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Kevin's Priorities

Day One Legislation Support

H.4795 - An Act to Expand Access to High-Quality, Affordable Early Education and Care

H.4891 - An Act Addressing Barriers to Care for Mental Health

H.3152 - An Act to Modernize Participation in Public Meetings

Statement regarding the 6/24/22 SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

Housing

Housing Growth

The need to address the housing crisis in the 9th Norfolk district is among one of my biggest concerns. As a member of both the Norfolk Planning Board and the Norfolk Select Board, I have seen first-hand how difficult it is to effectively increase our housing stock, especially affordable housing. 


During my transition from the Planning Board to the Select Board, accommodating for growth in Norfolk was a priority. As such, I volunteered to serve as the Select Board representative on the Town Center Zoning Committee to explore the potential for expanded multi-family zoning proposals. During this time, I worked with just about every board/committee in town as well as residents who were both for and against the proposals to bridge understanding gaps and address core concerns. This was achieved through 1-on-1 discussions, community outreach sessions, and expert forums. In the end, Norfolk passed a slate of expanded zoning changes during the annual town meeting in 2021 after 2.5yrs of work. 

 

I look forward to leveraging that experience to propose a modernized approach to housing development that will shift the focus from two ends of the housing spectrum (large, single-family homes and large apartment buildings) to the "missing middle", as it's referred to by the planning community. 

Education

Between the long road of recovery from a global pandemic model, to some of the most polarized political scrutiny of our time, our students, teachers, administrators, and school systems have never needed Beacon Hill’s support more than they do now to address the unprecedented challenges we face today. During my time on the Norfolk Select Board, I served as a partner to our local school committees and administrations — but the most valuable perspectives come from my role as a father to our 5th grade, 2nd grade, and Kindergarten boys. Through them, I know firsthand how important our educational programs and dedicated teachers are.

I support increases to Chapter 70 funding and fully funding Special Education Circuit Breaker programs, which will always be a priority to me. On top of that, district-specific needs such as finally funding Regional Transportation reimbursements to their committed levels and advocating for funding towards school building project programs are some of the first initiatives I’ll address on day one. In addition, I strongly support early education and child care cost legislation such as Bill H.4795, which will provide Massachusetts families with high-quality education and child care that is both affordable and accessible. Finally, I am a strong proponent of the Fair Share Amendment, which will be on the ballot this November. This amendment could generate up to $2 billion in revenue annually that will provide our state's school systems with adequate funding, while also lowering class sizes,  addressing student debt, and mitigating the effects of decades of austerity budgets.

Mental Health

Massachusetts provides health insurance coverage to 97% of state residents but despite near universal coverage, we have yet to overcome critical barriers to accessing care. Disparities in insurance coverage and health care access continue to exist along income, racial, and education lines. The pandemic has worsened health care inequities and increased the need to invest in a stronger public health infrastructure to support future public health challenges. 

 

I will push for awareness and resources to take on the mental health crisis brought about by the pandemic in our state, advocating for access to critical mental health services for everyone, from children to seniors, and direct action as it relates to historically underfunded state program commitments. Being married to a Pediatric Neuropsychologist who has seen firsthand the spike in emotional distress among children, the need to directly address this crisis and provide support has never been more important. Over the last several years, there has been an ongoing and concerted effort to shut down these imperative services resulting in the closure of certain state-run facilities serving the profoundly developmentally disabled and state-run hospitals serving the mentally ill. These facilities serve the neediest and most underserved populations in our state. For all individuals facing mental health crises or substance abuse issues, increasingly often, the only care option has been the Emergency Room – or worse, the prison system, which is the most expensive and least effective method of treatment. Between lingering social stigmas and scarcity of services, connecting those in need of mental health and substance abuse issues with the care they require is increasingly difficult. 


I support H.4891 as noted above, as well as H.2088, which would legalize safe consumption sites, where medical professionals would be allowed to respond to overdoses and engage participants in medical and behavioral health services.

Sustainability

Climate policy change related to emissions targets, renewable energy investments, electrical grid updates, rethinking transportation, and environmental justice are among my chief concerns. One important point within Bill H.3372 is that “climate change is intertwined with social inequities that will not be solved by simply transitioning to renewable energy. . . we center justice and equity for environmental justice communities, frontline and fence line communities - particularly poor, Black and brown, and indigenous communities - and other populations that have been disproportionately affected by the climate crisis”. I look forward to exploring this as a state representative, not only to help underserved people in my own district, but across our state.

I support Bill H.3372, which would require Massachusetts to adopt a target of sourcing electricity from 100% renewable energy sources by 2030.

Transparency

One of the main reasons I ran for my current Select Board seat was because I felt strongly that the town of Norfolk could benefit from enhanced transparency. Whether it’s been through open communications with abutters on town projects, the institution of Select Board office hours, or monthly cable shows to keep the community informed and engaged, transparency has always been a priority. 


I’m proud to be listed as an Act on Mass “Voter Deserve to Know” pledge signatory. I also support Bill H.3152, which would update the Open Meeting Law so that people could choose to participate remotely in public meetings on a permanent basis, even after the pandemic emergency ends, and provide the necessary funds to municipalities to implement this.

Revenue/Taxes

Although the median household income in the 9th Norfolk District varies by town, the average is $134,171, placing our towns in the top 15 - 20% of the population benefiting from the regressive tax structure. However, the average number of people who still live below the poverty line in our six towns is 2.6%. My ideal goal would be to turn our tax system “right side up” to address the systemic inequities in our tax structure and ensure that loopholes are closed to those that abuse them.

Working on municipal and county budgets for the last four years has given me a unique perspective on the aspects that affect our residents the most. The 9th Norfolk district needs a candidate who understands these challenges and will advocate from a position of knowledge on its behalf.

In the Massachusetts State Auditor’s 5-year Statutory Fiscal Impact Report, Regional School District Transportation funding, along with 28 other statutes/mandates, are categorized as having "substantial impact on municipal budgets and operations."  My fellow Select Board members from across the district and I have been pushing for district advocacy as it relates to historically underfunded state program commitments. We have been working tirelessly to bridge these gaps in our local budgets year after year. As State Representative, my efforts will focus on ensuring these programs get the support and committed funding that our towns critically need.

Local Support

Developing and maintaining a partnership with local Select Boards, School Committees, Town Administrators, and others who have served our communities in these capacities will be an overlying theme in our approach to representative government. With the foundation of so many relationships built and strengthened during my time on the Norfolk Select Board, I look forward to expanding that network and providing a level of empathy-driven service that only someone who has served in these roles could possibly understand. It is through that collaboration and alignment that we will address our shared challenges together

Education
Transparency
Mental Health
Sustainability
Revenue/Taxes
Local Support
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