It's hard to believe it's only my second week (technically first full week) in the legislature. Shannon and I have made ourselves at home in what's affectionately known as the "bullpen," where all of the incoming legislators are placed until we are assigned committees and ultimately offices. This year the class of '19 is in Hearing Rooms B1 and B2 (we're in the latter, thanks to being later in the alphabet). Getting to spend this time with my new colleagues and their aides has been a true joy, though, despite the room getting a little loud from time to time.
Last week was full of meetings with advocates on the Hill, including APIs CAN, a bunch of folks from the environmental community, the AG's office, the Architects, and a few clean energy friends. A number of advocates have swung by the bullpen and introduced themselves; I suspect it won't be the last we see of them. I also attended caucus meetings for the Criminal Justice Reform and Progressive caucuses, including a meeting on election laws. I'm excited at the prospect of reforming our election laws to allow people to better and more easily participate in a vital function of democracy.
I also had the great pleasure of being invited to the Asian American Commission's swearing in at Treasurer Deb Goldberg's office. Sometimes I forget how uncommon it is to see people who look like me in the building, so it was a nice reminder that there are allies across the Commonwealth who are working on important issues that also affect Framingham, such as ensuring adequate funding for the census to fully account for all of our residents.
But mostly the week was spent drafting up a storm. We're working on a number of different bills, some of which we'll lead sponsor and many of which we will co-sponsor. It's encouraging to see people working together to help our deaf community, to provide feminine hygiene products for young women in schools, to stem the effects of global warming, and to improve the lives of people in our Commonwealth in general. Hopefully some of these bills will see the light of day -- looking forward to the bill drafting deadline (Friday) so that I can examine what my colleagues have written more closely.
Aside from that, Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis and I are getting settled into our Framingham office. We'll be here on Mondays for sure, and you can always reach out to make an appointment for other times, including weekends. Note that the building is dog-friendly , so if you have an allergy or a concern, we can certainly meet you elsewhere.