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The top three issues I will prioritize in my first term are public safety, career focused education and increase use and production of renewable technologies within the district.
I WILL NOT march.
Work with local churches, non-profits and national groups to provide services needed for HIV/AIDS education and services to those affected and their families.
My work as a teacher, dean of discipline and community liaison has always been centered around critical thinking and stabilizing individuals and their surroundings. As a state representative, I will support proven methods of community development, such as outdoors markets, sporting events and social gatherings. I will also continue to engage “high impact” individuals and dialogue with them and their families to see what kind of resources can be provided before they commit crimes and/or enter into the justice system.
I will use my position as a state representative to advocate for and apply for increased funding to amplify mental health services within our communities.
In my work in the school, when students who are categorized as LGBT, I followed the Boston Public Schools guidelines to ensure that the issues they were facing were resolved and that they were protected to the best of my ability as a school staff member.
I have mentored LGBT students in my time as an educator, and as a state representative I will ensure that educators receive training on how to spot and address students that may be in need of additional services.
I did not receive formal training, but because of my personal experiences and relationships, I was able to provide this service to my students, but realizing that my path is a unique one, I will avail resources to school and community personnel to methodically address this crisis
I believe that neighborhood outreach, support groups and social actiivites are key to reaching out to elders. As LGBT elders, I am not familiar with why these elders would be “invisible”, but they are just as valuable as my grandmother, so I would do my best to provide them with the same services as if they were family members.
With my legislative power, support bills that work to ensure that transgender community is not discriminated against and as a man, have regular dialogue with leaders and activists in the transgender community so that as I am in my travels, I can speak with authority on the issues that members o the transgender community are facing and denounce them.
As an educator, I have a history of working with the most “at-risk” students, often times because they seek me out. My work has included mentoring and guiding LGBT students without discrimination, but with love and compassion.
1. Continuing to secure resources and funding for my district, like the $500,000 I was able to secure for the planting of trees in Mattapan Square and along Blue Hill Ave, and the $250,000 I was able to secure with Senator Dorcena Forry for the renovation of Ventura Park in Dorchester
2. Continuing to push for more mental healthcare access across my district, but particularly in Mattapan. I was very proud to bring mental healthcare to Mattapan for the first time ever by funding the new Mattapan Integrative Care Partnership. We need to keep pushing.
3. I was also proud to vote for the most comprehensive change to our gun laws in over 16 years just this week. Gun violence is far too common in many parts of my district, and I will continue to use my vote and my voice to make our community safer.
I WILL NOT march.
I look forward to working with my good friend and former colleague Carl Sciortino and the AIDS Action Committee of MA, as well as my colleagues in the Joint Committee on Public Health to find creative and practical ways to increase access to HIV/AIDS treatments for all of our residents suffering with this debilitating illness.
I was proud to fight for and pass some of the most comprehensive gun law reforms in almost two decades this past legislative session. We must continue to try and keep guns off of our streets, and help people who are predisposed to criminal activity have access to better pathways for educational and career opportunities.
The domestic violence bill we passed earlier this year will be key in diminishing the occurrence of domestic violence within the LGBTQ community be mandating tougher sentencing for abusers, and providing programs that both help the victim heal and reform the perpetrator.
The anti-bullying bill we passed earlier this year contained many components that will mandate better reporting requirements in schools where LGBT students are being bullied or harassed. It also mandates more efficient programming in our schools to prevent bullying or better deal with the aftermath for those being bulled. I was also proud to work with Senator Linda Dorcena Forry to bring mental health services to Mattapan for the first time ever. The Mattapan Integrative Care Partnership works particularly with youth who have experience violence-related trauma, but it will undoubtedly treat students at the Mattahunt School who are experiencing mental health issues due to harassment for their sexual preference. More generally, I believe that we must reduce the stigma related to mental health care services in certain communities, and start to view it as an essential part of overall clinical care. By increasing access to quality mental health services, we can provide better help for those in the LGBT community struggling with undue harassment.
I will sit with management of Mass Senior Home Care and ETHOS, two of the largest elderly service providers in my district, to make sure their outreach efforts are inclusive of the LGBTQ community. Additionally, I will work closely with organizations such as MassEquality, who I am proud to say has endorsed my campaign, to make sure all elderly service providers operating in the Commonwealth are outreaching to and planning to serve the older LGBTQ population in MA.
The anti-bullying legislation I was proud to support earlier this year will do much to make sure the transgender community is treated with equal dignity and respect, particularly in our schools where bullying is far too prevalent. I also believe we must continue to support the new guidelines extending protected class status to transgender students in the areas of employment, housing, credit, hate crimes, and public education.
I have always been a supporter of making sure people can love whoever they want without being prejudiced against in school, in the workplace, or at home. I am a proud DotOUT member, and even helped build floats with my wife before the DotOUT parade last year! I will continue to use my voice and my vote to ensure that those in the LGBTQ community can count on state government to be a strong partner in protecting their rights.