State Representative Dave Rogers

MARCH UPDATES

Committee Assignments

The House of Representative announced last week committee assignments for this Legislative Session. I am pleased to announce that I was named Vice-Chair of the Committee on Marijuana Policy. Being asked to work on one of the most high profile issues the Legislature will address this session is a vote of confidence from the Speaker, and I appreciate the opportunity to help shape a law that has significant public policy implications for the Commonwealth, and that will set the ground rules for a burgeoning new area of commerce. As you may know, marijuana legalization is an issue in which I have been deeply involved. I am looking forward to this opportunity to be able to work on implementing the ballot question voters passed last November. Significantly, I have also been named to the Committee on Ways and Means which is tasked with reviewing and making recommendations on any legislation that has a financial impact on the Commonwealth. Finally, I have also been appointed to two additional committees: Export Development and Redistricting. Export Development is a new committee that I am excited to help shape; we will work on building connections and promoting Massachusetts to the world. The primary function of the Redistricting Committee is to redraw district lines when each census comes out every ten years. We will start preparing for the census to take place in 2020. I am very excited about the work that is to come and the progress we will make in this new Session.
Legislation for the 190th Session

For this upcoming two-year session, I have filed 22 key pieces of legislation applicable to a variety of areas of public policy. Some of them are re-files from last session, meaning they are the same or similar to previous bills. Below, I have highlighted just some of my key bills. On my web page, you can see the rest of the bills I have filed, which I intend to highlight in more detail in future newsletters.

An Act establishing reasonable limitations on the solitary confinement of inmates 21 years of age or younger: This bill puts reasonable limitations on solitary confinement for those 21 and under. Solitary confinement can have damaging effects on inmates, particularly on younger inmates whose cognitive capacities are still developing. After visiting a prison and houses of correction, it is obvious that corrections personnel do have challenging jobs and my bill attempts to strike a balance, allowing the limited use of solitary.

An Act relative to the qualification of voters: While the Massachusetts Constitution precludes imprisoned felons from voting in some state elections, this bill restores one of our most basic civil rights to those incarcerated for low-level, non-violent felonies.

An Act establishing a right to counsel in certain eviction cases: This legislation creates a right to counsel for indigent individuals and landlords in civil proceedings in which loss of housing is a potential outcome. Our Housing Court is an overwhelming place for poor people facing eviction, and for low-income landlords as well. And unlike other forms of litigation, eviction litigation is fast-paced, and tenants quickly lose rights if they do not assert them promptly. Based on feedback from 
last session, this refiled bill now adds language that covers low-income landlords, so that both landlords and tenants are entitled to legal assistance if they meet the low-income threshold.

An Act promoting radon testing: This bill requires that all schools and childcare centers undergo periodic radon testing and, in the case of dangerous levels, mitigation. Radon is naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer, and in order to ensure the health and safety of children, it is important that we conduct routine testing.
Summer Internship Program

I am pleased to announce that I will once again be welcoming interns to my team at the State House for the summer. Internships are generally available to college students, graduates, and high school students who have completed their sophomore year from the 24th Middlesex District. Interns will spend between 10 and 20 hours in the office each week, with a flexible schedule. The deadline for applications will be Friday, April 7th at 5:00 pm. Interviews will take place over the ensuing weeks and applicants will be notified of their status by Friday, May 5th. Those interested should send both a cover letter and resume to my aide, Kira Arnott at Kira.Arnott@mahouse.gov to apply. Internships at the State House offer many opportunities, including policy research, constituent services, networking, and daily seminars presented by the State House specifically for interns.
Council of State Governments Criminal Justice Report

This week the Council of State Governments released its long-awaited report which makes criminal justice reform recommendations. The report focuses on reducing recidivism in our state. Among other ideas, it recommends increasing opportunities for those incarcerated to earn early release through participating in rehabilitative programs. While the report is helpful and creates momentum and an expectation that reform will take place, it does not address many areas of criminal justice reform. By working with like-minded legislators, I hope to move an agenda beyond what is considered by the report. You can read the CSG report here.
Belmont Criminal Justice Reform Forum

With criminal justice reform pending as a major issue that the Legislature will address, now is a good time to invite you to learn more and get involved. Senator Brownsberger and I will be hosting a Criminal Justice Reform Forum in Belmont on Saturday, March 11th from 1:00-2:30pm. This will be an opportunity to learn more about criminal justice bills filed this session. Come and give us your thoughts, concerns and tell us what is important to you. The discussion will be held at Belmont Town Hall Auditorium, 455 Concord Ave.
Massport's Hearing on Airplane Noise

Last week Massport held an informational hearing regarding the study they are conducting on the noise impacts of their relatively new satellite-based navigation system (RNAV). I know many people in our community are affected detrimentally by airplane noise and I think it is important that Massport is endeavoring to keep the policy developments concerning this system transparent.

