Gordon, Friedman Work to Dedicate Burlington Bridge in Honor of Fallen Hero LCpl Gregory MacDonald

Representative Ken Gordon joined his colleagues in the House to pass a bill that would rename a bridge on Cambridge Street at I-95 in Burlington the Lance Corporal Gregory E. MacDonald Memorial Bridge, a release from his office states. Marine LCpl Gregory MacDonald of Burlington gave his life serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The bill is now pending before the Senate where Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) is working to get it passed.

“It is critically important that we never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our safety,” Rep. Gordon said. “Dedicating this bridge in honor of Greg is one small thing we can do to honor his service to our country. It shows that Burlington will never forget his sacrifice.”

Read Full Article

Rep. Gordon Delivers Remarks at Interfaith Solidarity Service in Wake of Pittsburgh Shooting

View BCAT’s Coverage Here

Read Rep. Gordon’s Remarks:

Rabbi Abramson, members of the interfaith clergy, and all of you gathered here; thank
you for allowing me to share a few thoughts with you tonight. Shabbat Shalom.
First, I join the chorus of voices here tonight, across Massachusetts and the nation who
have offered their thoughts and prayers to the families of the 11 victims of the mass
shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and especially to Sally and her son
Bill Rabinowitz, both of Bedford, whose son and brother Jerry Rabinowitz was lost that
day.

We offer our thoughts and prayers as well to the two African-American victims who
were shot at a supermarket outside Louisville, Kentucky. Their killer first attempted to
bring his gun into a predominantly black church but was locked out because services
ended 90 minutes earlier.

Thoughts and prayers.

I’ve offered them many times, and we’ve gathered for vigils and showings of solidarity
often. Too often. Offering thoughts and prayers is necessary, brings us together, and
makes us feel as if we’ve done something. They are useful and should not cease. But
what have they accomplished?

Just after I took office, we offered thoughts and prayers to the 27 children who were
gunned down at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. That
didn’t stop another gunman from murdering 17 students at the Marjory Stoneman
Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida six years later.

Three years ago we offered our thoughts and prayers to the victims of a mass shooting
at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, where nine people
were gunned down while praying — murdered for the color of their skin. That didn’t
help the 11 worshipers of the Tree of Life Congregation — murdered because they were
Jews.

Friends, our thoughts and prayers are simply not enough.

John F. Kennedy knew they weren’t enough when he delivered his inauguration
address. He said, “with a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final
judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His
help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”
Or, as Ben Franklin said, “God helps those who help themselves.”

On Tuesday you will have a chance to do more than offer your thoughts and prayers:
you will be able to help yourselves, because you will be able to VOTE.
It is said that the thought is father to the deed. But a thought without action is an
orphan. And there are far too many orphans these days.

Many of you have joined Rabbi Abramson and some of the other members of the
Interfaith Counsel on Jericho Walks and I commend you. These protests are
worthwhile expressions. But now is the time for action. Now is the time for voting.
Because protesting without voting is like whistling in the wind.

Many of us were offended that the Squirrel Hill shooter posted on social media about
his desire to shoot Jews, because he equated Jews with HIAS, a group he believes is
sympathetic to asylum seekers he concludes are objectionable because of how they
are portrayed by government leaders.

Being offended and not voting is not worth the paper that an unused ballot is printed
on.

Please honor the memory of Jerry Rabinowitz. When he heard the shots ring out at his
synagogue, he was in a side room, safe from the bullets’ path. He left that safety and
rushed toward the bullets, because, as a physician, he thought someone might need
his help.

You don’t have to run toward the bullets as Jerry did, but you can walk toward the
ballots on his behalf, and on behalf of all those silenced by senseless hate and violence.
Most of all, you can walk the walk for yourself, for your sense of dignity and for your
sense of our shared humanity. Because then you will know that “with a good
conscience your only sure reward, with history the final judge of your deeds, you went
forward to lead the land you love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that
here on earth you truly made God’s work your own.”

If you have voted early, I applaud you. If you have not voted yet, it’s up to you. Please,
help. Please, vote.

 

Rep. Gordon Attends Governor’s School Safety Roundtable in Burlington

Wicked Local 

Gov. Charlie Baker was joined by more than a dozen legislatures, superintendents and police chiefs on Monday, Aug. 20 for a roundtable discussing his supplemental spending plan to aid public school security.

