Representative Joan Meschino Announces Committee Assignments for 190th General Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

January 25, 2017

BOSTON - Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) received her official House committee assignments for the 190th General Court of the Commonwealth. The three joint committees will enable the Representative to be an influential voice on a key set of issues that are importance to the 3rd Plymouth District and the larger South Shore economic region.  The committees she has been assigned to are:

Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses

Joint Committee on Telecommunication, Utilities and Energy

Joint Committee on Transportation

House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight

“I’m eager to serve both our communities and the Commonwealth on these four committees” said Representative Meschino. “The committee assignments provide me with the opportunity to advocate for relevant and urgent issues for our district.”

“I am particularly eager to serve on the Joint Committee on Transportation. As the South Shore continues to develop, reliable and affordable transportation is of utmost importance,” said Representative Meschino.  “I look forward to working with the Commonwealth to improve its struggling transportation system and to continue my strong advocacy for reliable transportation to support our region’s economic development, a top priority for me.”

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State Representative Joan Meschino Advocates for more Women in Politics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 23, 2017

BOSTON - Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) was proud to join more than 175,000 women at the Women's March in Boston on Saturday. Marchers from all over Massachusetts and New England assembled in solidarity with women in over 600 sister marches across the world. The March, which advocated for a host of social justice, environmental, and women’s issues, was an important first step toward unifying our communities and creating positive change through grassroots engagement.

Representative Meschino attended to show support of not only the women of the 3rd Plymouth district, but of the entire Commonwealth and country.

Representative Meschino said, “It was an honor to stand side-by-side with the women of my community on this historic day to call for respect, dignity, and equality for women. This march stands as a testament to our ability to organize in an impactful and peaceful way.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and Attorney General Maura Healey addressed the crowd.  Also in attendance was Representative Stephen Lynch.

In her continued effort to advocate for women’s issues, Representative Meschino participated on a panel Thursday night sponsored by the Women's Bar Association in partnership with the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus entitled, "Running for Office: The Inside Story." The event - which was was well attended by both women and men seeking to run for public office - focused on the issues that women have faced in the political world.

Representative Meschino was one of four panelists who discussed their experiences in politics and the challenges they have faced along the way. Other panelists included, Lydia Edwards who ran for the First Suffolk and Middlesex Senate District; Lori Ehrlich, State Representative for the Eighth Essex District; and Brianna Sullivan, who ran for State Representative for the First Essex District. The event was coordinated by Ann Bookman, Director at the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at UMASS Boston.

“Though women have made great strides in breaking into the political sphere over the last few decades, there is much work to be done.” Said Representative Meschino. “Events such as this are essential in that they encourage women to get involved in politics. We deserve more women in politics.”

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South Shore Coastal Legislators Host Winter Storm Preparedness Meeting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 9, 2017

MARSHFIELD—Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) joined her colleagues, Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth), and Representatives Jim Cantwell (D-Marshfield) and Josh Cutler (D-Duxbury), to meet with state agency officials and South Shore public safety officials to discuss issues of winter preparedness. Coming at the tail end of Massachusetts's first serious winter storm, this preparedness meeting proved timely. Among the topics discussed were what resources are available to communities, how communities can request support, and how communities can promote individual preparedness for winter storms.

The meeting, held at Ventress Hall in Marshfield, provided an opportunity for key state agencies, local public safety officials, utility companies, and other entities to describe their role and responsibilities in preparation for and during winter storms. Furthermore, these agencies were able to relay the challenges they frequently encounter as well as how to best support town officials and residents.

Representative Joan Meschino (D -Hull) said, “As our coastal communities continue to feel the effects of climate change, sea level rise, and worsening storms, it will be increasingly necessary that we encourage the communication and situational awareness needed to ensure that our communities are prepared for anything that may come our way. This meeting was a great first step forward.”

“It is great to have so many stakeholders and emergency preparedness personnel come together to discuss the challenges our coastal storms can present, said Senator Patrick O’Connor. “Each year as the intensity of our winter storms increase, proper communication and preparation becomes even more valuable. I’m sure everyone that attended this meeting walked away with some great information.”

“As always, I continue to be impressed by the great work our town officials perform as they organize and implement safety precautions in preparation for and duration of a storm event,” said Rep. Jim Cantwell. “Our community public safety experts are true professionals who are well prepared to address the challenges of winter storms and totally supportive of all our residents.”

"This meeting exemplifies the dedication our local public safety officials have when preparing for emergencies. Our local officials continuously improve on their already outstanding preparedness practices to ensure our communities are ready for the inevitable winter storms" Rep. Cutler said.

