- Governor of Massachusetts
- Governor of Massachusetts
Ban Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Massachusetts
Our names are Aisha Yusuf, Hanna Stern, and Mariya Taher, and we each are pleading to the Massachusetts State Legislature to pass a law making it illegal for someone to carry out Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting/Circumcision (FGM/C) on young girls. FGM/C involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue on girls, and can cause physical harm including pain, bleeding, shock, tetanus, genital sores, and cause long-lasting psychological harm including sexual disorders, fear of sexual intimacy, nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mariya - I was born in the United States and now live in Massachusetts, but at the age of seven, I was subjected to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in India. Friends and relatives of mine also living in the United States have undergone FGM/C both here in the United States or in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Australia, and many other countries in the world. Aisha- I got my circumcision when I was five. I know many women who also got it done. Personally, I know people in my community who talk about it as if it’s normal. I was aware of people practicing it behind closed doors but I also know that some people are looking for ways to keep the practice alive here in the States even though it might mean legal action is taken against them. I didn't know my home state, Massachusetts, had no laws against FGM/C until I met Mariya who works with many communities to protect girls against FGM/C. Hanna - I literally stumbled on the subject of female genital mutilation searching for a global health research topic online for a school project. I knew nothing about it and was concerned that others would find it uncomfortable and unrelatable. My teacher told me that was all the more reason to focus on FGM/C. It’s not a cultural issue; it’s not a third-world problem. FGM/C happens all over the world; it is happening in Massachusetts! Regardless of culture and tradition, and despite a lack of intent to cause injury, the end result is girls in MA are being violated and need our protection to safeguard them from FGM/C. Massachusetts is known for its progressive policies in terms of reproductive rights, anti-discrimination laws, and equality issues, yet our state still is in the minority of states that do not ban female genital mutilation or cutting. As FGM/C is nearly always carried out on minors, is a violation of the rights of children, and reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes that constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women, we must protect girls from undergoing FGM/C. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that over half a million girls and women in the United States are at risk. Massachusetts ranks 12th in the nation for at-risk populations with an estimated 14,591 women and girls. Since 2012, the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association has over and over again tried to advocate for a state law criminalizing FGM/C. Yet, still to this day, no law has been put into place. The current bills, S.788, and H.2333, have been sent to committee for study and most likely will not move forward either. All three of us believe in the importance of education and community engagement to help create social change within communities and amongst groups where FGM/C might be happening. To that end, we each have organized and participated in community events to educate our friends and family members about the harms of FGM/C and why it should be abandoned. Yet, despite our efforts, FGM/C continues, often being touted as a religious or cultural practice that is needed to control women’s sexuality. In April 2017, a doctor in Michigan was charged with performing FGM/C on minor girls, highlighting yet again that FGM/C does affect women and girls living in the United States. The doctor claimed FGM/C was a religious requirement and that there were no harmful effects. We three believe that culture and religion should not be an excuse used to sanction harm to girls. We need a bill in Massachusetts that unequivocally reiterates that female genital mutilation/cutting is a form of violence. There are laws against domestic violence and sexual assault. We need a law against FGM/C as well. We three believe our state can do a better job of protecting girls in the Commonwealth by banning FGM/C. You can support us too by signing our petition demanding that legislators make passing a bill banning FGM/C high on their list of priorities. Let’s work together to take a stance against Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting! ~ Aisha Yusuf, Hanna Stern, and Mariya Taher
Justice for Officer Gannon and Officer Nero
The judicial system in this state needs an overhaul. Our police officers are out putting their lives on the line daily for the safety of the people of the Commonwealth and their hard work is for not when career criminals are allowed to walk free from a courthouse. How many known violent criminals are walking freely in public awaiting their next court date instead of sitting in a cell where they belong? 1 is too many. Officer Sean Gannon is the perfect example of why. On April 12,2018, while serving a warrant with his K9 partner Nero, he was shot and killed by Tom Latanowich, 29, of Somerville. A man with 125 prior convictions and current pending criminal charges and on probation. He had a known violent history and yet he was allowed to freely walk the street. Had he been where he belonged, jail, Officer Gannon would be here today. Instead, a great, young police officer is gone needlessly and his young wife is a widow. His family has lost a key member, Nero has lost his best friend and his department has lost a brother. The judges need to be held accountable for these decisions. We are prosecuting drug dealers in some cities and towns on manslaughter charges and sentencing them to jail, we send drunk drivers to jail after minimal numbers of offenses but we let a man with 125 convictions walk freely amongst us. We the people of Massachusetts want our justice system fixed. it’s time we are allowed to feel safe and it is beyond the time for our police officers to have their hard work followed through on the final end—jail for offenders. Hold the judicial system responsible for these career criminals walking freely amongst us. FIX THE SYSTEM! Save our police officers, DO YOUR JOBS!
