Targeted by hate in Orlando

“The attack in Orlando was on gay people.  The attack was on Latinos.   The attack was on immigrants.  The attack was on Americans.  The attack was on all of us as human beings.  How to repel the attack?  In the U.S.,  the pace of change is painfully slow in the short run — but reaches farther than we ever dreamed in the long run.  That’s OK.  We’ll take it.  For the hard work of making our country a better place, each of us has signed up for the long run.”

— State Sen. Mike Barrett, June 15, 2016, vigil in Lexington, MA after the Orlando massacre.

Chelmsford rallies to fight opioid addiction

Under a hard rain, 360 runners hit the pavement for a Mother’s Day 5K for opioid addiction awareness.  Proceeds go to Healthy Chelmsford, a local partnership.  Here, with Run founders Nancy and Don Patch and Chelmsford Chief of Police James Spinney.  Learn more about their efforts.

Nancy's Run

Marking the 50th anniversary of a win for gender equality

In 1966 Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb became the first woman to finish the Boston Marathon.  The rules restricted the competition to men, but Bobbi jumped in at the starting line to join the male runners.  She completed the course in an impressive 3 hours and 21 minutes.  To mark the 50th anniversary of her trail-blazing, the State Senate honored her.  Here, with Sen. Jehlen, Sen. Lewis, our honoree, and Sen. Lovely.


Librarians educate legislators

Each year, Massachusetts residents borrow 6.5 million items that happen to be unavailable at their local libraries.  This, thanks to resource sharing among communities.  I recently chatted about funding for this initiative and others with Sudbury librarians Megan Statza Warren, Esme Green and Marie Royea.

Sudbury Librarians 1

Taking on big money and environmental harm

The League of Women Voters does terrific work, pushing back against global warming and unlimited money in politics.  Local chapters came to the State House recently to advance these causes.  Above, with team Concord-Carlisle; below, with the group from Waltham.LWV - collage

Catching up with the LWV

Many thanks to the Weston League of Women Voters of Massachusetts for hosting its recent legislative talk. State Rep. Alice Peisch, D-Wellesley, and I took questions on solar initiatives and rising health care costs, to name a few. Photo courtesy of Katherine Wolfthal of the League.


A priority of mine for the upcoming state budget season

Walking the State House halls with Boston Bar Association President and Lincoln resident Lisa Arrowood. We discussed funding for legal aid lawyers, who represent low-income people confronted with non-criminal crises like evictions, heating shutoffs and high hospital bills.

Sen.Barrett and Lisa Arrowood

Checking in with the Chelmsford Board of Selectmen

Packed room at a recent Chelmsford Board of Selectmen meeting.  I joined the town’s House delegation to report on the successful passage of local bills, troubling shortfalls in state “non-tax revenue” once expected from the operation of a new casino in Southeastern Mass. and pending legislation to help homeowners and businesses deal with gas leaks.

Chelms BOS

Chelmsford respite care earns much-deserved praise

Full-time caretakers for the elderly and people with disabilities often don’t have the support they need. That’s where the Chelmsford Companion Respite Care program comes in. Run by the Council on Aging, the service lends a hand by providing temporary supervisory work so that caretakers can take time for themselves. The initiative recently won praise from the Mass. Office on Elder Affairs for its distinguished work. From left to right: Annie Smith, Council on Aging Board Member, Companion Coordinator Betty Chaput, and Colleen Normandy, Supportive Day Program Manager.

Chelmsford Hospice

Volunteers spruce up area rivers

The Concord, Assabet and Sudbury Rivers are regional treasures — hot spots for local recreation and storied settings in the history of Massachusetts. In 1999 the federal government designated parts of all three waterways as “wild and scenic” for their ecological features and cultural importance. As it happens, they’re the closest “wild and scenic” rivers to a major metropolitan area in the entire U.S.

I recently dropped by OARS’ annual cleanup. On that day, 200 people chipped in to help spruce up the Assabet, the Sudbury and the Concord. Pictured here with a local Girl Scout troop, employees of Concord-Littleton Lumber, stalwarts of the Environmental Law Club at BU Law School, and members of the Concord-Carlisle High School Fishing Club. That’s me, over there. I’m the, um, older guy….

OARS cleanup collage

MIT works on safe nuclear fusion

The engineering wizards at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology want to reduce fossil fuel use and lay the groundwork for safe nuclear fusion.  The science of getting this right is tricky but, if anyone can do it, the talent at MIT can.  On the left, I meet with MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center Director Dennis Whyte (center) and inventor and entrepreneur Reiner Beeuwkes of Concord.  On the right, with “Wiyj Alcator C-Mod Project” Head Earl Marmar.  Photos thanks to Paul Rivenberg.

MIT collage

Financial literacy leaders

By addressing nitty-gritty matters of managing dollars and cents, Budget Buddies extends a hand to hardworking local women who are running households and family finances. Joined by a longtime mentor-student pair who are now fast friends, Budget Buddies’ cofounders met recently with State Treasurer Deb Goldberg to discuss financial literacy for women across Massachusetts.

From left to right: Liz Gustin, Budget Buddies coach; cofounder Kathy Brough; cofounder Anita Saville; Treasurer Goldberg; Jacki Rodriguez, Budget Buddies student; and moi.

Budget Buddies Meet with Treasurer Goldberg

Chelmsford, Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail pay tribute to Carol Cleven

Carol Cleven

My friend Carol Cleven submitted the original legislation to create the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail.  Carol passed away recently, and the Chelmsford legislative delegation made a donation in her name to help maintain the rail trail. Read more

Visit to the New England Organ Bank in Waltham

Pleased to mark the lifesaving work of the New England Organ Bank, which serves more than 160 hospitals and 12 transplant centers across the region. From left to right: Kenny Laferriere, a heart recipient; Waltham Mayor Jeanne McCarthy; moi; Congresswoman Katherine Clark; NEOB CEO Alex Glazier; advocate Ann Linehan; Matt Boger, Director of State Relations for NEOB; Rep. John Lawn; Rep. Tom Stanley; Mike Slama, a heart recipient; Jim Pazzanese, a lung recipient.

Congresswoman Clark event


100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Joined Gov. Baker last Friday to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Somber moment, lightened by survivors’ strength embodied in an entire nation. Huge turnout of Armenian Americans, their friends, and their admirers.