Also in attendance was the Secretary of Public Safety and Security, Dan Bennett, as well as the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Deputy Director Christine Packard. Secretary Bennett and his staff provided an overview of services that the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) can provide towns.  Deputy Director Packard spoke to the process by which resource requests from towns are addressed.

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Joan Meschino Prioritizes Senior Citizen Needs

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2016 

Contact: Laura Burns
781.749.0880
lburns887@gmail.com

HULL— “Senior citizens who’ve contributed to the vibrancy of their communities for decades are entitled to support and assistance that will help them continue to thrive,” said Joan Meschino, Democratic nominee to succeed former State Representative Garrett Bradley. Her plans focus on senior tax credits, transportation, and senior centers.

Meschino will continue Bradley’s practice of mailing an annual reminder of allowable state income tax deductions. “Every year, some seniors are surprised to learn they can claim a refundable credit for real estate taxes on their state income tax returns,” said Meschino. “Garrett Bradley’s annual informational mailer has helped many seniors claim credits for which they qualify.”

In addition to making seniors aware of existing programs, Meschino said she will work to help towns revise tax structures to help them remain in their homes and not be priced out of neighborhoods they’ve called home for many years. “Property tax bills are among their greatest challenges,” said Meschino. “I don’t think we’ve done everything we can to alleviate this burden. Seeking new help for seniors is a major goal for me.”

Access to adequate and appropriate transportation is another challenge for seniors who reside in suburban neighborhoods, said Meschino. “I will work to protect funding for The Ride because many seniors depend on this MBTA program for shopping, medical appointments, and social activities that contribute to their continued physical and emotional well-being,” she said. “I will work closely with state agencies to implement creative solutions to their transportation challenges.”

Meschino said she’ll help the senior centers in Hingham, Hull, Cohasset, and Scituate meet 21st century needs. “Hingham is planning a new, expanded senior center. I pledge to help make it a reality,” she said. “I’ll support the senior centers in our district to ensure they continue their good work.”

Meschino Says More Funds for Community Libraries Are a Must

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2016

Contact: Laura Burns
781 749-0880
Lburns887@gmail.com 

HULL— “Robust funding for public libraries is essential to vibrant local communities, because libraries enrich our communities in a myriad of ways,” said Joan Meschino, Democratic candidate for State Representative in the Third Plymouth District.  “We have a responsibility to increase funding for operations and for capital projects to ensure that community residents enjoy lifelong learning for years to come,” she said. “I look forward to working with our libraries in the district to guarantee adequate funding for the future.”

“Libraries are a gateway to information and exploration and must keep pace with their ever-expanding role as a trusted resource for research, literature, and programs that inform, entertain, and inspire members of our community,” she said. “Community libraries are particularly important to low-income families and seniors on fixed incomes.  The local library is often essential for news, public information, and for a job search for residents without access to a smart phone or a computer at home.”

Today’s libraries must reflect our changing world and evolving technology. “Our public libraries play a vital role in the information age,” said Meschino.  “We must level the playing field by providing access for every citizen, particularly those who lack the means to acquire new technology and must rely on public access to this essential resource.” 

“The library is where we first come together as toddlers for story hours and where our children and grandchildren carry on this tradition today,” she said.  “It’s a center for lectures, concerts, and art exhibits, for book discussion groups, and for meeting up with neighbors.  Contrary to speculation that the internet might supplant libraries, the opposite has occurred,” Meschino said. “The public library has become a transformational place where people of all ages go to learn, grow, and socialize.”

Meschino Will Lead the Fight to Cap Future MBTA Fare Increases

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2016

Contact: Geri Spanek
617.557.4560
gerispanek@yahoo.com

or

Contact: Laura Burns
781.749.0880
lburns887@gmail.com

HULL— How much is too much? Joan Meschino, Democratic candidate for State Representative, knows the answer to this question. 

“The nine percent average fare increase imposed by the MBTA on July 1 is excessive and creates an unnecessary financial burden for South Shore commuters who rely on boat and rail service to travel to work, school, medical appointments, downtown Boston, and Logan Airport,” said Meschino.                  

Government should encourage the use of public transportation instead of making it less accessible and more expensive, she said.

“When I served on the MBTA Advisory Board I was a vocal opponent of the fare increase and I have advocated for fare reductions,” said Meschino, a member of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, an organization that promotes sustainable transportation by coordinating transportation funding programs and advocating for transportation finance reform. “I will lead the fight to cap future fare increases at no more than five percent every two years, if elected. This is a priority.”

