Category: Press

Speaker DeLeo Leads Growing Coalition of Support Behind Evandro Carvalho for Suffolk DA

June 28, 2018

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo endorsed Democratic State Representative Evandro C. Carvalho for Suffolk County District Attorney, citing Carvalho’s strong progressive record and prosecutorial experience.

Speaker DeLeo, a lifelong Democrat and Winthrop resident, said Carvalho has distinguished himself as a leader on progressive issues during his tenure in the House, and singled out his role as a chief author of this year’s criminal justice reform law, the most comprehensive in state history.

“Representative Carvalho is a proven leader who will make an outstanding district attorney and is the best choice to implement the progressive reforms that we passed last month,” Speaker DeLeo said. “The House has benefited from his experience as an assistant district attorney in Roxbury District Court and in gun court. As an immigrant who came to Boston, launched a successful career, and is choosing to live in the city and raise his family here, he is truly one of our state’s bright young leaders. Living in Suffolk County, I am grateful that we have an opportunity to vote for such a leader and could not be more enthusiastic in giving him my full endorsement in both the Democratic primary and general election.”

 

Representative Carvalho said, “I am honored by Speaker DeLeo’s endorsement and his confidence that I would draw on my work as a prosecutor to lead Suffolk County forward. Under his leadership, the House has taken bold progressive steps, from this year’s criminal justice reform to the landmark law two years ago to fight the opioid and heroin epidemic, and I was proud to vote for both. One of my first votes in the House was for a wide-ranging anti-gun bill that toughened background checks and gun tracking. As District Attorney, I would instill in the Suffolk County criminal justice system the same spirit of integrity, compassion and commonsense Speaker DeLeo has brought to the House.”

Speaker DeLeo has led the House since 2009, bringing a consensus-driven approach that has kept Massachusetts in the vanguard of state legislatures, on issues from equal protection for people of all genders and orientations, to climate change, to guaranteeing women access to birth control. Last month, with Representative Carvalho’s support, the House passed a “red flag” gun bill, taking on the NRA with legislation that would authorize courts to temporarily block people from gun ownership if they pose a risk to themselves or others.

DeLeo joins a diverse roster of elected Suffolk County Democrats who have backed Representative Carvalho’s campaign, including Assistant House Majority Leader Byron Rushing of the South End, House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez of Jamaica Plain, Representative Liz Malia of Jamaica Plain, Representative Chynah Tyler of Roxbury, Representative Michael Moran of Brighton, Representative Russell Holmes of Mattapan, Representative RoseLee Vincent of Revere, Representative Dan Ryan of Charlestown, and Representative Jay Livingstone of Beacon Hill.

Evandro Carvalho was born in Cape Verde and worked on his grandparents’ farm before moving to Boston with his sister and brother at age 15, joining their mother who worked cleaning office buildings. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts and Howard University School of Law, Carvalho worked for a law firm under the tutelage of Ron Machen, who was later appointed U.S. Attorney by President Obama.

Wanting to give back to the community where he grew up, Carvalho moved back to Dorchester and was elected State Representative for the Fifth Suffolk District in 2014. His wife, Ashley, is legal counsel at the Massachusetts Port Authority, and has worked as assistant corporation counsel for the City of Boston and as a staff attorney for the Committee for Public Counsel Services. The Carvalhos are raising their daughter, Eliana, in Dorchester.

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Massachusetts House passes automatic voter registration

BOSTON — The Massachusetts House on Wednesday passed a bill that would establish automatic voter registration in Massachusetts.

That means anyone who updates their driver’s license at an RMV or applies for MassHealth, and is an adult U.S. citizen, would automatically have their name registered in the state’s voter database unless they choose to opt out.

“This is just another way to make it simpler … for people to vote,” said Rep. John Mahoney, D-Worcester, chairman of the Joint Committee on Election Laws. Mahoney said automatic voter registration could eliminate confusion at the polls and drive up youth participation in elections.

He estimated that voter turnout would increase by about 5 percent.

