On August 17, 2017, Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and members of the Legislature convened at the Grand Staircase of the Massachusetts State House to present a joint resolution and proclamation denouncing neo-Nazism and white nationalism.
Text of Joint Resolution and Proclamation
WHEREAS, white nationalist organizations in our country have consistently promoted values that are overtly racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant, and these poisonous ideologies continue to promote hatred, bigotry, and violence specifically against individuals solely on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and immigration status; and
WHEREAS, today, white nationalism and neo-Nazism remain very real threats to the values for which the Commonwealth stands, and their reinvention as the “Alt-Right” should not mitigate their hateful ideologies; and
WHEREAS, while free speech is a bedrock value for the citizens in our Commonwealth and Country, white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups promote a message that is the antithesis of Massachusetts’ dedication to civil rights for all, and is in irreconcilable conflict with our foundational principles of liberty and justice for all; and
WHEREAS, white nationalism and neo-Nazism are continuing to grow as menaces to societal order as they seek to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide the nation, and foment hatred, classism, and ethnic eradication; and
WHEREAS, the white nationalist and neo-Nazi message of racial and social intolerance has led to senseless acts of violence that continue to terrorize members of ethnic and religious communities;
Be it resolved and proclaimed:
that the totalitarian impulses, violence, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that are promoted by white nationalists and neo-Nazis are strongly denounced and opposed; and further,
that law enforcement agencies and elected officials at every level of government are urged to condemn white nationalist and neo-Nazi ideology, vigorously pursue justice in response to hate-fueled violence and work to ensure the protection of the marginalized and targeted communities; and further,
that copies of this resolution will be transmitted to the Mayor of Charlottesville, Governor of Virginia and President of the United States.
On Tuesday, July 25, state officials visited the Barnstable Senior Center for Governor Charlie Baker's Council to Address Aging Tour in Massachusetts.
Senator Julian Cyr welcomed staff members of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to the Cape, and explained some of the most pressing challenges facing a rapidly aging population.
"One in five residents of Barnstable County and one in seven in the state is 65 years of age or older, said state Sen. Julian Cyr. "By 2035, those numbers are projected to grow to one in three Cape residents."
For more extensive coverage of this event, please read this article published by the Barnstable Patriot.
During the State Senate's debate of the FY2018 budget in May, 2017 - State Senator Julian Cyr advocated for $500,000 in funding for LGBTQ youth programs across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The amendment was unanimously adopted, a strong show of support for this critical funding by Democratic and Republican Senators.
During the State Senate's FY2018 budget debate in May, 2017 - Senator Julian Cyr introduced an amendment to add additional funds to the childhood lead prevention and mitigation budget at the state's Department of Public Health. As you'll see in this video, Senator Cyr's amendment was unfortunately not included in the budget - but Senator Cyr, Senator Jehlen, Senator Chang-Diaz, Senator Lewis and Senator Montigny led a spirited discussion on the importance of this funding and discussed prioritization of this matter for later in this legislative session.
On Wednesday, August 2nd, the Barnstable Prevention Partnership held a press conference at YMCA Cape Cod to address the exclusion of the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund in the FY18 Massachusetts State Budget. The conference focused on the partnership's commitment to the re-authorization of the program that ended its funding on June 30, 2017.
Members of the Cape and Islands legislative delegation including Senator Julian Cyr, Representative Randy Hunt, and Representative Will Crocker expressed their support for the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund and vowed to fight back against the budget cuts.
"Prevention is among the most effective tools we have to keep people healthy and contain escalating health care costs," said Senator Cyr. "That's why in 2012 Massachusetts established the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund, a first in the nation program dedicated to funding health prevention at the community level. I am disheartened that the Conference Committee Report did not include a sustainable funding stream for this highly successful program. The re-authorization and funding of the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund is one of my top priorities, and I am committed to searching for alternative ways to ensure that our most vulnerable populations have access to community health services."Read more
On Friday, July 28th, Governor Charlie Baker signed comprehensive marijuana legislation, fully implementing consumer access to adult-use marijuana while creating a robust public health and safety framework.
This legislation maintains the personal use provisions outlined in the 2016 ballot initiative. Adults 21 and older can use marijuana and possess up to one ounce in public and ten ounces at home. They may possess six plants per person but no more than 12 plants or ten ounces per residence.Read more
On Friday, July 7th, the Massachusetts Legislature voted on a $40.202 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The budget makes targeted investments in local aid, education, substance addiction services, housing, and children and families while accounting for a downgrade in fiscal year 2017 revenues. It also deposits $100M into the state’s Stabilization Fund.
Despite a tight fiscal environment, Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) was successful in advocating for the inclusion of $500,000 in local aid that had been approved in the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget, as well as $1.25 million for statewide programs supporting small business development and at-risk youth programs.
Local funding is attributed to organizations on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket that provide invaluable services to children, families, and older adults:
- $140,000 to Children’s Cove: The Cape and Islands Child Advocacy Center to support their work in providing an efficient and child-friendly facility for child abuse intervention.
- $85,000 for the Housing Assistance Corporation of Cape Cod to fund a caseworker specifically for people on Martha’s Vineyard and for the work they do to provide a continuum of housing programs for those facing housing instability.
- $100,000 to support residents of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket to travel to health services provided off-island. Including a $25,000 earmark for Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, advocated for in the House by Representative Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth).
- $25,000 for Sight Loss Services, Inc. allowing them to continue to serve Cape Codders who are gradually losing their sight.
- $50,000 for The Community Development Partnership to advance public participation in the development of affordable and middle-income housing.
- $100,000 for the Barnstable County Fire and Rescue Training Academy to cover urgent capital expenses.
On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Senator Cyr gave his maiden speech during the Senate's debate on the FY2018 budget at the State House in Boston. Senator Cyr spoke on the importance of the Small Business Technical Assistance program and the life of a small business family on the Cape and Islands.