When commuter fares take a bigger bite from household budgets, the result across-the-board is less disposable income to help fuel the local economy, said Meschino. “More money spent on tickets and monthly passes means less money spent at locally owned businesses, such as coffee shops, restaurants, clothing stores, other retail establishments, and service providers,” she said.  

“Fare increases also force commuters back into their vehicles,” said Meschino, a former Hull Selectman and lifelong district resident. “The result is more traffic and greater dependency on fossil fuels. This creates more air pollution, increasing the risk of asthma and other respiratory illnesses.”

Meschino is a leading proponent of more state funding to support public transit. “Making public transportation a more viable option will increase ridership,” she said. “Commuter boat service is especially important to this region and should expand to other communities.”

Funds to Protect Our Fragile Shoreline a Top Priority for Joan Meschino

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2016

Contact: Geri Spanek
617.557.4560
gerispanek@yahoo.com

Hull—Joan Meschino, Democratic candidate for State Representative, plans a comprehensive initiative to seek grants and other funding to help protect Cohasset, Hingham, Hull, and North Scituate from rising sea levels and continuing coastal erosion, if elected. Meschino is currently a member of the Metropolitan Beaches Commission, which has completed more than $20 million in capital projects, including Quincy Shore Drive, since its inception in 2006.

“This district includes many miles of coastline, and we will continue to experience destructive storm surges and rising sea levels,” said Meschino, a Hull native who served two terms as a Hull Selectman. “Planning and executing proactive, protective measures is far more efficient and cost effective than simply cleaning up after major storms pound our fragile shoreline.  And here in New England, we know that these storms will continue to occur, like it or not.”

Reducing greenhouse gases, a major contributing factor in global warming and the resulting rising sea levels, is also a priority for Meschino.

“The evidence that sea levels will continue to rise and disrupt lives and threaten homes and businesses is indisputable,” said Meschino, an attorney and former executive director of Massachusetts Appleseed, a public interest justice center that promotes equal rights and opportunities by developing systemic solutions that eliminate social justice inequities. ”The ripple effect of climate change begins with greenhouse gases that cause rising sea levels that, in turn, can and do damage our infrastructure and threaten public safety with potential for serious injuries and fatalities.”  

Meschino encourages everyone to use the climate change toolkit on her website to learn more about topics such as how climate change affects communities, greenhouse gas reduction strategies, and how marketplace reforms and increased energy efficiency make new gas pipelines unnecessary, at http://joanmeschino.com/climate-change.

Meschino Advocates for South Shore Transportation Projects

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July 25, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Pam Wolfe

(781) 706-2890

pjdwsunset@comcast.net

HULL – Democrat Joan Meschino, candidate for State Representative for the Third Plymouth District, spoke out for projects and studies for the South Shore communities of Hingham, Hull, Cohasset and North Scituate this month, requesting federal and state funding. The projects include two roadway safety and capacity projects in Hingham on Derby Street; one bridge replacement and rehabilitation project in Cohasset on Atlantic Avenue, and two road upgrades in Hull and Cohasset. She also advocated for improvements for commuter boats and the Red Line and for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure for school children.

“There are a number of projects waiting for federal and state funding,” said Meschino. “They need to be approved and given the go-ahead for construction. The safety and mobility of all travelers in these locations is at stake,” she said.

In addition to the construction projects, Meschino asked for federal and state funds for projects that could benefit the South Shore, such as fixing bottlenecks like the Braintree Split and traffic problems on regional corridors like 3A. She heartily supported funding for studies of Greenhouse Gas reduction strategies and providing support for local shuttle bus planning. 

Meschino made these requests in letters to the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (here and here), the body responsible for deciding which projects receive federal transportation funding in the Boston region.

“My goal has always been about serving the South Shore in ways that make a real difference,” Meschino explained. “Advocating for the South Shore’s transportation needs is one way I’ll serve the communities of Hingham, Hull, Cohasset and North Scituate as State Representative,” she said.

Meschino is a former Hull Selectmen and non-profit executive who is seeking election as a write-in candidate in the Democratic Primary Election for the State House of Representatives, September 8th.

Meschino Opposes Surtax For Gas Pipeline and Compressor Station

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2016 

Contact: Pam Wolfe
(781) 706-2890
pjdwsunset@comcast.net

HULL – Democrat Joan Meschino, candidate for State Representative for the Third Plymouth District seat, called on the legislature to ban the surcharge sought by utility companies which would require ratepayers to pick up the cost of new gas pipelines through Massachusetts and a compressor station in Weymouth.  These facilities are unnecessary and pose environmental and health risks.  