Elizabeth Warren should resign
Elizabeth Warren has, to the surprise of nobody, decided to run for President. She lied to the people of Massachusetts about her intentions during her election campaign for the U.S. Senate. Senator Warren has no intentions of serving the interest of the poeple of Massachusetts. She should not hold office or collect a paycheck for a job she clearly will not be doing. Her intent is to get into higher office. We demand that she resign from the office of U.S. Senator. This will allow Governor Baker to appoint a person to office that will have the sole purpose of serving the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
PLEASE ADD OCCUPATIONALLY EXPOSED FIRE SERVICE TO THE PEASE AFB PFAS CONCEPT PLAN.
America's firefighters have been on the front line of PFOA/PFOS exposure since 1983 while using it in AFFF, being sprayed in our eyes, mouth, nose, wading in it, having it adhere to our PPE/personal protection ensembles/turnout gear, and exposing our families to this toxin after bringing home contaminated gear. We were not aware how toxic this substance was. We have just recently learned our turnout gear, or PPE has been impregnated with PFOA since 1999 (at least) to make our gear water repellent so that it meets the NFPA 1971 water resistance standards for firefighting. We were not made aware. We do not know how much. Only the chemical giants have that information. We sweat in this gear, our body temperature rises and our skin absorbs these toxins. We start our careers in our child bearing years. PFOA and PFOS have been labeled under CA Prop65 due to potential for reproductive (and developmental) TOXICITY See here: https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/crnr/chemicals-listed-effective-november-10-2017-known-state-california-cause … In 2006 the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) notified the chemical giants that they would be restricting PFOA in 'textiles'. One of those textiles is firefighter PPE. By 2012 PFOA was designated Substance of Very High Concern by the ECHA. Turnout gear manufacturers were made aware of the decision to restrict the amount of PFOA in turnout gear to 25ppb and 'precursors' to 1ppm. As of today, January 18, 2018, they have not advised the US of this issue formally. While the manufacturers are discussing and teaching about the issue in Europe, they have not mentioned it here. They have only minimized the issue when it came up recently by way of a firefighting article here in the US. https://station-pride.com/2017/03/28/the-real-cancer-in-your-gear/ We are in a particularly high risk exposure setting as our gear has been degrading in our fire stations where we work, eat, sleep, since 1999. The coating on our gear degrades in UV lighting, in many stations our gear is stored in open lighting next to the engines and trucks in our bays. There may be as many as 30 sets of gear in a station in one week. The gear is designed to be used for 5 years and 30 washings. Over the course of 20 years we have had thousands of sets of gear in our stations releasing particles of PFOA into our 'home'. As of this date, there has not been a PFAS dust study done in our stations. Yet, biomonitoring has shown firefighters PFOA serum tested in ranges from 243 ng/mL to 423 ng/mL from a 'yet unknown source'. The 'DuPont Water Works' plant workers were high at 32 ng/mL. Adding to this IDLH issue is the October 2, 2017 NH DES letter to every fire station in NH that of 6 of 7 New Hampshire fire stations water wells tested at 'elevated' levels of PFAS. https://www4.des.state.nh.us/nh-pfas-investigation/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Fire_Department_H20Sample.pdf Since September 5, 2017, Environmental Attorney Robert Bilott, along with C8 Science panel member Dr Paul A Brooks, and Fire Chief Jeffrey Hermes have demanded testing and studies of the EPA, CDC/ATSDR, and US Attorney General on behalf of all responders in the US due to their exposure from these areas. See letter here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3988104-Firefighter-Letter.html On January 16, 2018 Attorney Bilott did receive a reply from Patrick Breysee PhD CIH Dir ATSDR indicating the monies Attorney Bilott requested (7,000,000) from the recently found funds available, was not yet designated for FIREFIGHTERS. We seek immediate support and decisiveness that these funds are designated for the front line, who