Legislators attend the Communities United Legislative Breakfast

WOBURN – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) and State Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) recently attended the Communities United Legislative Breakfast hosted by the Creative Start Children’s Center in Woburn. They were joined by the Center’s management team and parents to discuss the critical role preschool and early childhood education services play for young learners and their families. The Center’s Head Start program provides comprehensive services to low-income children and their families and promotes school readiness for children by supporting their growth and development in a positive learning environment.

“Access to high-quality preschool and daycare isn’t just crucial for a child’s educational development it’s also an economic issue for working parents and promotes workforce productivity,” said Representative Haggerty. “Events like this help policymakers better understand the impact these services have on both children and their parents as we work to increase access and affordability in our communities and statewide.”

“I have had the opportunity to visit the Creative Start Children’s Center several times, and it is the perfect example of a high-quality early education center that is doing vital work in our community,” said Senator Friedman. “As a Legislature, we need to make sure that this program and others like it can grow successfully, as we work to increase access for children and families across the Commonwealth.”

The event provided an opportunity for Representative Haggerty and Senator Friedman to hear directly from the preschool management and parents about the importance of reliable, high-quality childcare and preschool services. During the discussion, multiple parents recounted witnessing their children flourish rapidly picking up pre-reading abilities, developing self-confidence and independence, and forming lasting friendships. The ability to continue working while their kids learned and grew in a high-quality setting was described as “invaluable” and a source of immense gratitude. Several shared that reliable childcare their children received at the Creative Start Children’s Center was truly “life-changing” for their families.

The legislators came away with a deeper appreciation for how access to affordable preschool and daycare doesn’t just benefit the children but lifts whole families. It enables parents to be productive members of the workforce while ensuring their youngest receive an educational head start. The firsthand stories from these parents underscored the critical importance of supporting policies and funding streams that increase access to quality early childhood services across the Commonwealth.

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Rep. Haggerty along with Governor Healey and other state and city officials tour Boston Metal

WOBURNState Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) joined Governor Maura Healey, Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao, Secretary of Energy and Environment Rebecca Tepper, MassCEC CEO Emily Reichert, Deputy Undersecretary of Economic Foundation Gaby Goldstein, Representative Michelle Ciccolo (D-Lexington), Woburn Mayor Michael Concannon and other city officials to tour Boston Metal in Woburn. The state and city officials, along with Boston Metal executives, discussed how the Commonwealth can further support Climate Tech and building out our Green Economy through the pending economic development bill. They also discussed potential opportunities for Boston Metal to expand its innovative green steel capacity in Woburn and, by extension, Massachusetts.

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Rep. Haggerty honors WMHS Assistant Principal Steve Martin with Black Excellence on the Hill Award

State Representative Haggerty recently honored Woburn Memorial High School Assistant Principal Steve Martin for the Black Excellence on the Hill Award.  Joining in the event are Ramla Hagi former Woburn Memorial High School student and current research analyst for Joint Committee on Public Health, Assistant Principal Steve Martin

 

BOSTON – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) recently nominated Steve Martin, an assistant principal at Woburn Memorial High School, for the Black Excellence on the Hill Award, an event hosted by the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus. The event commemorates Black community leaders and trailblazers who are pushing for progress in cities and towns across Massachusetts.

“Steve Martin exemplifies the leadership and community impact we aim to celebrate with the Black Excellence on the Hill Award,” said Representative Haggerty. “Steve is an exceptional leader whose dedication to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion resonates throughout Woburn Memorial High School and the entire community. His tireless efforts to build bridges and create a more just environment have significantly shaped the positive culture we strive for. Steve’s contributions make our community stronger, and I’m honored to nominate him for this well-deserved recognition.”

“Steve is an incredible asset to the Woburn Public Schools. I’ve had the privilege of working with him in various capacities over the years,” said Superintendent Crowley. “He is completely dedicated to improving the lives of all students and supporting our staff every day. His commitment to the WPS is much appreciated, and we are lucky to have him.”

“Steve is a tremendous asset to the school community here at Woburn Memorial High School. We have a terrific group of administrators here at the high school,” said WMHS Principal Rasanen. “Steve’s perspective, leadership, and experience have proven to be an invaluable part of our team.”

