Rep Gordon Visits Striking Workers at Bedford Stop and Shop

The Bedford Citizen

State Representative Ken Gordon made an impromptu visit to striking workers at the Bedford Stop and Shop on Saturday. He delivered munchkins, and spent time listening to the workers’ concerns before posting the following remarks on his Twitter feed:

With workers from Stop and Shop in Bedford. I heard from those who were asked to forego health care for their families, vacation time and other benefits, all while their employer offers stock buybacks. This is not right.

It’s the employees who draw us to the store — people like Dave in the butcher section who has been helpful to us since my wife moved to town. Those in produce who can explain the difference between coriander and parsley.

If you ignore the value of your people, you lose.

 

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Rep. Gordon, state legislators honor Tuscan Kitchen

Wicked Local

Rep. Ken Gordon, D-Bedford, and his house colleagues from the Merrimack Valley and the Boston Seaport gathered at Tuscan Kitchen to honor the restaurant and its owner, Joe Faro.

Last Thanksgiving, Faro and the Tuscan Kitchen staff joined with Columbia Gas Company to donate 20,000 turkey dinners to residents of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover who were without access to cooking gas after the Sept. 13, 2018 gas explosions.

The restaurant worked days roasting turkeys, preparing the fixings and packing the meals for pickup or at the locations where meals were served.

“The contribution that Tuscan Kitchen has made to our community is inspiring and breathtaking. When families in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover lost their ability to cook for their families on Thanksgiving, the call went out and Tuscan Kitchen stepped up” said Gordon.

Reps. Frank Moran, D-Lawrence; Christina Minicucci, D-North Andover; Tram Nguyen, D-Andover; and David Biele, D-Boston, joined Gordon at the Tuscan Kitchen Seaport location to present a resolution from the House of Representatives honoring the restaurant’s contributions. They also gifted a Commonwealth of Massachusetts flag to Tuscan Kitchen.

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Rep. Gordon, area residents gather at Islamic Center of Burlington in wake of Christchurch shooting

A week after deadly attacks on Muslim worshipers in Christchurch, New Zealand, those who came together March 22 to hold an interfaith service and vigil, to show support, caring and solidarity.

“We must stand up, and speak out against it, so that it is not normalized.”  Rep. Gordon said. “You are all part of this community, and we are all each other’s brothers and sisters.”

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Rep. Gordon Named Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies

Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) and the Massachusetts House of Representatives have tabbed Gordon (D-Bedford) as its new Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.

Gordon will also join the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government and the House Committee on Personnel and Administration.

“I am thrilled with these new assignments, especially the Vice-Chairmanship,” said Rep. Gordon in a statement.  “I am looking forward to ways to expand our support of the life sciences, high tech, and manufacturing businesses that lead our economy in the Bedford, Burlington and Wilmington corridor, as well as the businesses that are necessary for our economy to thrive.”

Burlington town officials have recently started to focus on attracting more life science companies to town. In January the Planning Department held a forum on life sciences and how to position the town to be a leader in the field.

State House leadership lauded Gordon’s prior work and said he will be a good fit on the committees.

“Vice Chair Gordon is thoughtful and highly-skilled legislator with a background as an attorney, and we are fortunate that he will bring his experience to issues relating to the economic development of our Commonwealth,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “I’m looking forward to a productive legislative session with the House team of dedicated and hard-working members.”

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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.”

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