(Boston, MA) – State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) spent three days in the nation’s capital last week. He joined five Senate colleagues and staff in gathering information on the upcoming federal budget process and advocating that changes to the federal budget and programs do not adversely impact the Commonwealth.
“I am glad to have an opportunity to meet with so many federal agencies to advocate for issues vital to Massachusetts, especially those important to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket," said Senator Cyr. “The Senate delegation made clear how much Massachusetts stands to lose if the administration and Congress move forward with the current budget proposals, and forged contacts that will be valuable as the new administration considers new policies and priorities.”
Under various proposals before Congress, Massachusetts is at risk of losing federal dollars that the state relies on to fund longterm care for seniors, people living with disabilities, health research, transportation infrastructure, housing development, and more. Massachusetts currently receives about $11 billion in federal monies that account for approximately one quarter of the state’s 40 billion dollar budget. In the Trump Administration's skinny budget proposal, Massachusetts is at risk of losing over $2 billion in federal funds.
“These proposed cuts would devastate our state's budget and harm working families throughout the Commonwealth, which is why we traveled to our nation’s capital to meet with our delegation, federal agencies, and national policy organizations to receive as much information as possible about how we can protect Massachusetts moving forward,” said Senator DiDomenico.
While in Washington, Senator Cyr met with a number of federal agencies, including the Department of Transportation, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of the Interior.
Senator Cyr was asked to join the trip given his leadership of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business, an area where the state relies heavily on federal grants and tax credits to invest in communities and promote affordable housing. As the Cape & Islands grapple with a severe lack of affordable and middle-income housing, the Senator stressed the importance continued federal support for community development block grants (CDBG) at a meeting with senior administrators the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
During a meeting at the Department of the Interior, Senator Cyr highlighted the importance of the Cape Cod National Seashore and urged the department to reconsider its decision relative to jurisdiction over Monomoy Island in Chatham. At the Department of Transportation, Senator Cyr discussed the necessity of funding for the preservation and maintenance of local harbors and ports. The Trump Administration has highlighted investment in the nation's ports as a key infrastructure priority. State and federal response to the opioid epidemic were the main topic at a meeting with the Department of Health and Human Services. Senator Cyr urged HHS' Administration of Children & Families to consider the unanticipated needs of families, particularly grandparents raising grandchildren, as a result of the epidemic. The Massachusetts delegation discussed the importance of funding for higher education and student tuition assistance with leadership of the Department of Education. Cyr also met with Pew Charitable Trusts on policy innovations to improve access to dental care, which remains a major challenge for Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket residents.
Additionally, Senator Cyr met with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman Bill Keating. He joined nearly all the members of the Massachusetts’ congressional delegation for a briefing on the implications of changes in federal funding to the Massachusetts.
The trip to Washington D.C. took place from April 25-27th and was organized by Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs. Senator Linda Dorcena-Forry (D-Boston), Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), Senator Adam Hinds (D-Pittsfield), and Senator Joe Boncore (D-Winthrop) also participated.
Living on the Cape and Islands
Strong communities are welcoming and equitable for all and rely on active citizens.
Facilitator: Jeffrey Soares, Economic Researcher
- Julie Wake, Arts Foundation of Cape Cod
- Rene King, YMCA of Cape Cod
- Collin Mickle, Community Action Committee of Cape Cod & the Islands
- Edye Nesmith, Cape Cod Council of Churches
Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket have strong traditions of being places of refuge for artists, immigrants, and people looking to start a new life. Understanding the importance of art, culture, and diversity in our communities is paramount to maintaining the vibrancy of the Cape and Islands.
This working group focused on the work being done to preserve and promote arts and culture on the Cape and Islands. It also highlighted different organizations that provide support to our immigrant communities, as well as organizations that seek to strengthen our communities through their services and volunteers.
- The tone was set with a line from a Maya Angelou poem “Nobody can make it out there alone.”
- An overarching theme was the arts as central to living on the Cape, economically, educationally, as well as in terms of one’s identity or creating a means to reach out to others.
- The arts are an important part of the C & I economy. In addition to adding to the culture that draws people to the C&I artists contribute to the economy in many ways. Artists need places to live, studios to work in and places to sell their products. All the activities contribute to our economy.
- Organizations like the YMCA and the Cape Cod Council of Churches provide important programs for our communities. They highlight the importance of volunteers in suppling and helping build our communities. And, the Y has a program that partners with RISD that uses art to empower young people.
- Immigrants make up 6.8% of the population in Barnstable County. The community is often underrepresented due to concerns of identify themselves. The Community Action Committee offers legal and other services to the community. Community support in the form of outreach and communicating to elected officials demonstrating support for the immigrant community is essential.
Click here to see more from Living on the Cape and Islands.
On Tuesday, March 21st Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) joined Representative Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown), Representative Randy Hunt (R-Sandwich), Representative Tim Whelan (R-Dennis), Representative David Vieira (R-Falmouth), Representative Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth), Representative Will Crocker (R-Barnstable), and Representative James Cantwell (D-Marshfield) in calling for the immediate shut down of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.
The statement, read aloud by Representative Peake and Representative Hunt, compared the behavior of Pilgrim’s operators to “extending the middle finger to the NRC, the surrounding Plymouth community, and to all that are affected by their poor operating standards. That includes our constituents and most residents of Massachusetts.”
On Saturday, March 4th State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) hosted a Policy Summit for the Cape & Islands District. Over 200 constituents participated in the event held at the Tilden Arts Center at Cape Cod Community College.