“We should be encouraging everyone to register to vote, to participate in our electoral process,” said Rep. Jay Livingstone, D-Boston, a co-sponsor of the bill. “Automatic voter registration just makes it easier for them to register to vote, and hopefully that will increase citizen participation in our elections.”

The bill, H.4667, passed the House 130-20. It now goes to the Senate for consideration, then to Gov. Charlie Baker.

Lawmakers have until the legislative session ends on July 31 to get the bill to Baker’s desk. Baker has not yet taken a position on the bill.

The bill would go into effect Jan. 1, 2020, in time for that year’s presidential election.

Advocates of automatic voter registration have pushed for the bill as a way to boost voter turnout by making it easier for people to register to vote.

Pam Wilmot, executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts, said there are about 700,000 U.S. citizens living in Massachusetts who are eligible to vote but are not registered.

Wilmot said voters who move frequently, young people and rural voters are the ones most likely to benefit, based on the experiences of other states.

Oregon blazes a path for Massachusetts on automatic voter registration

The former Oregon secretary of state says Oregon’s ‘motor voter’ law was a success.

Wilmot said automatic voter registration results in more accurate voter lists, since the system is better able to track when someone moves.

The bill would also require Massachusetts to join a national system in which states voluntarily compare databases to catch when someone moves from state to state.

“The new system mostly means more accuracy in our voting lists and a larger number of registered voters,” Wilmot said. “We believe that will also increase voter participation in elections.”

Mahoney said the bill would cost about $500,000 to implement the first year, for software and mailing costs, and $50,000 annually after that.

Galvin’s Democratic primary challenger, Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim, held a press conference outside the Statehouse on Wednesday in support of the bill.

Zakim noted that Massachusetts would be the 14th state to pass some form of automatic voter registration.

“It dramatically increases turnout and dramatically addresses issues of equity and access across demographics,” Zakim said. “It’s high time Massachusetts has it.”

“People often forget that the right to vote is a right, it’s not a privilege,” Zakim said. “We need to be doing everything we can to lower unnecessary barriers, make it more seamless.”

There are protections in the bill to allow domestic violence and sexual assault victims to keep their addresses confidential.

https://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/06/massachusetts_house_passes_aut.html

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Smooth sailing seen for auto-voter bill

BOSTON – A co-sponsor of automatic voter registration legislation advancing in the House Wednesday said he expects to see the measure become law in a matter of weeks.

“I’d be surprised if it isn’t signed into law in the next month,” state Rep. Jay Livingstone said.

Livingstone joined Boston City Councilors Josh Zakim and Matt O’Malley at a State House press conference to tout the bill, which would automatically register eligible voters when they interact with a state agency such as the Registry of Motor Vehicles or MassHealth. People could opt out of registering to vote if they wish.

Zakim, a Democrat running for secretary of state, said the bill would boost registration across demographic groups and could be particularly beneficial for communities of color and populations that are younger, low income or move frequently.

As the press conference was being held, the House voted to advance the bill, with plans to consider possible amendments and send it to the Senate later Wednesday.

“Looking forward to voting for #AVRinMA in the @MA_Senate after it passes in the Massachusetts House!!” Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem tweeted Tuesday.

The bill has an effective date of Jan. 1, 2020.

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20180627/smooth-sailing-seen-for-auto-voter-bill

http://www.patriotledger.com/news/20180628/smooth-sailing-seen-for-auto-voter-bill

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From The Director’s Desk: Reducing Hunger Among Neighborhood Seniors

February letter from Maria Stella Gulla, Director of ABCD North End / West End Neighborhood Service Center.

This month I would like to focus on senior hunger and the ways in which ABCD North End/West End Neighborhood Service Center (NE/WE NSC) works in the community as well as with its neighborhood partners and elected officials to reduce hunger among North End, West End, and Beacon Hill seniors. The NE/WE NSC envisions a community in which everyone has access to sufficient nutritious food. Through the support that we leverage from cash and in-kind donations, we create new ways to fight hunger and provide food to seniors in a fun and creative way.

