Rep. Gordon’s Office Now Accepting Summer 2019 Intern Applications

Representative Ken Gordon is accepting applications for college level internships in his office during Summer 2019. Internships at the State House are unpaid. Any college student is welcome to apply. Applicants with a connection to the Rep. Gordon’s district, (Bedford, Burlington, or Wilmington) will be given preference.

While each internship is unique and largely reflects the interests of the intern, the following provides a broad outline of the program:

  • Summer internships run from mid-June to the first week of August
    • Interns will work from the State House 2-3 days per week
  • Summer interns have the opportunity to attend daily briefings given by Massachusetts political, non-profit, and business leaders and network with other student interns and staff
  • Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
    • Assisting staff in legislative matters:
      • Policy research
      • Drafting letters of support for bills the Rep. has co-sponsored
      • Bill summaries
      • Attending legislative briefings and hearings
    • Executing a long-term research project:
      • Interns will select a policy area of interest to research. The project summarizes a problem, explores possible policy solutions (including other states’ solutions or international solutions) and proposes a solution for Massachusetts. Meaningful final projects are between 6-10 written pages or an equivalent presentation. Past examples include work on driverless cars, water permitting, transportation within the Rep’s district, health programs in prisons, and the opioid crisis.
      • Interns will meet with Representative Gordon on a weekly basis to discuss their project

Interested applicants should submit the following to Cody.Case@mahouse.gov by April 30th:

  • A resume
  • A cover letter detailing interest in an internship at the State House
  • A 2 – 4 page writing sample

If you have any questions, please call 617-722-2575 or send an email to Cody.Case@mahouse.gov

Rep. Gordon Files Pair of Bills to Facilitate Unemployment Benefits for Furloughed Federal Workers

Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) has filed two bills that will directly help Massachusetts federal workers who have been furloughed in the current federal shutdown.

These bills will not only define the workers as specifically eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, but they will eliminate the one-week waiting period usually required of unemployed workers and remove the requirement that they repay benefits if they are provided full back pay upon their return to work.

“Our federal workers are being used as bargaining chips by an executive who can’t get Congress to give him his way,” said Rep. Gordon.  “We will and we must protect our Massachusetts workers during this crisis.”

The bills would amend UI requirements for the 45,000 federal workers who live in Massachusetts and whose jobs have been suspended during the current partial shutdown. They do not affect workers forced to report to their jobs without pay unless they resign due to their lack of an income.  They do not amend UI laws in general.

“The need to eliminate the one-week waiting period should be obvious,” said Gordon.  “It usually takes between three and five weeks for a recipient to begin receiving benefits even without the artificial waiting period. These folks have been out of work long enough.”

Gordon recognizes that a portion of the bill absolving furloughed workers from the obligation to repay UI benefits if they are restored with full back pay is politically more complicated. “Some may say that these workers could eventually receive more than they would have earned if they had not been furloughed,” said Gordon. “That’s true.  But there is a cost to being without an income. Many people will be forced to borrow money at high interest rates.  Others will withdraw from savings or investment accounts and lose interest.  The burden will fall on either these workers or on a government that used them as collateral damage in a political dispute. I choose to protect the workers.”

UI benefits for these workers are paid by the federal government, not by the Massachusetts system.  They usually amount to between 30 and 50 percent of the worker’s salary, with a cap.

Gordon said he was motivated not only by the interruption of the workers’ access to income but the unfairness of their situation. “There are times when government leaders can’t get their way. I never would have thought we’d see anyone in government, let alone a president of the United States, use our workers as pawns – as hostages — simply to put political pressure on his opponent.

“The crisis in which we find ourselves has little to do with a wall; it has everything to do with whether we will allow our president to victimize our workers,”  said Gordon. “This is not about popularity, it is not about campaign slogans. It is about people’s lives.  It is flat out wrong.”

Gordon asks Massachusetts residents to contact their state legislators in the next two weeks, to ask they support H.D. 1553, addressing the one-week waiting period and the requirement to return the UI benefit upon receipt of back pay.

Rep. Gordon, Senator Friedman strongly support action on climate change solutions

Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) and Representative Ken Gordon (D-Burlington) recently joined over 80 of their legislative colleagues in uniting to support bold climate solutions in 2019, a release from their two office states. The Burlington officials signed onto a statement circulated by Senator Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton) and Representative Ruth B. Balser (D-Newton) – A New Year’s Resolution: Committing to the Enactment and Implementation of Bold Climate Solutions in 2019 – which signals considerable commitment to climate action in the 2019-2020 legislative session.