As the assistant principal at Woburn Memorial High School, Steve Martin has emerged as a distinguished leader in the community, spearheading a range of initiatives, fostering equity, and creating opportunities for students and educators from diverse backgrounds. His leadership in the DEl Workgroup, dedicated to developing diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, is commendable. Steve founded the EmbRACE Club at the high school, initially providing a safe space for students of color, and now actively promoting diversity and inclusion throughout the Woburn community. Steve extends his influence beyond official roles, acting as an unofficial mentor and source of support for those who know him. In his position as the ninth-grade assistant principal, he guides and mentors freshmen, earning respect and seeking counsel from numerous students, families, and educators within the school. Steve plays a crucial role as an integral part of the well-functioning administrative team, and his impact has significantly shaped the character of both Woburn Memorial High School and the broader community.

The event took place at the Massachusetts State House on Friday, March 29th. Several community members from the City of Woburn jointed Representative Haggerty in honoring Assistant Principal Martin.

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Reading to receive $593,266 for local road and bridge projects

BOSTON – Reading is slated to receive $593,266 in Chapter 90 road and bridge funding in Fiscal Year 2025 under proposed legislation that authorizes $375 million in state bond money to assist cities and towns with the repair and maintenance of their local transportation infrastructure.

Approved by the House of Representatives on April 3 with the support of House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), House Bill 4529 provides for the distribution of $200 million in statewide Chapter 90 funding, along with $25 million in road assistance targeted specifically for rural communities. The bill also authorizes another $150 million in spending to support six state grant programs cities and towns can access for help with local transportation-related projects.

“The Chapter 90 program is an important state-municipal partnership that provides a vital revenue source to help cities and towns maintain local roads and bridges,” said Representative Jones. “With this funding, communities like Reading can address their transportation infrastructure needs and priorities on an annual basis. This bill also provides funding for several municipal grant programs that offer additional resources to assist our cities and towns in carrying out critical transportation-related initiatives.”

“This significant investment in our community’s transportation needs is vitally important to ensure safe and dependable roads and sidewalks in our community,” said Representative Haggerty. “I’m proud to support and help secure this critical funding measure, which will equip our community with the necessary resources to tackle local road paving and sidewalk improvement projects.”

Established in 1973, the Chapter 90 program provides funding to cities and towns on a reimbursable basis, with communities required to pay for the work up-front before being compensated by the state. The distribution of the funding is based on a formula that considers the weighted average of a community’s local road mileage (58.33%), population (20.83%), and employment (20.83%).

House Bill 4529 also allocates $25 million for the rural roads program to assist rural communities with the construction and reconstruction of municipal ways. Launched in 2023, the program defines rural communities as having a population of less than 10,000 and a population density that is under 500 people per square mile. The distribution of funds under this program is based on a weighted formula that considers a municipality’s local road mileage (20%), population (20%), and its status as a rural community (60%).

Jones and Haggerty noted that House Bill 4529 also allocates $150 million in funding to six transportation-related state grant programs that are available to cities and towns, with $25 million each provided for the:

  • Municipal Pavement Program, which focuses on the improvement of municipally owned state numbered routes;
  • Municipal Small Bridge Program, which provides funding to municipalities for the replacement, preservation, and rehabilitation of non-federally aided bridges and approaches;
  • Complete Streets Program, which supports the implementation of safe and accessible transit options for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists of all ages and abilities;
  • Municipal Bus Enhancement Program, which can be used for bus shelters, bus lanes, and signal prioritization to enhance mass transit by bus;
  • Mass Transit Access Grant Program, which can be used for enhancements that increase access to mass transit and commuter rail stations; and
  • Municipal/RTA EV Grant Program, which provides grants to municipalities and regional transit authorities for the purchase of electric vehicles and charging equipment.

House Bill 4529 now moves to the Senate for its consideration.

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Woburn to Receive over $1.2 Million for Local Roadway Paving Projects

BOSTON – Wednesday, April 3, 2024 – The City of Woburn will receive $1,256,310.83 in Chapter 90 state for local roadway paving and sidewalk upgrades through a $375 million bill recently approved by the House of Representatives with the support of State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn).

“This significant investment in our community’s transportation needs is crucial for keeping our roads safe and reliable in our community,” said Representative Haggerty. “I’m proud to support and help secure this critical funding that will provide our community with the necessary resources to tackle local road and sidewalk improvement projects.”