while already at a very high risk for cancer., was unaware of the toxin in our PPE and the extent of the toxicity of PFAS in the AFFF. The manufacturers were well awaare of the extent and danger of this toxin, yet chose to not issue the hazard in warning labels in our gear. They actually belong to a group called Fire and Emergency Manufacturers Association (FEMSA) THAT FOUGHT FOR, AND WON THE RIGHT, TO NOT PUT WARNING LABELS IN OUR GEAR. https://www.femsa.org/whois_femsa/history/ These same manufacturers sit at our NFPA standards committees deciding everything from the balance of a helmet to the width of reflective tape on our gear. Not once did they disclose this danger to us. These are very complicated drawn out committees, at any time a manufacturer could have provided a 'notice of concern'. They did not. We cannot wait one more day for money to be found while we don gear that is coated in PFAS and use AFFF that may or may not be safe. We have sacrificed enough, we have given enough of ourselves, we expect immediate action from each and every individual on this petition. We deserve nothing less. We have been kicked down the road long enough in this ruse of deception and omission of the toxic hazards of PFAS from the manufactures that provide our PPE and AFFF. Charge this back on them if need be. The PPE industry alone in the USA is over 5 billion dollars. On August 11, 2017, we received the test results of NEW, NEVER WORN 2004 turnout gear. We had it tested to determine if there could still be PFOA in the gear after 13 years. The testing was performed by Professor of Physics, Graham Peaslee, Notre Dame, IN. Here are his results: Dear Diane, Sorry for the slow response, but we ran your samples earlier this week (on Tuesday), and I have just looked through the results for four samples: Left Under Arm firefighting suit FF-LUAMoisture Barrier firefighting suit FF-MBTLRight Sleeve by Cuff firefighting suit FF-RSCTail firefighting suit FF-T The Moisture Barrier sample actually had two parts to it, a thin underlining fabric and the thicker outer layer. We labeled the thin fabric as MBTL2. The results are pretty unambiguous...Everything except that thin underlining fabric was heavily fluorinated: Sample counts/uC error ppm F Percent FFF-LUA 24682 2472 10555 1.62FF-MBTL 57530 5756 24603 3.77FF-MTBL2 485 98 207 0.06FF-RSC 20691 2073 8849 1.36FF-T 18212 1826 7789 1.19840 ppm F std 1964 128 We typically measure in parts-per-million, but these fabrics are so heavily fluorinated, they are better measured in percent fluorine content...each of the pieces contained between ~1 and ~4% fluorine (last column on right). This would typically indicate a very heavy treatment in PFAS chemicals to impart water and flame resistance to the fabric. We have seen values like this before, but typically only on fire-resistant fabrics. We also looked at these fabrics yesterday with an X-ray Fluorescence unit, just to test for the presence of other flame retardants in the material, and we did not see any chlorinated nor brominated compounds nor heavy metals, so it looks like the flame-resistant properties of these materials are being given by fluorinated compounds alone... I hope this information is useful to you. If you want to know which specific PFAS compounds are present in the fabrics (it can often be a mixture), then you would have to perform a chemical measurement using an instrument called Liquid-Chromotrography - Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). There are commercial companies that make these measurements (TestAmerica, for example), but they are complicated measurements and they typically charge several hundred dollars for a single analysis. Please let me know if there is any other information I can provide for you.... GRAHAM ************************************************************* UPDATE **** JANUARY 29, 2018 **** TESTING RESULTS CONFIRM PFOA PRESENT IN EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS IN 2004, NEW/NEVER-WORN STRUCTURAL PPE, SEE LINK FROM PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS AT NOTRE DAME, GRAHAM PEASLEE: Hi Diane, I have some LC-MS/MS results from an academic lab that I trust...they took the four pieces of clothing you sent me and took a small piece of each and rinsed it three times in heated methanol, and analyzed the rinse for the presence of 78 different PFAS. We know from previous textile work that this only will