“I believe that there are additional opportunities that we should be considering especially when it comes to what takes place on the ground at the schools,” Baker said. “That has led to a $72 million proposal that is currently in front of the legislature that contains many of the proposals that have been brought in front of our staff.”

Baker’s plan includes $40 million in aid to school districts in hiring school counselors, social workers and mental health workers; as well as $20 million in matching grants for security and communication upgrades in public schools and universities.

Rep. Ken Gordon, D-Bedford, said the aid is needed in schools across the state, and that further development in school safety is something that is not only on the minds of legislatures and parents, but students as well.

“It addresses some very important issues in our schools. I had a young boy scout come to me a few weeks ago and he was working on a merit badge for community service, and I said ‘why don’t we work on a project together; what would be meaningful to you?,” Gordon said. “He said ‘in the schools, I feel safe if there is a fire, I know what to do. If we ever had a shooter, I wouldn’t know what to do.’ So that worries me, because our kids are thinking about this stuff.”

Read Full Article

Rep. Gordon Joins Legislature to address Campus Sexual Misconduct, Civics Education, and Consumer Protections as Formal Session Concludes

Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) joined his colleagues in the Legislature to numerous pieces of legislation last week including a bill requiring civics education curriculum in all Massachusetts public schools, a bill that would protect Massachusetts consumers, and a bill that would require higher education institutions to conduct climate surveys relative to sexual misconduct every two years.

With the goal of fostering safe and inclusive campus environments, the surveys – known as campus climate surveys – will assist institutions with gathering sexual misconduct data, including the number of incidents of misconduct as well as provide information about student awareness of campus policies and procedures, and help campuses identify at-risk groups.

“Campus climate surveys are crucial to ensuring that Massachusetts college campuses are places where students feel safe. I applaud the efforts of students across the Commonwealth including the students at Middlesex Community College who made their voices heard in advocating for this legislation” said Rep. Ken Gordon.

Read Full Article

Burlington Resident and Rep. Gordon Work to Help Veterans After They Come Home

Wicked Local Burlington

From the outside, most would assume a veterans hardest battle would be fought abroad during war, but for many veterans, it is not.

It is estimated on average 22 veterans commit suicide a day, due to the aftereffects of war and isolation. Burlington’s Robert “Bobby” Colliton knows this too well.

The 18-year veteran served in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, but in coming home he found himself isolated from society, often turning to alcohol to help him cope. That is when Colliton picked up hockey, a longtime passion of his. After finding the team camaraderie made it easier for him to deal with his post traumatic stress disorder, he thought it could help others like him. He and another veteran, Charlie Bobbish, created a free veterans hockey league based in New England called Skate for the 22.

“I have several friends who have committed or attempted to commit suicide since coming back from Afghanistan or Iraq [and a] few others who have overdosed on drugs,” said Colliton. “I myself had experienced post-traumatic stress and not really knowing what to do, so hockey helped me. And I figured if it helped me maybe it could help a group of other people.”

Colliton believes hockey is the perfect sport to help veterans because of the spirit and teamwork of the sport is similar to that of the military. Many veterans struggle with the lack of structure the military provided them once they discharge, so having an outlet can provide stability and a sense of community, Colliton said.

“It transcends hockey and goes back to that core comradeship that friendship that you had in the military that you can’t find sometimes in life outside of this environment,” said Colliton.

State Rep. Ken Gordon, D-Bedford said he believes Massachusetts is the perfect place for Colliton and Bobbish’s idea to thrive.

“This is why Massachusetts is such a great place and I’m not saying this only happens in Massachusetts, but we really care,” Gordon said.

Skate for the 22 currently has 300 members throughout New England. Being a former hockey player is not a prerequisite to join the organization as they have learn-to-skate programs and volunteer opportunities for those who do not wish to skate.

Now having teams set up throughout New England, Skate for the 22 is hoping to expand nationally, not only to help veterans, but spread awareness that 22 veterans take their lives a day – something Colliton believes most people are not aware of.

“Our goal is to take this as far and as wide as we basically can,” he said.

In the meantime, Skate for the 22 holds events and practices for veterans starting in August and ending in May. They hope by having programs such as their own they will be able to save lives and start friendships within the veteran community.