“The state senate voted 29-0 to ban the surcharge for new gas infrastructure, but the house failed to speak up.  I urge the legislature to include the ban in the energy bill which is now in conference committee, and approve it as the senate did. This surcharge amounts to a hidden tax increase that will burden all residents of the South Shore and benefit only the utility companies,” said Meschino. “These facilities will bring no benefit to our district, and if they are built, and the gas is used in our state, we will fail to meet our legally-mandated fossil-fuel reduction goals under our Global Warming Solutions Act. As State Representative, I’ll vote ‘No!’ and continue my work to oppose any approval of these new facilities and any related rate increase.  I will stand with South Shore residents, speaking out to protect our environment, our neighborhoods, and our budgets,” she promised. 

Meschino is a former Selectmen and non-profit executive who was the Democratic nominee in this spring’s special senate election. She has been endorsed by organizations such as the Environmental League of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, and state, regional, and local leaders. 

“My goal has always been about serving the South Shore in ways that make a real difference,” Meschino continued. “Protecting ratepayers in the district from industry attacks on their budgets will be at the top of my list of goals as State Representative.”

Joan Meschino's Letter on the Draft FFYs 2017-2021 Transportation Improvement Program

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July 20,2016

David Mohler, Chairman 
Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization
10 Park Plaza, Suite 2150 
Boston, MA 02116

RE: Comments on the Draft FFYs 2017-2021 Transportation Improvement Program 

Dear Chairman Mohler,

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments concerning the projects being considered for funding in the Draft Federal Fiscal Years 2017-2021 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). I am writing to state my support for several projects that would be beneficial to several towns on the South Shore (Hingham, Hull, Cohasset, and North Scituate) as they work to address traffic problems and maintain roads and bridges. I support funding Red Line and commuter boat improvements. In addition, I ask that the MPO, when evaluating projects, give high value to a project's ability to deliver reductions in greenhouse gases (GHGs).

I ask that the MPO continue to include the following regionally important roadway projects for funding in the Draft FFY s 2017-2021 TIP:

• Arterial and Intersection - Project 607309 - Hingham, Reconstruction and Related Work on Derby Street from Pond Park Road to Cushing Street. This project is needed to address capacity, congestion and safety problems at the Route 3 ramps and along Derby Street. I hope the design will include bicycle and pedestrian elements. Please fund this project, as proposed, for construction in FFY 2017.

• Arterial and Intersection - Project 600518 - Hingham - Intersection Improvements at Derby Street, Whiting Street (Route 53) and Gardner Street. This project is needed to address traffic flow and safety issues with signal and roadway configuration upgrades and accommodations for bicycles and pedestrians. Please fund this project, as proposed, for construction in FFY 2018.

In addition, I ask that the MPO encourage the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Division to make it a priority to advertise the Project 607345 (C-17-002) - Cohasset, Superstructure Replacement and Substructure Rehabilitation at Atlantic Avenue over Little Harbor Project, as currently programmed for FFY 2016. This project is very important to the Town of Cohasset.

Several other projects benefitting South Shore drivers are in the TIP Universe of Projects. Please continue to review these projects and work with Hull and Cohasset to advance them for inclusion in a future TIP. These projects are:

• Project 608007 - Cohasset, Corridor Improvements and Related Work on Justice Cushing Highway (Route 3A) from Beechwood Street to the Scituate town line.

• Project 601607 - Hull, Reconstruction of Atlantic Avenue and Related Work from Nantasket Avenue to the Cohasset Town Line

Regarding public transit, although the TIP does not specify project spending for public transit for the South Shore, I recommend that the MPO approve funding programs that include commuter boat and Red Line projects when the MBTA brings these programs forward for funding in the TIP. The MBTA Capital Investment Program currently includes projects providing the following improvements to these modes for 2016: for Commuter Boats - vessels, improvements at the Hingham Boat Terminal, and for the Hingham Marine Intermodal Center; for the Red Line - system support, station improvements, new signals, and vehicle procurement. These improvements are greatly needed to keep service reliable and accommodate the growing demand for service on these modes.

Finally, I'm weighing-in in support of the Safe Routes to Schools program and hope that the MPO will consider future projects that emerge from working with the municipalities of Cohasset, Hingham, Hull and Scituate.

Thank you again for the opportunity to comment on the Draft FFYs 2017-2021 TIP. Very truly yours,

Joan Meschino