Act with Urgency
(The following letter was sent recently to Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Bob DeLeo by a group of mayors around the Commonwealth, including Mayor Carlo DeMaria)
Dear Senate President Spilka and Speaker DeLeo,
Voting is a fundamental right and is guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
In the midst of a highly contagious infectious disease, we implore you to ensure safe and healthy ballot access in 2020.
We ask the state legislature to act with urgency in reviewing and passing a vote-by-mail program in Massachusetts for this election cycle.
Our constituents deserve the opportunity to exercise their right to vote without risk of exposure to a deadly virus. Every voter in the Commonwealth deserves a safe chance at participating in the democratic process, even through this extremely challenging time for our country.
In recent years with many safeguards available, vote by mail has become the gold standard for voter access and participation. There are many excellent programs across the country in states including Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. In response to COVID-19, more states have stepped forward, including New York, New Hampshire and Maryland, to ensure ballot access.
Massachusetts has always been a leader during challenging times for our country. The Commonwealth with the leadership of the Senate and House must lead again with ensuring safe, healthy, widely available ballot access by passing a vote by mail program.
In this time of pandemic, no one should be forced to choose between their health and their right to vote. Even Dr. Fauci is uncertain when this current surge will subside, with experts projecting possible recurrence in the fall just as voters head to the polls for the statewide September 1 primary and the November 3 general election.
As Mayors serving 22 cities we see Vote by Mail as the best chance our constituents and Commonwealth have to protect the integrity of our 2020 elections and the health of our voters. Thank you for your urgent consideration of this request.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr., Everett
Mayor Thomas McGee, Lynn
Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, Newton
Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Gloucester
Mayor Kim Driscoll, Salem
Mayor John J Leahy, Lowell
Mayor Joseph M. Petty, Worcester
Mayor Nicole LaChapelle, Easthampton
Mayor Paul Brodeur, Melrose
Mayor William Reichelt, West Springfield
Mayor David Narkewicz, Northampton
Mayor Daniel Rivera, Lawrence
Mayor Yvonne Spicer, Framingham
Mayor Donna Holaday, Newburyport
Mayor Jon Mitchell, New Bedford
Mayor Neil Perry, Methuen
Mayor Roxann Wedegartner, Greenfield
Mayor Thomas Bernard, North Adams
Mayor Paul Coogan, Fall River
Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, Cambridge
Mayor Kassandra Gove, Amesbury
Mayor Linda Tyer, Pittsfield
Overwhelmed with Gratitude
I want to take this opportunity to recognize Mayor DeMaria and his administration, the City Council, state delegation and volunteers for there commitment to our city during this difficult time the volunteers and all those who putting their lives at risk to help those who are less fortunate. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the help we have received for Seniors during these challenging times. For example, this week alone, the Facilities Department has picked up approximately 2,500 pounds of food to be distributed at The Connolly Center Food Pantry. The Facilities Department, led by George Lane, is amazing and are on point with this process. Kudos to them!
Those foods have been distributed to approximately 1,000 people who wait in line during the Grab and Go Food Pantry.
Additionally, members of the Everett Police Department and volunteers deliver approximately 150 bags of groceries from our pantry as well as the Grace Food Pantry.
Our volunteers also distribute food to the various senior buildings, including 40 at Golden Age Circle, 60 at Whitney Lorenti house, by Gerri Miranda and Clare Ellyn Nee.
Finally, 120 bags of groceries get delivered by staff and volunteers to Whitter Drive Housing Complex, and Glendale Towers per request.
The Inspectional Services Department has been delivering 450 meals to seniors each day. Hats off to Jim Frank, Lou and the entire crew for in many instances, going the extra mile to make sure our seniors are safe. Lunch delivery serves many purposes, first and foremost to provide at least one nutritious meal to our seniors each day. It also serves as a wellness check and in some cases a little bit of social interaction that our seniors would otherwise not have at this, or any other time.
Of course, our guys at the City Services make sure our excess trash, boxes and recyclables are picked up in a timely manner and are ready to lend a hand as requested.
I would like to also add, I have received a tremendous amount of positive responses on The Senior Exercise classes airing on ECTV.
Here are just a few examples below:
“Thank you for the classes. They are keeping me sane”
“It’s good to see a friendly face on ECTV.”
“Everett cares for us seniors.”
I am pleased with the way the community has banded together to help our most at-risked residents. I would like to thank everyone for the help, the compassion and willingness to go above and beyond.
Regards & Stay Safe,
Council on Aging
Reach Out to Me
I want to take this time and write to you and your family. Let me start by introducing myself. For those that don’t know me, I am Michael J. McLaughlin, a life-long Everett resident and currently YOUR Ward Six City Councilor representing all of Everett.
I wanted to reach out and send positive thoughts, in the face of the coronavirus. We have seen unprecedented changes in our community overnight unfortunately. I want you to know, one thing that has not changed is my commitment to serve the general public as a whole. The majority of my life I have spent trying to help my neighbors, and in this time it only offers a greater opportunity to do so. I hope that this letter finds you and your family healthy and safe. We all need to continue following social distancing and practicing staying at home as often as possible, which brings me to my letter today. I wanted to reach out to offer any support and help that I can give during these uncharted times that we are living in, as we all battle together to overcome one of the worst pandemics our country has ever faced. As a member of the Everett City Council, I am fully committed to working together with all stakeholders involved to ensure that our city will come out of this stronger and more resilient than ever after this pandemic has come to a close.
This being said I want you to know and be informed that if I can be of any service to you and your family during this time, or a need arises where I can help resolve a matter to keep your family safe while keeping you at home, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly, as I have been receiving calls for assistance with grocery shopping, prescription pickup and other day-to-day errands. Please do not believe any issue is too big or too small to call on a friend. I will absolutely do all that I can to ensure that your need is addressed immediately. I want you to know you have a friend in me.
Michael J. McLaughlin
Ward 6 Councilor