get some small fraction of what is adhered to the fabrics, but it will identify what is there. The results look something like this: Concentration (ng/g)Item PFBA PFHxA PFHpA PFOA PFNA PFDA PFTeDA FHUEARight Sleeve <LOQ 14 <LOQ <LOD 121 66 <LOD <LODLeft Under Arm <LOQ <LOD 13 116 74 57 <LOD <LODMoisture barrier <LOQ <LOD <LOD 41 <LOD 25 <LOD <LODTail <LOQ <LOD 14 <LOD 84 28 30 <LODEnvelope 46 109 <LOD <LOD <LOD <LOD <LOD 40 A quick explanation...these are the 7 diffferent PFAS that showed up above level of detection (LOD), or above level of quantification (LOQ). The PFBA are C4 acids, the PFHxA are C6 acids, the PFHpA are C7 acids, the PFOA are C8 acids, the PFNA are C9 acids, and the PFDA are C10 acids, and the last one is a C11 acid. The first four rows are your four fabric samples with concentrations in ppb, and the last sample is the brown envelope in which the samples were shipped, so it is possible it contained some short-chained PFAS that might have contaminated the right sleeve sample. If you want to send these to a commercial lab at some point, you will want to put them in individual ziploc bags. In summary, there are C8, C9 and C10 PFAS found on each garment, but less on the moisture barrier. These are "long-chain" PFAS, and the majority seems to be heavier than PFOA, although there is certainly PFOA present. Combined with the PIGE results which showed high levels of F present, and a methanol rinse that only removes a small fraction for analysis I would guess there is plenty of these long-chain PFAS applied to these garment samples. The lab also did a GC/MS test for volatile PFAS, and found only volatile PFAS on the Tail sample, but with fairly high concentrations: 6:2 FTOH (120 ng/g), 8:2 FTOH (3600 ng/g), and 10:2 FTOH (1300 ng/g) (with all other analytes below detection.) The fact that both the GC and LC/MS data are indicating C8 and C10 in the samples helps confirm the long-chain observation. To my knowledge, this type of long-chain PFAS chemistry is not typically used in textiles these days...so it is unusual to see them in samples. I trust these data, and you are can share these results with your colleagues - but if you want to go further with the data in a court of law or elsewhere, you would have to have a commercial lab confirm these results...and that is pricey I know, but now you know what to look for at least. Armed with this information I bet you can start asking who used these long-chain PFAS commercially in fire-resistant clothing. I wish you luck in your investigation. Sorry this took so long, but all the labs are very busy these days. GRAHAM from Diane : What is important to note here, is that this testing will only remove a fraction of the actual content in the fabric. So that fraction, was 5 times the ECHA limit of 25 ppb PFOA. 5 times.... just that fraction.. what were we wearing? What are we wearing? ****************************************************************************** ***** BOMBSHELL **** 2.20.2018 ******** IN 1992.. DuPont's own scientists found PFOA CAUSES *** YES, CAUSES *** TESTICULAR CANCER. THE NUMBER ONE CANCER IN THE FIRE SERVICE. THEY KNEW WE WEAR THIS GEAR NEXT TO OUR REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS FOR HOURS AT A TIME OVER YEARS AND YEARS... THEY HAVE SAID NOTHING.... EXCEPT TO FOCUS ON THE PRODUCTS OF COMBUSTION.. READ PAGE 29: THIS IS A DuPONT SHAREHOLDERS DOCUMENT. YOU, THE END USER WERE LEFT OUT...... https://www.healthandenvironment.org/uploads-old/DuPont_Shareholders_Know_More.pdf In addition to causing testicular tumors, PFOA causes many other effects on the male reproductive system,including increased size of the testes, epididymides and seminal vesicles, and decreased prostate in rats[2, 6]. In the female, PFOA causes mammary tumors and cellular effects on the ovary . ****************************************************** Senators, Congresspersons, please, we must have your immediate attention. We have been poisoned by the companies that have a huge money stake in every aspect of the fire service. We need water testing in our stations, dust studies in our stations, new technology that does not require PFAS and precursors for coatings that will form PFOA to meet our NFPA Standards, we need serum testing to follow us thorough our careers. We sacrifice enough. Please act. Respectfully, Diane Cotter Fireman's Wife
Impeach Judge Feeley