In the past, I have visited Logan, walked out on the runways and been up in the control tower to understand exactly how the changes have been implemented and what can be done to address the issue. I have attended many public meetings with constituents and other government personnel on the issue. I am pleased that after we pushed them to conduct this study, it is now underway and there will be results that can be shared. As we move forward, I will monitor the progress of the study so that it be completed and delivered as soon as reasonably practical. Moving policy of the federal government on such a big issue is not a short-term process. It will be a challenge requiring sustained attention. I am hopeful that - over time - we can make progress.


If you were unable to make the meeting, Massport has posted the powerpoint they presented online, and you can read it here.

Envision Cambridge Survey


Cambridge residents, share your thoughts and help Cambridge develop a shared vision around six core values. Take the survey to share what you think should be important in the future of the city here.

Register to Vote


Massachusetts residents can register to vote online. If you are not registered to vote or have family and friends that are registered, be sure to encourage them to register! It is never too early to register for the next election.

Unclaimed Property


As many as 1 in 10 citizens of the Commonwealth, including many of my constituents, are owners of unclaimed property. Unclaimed property includes savings accounts, checking accounts, unpaid wages or commissions, stocks, underlying shares, uncashed dividends, customer deposits or overpayments, certificates of deposit, credit balances, refunds, money orders, paid-up life insurance policies, safe deposit boxes, and uncashed benefit checks, and gift certificates, all of which sat unused and were ultimately taken by the state. If you want to research whether or not you own unclaimed property, you can find out here.

Community Events

CAMBRIDGE CELEBRATES WHITE RIBBON DAY
Wednesday, March 1st, is "White Out Day" in Cambridge. The City is participating in White Ribbon Day; a day meant to encourage people to stand-up and speak-out against gender-based violence. Find out more here.

ARLINGTON ARTS AND CULTURE ACTION PLAN
On Wednesday, March 1st from 6:30pm-9:00pm there will be an event in Arlington Town Hall to refine the guiding vision for the Arlington Arts and Culture Action Plan. Come and share your recommendation to strengthen Arts and Culture in Arlington.

SUSTAINABLE BELMONT
This months Sustainable Belmont meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 1st at
7:00pm at the Belmont Public Library. Visit their website here.

BELMONT DEMOCRATS
The Belmont Democrats will hold their monthly meeting on Thursday, March 2nd at
6:30pm in the Selectmen's Room at Belmont Town Hall.

CIVIL RIGHTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
The Belmont Human Rights Commission is hosting an event on Thursday, March 2nd at 7:00pm, on Civil Rights in Massachusetts. There will be a presentation by two Massachusetts Assitant Attorney Generals, D'Andre Fernandez and Sara Colb. The event will be at the Belmont Public Library and you can learn more here.

ARLINGTON READS TOGETHER MONTH
March is Arlington Reads Together Month, the goal is to understand differences and create community connections. This year's books is Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family. The kick off event will be Saturday, March 4th and registration is suggested.

CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR IN HARVARD SQUARE
On Sunday, March 5th at 12:30pm celebrate the year of the Red Fire Chicken and the 62nd Anniversary of the Hong Kong Restaurant. There will be a procession through Harvard Square and an Open House at Hong Kong. Find out more here.

BELMONT COMMUNITY PATH IMPLEMENTATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE
On Wednesday, March 8th at 6:30pm there will the next meeting in the series about the implementation of the community path. This meeting will focus on the Alignment Costs and Matrix for the Eastern End, which is Belmont Center Railroad Bridge to Brighton Street. The meeting will be held at Town Hall Auditorium.

CAMP INFORMATION NIGHT
Thinking about how to keep your kids busy this summer? On Thursday, March 9th from 6:30pm-8:30pm at Cambridge Rindge and Latin there will be representative from several private and public summer camps with information about the different programs they will offer this summer. Learn more here.

COYOTES IN NORTH CAMBRIDGE
Several people have recently reported hearing and seeing coyotes at night in North Cambridge. The Cambridge Water Department is having a presentation about living with coyotes on Thursday, March 9th at 7:00pm.

CAMBRIDGE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS
On Sunday, March 12th at Cambridge Rindge and Latin at 1:00pm, the Cambridge Democrats will elect its delegates to the Massachusetts Democratic Convention. Find out more here.

TELLING THE REAL STORY: WHAT'S THE PROBLEM WITH 'NATURAL' GAS
Mothers OutFrount and Sustainable Arlington are hosting a public education forum in Arlington on Monday, March 13th from 6:30pm-8:45pm at the Robbins Library in the Community Room. The speaker will be Dr. Nordgaard, a pediatrician who works on environmental health problems and has been speaking throughout the state on the health risks of major gas pipeline infrastructure and fracked gas.

