Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Senator Ross: November 2014 State House Update

Senator Richard J. Ross, State House Update, November 2014
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State Senator Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham) proudly serving the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District.

State House
Room 520
Boston, MA 02133

Ph: 617-722-1555
Fax: 617-722-1053
Dear Friends,

As we all prepare to be with our loved ones during the holiday this week, let us remember that this month is about giving thanks.

Thank you to our veterans who have served us and continue to serve us valiantly. Thank you to our local leaders, those newly elected and reelected, who selflessly fight for us on a daily basis. Most of all, thank you to my constituents, whom it is an honor to represent in the legislature.

These next few weeks, please enjoy time spent with family and friends. As always, please let me know what your priorities are and what you would like me to focus on before the new legislative session begins in January.


This Veterans Day, I was privileged to attend several ceremonies across my district to honor the brave men and women who have courageously served our nation in conflict. Today, more than 19.6 million military veterans are living in the United States. We as a people, a state, and a country must work to guarantee that they have proper care and services. We must honor our veterans not just with our words, but with our actions. Thank you to those who serve and have served and thank you for your sacrifice.  

I would like to thank my constituents, the voters of the Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex District for reelecting me to the Massachusetts state senate. I am honored and humbled to have been given the opportunity to serve this district again.

Over these past four years, I have worked tirelessly for the twelve cities and towns I represent. From Wayland to Attleboro, I will continue to work hard each and every day to ensure that my constituents have a strong, independent voice on Beacon Hill.

When the new legislative session begins, I will continue to focus on the priorities of this district, such as local aid and transportation funding, while fighting to make critical reforms that will make our government more cost effective and responsive to you, the hard working taxpayers.

Additionally, I ask for your input as to how we might be able to fix the many aspects of our state government and I look forward to working with the Baker/Polito administration to get our state back on track.

It is a privilege to serve you in the legislature, and I look forward to continuing to earn your trust.
I stopped by Mason Field in North Attleboro for the first night of the Attleboro Area Youth Homeless Awareness Weekend. 110 area students were sleeping out in boxes and collecting donations by day to experience what others go through on a daily basis, raising money for a great cause.

Homelessness continues to be a serious issue in Massachusetts, demonstrating the need for a strong economy to create more sustainable jobs. For the eighth year in a row, these teens along with local community organizations continue to inspire others by shedding light on a very important issue.

Last year, the students raised over $10,000 and once again braved the cold temperatures to collect donations and non-perishable food items. Their efforts are a shining example of how much a community can accomplish when they come together for a common cause.
I had a great time participating in the Muscular Dystrophy Association's (MDA) Lockup at Barrett's in North Attleboro with Attleboro Fire Chief Scott Lachance, Building Commissioner Doug Semple, and members of the MDA staff.

MDA is dedicated to treating and curing more than 43 neuromuscular diseases- including ALS. In addition to funding life-saving research, MDA provides services such as equipment repairs, clinic visits, support groups, flu shots and more, to the families it serves.

They also pay tuition for children with muscular dystrophy to attend a completely handicap accessible, overnight summer camp. By getting "Locked Up" we were raising "bail" for local children and families living with muscle disease. It was a wonderful day for a worthy cause, and you can still donate on my page here or visit to help someone in need.
Just before Veterans Day, I was honored to attend an assembly at Horace Mann Middle School in Franklin with my colleagues Senator Karen Spilka and Rep. Jeff Roy emphasizing the importance of reading and understanding our veterans' sacrifice.  

Teachers at Horace Mann Middle School, headed by Mary Cotillo and Erin O'Leary, organized the event called "All In," which for the fourth year in a row brings the school together to read and discuss a piece of literature. This year, the teachers chose 'Unbroken' by Laura Hillenbrand which tells the remarkable true story of Louis Zamperini, a WWII veteran imprisoned in Japan during the war, enduring years of torture.

Zamperini's story is just one of the many heartbreaking accounts of what our veterans have gone through and still go through. I am glad our students were able to hear his story along with those of veterans in their community. Our schools and our teachers are doing a great job, and I was so honored to be a part of it.

I was proud to join local city officials, colleagues in the legislature, and many of my constituents at the Attleboro Elks Lodge for the Gourmet Guys 25th anniversary fundraiser.

The event was presented by New Hope, a remarkable local organization dedicated to combating domestic abuse. Having worked on critical domestic violence legislation this past year and recently being appointed to the special commission on housing and shelter options for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, I know how critical this issue is in the commonwealth.

