To: The Salem News
From: Senator Joan B. Lovely
Date: 9 January 2015
To the editor:
On January 7th, I took the oath to serve my second term as Senator of the Second Essex District in the Massachusetts Legislature. As a lifelong resident of the North Shore, it has truly been an honor and a privilege to represent the people of Beverly, Danvers, Peabody, Salem and Topsfield. I would like to thank the citizens of all five communities for their continued confidence and support.
For me, listening and responding to my constituency has always been and will continue to be a top priority going forward. To the thousands of constituents who called, wrote, or emailed my office in my first term, thank you for taking the time to share your views on issues that matter most to you. My staff and I review all the information sent to my office and I consider all of your concerns every time I enter the Senate Chamber.
For the past two years I have served as the Senate Chair of the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee. In my first term chairing this committee, the Governor declared a public health crisis to combat the alarming growth of opiate abuse in our Commonwealth. Through heartbreaking testimony to the committee, I have heard how this issue touches every corner of our state and its detrimental effects on constituents and their families. To help combat this crisis, I was proud to partner with my colleagues to pass comprehensive legislation that dedicates significant resources to treatment, opens access to care, and increases opportunities for long-term substance abuse recovery. The Legislature made great strides to address this problem, but still our work on this issue is not nearly finished.
As the Senate Vice-Chair of the Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, I was also proud of the Legislature’s ongoing commitment to improve care and opportunities for its veterans. Passage of the VALOR Act II has paved the way for additional employment, educational, and healthcare services to military personnel and their families.
Outside of my committee work, I joined my colleagues in the House and Senate in taking action on several important items. Enhancing transportation infrastructure, expanding opportunities for economic development in our Gateway Cities like Peabody and Salem, and advocating for each community to receive its share of education funding and local aid are just some of the issues I supported throughout my first term.
As I begin my second term, I plan to build on the Legislature’s actions from last session and work tirelessly for the North Shore in my upcoming term. For issues affecting our communities, I will continue to collaborate with our mayors, town managers, city councilors, selectmen, and school committee members, who have been strong partners on a wide-range of local matters. At the state level, I hope to work closely with the new Governor and his administration to address the challenges still facing our Commonwealth. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the residents of the Second Essex District for two more years and I look forward to representing your interests in the Senate.
Joan B. Lovely
Second Essex District