Bill Spotlight: Justice-Involved Women | State House Updates | FY18 Budget |
Temporary Protected Status | In the News | Community Events | Welcome Emily!
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Among the many challenges in our world today, there are good things happening at the state and local level. The last few weeks have been busy at the State House, with hearings on a number of bills I’ve sponsored, like domestic violence education for hairdressers and aestheticians, creating a stronger children’s vision screening, and requiring more affordable housing. Also, a number of important co-sponsored bills like ACCESS to contraception without copays and a ban on conversion therapy are moving forward.
The House and Senate are also working on reforming our criminal justice system, with a plan to debate later this fall. You'll find information below about criminal justice reforms, as well as activities on immigration and local projects.
I hope this newsletter provides you with information on positive things going on, much of which has come about because of local activism. Please contact me with your input, and feel free to share with a friend.
Testifying on a bill I sponsored with District Attorney Marian Ryan to require all hairdressers and aestheticians to be trained to recognize the signs of domestic violence. Thanks to Somerville's John Walsh, CEO of Elizabeth Grady, who has been a champion of community responses to domestic violence.
Bill Spotlight: Women in the Criminal Justice System
The House and Senate have been working on bills to reform the criminal justice system, including changes to sentencing guidelines, diversion from jail into treatment and other programs, and supports after people are released from incarceration. On top of these major reforms, I’m focused on improving policies and treatment for women in the criminal justice system, a growing, and often forgotten, group.
A majority of justice-involved women have mental health diagnoses and long histories of physical and emotional abuse. Many have low educational attainment and cognitive and learning disabilities. 75% of incarcerated women are mothers; most are single parents who had custody of their children prior to arrest.
I'm working on the major challenges facing incarcerated women, including assessing women as they enter the system, providing programming with lasting impacts they can use, and developing discharge plans that prepare them for reunification with their family and community.
I am meeting with statewide sheriffs' offices who house women to share best practices, and with the Office of Public Safety to discuss additional options for incarcerated parents to build relationships with their children, through events like the recent summer camps for families.
House Overrides Governor's Vetoes of Local Projects
The House and Senate passed a balanced budget for FY2018 this year that included funding for a number of important local projects in Somerville and Medford. Unfortunately, Governor Baker vetoed a number of these items.
This month, the House overrode a number of those vetoes, including:
Early Learning Fellowship
I recently joined 24 other legislators at the second convening of theNational Council of State Legislatures (NCSL)'s Early Learning Fellows Program. This program teaches legislators around the country tools to help improve early education and child care for families with young children.
Over the course of 2.5 days, we discussed child brain development and how young children learn, challenges with financing programs, and how to gather the right data for a holistic view of children's learning and development.
We also spent time discussing models to support parents and families, including home visiting programs, as well as ensuring a quality teacher workforce.
The Fellows program provided a great opportunity to spend time learning more about these issues, and to share ideas with leaders in other states. I look forward to using what I've learned to improve early education access in Massachusetts!
Upcoming Office Hours
Sunday, October 29th
With W7 Alderman Katjana Ballantyne and W7 SC's Carrie Normand
4PM - 5:30PM
Friday, November 10th
Whole Foods Medford
9AM - 11AM
Tuesday, November 14th
With W4 SC's Andre Green
Mystic Activity Center
6PM - 8PM
Friday, November 17th
With W4 SC's Andre Green
Winter Hill Brewing Company
9AM - 11AM
Contact me any time:
Stop by: Room 473F to meet my aide, Claire, or email her for an appointment.
Meet our fall intern, Emily!
We have a new intern! Emily Lazzaro is a student in the Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy program at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston. Emily holds previous degrees from Boston University and has experience as an actor, writer, and higher education administrator. She also has two very young children. Emily is interested in policy initiatives that have to do with the economics of early education and care, minimum wage, social safety nets, human services, healthcare, and equity for all. Emily hopes to finish her program and eventually work at the State House on issues that affect the most vulnerable populations of Massachusetts.
Interested in interning, or know someone who
GLX Somerville Public Meeting
Monday, October 23rd, 6:30PM
Somerville High School Auditorium
Join MassDOT for an update on early GLX construction in Somerville.
Mystic River Watershed Association Annual Meeting
Wednesday, October 25th, 6PM
Tufts University - Breed Memorial Hall
Join MyRWA at their annual meeting to learn about the programs that are improving the Mystic River.
Somerville Ward 7 Resi-Stat Meeting
Wednesday, November 1st, 6:30PM
West Somerville Neighborhood School
An opportunity for residents of West Somerville and Teele Square to hear about neighborhood updates from the City. Interpretation into Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole will be provided.
Public meeting on GLX to Route 16
Monday, November 20th, 5:30 - 8:30PM
51 Winthrop St, Medford
Joint MassDOT to hear about progress in designing the GLX to Route 16.
In the News: State House working on gas leaks State Rep. Christine Barber said getting gas leaks fixed quickly is part of her goal in pushing House Bill 2863 forward – but she said the primary goal, as the language of the bill suggests, is to shift the cost of leaked and lost gas to the utility companies.
“Should we be paying for gas that never gets to us, and why is the ratepayer – the consumer – the one paying?” Barber asked. "It’s a public safety issue, but it’s also an environmental issue and a cost issue, and it’s something we can actually get our arms around.”
Lawmakers: Expand refugee protections Rep. Christine Barber, in conjunction with immigrants' rights group Centro Presente, held an educational briefing for staffers and other lawmakers on how to communicate with constituents on TPS.
Barber said many people in her district and around Massachusetts who qualify for TPS and have lived here for years are anxious about the future of the program.
Copyright © 2017 Representative Christine Barber, All rights reserved.
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list