The bill includes $200 million for the state’s Chapter 90 program, which provides municipalities with a funding source for transportation-related improvements, including road and bridge repairs, as well as $175 million for specific programs. The bill also appropriates $25 million for the rural roads program established in last year’s Chapter 90 legislation, which provides funding to rural communities in addition to the standard Chapter 90 distribution.

Established in 1973, the Chapter 90 program allocates funding annually to all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns, utilizing a formula that calculates the weighted average of a community’s local road mileage (58.33%), population (20.83%) and employment (20.83%). Funding is provided on a reimbursable basis, with cities and towns required to finish the work in advance before being compensated by the state for eligible costs.

This legislation authorizes $150 million in programs that will support various transportation-related projects. This includes $25 million for each of the following:

=> Municipal Pavement Program, which focuses on the improvement of municipally owned state numbered routes;

=> Municipal Small Bridge Program, which provides financial support to cities and towns for small bridge replacement, preservation, and rehabilitation projects;

=> Complete Streets Funding Program, which provides technical assistance and construction funding to municipalities for streets that provide safe and accessible options for all travel modes such as walking, biking, transit, and vehicles;

=> Municipal Bus Enhancement Program, which provides grant funding to towns to build out infrastructure related to mass transit by bus, such as bus shelters, curb reconfiguration, bus lanes, and signal prioritization;

=> Mass Transit Access Grant Program, which provides grants to municipalities for design and construction for improvements to access commuter rail stations or other mass transit stations, such as parking lots, drop-off and pick-up zones, bike storage infrastructure, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure; and

=> Municipal/RTA EV Grant Program, which provides grants to Regional Transit Authorities and municipalities for the purchase of electric vehicles and related charging equipment.

Having passed the House of Representatives 155-0, the bill now goes to the Senate for their consideration.

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Representative Haggerty attends Mystic Valley Elder Services Annual Legislative Breakfast

 

Representative Haggerty along with state legislators and MVES executive members

 

BOSTON – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) joined fellow legislators, mayors, and community members at the Mystic Valley Elder Services’ (MVES) annual Legislative Breakfast. The event focused on the organization’s budget needs, legislative priorities and the vital services provided to older adults.

“Mystic Valley Elder Services plays such an important role in supporting our community’s seniors and their families,” said Representative Haggerty. “It was invaluable to hear directly from MVES leadership, staff and consumers about the incredible work they do, and the continued funding needed to meet the growing demand for services like home care, hospice support and residential assistance.”

During the breakfast, MVES Transitional Care and Nursing Director Lisa Jimenez, RN, shared a presentation highlighting the array of services offered, including hospice care, and invited consumer Patricia Bainton to speak about how MVES has positively impacted her life by providing diabetes and nutrition support.

Lisa Gurgone, Chief Executive Officer of MVES, emphasized budget priorities for the upcoming fiscal year to adequately fund critical programs that support older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers.

MVES is one of the Aging Services Access Points (ASAP) in Massachusetts that receives funding through the Elder Supportive Housing initiative to work in partnership with local housing authorities to embed Resident Service Coordinators within housing sites. Brian Snell, former Reading resident, serves as MVES board chair.

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Temporary Changes to Lowell Commuter Rail Schedule Take Effect March 25

BOSTON – The MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the operating partner for the MBTA Commuter Rail, have announced a temporary schedule change on the Lowell Line.  Eight mid-day trains will temporarily be eliminated to accommodate several important construction projects taking place on the line. The change will take effect at the beginning of service on March 25 and conclude in May.

The temporary schedule adjustment will allow for replacement of rail ties, as well as facilitate ongoing construction work on Winchester Center station, the Fiber Resiliency Project, and the High Line Bridge work.

  • The following inbound trains will not operate: 314, 318, 322, and 326.
  • The following outbound trains are also suspended: 311, 315, 319, and 323.

Peak inbound and outbound service will not be affected. An updated full schedule can be found at www.mbta.com/schedules/commuter-rail.

Passengers can stay connected with Commuter Rail by calling customer service at 617-222-3200, following @MBTA_CR on X or signing up for T-Alerts at www.mbta.com/alerts.

