State Representative Dave Rogers

NOVEMBER UPDATES

As we move into November I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving surrounded by friends and family.

As I'm sure you all know next week is Election Day, I hope everyone gets a chance to go out and vote in this very important election. Massachusetts now has early voting and I encourage you to participate if you think you may not be able to vote on Election Day. Find out where you can vote early here:

Arlington: http://www.arlingtonma.gov/town-governance/elections-voting

Belmont: http://www.belmont-ma.gov/town-clerk/pages/elections-early-voting-absentee-voting

Cambridge: https://www.cambridgema.gov/election/earlyvoting

While I am unopposed, I still think it is only right, and only polite, that I respectfully ask for your vote on Election Day. I greatly enjoy serving as your State Representative, am proud of the outstanding work your Legislature has done over the previous two years, and look forward to making continued progress on our many shared goals.


Ballot Question #4

In addition to voting for President and other offices, you are being called upon to directly make the law. On the ballot next week, you will also be asked to decide the outcomes of incredibly important ballot questions that could be enacted in our state. In my last two newsletters, I explained the process by which a question is put on the ballot as well as my thoughts and how I will be voting on Questions One and Two, which you can read here and how I will be voting on Question Three which you can read here.
I enjoyed the opportunity to appear on Greater Boston with Jim Braude for a debate to share my thoughts on why passing Question Four is so important.
In addition to the thoughts I outline on my appearance on Greater Boston, let me share my thoughts on Question 4,The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, in a little more detail. As you saw, I am in strong support of Question Four. In fact, I filed the initial legislation on which this ballot question is based. As we know, the war on marijuana has failed, with terrible and substantial spillover costs to society. Our approach over the last 50 years has demonstrated a complete inability to stop the production, distribution, and use of marijuana, and so the clear solution is to regulate and tax its use. Careful regulation and taxation will raise revenue, reduce the burden placed on the Department of Correction and our county jails, and gradually eliminate a violent criminal market.

Prohibition does not work; decades of evidence prove beyond any doubt that people in Massachusetts and nationwide will use marijuana regardless of its legality. Unless it is taxed and regulated, every dollar spent on marijuana will pass into criminal networks instead of a legitimate business. Hundreds of millions of dollars will continue to purchase an unregulated substance and flow untaxed into the pockets of organized criminals. The proposed tax rate of 12% in the Massachusetts ballot initiative is less than half of the 28% rate set in Colorado, ensuring that it will be cost effective for the consumer to buy from a legitimate store instead of continuing to purchase marijuana from illegal sources.

One of the primary concerns with marijuana legalization is the idea that marijuana is a gateway drug. Evidence tends to disprove this theory when it comes to marijuana. In fact, due to the opioid overdose epidemic, we have learned that Oxycodone and other legally prescribed painkillers are the real gateway drugs. Research has shown that the “gateway effect” is primarily attributable to individuals’ general tendency towards substance abuse and the consequences of purchasing marijuana in the same places and from the same people where hard drugs are sold. For example, when you go to the liquor store they are not also trying to sell you cocaine or heroin and the same should be true of people who sell marijuana.

A second concern expressed by opponents is the effect legalization will have on young people. A recent study of high school student health published by Healthy Kids Colorado and funded by Colorado’s state government shows that high school marijuana "use in the past 30 days" in Colorado declined from 22.0% in 2011 to 21.2% in 2015, showing usage as essentially the same after Colorado legalized marijuana. When you do something for half a century, and it fails, it is time to try something else. That is why I am a strong supporter of the ballot question and urge you to join me in voting YES on Question Four.
Endorsement from the Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund

I am proud to receive the endorsement of the Environmental League of Massachusetts and the recognition of my leadership on environmental issues that the endorsement signifies. And it heartens me, as it should all of us who care deeply about combatting climate change while creating high-paying green energy jobs, that we made significant progress on the transition to clean energy in this legislative session. But more remains to be done, across multiple fronts, and I look forward to partnering with you, my constituents, and organizations such as ELM in the days ahead as together we fight for some of the most important issues of our time.
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Belmont to Hold Feasibility Study Public Meetings on the Community Path

Belmont's Community Path consultant will be holding a Feasibility Study Public Meeting to discuss the alternatives to the Community Path. As many of you know already, I have strongly supported building a Community Path and secured state funds to help fund the feasibility study. Meetings will begin at 7:00pm with materials available at 6:30pm. The two November meetings will be on Wednesday, November 2, at the Art Gallery, Homer Municipal Building, 19 Moore Street and on Wednesday, November 9, at the Belmont High School Auditorium, 221 Concord Avenue. For accommodation or language assistance, please contact the Town's Senior Planner, Jeffrey Wheeler at 617-993-2666 or jwheeler@belmont-ma.gov.