“Communities on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket face unique challenges," said Cyr in his remarks at the Summit. "To move forward on housing affordability, wastewater, the opioid epidemic, and so much more, innovative policy solutions, outside of the box thinking, and public participation are what's needed."
The event – Policy Summit: An Agenda for Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket – featured six working sessions centered around different aspects of life on the Cape and Islands: Living on the Cape and Islands, Working on the Cape and Islands, Raising a Family on the Cape and Islands, Aging on the Cape and Islands, Preserving the Cape and Islands, and Serving on the Cape and Islands.
Each working session was facilitated by a local leader and featured a panel of industry experts, activists, elected officials and non-profit directors.
The non-political gathering highlighted panelists across the political spectrum, including Senator Cyr’s General Election opponent, Brigadier General (Ret.) Anthony Schiavi.
Senator Cyr welcomed attendees to the event and spoke about how the challenges facing residents of the Cape and Islands require inventive solutions.
“My hope is that participants are introduced to people and work they didn’t know about,” said Senator Cyr. “I want every person here today to commit to one tangible action they can do to become more involved in their local community and in the policy making process.”
In each of the working sessions attendees were instructed to discuss some of the major challenges facing residents of the Cape and Islands, and the types of solutions that can be found at the local, state, or federal level.
Senator Cyr encouraged attendees to commit to helping a community organization, attend upcoming town meetings, and even run for public office themselves.
A full report from the Policy Summit and each of the working groups will be posted soon here at www.SenatorCyr.com.
You can read the full presentation Senator Cyr delivered during the opening session online here.
On Tuesday, March 7th, Senator Cyr will join his colleagues Senator Michael Brady and Senator Vinny deMacedo in hosting the Southeast portion of this session’s Commonwealth Conversations tour. The series of state-wide forums is designed to bring the Massachusetts State Senate to every corner of the Commonwealth; making government even more responsive and accessible.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
9:30am – 10:30am Roundtable Discussion on the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund
Location: Community Health Center of Cape Cod, 107 Commercial Street, Mashpee
Host: Senator Cyr
A roundtable discussion with staff from the Community Health Center, staff from other area health care providers and some residents to discuss the importance of the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund and funding for Community Health Centers.
11:00am – 11:45am Tour of Cape Cod Oyster Company Facility
Location: 179 Old Falmouth Road, Marstons Mills
Host: Senator Cyr
A meet and greet with staff from the Cape Cod Oyster Company and other area small business owners.
12:30pm -2:30pm MassMoves Working Transportation Luncheon
Location: Bay State Conference Center at Massachusetts Maritime Academy 101 Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay
Host: Senator deMacedo
2:30pm - 3:00pm Tour of Mass Maritime
Host: Senator deMacedo
Meet with Rear Admiral Francis McDonald and tour some of the highlights of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, our nation’s first co-ed maritime college.
4:15pm Tour of W.B Mason
Location: W.B Mason 59 Centre Street Brockton, 02301
Host: Senator Brady
Tour of the office administration headquarters of the historic W.B Mason office supply chain, the official office product supplier of the Boston Red Sox, Phillies, Yankees, Mets, Pirates, Nationals, and Indians. The Senators will have the opportunity to meet with the administration and retail leaders of the company who compete with the largest supply chains in the area.
6:45pm Public Forum in Brockton
Location: Dr. Arnone Community School in the School Cafeteria “The Little Theater”
On Wednesday, February 15th Senate President Stanley Rosenberg announced committee assignments for the 2017-2018 legislative session. Senator Julian Cyr (D-Cape and Islands) has been appointed as Chairman of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business.
Senator Cyr expressed his enthusiasm to work on issues both familiar to him and vital to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.
“Having grown up in a small family-owned business, I am eager to sink my teeth into the work of the Community Development and Small Business committee. In leading this committee, I will have a front row seat to issues vitally important to Cape and Islands communities, particularly surrounding housing affordability, economic development, and meeting the needs of small businesses.”
Senator Cyr will also serve as Vice Chair for two committees: the Joint Committee for Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development and the Joint Committee for Elder Affairs. He cited the critical importance of these two issues to the Cape and Islands.
“The Cape and Islands district is the oldest district in the Commonwealth; over half of our residents are over the age of 65. I am glad to have a seat at the table, in thinking about how we meet the needs of older adults. Similarly, I am pleased to be a member of the Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development committee. Cape and Islands families depend on tourism to survive and state support for tourism has long been inadequate. I am eager to move the ball forward.”
Senator Cyr will sit on four additional committees, including: the Joint Committee for Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities; the Joint Committee for Public Health; the Joint Committee for Housing; and the Joint Committee for Municipalities and Regional Government.
“I am ready to start the work that comes along with committee assignments, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to ensure that the Commonwealth remains an equitable, inclusive, and prosperous place to live.”
RESCHEDULED: Senator Cyr hosting a Policy Summit on Saturday, March 4th
This summit will bring together community stakeholders, elected officials, business and non-profit leaders, and residents of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket to discuss the important issues facing the Cape and Islands District. Attendees will hear from Senator Cyr, and have the opportunity to choose between six working sessions on the following topics:
- RAISING A FAMILY on the Cape and Islands
- WORKING on the Cape and Islands
- LIVING on the Cape and Islands
- AGING on the Cape and Islands
- PRESERVING the Cape and Islands
- SERVING on the Cape and Islands
In each session, local leaders will facilitate an interactive conversation in small group discussions; all participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback on policy areas important to the Cape & Islands District. Senator Cyr will use information gleaned at the policy summit to further inform his policy priorities for the 2017-2018 legislative session.
Doors open at 12:30pm.