Letters to the Editor

May 27, 2016
By

“Unity: Investing in the future generation”

Intense, powerful, inspiring!  On May 18, 2016, on a beautiful breezy Spring Morning, the Bicolor / Haitian Flag, symbol of freedom, pride, and unity of the Haitian people was raised for the very first time at Everett City Hall in Massachusetts.

The Mayor Carlo De Maria in his historic remarks, welcomed the 1st ever Haitian History Month / Flag Day Celebration which was received by hundreds of people surrounding the steps of City Hall, all the way to Everett Square as the young Haitian generation looks on and up to Former State Representative Marie St. Fleur, the first public official in the United States of America -exerting grace embedded in maturity of beauty, wit , wisdom and power of words and presence. The theme selected by the Everett Haitian Community Center (EHCC) for the event was: “Unity: Investing in the future generation.”

Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Haitian Consul Sandra Cazir, and Mrs. St. Fleur energized the crowd and uplifted the spirit of the new generation by their inspring remarks. The majority of Everett’s public official body was present, along with Superintendent Fred Foresteire and many other City officials. Equally significant was the overwhelming presence of the Haitian community and diverse residents of Everett. Created in 1803, by the Congress of Archaie, the Haitian flag is a symbol of pride for Haitians.

Thanks to all who contributed to this blessed and glorious day, and thanks to the media / Independent Newspaper. God Bless you!

Rev. Myrlande DesRosiers

Increase funding for COA

As your Representative, I share the issues and concerns of the people of all ages in our District.

I have joined with my colleagues to prepare the Massachusetts Fiscal Year 2017 Budget. In this process, one of the things that I have focused on, are ways to support the older adults in our community and in our Commonwealth.

Currently, in Massachusetts there are 1.3 million individuals over the age of 60. According to the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute, by 2020, Massachusetts will be home to more people age 60 and older than to the number of people under the age of 20!

I worked with my colleagues to increase the funding for our Councils on Aging (COA) which manage the Senior Center and/or local programs and services for seniors. The local Councils on Aging are funded through a formula that is the total number of seniors in the community based upon the 2010 census, multiplied by dollars per older adult. This year, we have increased the funding formula to $10 per senior. This brings the total of funds for COAs to over $14 million in our Commonwealth and $68,260.00 in the City of Everett. This increase in funding will allow the Council on Aging to provide necessary programs and services to older adults, caregivers, families and neighbors in our community.

I also commend my Senate colleagues in supporting this increase in funding, as well.

Councils on Aging (COA) are the community focal point for social and support services to elders, families and caregivers in the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. COAs conduct many programs including information and referral, outreach, transportation, meals, health screening, health insurance information benefits counseling, fitness, recreation, computer access, education and life-long learning activities, as well as a myriad of other programs and services unique to our community.

The senior population is rapidly growing and dramatically changing in the ways individuals view their age, priorities and choices. COAs are an open door to neighbors, new friends, valuable information and new adventures, as well as a way to receive support, explore new opportunities and stay involved and vibrant in the community.

As always, I am honored to be of service to our seniors.

Please do not hesitate to contact the office by mail at State House, Room 134, Boston, MA 02133, by telephone at 617-722-2400, or by e-mail at Joseph.McGonagle@MAhouse.gov with any questions.

Sincerely,

 State Representative Joseph McGonagle

28th Middlesex District

McGonagle Committee