Yesterday, Representative Jim Lyons filed a resolution to impeach Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley. The resolution was sponsored by Republican Representatives Geoff Diehl, Marc Lombardo, Shaunna O’Connell, Kevin Kuros, Nick Boldyga, and Dave DeCoste. Joining them in sponsoring the petition was Maureen Maloney. Maureen is the mother of Matthew Denise who was killed by an illegal immigrant who was drunk driving when he hit and dragged Matthew to his death. Judge Feeley is the same judge who let Maine cop killer John Williams out of jail: http://www.eagletribune.com/news/maine-murder-suspect-s-bail-was-lowered-twice-by-mass/article_d7d21686-48b3-11e8-89db-9f1bf1d0dcab.html Judge Feeley is the same judge that kept convicted heroin dealer Manuel Soto-Vittini out of jail. The reason the judge gave was that the dealer had to provide for his family. Feeley also said he was taking into account the possible immigration consequences Soto-Vittini faces as a result of the conviction — outrageous! Feeley did not put this thug behind bars because he could be deported. Story here: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_coverage/2018/05/salem_judge_blasted_for_putting_heroin_dealer_back_on_street Judge Feeley is the same judge that released Salem man Daniel Beauvais, charged in a recent sexual abuse case. He released this sexual predator after another judge concluded that “Beauvais poses a danger not only to the child in the case in which he’s been charged, but to other children, if released." Story Here: http://www.salemnews.com/news/local_news/judge-jails-child-rape-suspect-after-new-indictments/article_8ded903d-6246-515f-9337-55ecdba66116.html Judge Feeley must go! Please sign onto this petition for your voice to be heard; and urge your State Representative and State Senator to support HD4822 to impeach Judge Feeley.
Gov. Baker: Help stop Francisco's deportation!
Dear Governor Baker, I'm signing this petition to call on you to keep families together and to help stop Francisco's deportation. Francisco Rodriguez is a hard working member of the Chelsea community. He works as MIT and owns his own business and is the primary caregiver for his two U.S. born daughters and as his wife is in the late months of an extremely high risk pregnancy. On Thursday he was detained by ICE officials during his check in. Francisco's detention was unjust- Even after complying to the letter with ICE's requests for today's check-in, he was detained and now faces imminent deportation to El Salvador. Francisco exemplifies how wrong the Trump administrations new policies of targeting all immigrants are. We are calling for Francisco's immediate release from detention and that Francisco not be deported so that he can present new facts about his asylum claim and allowed to support his family as they prepare to welcome a new baby. Gov Baker, please call Secretary Kelly to urge him to exercise his authority to prevent Francisco from being torn from his family and the community that supports him! More on Francisco: Mr. Rodriguez has lived in the U.S. since 2006. He has lived in the greater Boston area for 10 years, specifically in Chelsea for the last 6 years. He is the father of two American citizen children, 10-year-old Mellanie and a 5-year-old Jessica, and a baby on the way. For the past five years, he has been a janitor at MIT. In addition, he runs his own carpet cleaning company. He is a member of his children’s school parent committee, of the community organization Chelsea Collaborative, of the Church Tabernaculo biblico seguidores de Jesus, and a union member of 32BJ SEIU (Service Employees International Union) at MIT. Mr. Rodriguez has no criminal record, pays his taxes, and contributes to his community, church, children’s school and workplace. When Mr. Rodriguez arrived to the country, he applied for asylum in 2007. He was denied asylum in December of 2009, and his appeal was denied in July of 2011. He was later granted prosecutorial discretion and has received a Stay of Removal every year since that time. However this past month, when Francisco applied for a Stay, it was denied. If ICE grants Mr. Rodriguez a Stay of Removal, he can continue to work, take care of his family, and contribute to our community. In addition, next year Mr. Rodriguez’s mother, who is a permanent resident, will become a citizen. Soon afterwards, a pathway to residency will open for Francisco when his mother files a petition on his behalf.
