We need action on a number of issues facing Barnstable and Yarmouth. In my various roles in the community, this has become more and more evident. This was the driving factor behind my decision to run for State Representative.
As a teacher in the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, I see the effects of the opiate crisis every day. Many of my students have arrived at the jail either by using or selling opioids, or stealing to buy them. We are facing an epidemic.
In Barnstable and Yarmouth, our police and fire departments, Cape Cod Hospital, public housing, local businesses and our schools are spending an extraordinary amount of time and resources dealing with this crisis.
Our failure to address this issue will jeopardize the economic and cultural fiber of Cape Cod. We need leadership that seeks solutions from all stakeholders. We need to make difficult decisions about involuntary commitment of overdosed individuals and to require physicians to reduce prescription length and quantities. Aggressive education on prevention is critical and action. I see the impact of inaction, I am working with the community and I pledge to be the voice of Barnstable and Yarmouth on this critical issue on Beacon Hill and the Mid-Cape.
Our local economy is driven by tourism, and we want those visitors to continue to flock to Hyannis. After all, we have invested millions of dollars over the years to ensure its long-term viability. The location of the NOAH Shelter and our social service agencies are part of the homeless problem in Hyannis and the surrounding area.
Ensuring the access to services for these vulnerable residents is critical, as is preserving the tourist economy. The Transitional Living Center proposal to create a campus-like setting where the services can come to the people is a legitimate proposal that all stakeholders need to evaluate quickly if we are to make progress before irreparable damage is done to our economy.
Hyannis can be the tourist destination it once was.
I have the ability to find common ground and know how to disagree without being disagreeable. We are facing serious challenges in Barnstable and Yarmouth and I am prepared to set aside partisanship to lead efforts with both sides of the aisle to solve these problems.
Retirees and Veterans
There is no better a reflection of a society than how it treats its retirees and its veterans.
Barnstable is one of the oldest counties, demographically, in the country. Approximately one quarter of our residents are age 65 or older. Baby boomers are now reaching retirement age and we must re-tool our thinking about healthcare, economic development, social services and transportation. We need to take advantage of the knowledge and experience of our baby boomers and encourage businesses to hire these workers or use them to help train their existing workforce.
We have a responsibility to those men and women who served our country and put their lives on the line for us. We have all heard the horror stories of the VA in Arizona and elsewhere. I will take every step necessary to make sure our state and local government protect our veterans the way they protected us.