As the holiday season is upon us, I wanted to update you on what I've been up to since officially becoming your State Representative-elect for the 15th Middlesex District. Read on to find information about my meetings with future colleagues, my time in Amherst for New Legislator Bootcamp, my new Legislative Aide, and more!
Community Office Hours
Since my election last month, I have been juggling a full calendar of transition activities. It has been an absolute privilege serving two terms as a Lexington Selectman, and I have been working diligently to wrap up my municipal responsibilities. Looking forward to my role in the General Court, I have had over 30 meetings with my soon-to-be colleagues, from fellow Middlesex County Representatives to Speaker DeLeo to Committee Chairs, and everyone in between. Building relationships is essential to being an effective leader, and I have hit the ground running to make sure that I am acquainted with as many legislators as possible by the time we are seated on January 2nd.
I have also jumpstarted my constituent services thanks to the graciousness of my predecessor, Representative Jay Kaufman, and his counterpart Senator Cindy Friedman. The three of us, along with Representative-elect Rich Haggerty, conducted joint District Office Hours in Lexington and Woburn, speaking with concerned constituents about a variety of topics. Climate change, health care, education, and many other issues that are sure to arise throughout the upcoming session dominated the discussion. Knowing what my constituents are thinking empowers me to do my job to the fullest, and allows me to make the best decisions for our district. Please never hesitate to reach out to let me know how you feel, ask a question, or provide a suggestion! You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consensus Revenue Hearing
Now, both committees will use the information provided to them through testimony at the hearing to agree upon the revenue assumptions to be used in the Governor’s budget recommendation for the coming year—hence “consensus.”
It was important to me to attend this critical hearing, as the numbers that the members of the Ways and Means Committees agree upon will be the critical starting point for the hard decisions we will be making as legislators regarding the allocation of dollars.
New Legislator Training
Last week, I joined other newly elected state representatives and senators at the Academy for New Legislators at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This gathering was an informative retreat, full of opportunities to get to know fellow legislators and learn more about the issues facing our state that are likely to be considered in the upcoming 191st session of the General Court.
We participated in a mock formal House session and received training on Massachusetts' ethics and campaign finance laws. We also heard presentations on the condition of the state's fiscal affairs and discussed best practices for the use of social media. House and Senate leaders were on hand to answer our questions and give us insight into what our new roles will entail.
As this session of the Legislature will include a higher than average number of new representatives and senators, it was important to carve out time together to get to know the ins and outs of the legislative process. While I have extensive experience working with the General Court from the outside advocating for transportation, public health, and municipal priorities, I am excited to be able to participate in the lawmaking process as a legislator, making sure that what we do benefits the residents of the 15th Middlesex District and the entire Commonwealth.
Meet the Team: Legislative Aide
Most recently, Mason served as Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed’s Correspondence Manager, and prior to that was a Legislative Correspondent for Congressman Ted Deutch of Florida.
Having recently become engaged to a Bostonian, Mason relocated to Massachusetts from Washington, D.C. and is excited for the opportunity to continue his legislative work. He will be an incredible asset in helping manage my legislative portfolio and constituent services, and I am excited to have him as a part of my team!