ARLINGTON DEMOCRATS
On Monday, March 13th, the Arlington Democrats will be holding their monthly meeting at 7:15pm in the Lyons Hearing Room on the second floor of Arlington Town Hall. 

SUSTAINABLE ARLINGTON
Arlington's monthly Sustainable Arlington meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 14th 7:30pm at Town Hall Annex. Visit their website here.

CAMBRIDGE SIDEWALK POETRY CONTEST DEADLINE
Would you like to see your poetry on the sidewalk in Cambridge? The deadline to submit a poem is Wednesday, March 15th at 11:59pm. Find out more and learn how to submit here.

BYSTANDER INTERVENTION WORKSHOP
Belmont's Stand Up Campaign, the Belmont Council on Aging and True Story Theater are hosting a workshop called, "What You Can Do When Witnessing Harassment." It will be on Saturday, March 18th from 2:00-4:30pm at the Beech Street Center on 266 Beech St. in Belmont. Registration is strongly recommended here.

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW: METRO-WEST REGIONAL ACTIVISM TRAINING
The Belmont Town Democratic Committee is co-sponsoring this event on Sunday, March 19th at 12:30pm to learn about clear actions we can take to influence change in our community on a local, state and federal level. The event will be held at the Newton South High School, 140 Brandeis Road in Newton. Find out more here.

Other Events


There are a number of other places to find out about events in your community:

Office Hours


I will hold office hours at the following times and places during the month. I encourage any and all to stop by and speak with me or my staff about any concerns or to offer any input you might have. Occasionally, my aide Kira Arnott attends office hours in my place and then relays any issues to me. If you wish to speak to me directly, please email me at Dave.Rogers@mahouse.gov so that I can ensure that I will be attending. If I am not able to make it, we can set up a meeting at a mutually convenient time.

Friday, March 10th from 4:30pm to 5:30pm at Fiorella's Express in North Cambridge (2401 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140).

Tuesday, March 14th from 9:30am to 10:30am at the Beech Street Center in Belmont (266 Beech Street, Belmont, MA 02478).

Tuesday, March 21st from 4:30pm to 5:30pm at Kickstand Cafe in Arlington (594 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02476).

Friday, March 24th from 9:30am to 10:30am at Bruegger's Bagels and Cafe in Belmont (41 Leonard Street, Belmont, MA 02178).

You can also always contact me at any time in my office at 617 722 2013 or at dave.rogers@mahouse.gov.
 

Winter Farmers Market


The Cambridge Winter Farmers Market begins Saturday, December 10th. It will continue Saturdays from 10am-2pm through April, inside the Cambridge Community Center, 5 Callender St. Find out more here.

The Harvard Square Business Association is hosting the first season of the Charles Square Winter Farmers Market this year. The grand opening will be Friday, December 2nd. The market will be open Fridays 12pm-6pm and Sundays 10am-3pm at the lower courtyard of The Charles Hotel in Cambridge. Find out more here.

Local Media


Arlington, Belmont, and Cambridge are vibrant communities that sport multiple local news platforms that are worth perusing to learn more about what is going on in your community.

Arlington:
Belmont Cambridge

Contact Me


I welcome your input and hope to hear from you on issues of mutual concern. Email: rep.dave.rogers@gmail.com. State House office phone: 617-722-2013. Personal cell phone: 617-817-9395. Website: repdaverogers.com.

Social Media


I am glad to have already connected with many of you on Facebook. Due to the limitations on personal Facebook pages, however, I plan to start to do more of my political and community outreach from my political page. Please like my official State Representative page here. You can also follow me on twitter to find out more about my representation of the 24th Middlesex District.
TALK OF THE TOWN
Belmont Vision 21 Implementation Committee Presents, Talk of the Town: Sharing the Passions of Notable Belmont Residents. This event, held on Wednesday, March 21st from 7:00pm-9:00pm, will be hosted by journalist and NPR radio host Jane Clayson Johnson at the Chenery Middle School.The speakers will be Clayton Christensen from Harvard Business School, Alfie Kohn the author and lecturer on education and parenting, Rupal Patel, Northeastern University Communication Sciences and Disorders and entrepreneur and Elissa Ely, physician, author, founder of the WBUR Remembrance Project. Find out more and register for free here.
NORTH CAMBRIDGE HUDDLE
On Wednesday, March 22nd there will be a North Cambridge Huddle at 13 Hollis St on the 2nd Floor at 6:30pm. Huddles are community meetings taking place across the world to strengthen our local networks and nail down a plan to win back the world we want.

BELMONT DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS
The Belmont Democratic Caucus will be electing its delegates to the 2017 Massachusetts Democratic Convention on Sunday, March 26th at 2:00pm. The caucus will be held in the Selectmen's room at Belmont Town Hall.

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