Watertown Social Services Resource Specialists Given Latino Excellence Awards at State House

Wayside SSRS Clincians Maysa Ramos (second from left) and Sophia Suarez-Friedman (second from right) received Latino Excellence Awards from at the State House. Also pictured are State Rep. Steve Owens (right) Kimberley Hutter, Sen. Will Brownsberger’s District Director. (Courtesy of Wayside)

Watertown’s two Social Service Resource Specialists, Sophia Suarez-Friedman and Maysa Ramos, recently received the Latino Excellence Awards at the State House. Both work for the Wayside Youth & Family Support Network Multi Service Center, and their positions are funded by the City of Watertown. Every year, the Massachusetts Black & Latino Legislative Caucus hosts its Latino Excellence Awards to honor Latino leaders, agents of impact, and change makers who contribute to our communities.

Watertown Tax Relief Takes Step Toward Approval in State House

Wikimedia Commons / ChensiyuanMassachusetts State House. A request that would provide relief to residential property owners in Watertown moved a step toward approval when the House of Representatives approved the Home Rule Petition recently. In August 2022, City Councilors John Airasian and Emily Izzo brought forward the request, which was approved by the Council, to request that Watertown be able to shift the tax burden from residential properties to commercial, industrial and personal properties. Airasian was pleased to see the petition make progress: “This should have a sizeable impact on the residential real estate taxes.” Izzo added in her email to constituents:

“The Home Rule Petition brought to the City Council by Councilor Airasian and myself has passed the House and is now pending approval by the Senate.

State Sen. Brownsberger Seeks Constituent Services Director

State Sen. Will Brownsberger

State Sen. Will Brownsberger announced that he is hiring a Director of Constituent Services in his State House office. Brownsberger’s district includes Watertown, Belmont and parts of Boston. See the partial job description below:

The Director of Constituent Services is the key contact and manager for constituent assistance for a Senator’s district. In collaboration with, and at the direction of the Senator and Chief of Staff, the Director of Constituent Services acts as a liaison with federal, state, and local entities and utilizes a variety of strategies, tools, and skills to resolve constituent problems and facilitate the delivery of public services. The Director of Constituent Services reports to the Chief of Staff.

OP-ED: State Budget Includes Money for High School Project, Special Education & Roads

State Sen. Will Brownsberger

The following piece was provided by State Sen. Will Brownsberger, whose district includes Watertown, Belmont and parts of Boston. Monday, the House and Senate finalized the Fiscal 2024 Budget. I’m including some highlights of the items that were important advocacy priorities for me. I’m also sharing the Senate President’s Press Release on the agreement for a broader overview. Overall, I am very pleased with this year’s budget and I feel that it reflects many of my stated priorities.

State Senate Offering Paid Fellowship Program

Wikimedia Commons / ChensiyuanMassachusetts State House. The following announcement was provided by State Sen. Brownsberger’s office:

The Massachusetts state Senate is accepting applications for a fellowship program offering paid, part-time positions for eight weeks in Senate offices from September through November 2023. Our office is participating. The program has been designed to expose traditionally underserved populations to public service, representative democracy, and lawmaking. This is an opportunity to learn firsthand about the roles and responsibilities of state legislators and their staff.

State Rep. Owens Nominates Former Community Foundation Director as a Commonwealth Heroine

Former Watertown Community Foundation Executive Director Jan Singer was nominated to be a Commonwealth Heroine by State Rep. Steve Owens. (Photo courtesy of State Rep. Owens’ Office)

The following information was provided by State Rep. Steve Owens’ Office:

In collaboration with the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW), State Representative Steve Owens honored Jan Singer as his nominee for the 2023 Class of Commonwealth Heroines. Singer joins hundreds of women across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who are recognized each year for their hard work and dedication to their community. Last Friday, Representative Owens and the MCSW celebrate women like Singer, who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, at the Massachusetts State House. “Jan has worked tirelessly to support the Watertown community,” said Rep. Owens.

State Rep. Steve Owens Seeks Legislative Interns

The following announcement was provided by State Rep. Owen’s Office:

Rep. Owens serves the 29th Middlesex District, which consists of Watertown and North/West Cambridge. It includes some of the country’s most significant cultural landmarks: Historic Brattle Street, the Perkins School for the Blind, Mount Auburn Cemetery, Fresh Pond Reservation, the Watertown Arsenal. It’s also a source of technological innovation, a center for education, and home to some of the most engaged and accomplished residents of the Commonwealth. Prior to his election to the legislature in 2020, Rep. Owens spent 20 years as a transportation consultant, where he developed freight and logistics data solutions for public and private sector clients. He has applied this expertise both to his work on the Watertown Transportation Task Force and now in the House, where he seeks solutions to improve access to public transportation while helping reduce the state’s carbon footprint.

Internships Available in State Sen. Will Brownsberger’s Office

State Sen. Will Brownsberger

The following information was provided by State Sen. Will Brownsberger’s office:

The Office of Senator Will Brownsberger is accepting applications for part-time, unpaid, internships for the summer of 2023. There are two types of opportunities available – general office internships and legislative internships. All applications are due Monday, April 10, 2023. General Office Internships are designed for applicants in the beginning stages of exploring policy-making and government, seeking opportunities to learn more and refine their interests. Legislative Internships are designed for those who have already gained some experience, either professionally or academically, and are looking to delve deeper into a topic of interest.