of Massachusetts. As a policy maker, my biggest challenge will be making sure that we develop our human capital, invest in critical infrastructure, continue to make our region competitive, and ensure environmental sustainability. Positive investments in our economic development will make us attractive to competitive industries in the long term, pumping much needed revenue into our state and district.
The first step in protecting the health of our citizens is to ensure our environment is protected. Massachusetts needs to take every step necessary to protect our water, air, and natural resources. In 2008 Massachusetts passed the Global Warming and Solutions Act that set ambitious goals to reduce our pollution. We need to take every effort to make sure these goals are achieved.
The Plymouth and Barnstable District is blessed with beautiful natural resources. Natural resources, such as our ocean, drive economic growth and bring a host of benefits to our community. When we safely manage our natural resources we are not only being responsible stewards we are also investing in Plymouth's small businesses and tourism industry.
All workers deserve the right to a quality job that provides a living wage. I have been lucky enough to work for Local No. 4 as an elevator mechanic where my rights are protected. Rights and protections that are not afforded to all workers. We need protections that allow leave from a job to recover from a serious illness or to care for a new child without fear of retribution or termination.
In addition to fighting for greater protections, we need to ensure that our existing securities are safeguarded. This is done by combating efforts to erode anti-discrimination laws. Laws that make sure employers do not take advantage of staff, employees receive just compensation for their work, and that employees are able to work in a safe work in a harassment free environment.
Massachusetts is in the grips of one of the worst heroin epidemics in decades. Each day lives are being lost. The heroin laced with fentanyl is ten times more lethal, and its become a crisis. Families are being destroyed, and our prisons are filling up with drug offenders. As a legislator, it is important to tackle this problem head on, and make sure that we are taking the proper steps to educate, mediate, and rehabilitate, while also ensuring our emergency services are prepared to respond to this epidemic effectively.
Investing in education is the single most effective means to ensure our children have the tools necessary to compete in today’s evolving job market. Properly funding our schools will also ensure that Massachusetts fosters a workforce ready to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow, particularly in high-tech industries, allowing our state to lead the nation in life sciences, health care, medical and biotechnology.