For example, our community partner, Lovin’ Spoonfuls, has conducted food demonstrations onsite at our center. Their food rescue coordinator set up a food demonstration station and cooked a mouthwatering meal of crisp vegetables and pasta, all with spices that are easy on the waistline and low in sodium! Meanwhile, Head Cook Franco Palopoli duplicated the meal in our kitchen, and dished it up to NE/WE NSC seniors, volunteers, and staff. Guests at lunch took home bags of fresh produce, also from the Lovin’ Spoonful donation and Greater Boston Food Bank, to make the meal at home, also enabling them to stretch their food and food dollars further until they dine with us again.

We deliver direct services in the form of weekly congregate meals; two food pantries in the North End and West End neighborhoods; and application assistance for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

1. Congregate meals: The NE/WE NSC prepares hot meals on Mondays and Fridays in the North End at 1:00PM, with monthly holiday celebrations, including Thanksgiving, the December holidays, Mother’s and Father’s Day, and so forth. We offer a meal one Wednesday a month in the West End, alternating between the Amy Lowell Apartments and Blackstone Apartments. The center includes the seniors’ elected officials – our friends Senator Joe Boncore, Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Representative Jay Livingstone, City Councilor Lydia Edwards, Senator Sal Di Domenico, and City Councilor Josh Zakim – in these gatherings and the celebration serves as an opportunity for them to see their constituents and speak to and address issues that are of importance to our clients. The meals serve as a welcoming, nurturing environment for seniors to socialize with their peers; speak one another’s native languages; and disclose to staff problems that they are having (lack of heat or medical insurance, for instance).

2. Food pantries: The NE/WE NSC operates two food pantries, one in the North End open Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays 12:30PM-3:00PM and one in the West End, thanks to our collaboration with the West End Branch of the Boston Public Library and Head Librarian Helen Bender. The West End Pantry has hours Mondays and Wednesdays 11:30AM-1:30PM and Tuesdays 4:00PM-5:45PM. Our North End and West End pantries combined have given out over 32,000 lb. of food. Last year we gave over 130 turkeys during the Thanksgiving season.

3. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): SNAP provides nutrition education and monthly monetary benefits for designated food items. A senior or caregiver can find out if they might be eligible by calling the NE/WE NSC at 617-523-8125. A lot of seniors are missing out on SNAP right now. NE/WE NSC staff is available to help connect and enroll any eligible person in need for this program.

How can all of us make sure that older adults do not go hungry? Advocate, donate, and volunteer! The NE/WE NSC and your local community organizations are always in need of donated time, resources, and new friends! We especially need volunteers to cook for our twice-weekly hot meal program.

Until next month!

Maria Stella Gulla, Director
ABCD North End / West End Neighborhood Service Center

ABCD’s mission is to empower disadvantaged people by providing them with the tools to overcome poverty, live with dignity, and achieve their full potential. The North End / West End NSC offers a wide-range services to our community. To learn more, read the February 2018 Newsletter ABCD North End West End NSC.

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Energy & Environment – Clean Energy

Last Wednesday, more than 30 student activists from seven campuses around the state joined Environment Massachusetts and MASSPIRG students to advocate for a 100 percent renewable energy future. Students met with over 20 legislators at the State House to support legislation that would set a goal of 100 percent renewable energy for Massachusetts.

As an Environment Massachusetts Direct Outreach intern, I had been planning this student lobby day for the last three months. I had set up and confirmed meetings with state representatives, reached out to student organizations and department heads across the state, put together informational packets for both the students and legislators — all in the name of clean energy. And it absolutely paid off.

When we arrived at the State House, students began to head to meetings of the legislators in their district. I started the day attending meetings with Sen. Brownsberger’s chief of staff and Rep. Livingstone. Initially, I was nervous — I had never directly engaged with senators or representatives before, and I thought to myself, “Will these legislators actually take me seriously?” Coming out of those meetings, I felt a new wave of accomplishment and inspiration. It was pleasantly surprising to hear how supportive my representatives were of clean energy, and their plans to continue implementing it in legislation.