“I see positive impacts on more than 300 people’s lives. I no doubt that Skate for the 22 has saved people’s lives and changed people,” said Colliton

Read Full Article Here

Archaic Laws Governing Women’s Reproductive Rights Repealed by Rep. Gordon, Legislature

Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) recently joined his colleagues in the Legislature to pass legislation repealing unconstitutional laws that impose criminal penalties for such health and family care treatment as abortion and contraception in Massachusetts. With an uncertain future for federal action on landmark reproductive rights, Massachusetts took decisive action to protect the rights for women across the Commonwealth. The bill was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker on Friday, July 27, 2018

“I was proud to join my colleagues in standing up for the rights of women throughout the Commonwealth as the Legislature passed this bill to protect a woman’s access to reproductive healthcare. That access is put in jeopardy when we leave archaic laws on the books” said Rep. Gordon

Read Full Article

Rep. Gordon, Legislature Send Final FY19 Budget to Governor Baker

The Bedford Citizen

Senator Michael Barrett (D-Lexington) and Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) joined their colleagues in the Legislature to send a final version of the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget to the Governor on Wednesday following a conference committee report submitted on Wednesday morning. In addition to funding important programs and services throughout the Commonwealth, the House FY19 budget included important local aid and Chapter 70 Education funding increases for the Town of Bedford, as well as $517,000 for the education of the children of military families who live at Hanscom Air Force Base.

Bedford received $4,832,310, a $207,668 increase over FY18.  Shawsheen Valley Technical High School, which educates Bedford students, received $6,431,361, a $40,110 increase over FY18.  In addition, Bedford received $1,186,907, a $40,137 increase over FY18.

“I’m delighted that the Commonwealth has maintained its commitment to Bedford’s residents,” said Gordon.  “This budget shows a continued commitment to our state’s priorities and to our cities and towns.”

For the fifth consecutive year, the legislature will contribute to the expenses of the education of students who attend Bedford High School and live at Hanscom.  The expenses for these students are not otherwise covered by town taxes.  The budget item was a priority for Sen. Barrett, who made sure the commitment was reflected in the Senate budget, and to Rep. Gordon, who filed a successful amendment to the House budget to add the funding.  The line item also appears in the governor’s budget, giving the legislators a reason for confidence that it will remain in the FY19 budget.

“In properly reimbursing Bedford for educating the children who live on base,” Senator Barrett said, “the Legislature is acknowledging and strengthening the connection between local public education and military families.  We should do no less”.

“I am thrilled that funds were included in the FY19 budget to support so that Bedford can continue to provide a fantastic education to our military students, without the town residents bearing the full financial impact,” said Rep. Gordon.

Rep. Gordon Joins House Colleagues in Support of Addiction Resources Act

BNEWS

Earlier this week, State Representative Ken Gordon joined his colleagues in favor of passing a bill to engage the opioid epidemic.

The House approved the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, addressing the issue of opioid addiction in the state of Massachusetts. The CARE Act includes a number of provisions to improve the treatment of opioid addiction and prevent drug abuse. The bill includes prescription reforms to help officials better supervise opioid use, and increases access to anti-opioid overdose drugs such as Naloxone or Narcan.

“This bill with help our residents battling opioid addiction, and keep these dangerous drugs out of the reach of our families,” Rep. Gordon said.

Read the Full Article Here

 

Rep. Gordon Votes in Favor of Legislation to Create Automatic Voter Registration in Massachusetts

The Bedford Citizen

Representative Ken Gordon joined his colleagues in the House to pass legislation creating an efficient and streamlined automatic voter registration (AVR) system, while also protecting the privacy of individuals.

This legislation directs the Secretary of State to work with the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and MassHealth to automatically enroll eligible individuals to the Commonwealth’s voter rolls. The Secretary of State will adopt regulations governing the AVR system, including provisions requiring electronic transmission, data security protocols, and integration with online portals.

“This legislation is especially important now given the recent Supreme Judicial Court ruling that certain restrictions on access to the ballot are constitutional. It is important that we remove barriers and allow any person qualified to vote access to the ballot. Above all, we live in a democracy and the right to vote is critical” said Rep. Ken Gordon.

Read Full Article