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Representative Haggerty pleased to meet with METCO Students at Reading Memorial High School

READINGRepresentative Richard Haggerty (D-Woburn) was happy to meet with METCO students at Reading Memorial High School for an informal discussion about the METCO program’s impact on students educationally and personally. The conversation also covered potential improvements that could be made to the program, whether it be through funding allocations or access to other types of resources. Along with the students, Reading High School METCO Director Kurtis Martin was also in attendance. Pictured are (l-r), Students Jamir Celestine, Zidane Lopes-Oliveira, Andrea Hall, Semaje Peete, and Representative Haggerty.

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Reading Public Schools awarded $15,000 DESE grant

BOSTON – House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), and State Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) joined with Superintendent Thomas Milaschewski to announce that the Reading Public Schools has been awarded a $15,000 Evaluate and Select High-Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM) Network Support Targeted Grant through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

Reading was one of 23 school districts eligible to receive funding in the latest round of grants, and one of 14 to be awarded funding. Grant awards ranged from $13,500 to $15,000, with a total of $208,500 in grants presented by DESE.

Dr. Sarah Hardy, Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Teaching, will be overseeing the implementation of this grant for the Reading Public Schools, with the money earmarked for the schools’ science curriculum.

“Our district is thrilled to receive the Evaluate and Select High-Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM) Network Support Grant,” said Dr. Hardy. “The grant funds will be used by Reading Public Schools’ Secondary Science Curriculum Council for our work in evaluating and selecting high-quality core science curricular materials, aligning to our commitment to utilize exceptional, standards-aligned, and culturally responsive curricular resources. In addition, this grant will enable professional development opportunities that empower STEM teachers to skillfully use high-quality instructional materials to orchestrate dynamic student learning experiences. In short, this funding will play a critical role in ensuring equitable access and excellence for every student across our science classrooms.”

“Congratulations to the Reading Public Schools for securing this grant award,” said Representative Jones. “By providing students with improved science instructional materials and opening up more professional development opportunities for teachers, this funding will further enhance the overall learning experience for all of Reading’s students.”

“The securing of this grant award by Reading Public Schools is great news for both students and educators,” said Representative Haggerty. “Not only will it provide our science classrooms with high-quality instructional materials, but it will also equip our teachers with valuable professional development. Funding opportunities like these help elevate the quality of education for all Reading students.”

“Utilizing high-quality and culturally responsive course curricula is a key component of offering an exceptional education,” said Senator Lewis. “I am thrilled that Reading Public Schools will be receiving this funding to evaluate and select core science curricular materials to continue providing a top-notch education for their students.”

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Representative Haggerty pleased Woburn Fire Department awarded over $2,400 State Grant

BOSTON – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) joined with the Healey-Driscoll Administration to announce that the Woburn Fire Department has been awarded a $2,435.75 for the purchase of Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) to be placed in emergency response vehicles. More than $165,000 in grant funding has been awarded to 80 Massachusetts municipalities, public colleges and universities, and nonprofits to purchase Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) for emergency response vehicles. This program will help increase access to this lifesaving equipment during medical emergencies when every second matters.

“By placing AEDs in emergency response vehicles, we are providing our first responders immediate access to this lifesaving equipment when time can be so crucial,” said Representative Haggerty. “I’m pleased that the Woburn Fire Department is among the grant recipients, ensuring they have these essential devices readily available when rapid response is critical. This statewide funding will help communities across the Commonwealth improve their emergency response and represents an investment in our communities public safety.”

An AED is a lifesaving device employed during a sudden cardiac arrest, a condition characterized by an unexpected cessation of heart function, irrespective of whether the individual has been diagnosed with heart disease or not. This device possesses the capability to analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if deemed necessary, administer an electrical shock, known as defibrillation, to aid in restoring an effective heart rhythm.

The funds were awarded through a competitive application process conducted by the Office of Grants and Research (OGR), a state agency that is part of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). The FY24 AED Grant Program was open to all Massachusetts municipalities – with priority given to those with populations of 20,000 or less – as well as public colleges, universities, and nonprofits with emergency response vehicles.

Eligible applicants were invited to apply for funding of up to $2,500 to purchase one AED for an emergency response vehicle that is either not currently equipped with an AED or requires a replacement device. A total of $165,084.70 will be distributed to 58 municipalities, 13 public colleges and universities, and nine nonprofits serving communities across Massachusetts.

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