Belmont Light Energy Efficiency Grant Program


Belmont Light operates an energy efficiency grant program that many Belmont residents have taken advantage of to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. You can find out more on the town website.

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! While the deadline has passed, it's 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.

Legislation


I have been using this newsletter as an opportunity to highlight one or more of the bills I have filed each month. I have now run through each of the 26 bills I filed for the 2015/2016 legislative session. As always, you can review all of the bills that I have filed on my website

Community Events

SUSTAINABLE BELMONT
The regular meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 2 from 7:00pm-8:30pm at the Belmont Public Library.

HARVARD YARD ARCHAEOLOGY PROJECT RESULTS DAY
Rain or shine on Thursday, November 3rd from 1:30pm to 3:30pm outside Matthews Hall in Harvard Yard the findings of the archaeology project into Harvard Yards past will be unvailed. Find out more from the Peabody Museum here.

BELMONT DEMOCRATS
The Belmont Democratic Town Committee will be meeting at 7pm on Thursday, November 3rd. Social time begins st 6:30pm in the Selectmen's hearing room at Belmont Town Hall.

ARLINGTON BOOK FESTIVAL
Saturday, November 5th at 10:00am, the Robbins Library will kick off its Book Festival. Find out more here.

20th ANNUAL FAMILY LITERACY FUN DAY
Cambridge will be hosting its Annual Family Literacy Fun Day at Cambridge City Hall from 10:30am - 2:30pm Saturday, November 5th.

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS ENDS
Daylight savings ends Sunday, November 6th, remember to set back your clock!

2nd ANNUAL VETERANS' BREAKFAST AT THE BEECH STREET CENTER
Join me at the Beech Street Center for breakfast at 9:00am on Wednesday, November 9th. Meet Belmont Veterans' Service Officer Bob Upton and the Council on Aging staff. Space is limited to 75 so call (617)993-2970 to reserve your spot.
NEW ENGLAND PREMIERE OF GUATEMALAN FILM IXCANUL
This movie is Guatemala's first-ever submission to the Academy Awards, the first film made in the Kaqchikel Mayan language and winner of the Berlin Film Festival's Silver Bear award. Directed by Jayro Bustamante, it will be shown at 7:30pm on Thursday, November 10th at the Studio Cinema in Belmont, 376 Trapelo Road. Find out more info here.

ARLINGTON DEMOCRATS
The Arlington Democrats will host their regular meeting on Monday, November 14th at 7:15pm in the Main Room in the Arlington Senior Center.

SUSTAINABLE ARLINGTON
Sustainable Arlington will be holding its monthly meeting Tuesday, November 15th at the Town Hall Annex.

THANKSGIVING SPECIAL PUBLIC SKATE
Arlington Rink and Recreation Department is holding a Special Thanksgiving Public Skate with Music and Raffles. Friday, November 25th from 1:00pm - 3:00pm at the Ed Burns Arena. Find out more here.

READING OF LINCOLN'S WHITE HOUSE WITH AUTHOR JIM CONROY
On Monday, November 28th at 7pm at the Harvard Bookstore on Massachusetts Avenue (just off Harvard Square), I hope you’ll join me as I attend a reading for Lincoln's White House: The People's House in Wartime, an interesting new book about daily life in the Lincoln White House. Although obviously much has been written about Lincoln, comparatively little has been written about the day in and day out atmosphere in his White House. I recently befriended the author, Jim Conroy, and think he will make a lively presentation. This book brings the house to life, through the keen eyes and ears of its residents, servants, guards, aides and the constant stream of generals, celebrities, and ordinary citizens who passed through its open doors. It also unveils its military, political, and domestic operations, and explores Lincoln’s use of the Executive Mansion as a rallying point for the war and as an engine for social change.

Other Events


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

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.

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

Tuesday, November 15th from 9:30am to 10:30am at the Beech Street Center in Belmont (266 Beech Street, Belmont, MA 02478).

Friday, November 18th from 9:30am to 10:30am at Bruegger's Bagels and Cafe in Belmont (41 Leonard Street, Belmont, MA 02178)

Tuesday, November 22nd from 4:30pm to 5:30pm at Kickstand Cafe in Arlington (594 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02476)

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

Farmers Market Season


Cambridge has a farmers market every day of the week, many open through November: check out the times and locations 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.
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