BU has a wide variety of environmentally-focused organizations on campus, as well as clubs that include the environment as one of the many issues they focus on. Last December, the Boston University Board of Trustees approved a Climate Action Plan, which included extremely ambitious clean energy solutions. BU has committed to purchasing 100 percent of its electricity from renewable resources, while also working toward reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2040.

While BU is on the right track to sustainability, Massachusetts as a whole needs to do much more, and at a much faster speed to achieve a safe and sustainable future. Our generation has the most to lose from the health and climate impacts of fossil fuels, so it is critical that we urge our state leaders to commit to 100 percent renewable energy and accelerate our progress toward that goal.

Momentum is building for decisive climate action and ambitious renewable energy leadership. Along with BU, several campuses and communities across the state are stepping up to embrace a visionary goal of 100 percent renewable energy. Seven cities and towns, from Amherst to Cambridge, have already committed to a goal of 100 percent renewable energy. MassPIRG students and Environment Massachusetts student activists have been organizing for bold clean energy plans on campuses around the state, and now they are pushing for statewide legislation.

But there is good news: Massachusetts has just taken a big step toward 100 percent renewable energy when a Senate committee signed a clean energy bill.

The Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, led by Chairman Marc Pacheco, released legislation that would put Massachusetts on a path to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035 and power other sectors of the economy, like heating and transportation, with 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. The bill, entitled “An Act to promote a clean energy future,” is the first major piece of clean energy legislation to move forward in the 2017-2018 legislative session.

The Senate global warming committee’s bill aims to address obstacles to clean energy development and accelerate the growth of solar, wind, and energy efficiency. The bill includes most of the provisions of the 100 percent renewable energy act, filed by Senator Eldridge, last January.

This winter, Massachusetts’ coastal communities experienced record high tides and unprecedented flooding, underscoring the ways that climate change is already affecting our communities and the impacts we can expect to see in the future, unless we move quickly to reduce carbon pollution. According to a recent report, sea levels could rise seven to 10 feet in the Boston area by the end of the century if global warming continues on its current trajectory. BU’s own Center for Integrated Life Sciences and Engineering, the new state-of-the-art research center, was created with rising sea levels in mind, housing the mechanical and electrical necessities for the building to run on the second and third floor instead of the basement. While it’s smart to prepare for the worst, why not also try to prevent the worst?

We need to go beyond incremental progress and embrace a vision of 100 percent renewable energy. We have the opportunity to tackle the climate crisis while building a healthier, greener future and a strong economy. Bills like “An Act to promote a clean energy future” and the 100 percent renewable energy act will help us do just that.

During the meetings with representatives, students also shared the findings of Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center’s new report with state legislators. The report, “Wind Power to Spare: The Enormous Energy Potential of Atlantic Offshore Wind,” finds that Massachusetts could produce more energy from offshore wind than any other state.

According to the report, Massachusetts’ offshore wind potential is equivalent to more than 19 times the state’s annual electricity consumption. If all heating and transportation in Massachusetts were converted from fossil fuels to electric power, offshore wind could still produce eight times as much energy as the Commonwealth consumes each year. So it’s not a question of if we will power Massachusetts with 100 percent renewable energy, it’s a question of when. Offshore wind will play a critical role in our clean, renewable future. The sooner we can tap into our offshore wind potential, the better off we’ll be.

In August of 2016, Gov. Charlie Baker committed Massachusetts to purchasing 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind. After the passage of this bill, several other states adopted similar measures in their efforts to commit to renewable energy resources. Make no mistake, when Massachusetts makes a step toward progressiveness, other states will follow.

Massachusetts should get back to first place for renewable energy and fulfill our potential. We will continue raising our voices to call for a future where our environment is protected, our communities are safe, our air is healthy and our state is leading in renewable energy technology. A transition 100 percent clean energy is crucial in leading our country toward a sustainable, healthier future for us all.

Samantha Delgado

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