Justice For The Mount Ida Community
The sudden closing of Mount Ida College by the President and Board of Trustees has adversely impacted the students, their parents, the faculty and staff of the school. Current students and those who have been offered tuition for fall 2018, are being forced to look at other schools, unsure of where to turn on such short notice, as well as whether all of their MIC credits will be accepted. With the students being forced into UMASS state schools, several specialized programs are not offered, and many students have been left floundering and wondering if they will even get to finish their degree if they continue to go to a school that cannot help them reach their final college credits. Many others are simply commuters who cannot drive across the state several days a week to continue their education. Prospective students who were accepted & received generous financial inducements to attend MIC, only to have turned down other colleges & universities now have to hope and pray that one of the schools they've turned down will accept another request for admission this late in the game. Additionally, parents of those new students may have to seek additional financing due to the fact that they were unaware that they'd have to, based on the Mount Ida acceptance. OUR GOAL:1. All students (incoming & existing) should be admitted to the school of their choice, with the same financial aid package that they received from Mount Ida. 2. Appropriate educational alternatives for all students. 3. We'd like guarantees from the current President & Board of Trustees that the majors not offered at UMass will be continued by Regis on the MIC campus, since there are no suitable local alternatives, with the same teachers & staff staying on. 4. We would like the State Auditor of the State of MA, as well as the Dept of Education to do forensic financial analysis of Mount Ida for any improprieties or mismanagement that may have resulted in having to close the school. The news has left the entire Mount Ida Community heartbroken, frustrated, and very unsure of their futures. We ask you take time to sign the petition in your show of support for our community and to help us better guarantee the state of our futures.Thank You.
RE:Bill H.2073/H.3441/S.1409 An Act to ensure pay parity for County Sheriff’s Corrections
Dear Governor, House Speaker, Senators and Legislative Representatives; RE: Bills H.2073 / H.3441 / S.1409 An Act to ensure pay parity for County Sheriff’s Correction Officers and Jail Officers My name is Barry Ferreira I am a Lieutenant at the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office and a member of the Massachusetts Correction Officers Federated Union. I wanted to write you this letter in hopes of obtaining your support for House Bills H.2073 / H.3441 / S.1409 that is of vital importance to me and my family, as well as the families of each and every one of my brother and sister Officers. H.2073 / H.3441 / S.1409 is in regards to pay parity and fair wages for Correction Officers working at the 14 County Sheriff’s Office’s across the State of Massachusetts. Our Officers are assigned to the arduous task of working behind the walls across Massachusetts. They perform the same duties as the counterparts at each of the other County Facilities as well as the Department of Corrections, but are paid a substantially less amount on average. Statistically speaking the average Correction Officer will be seriously assaulted twice in their career. We have had several instances of Officers being assaulted by inmates in the past few months resulting in hospitalizations and serious injuries. Given the increasing population within our facilities of individuals with serious and often untreated mental illness, the number of assaults is sure to increase as well. It is also important to know that the dangers associated with our work do not end at the completion of our shift. Our Officers unlike DOC Officers for the most part, live in the same communities as the inmates who are in our custody. Whether we’re out buying groceries, pumping gas, or out for dinner with our families, there is always a chance of encountering a former inmate and potentially facing a dangerous situation. Fair compensation is the only thing that offsets the stresses of this job and the dangers we face daily in and out of work. I hope I have your support in this bill and would like to express that if this bill is successful, Correctional Officers across the State of Massachusetts will forever be thankful for the life changing, well deserved parity. Sincerely, Barry Ferreira 35 McCabe St. Dartmouth, MA 02748
Make Massachusetts a Constitutional Carry State