What makes this event so special year after year is that we all are coming together for a common goal: to help bring this epidemic to an end. Victims of abuse and assault should always know they have support within their communities and in their government. New Hope continues to do an amazing job to aid those in need, and the event itself is always a great time.
I was honored to be a guest at the Jackson School in Plainville to see Mrs. Durand's second grade class perform "The Meaning of Veterans Day." (left) Celebrated the Amvet School 5th Grade Veterans Day Essay Winners in North Attleboro with Rep. Betty Poirier, and Supt. Suzan Cullen. (right)
I am currently seeking interns in my State House office for the spring semester, all interested college students are encouraged to apply.

With a new Governor, administration, and legislative session beginning in January, this is an exciting time to be on Beacon Hill. Interning in my office presents an excellent opportunity to experience the workings of state government and I am looking for driven, professional individuals who are capable of taking on real challenges daily.

Intern duties include drafting correspondence with constituents, gathering news clips, legislative research, general administrative tasks, as well as attending formal Senate sessions and public hearings. Internships are unpaid, but present an opportunity to learn about the legislative process. My staff and I will work with students to gain credit where applicable.

If a college student is interested, they are encouraged to send their resume, cover letter, and a writing sample to
Spoke with the impressive members of the Wellesley College Republicans about the importance of this past election, state government, and why we need more young, motivated students like them to get involved in the political process. (left) I was happy to honor the Estate at Franklin for the grand opening of their new care facility. (right)
The Attleboro VNA will be hosting a children's bereavement program for kids, ages 5-13, designed to help them deal with the loss of a parent, sibling, grandparent, friend, or any other significant person in their life.

As the director of a funeral home, I am all too familiar with the grief many families, especially young children, go through when they lose someone close to them. This program  is a great opportunity for the children to explore and express their feelings through group activities.

The program is free and open to the public and takes place on Saturday, December 6, 2014 from 9:30am-12:00pm  at Community VNA, 10 Emory Street, Attleboro, MA 02703. To register call (508)222-0118 or (800)220-0110. For more information, you can also visit
I was proud to stand with the family of the late Jack Thomas at Sweatt Field in Wrentham for the unveiling of a bench honoring his many years of service to the town and our youth. (left) Recognized Verastem for the opening of their new location in Needham with the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen John Bulian, Robert Forrester President/CEO of Verastem, and Greg Reibman President of the Newton Needham Chamber of Commerce. (right)
Thanksgiving is this week, which means many of us will be traveling across the state and the country to celebrate with family, friends and relatives.

The Department of Public Health (DPH), Department of Fire Services (DFS), and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have compiled some helpful tips to ensure that you have a fun and safe Thanksgiving. Before preparing for your festivities and travel arrangements, take a moment to look over this list here and make the most of the holiday season.
Celebrated Thanksgiving by serving food at local senior centers in Attleboro (left) and Wellesley (right).
As the holiday season draws near, there are plenty of opportunities to give to those in need in your own backyard. Check out the list below to find a place near you where you can donate.
St. Joseph's Food Cellar: (508) 226-1115
Self Help Attleboro: (508) 226-4192
Murray Unitarian Universalist Church Food Pantry: (508) 222-0505
Hebron Food Pantry: (508) 223-4257

Franklin Food Pantry: (508) 528-3115

Millis Ecumencial Food Pantry: (508) 376-5034

Natick Service Council: (508) 655-8868
A Place to Turn: (508) 655-8868
Natick Service Council Food Pantry: (508) 655-1791

Needham Community Council Food Pantry: (781) 444-2415

Emmanuel Baptist Church Norfolk Food Pantry:  (781) 769-0425

North Attleboro
Lenore's Food Pantry: (508) 699-0103

United Methodist Church Food Pantry: (508) 695-9587

Sherborn Community Center: (508) 655-2701

Celebration International Church: (508) 653-6864

Wellesley Food Pantry:  (781) 235-1188

Original Congregational Church: (508) 384-3110
These past few months, I have been highlighting some spectacular small businesses in my district. If you would like your business to be a part of our Small Business Spotlight or would like to nominate a small business, email me at To see the places I have visited so far, check out my website here.

If you would like a copy of the "Guide to Veterans' Laws and Benefits," please email me at, and I will mail a copy to you. This is an excellent resource, and a must for any veteran and their family.

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