Friedman said that the threats of climate change are something that must be dealt with immediately to lessen the impact on future generations.

“We must take real action to address the threat of climate change with a sense of urgency so that we can build a sustainable future for generations to come,” said Senator Friedman. “The federal government may fail to address, or even acknowledge, this threat to humanity, but Massachusetts will not.”

Gordon also said failing to address the issue of changes in the climate now could lead to devastating impacts in the future.

“If we do not stand up for our environment today, our hopes for a sustainable tomorrow will dim,” said Rep. Gordon.  “We cannot hand our children a crisis, and expect them to deal with it. In Massachusetts, we will act and we will do it now.”

http://bcattv.org/bnews/top-stories/burlington-state-sen-and-state-rep-join-in-action-to-address-climate-change/


Final Funding Approved for Lowell to Burlington Restaurant Worker Shuttle

(BOSTON) – BOSTON – Burlington area businesses have a reason to celebrate the new year, as the Middlesex 3 Coalition, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) and Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) have secured funding necessary to establish a shuttle service that will allow local restaurants to fill hundreds of job openings with otherwise unemployed workers from Lowell.

The program, which has been a major priority for the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce, was awarded $290,000 over three years by the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (“MPO”).  Previously this fiscal year, the Middlesex 3 Coalition was awarded $125,000 by the Commonwealth to fund a regional transportation coordinator, bringing the total state support to $415,000 over a three-year period.

“We have been advocating for this program for several years now, and we are ecstatic that it is coming together,” said BACC President Rick Parker.  “It began at a meeting when dozens of our restaurants came to me and Rep. Gordon, and told us that if we could access the Lowell labor market, they could find applications for a significant number of job openings that are going unfilled.  Rep. Gordon and I never gave up on this concept, and it’s great to see it come through.”

The program will be funded largely by public investments in the first year, and then will transition to private support over three years. By the fourth year of the program, the transportation service will be funded entirely by the area businesses.  It will begin as a link between Lowell and Burlington, but as it grows, plans are for it to extend to communities such as Bedford and Billerica, as well as provide access to seniors and others members of the community.

“This is the epitome of a team effort,” said Rep. Gordon. “We began by laying out a plan.  Rick Parker never stopped working.  Stephanie Cronin, Executive Director of the Middlesex 3 Coalition, was instrumental in the details. Rep. David Nangle (D-Lowell) offered his help and guidance.  And when Sen. Friedman took office, she stepped right in and continued the hard work that Sen. Ken Donnelly began.”

“In 2014, the legislature appropriated the money for our plan, and then we turned to the Administration.  There are many worthy causes competing for economic development support, but Jay Ash, the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, came to Burlington several times where he listened to our challenges.  We brought in the Department of Transportation, and from there the Governor’s office approved our plan.”

The program will operate through the Middlesex 3 Transportation Management Association (TMA). Those who work on weekends or late at night will be picked up in Lowell and taken express to Burlington so that they can get to their employer on time. Riders will have transportation back home again, even in those instances where a sick child or other emergency may require them to return home mid-shift.

“Burlington has such a vibrant local economy and a wide variety of successful businesses” said Sen. Friedman.  “This program will be another opportunity for those businesses to access the workforce they need to succeed, ultimately strengthening our local and regional economies. Moreover, it will alleviate the traffic that congests our roads by transporting hundreds of workers into town, without requiring each of them to drive their own cars.”

Katherine Holahan, Vice-President at the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, demonstrated her group’s support of the program in a letter to the Boston MPO.  “We believe this is an opportunity for government and business to work together to connect workers and employers across the Commonwealth to facilitate stronger economic development.”

Regional transportation has been a focus of the Middlesex 3 Coalition from its inception, and its TMA was the choice of the business community to operate the system. “We worked hard with state and municipal government to identify the best ways to connect the Lowell workers with these opportunities,” said Middlesex 3 Executive Director Stephanie Cronin. “It was not easy, but the businesses stepped up, the Town of Burlington contributed, and when the state gave us final approval, we carried the program to the finish.  We will all benefit from this opportunity.”

Questions? Contact: Kenneth.Gordon@mahouse.gov

Rep. Gordon organizes the return of Bingo at the Burlington Council on Aging

Representative Gordon organized volunteers from the Burlington Board of Selectmen, Chamber of Commerce, District Attorney’s office, and local media members to help bring Bingo back to the Burlington Council on Aging. The Council on Aging’s weekly bingo game has become a favorite among seniors in town. However, the game was put on hold during renovations at the Murray-Kelly room. Rep. Gordon organized volunteers and called numbers to kickoff Bingo’s return after the new year.

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