Hello, I am a Massachusetts resident who almost fell victim to criminals with a firearm. Although I complied with their every demand, my life was still threatened and they even laughed at the idea of “plugging” me just because. This was the first time I ever felt like I could lose my life at that exact moment. Police were literally right up the street as this whole situation played out and because I had no accurate description from the adrenaline rush that coursed my body in that moment, no suspects were apprehended, And they were all wearing black with their hoodies tied as well. I feel that if we are a Constitutional Carry State, that inccidents like these will decline, and to quote our forefathers on the issue: "The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."- Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776 I urge the residents of Massachuestts to put forward this purposal under “The 2nd Amendment Guarantee Act” to protect everyone in Massachusetts, so that all competent citizens have liberty to enforce their own security without permits or licenses. Could you imagine if you needed a license to belong to a religious institution? Or to Speak Freely? Please keep in mind that only criminals do not follow laws, and most cases in MA in terms of firearm related violence and homicides is caused with illegal handguns, as well as the information about the assailants target being unarmed. We DO NOT want to change any standing Massachusetts law that has been passed through Due Process & Legislation. We DO want to repeal a Licenses Fee that serves no purpose except profiting of Constitutional Rights and Denying those who cannot afford said Right. Thank You, Michael Smith
State of MA: Fund 100% of Transportation for Regional School Districts
According to MA General Law Chapter 71; Section 16C, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is legally required to fully reimburse regional school districts (RSDs) for transportation costs, subject to appropriation. In recent years, Massachusetts has reduced their funding for these costs, leaving local taxpayers to pick up the tab. There are currently 58 academic regional school districts, educating 107,000 students in 170 communities across MA that are being underfunded by the state in this way, adversely impacting student education and community services. An important financial incentive for these school districts to regionalize was the reimbursement associated with transportation. Costs associated with transporting students in a regional school district are significant, because of the geographical footprint associated with bus routes across numerous communities. Without this reimbursement by the state, these districts have had to fund transportation costs by cutting other areas of their budgets. There has been a similar impact on municipal budgets, with cuts to town services required to make up the shortfall in transportation reimbursement funding in school budgets. For the 2016-2017 school year, the state shorted these towns and districts by 27%. For example, the five towns and schools of the Wachusett Regional School District (WRSD), which is the largest in the state, have been underpaid by $12 million dollars over the past 9 years. State Auditor Suzanne Bump's 2017 report, Supporting Student and Community Success: Updating the Structure and Finance of Massachusetts Regional School Districts states clearly that the simple act of the state fulfilling its promise of funding 100% transportation costs would make an enormous impact on the budgets of all RSDs and their contributing towns. Because of continually increasing demands due to rising health insurance and other costs, we can no longer afford to pay what you promised! We request the Commonwealth of Massachusetts fulfill their requirement by law to fund 100% of the transportation costs for the Commonwealth’s regional schools for the school year 2018-19. Pay what you promised for regional transportation --- and our districts and towns can thrive instead of survive. This petition was created by I Am Wachusett (of WRSD) and Support our Children and Schools (of Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District) on behalf of all of the 58 regional school districts in Massachusetts: Acton-Boxborough, Adams-Cheshire, Amherst-Pelham, Ashburnham-Westminster, Athol-Royalston, Ayer-Shirley, Berkshire Hills, Berlin-Boylston, Blackstone-Millville, Bridgewater-Raynham, Chesterfield-Goshen, Central Berkshire, Concord-Carlisle, Dennis-Yarmouth, Dighton-Rehoboth, Dover-Sherborn, Dudley-Charlton, Nauset, Farmington River, Freetown-Lakeville, Frontier, Gateway, Groton-Dunstable, Gill-Montague, Hamilton-Wenham, Hampden-Wilbraham, Hampshire, Hawlemont, King Philip, Lincoln-Sudbury, Manchester Essex, Martha's Vineyard, Masconomet, Mendon-Upton, Monomoy, Mount Greylock, Mohawk Trail, Narragansett, Nashoba, New Salem-Wendell, Northboro-Southboro, North Middlesex, Old Rochester, Pentucket, Pioneer Valley, Quabbin, Ralph C Mahar, Silver Lake, Somerset Berkley, Southern Berkshire, Southwick-Tolland, Granville, Spencer-East Brookfield, Tantasqua, Triton, Up-Island Regional, Wachusett, Quaboag, and Whitman-Hanson.