Michael Coughlin Jr.
As 2023 creeps closer, State Representative Adrian Madaro joined the monthly Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association (JPNA) meeting on Monday, November 14, to provide an overview of his work in 2022 to improve East Boston and the state.
Some of Eastie’s biggest wins this year came in the budget, with $75,000 going toward Maverick Landing housing support, $50,000 for Eastie Farm, and $40,000 for Crossroads Family Shelter.
“This year’s budget, I was proud to help secure critical funding to support the essential work of some of our local community organizations,” said Madaro.
Elsewhere in Eastie, Madaro helped secure funding for the third phase of Piers Park creation and the O’Donnell School playground.
He also secured funds to continue ferry service between East Boston and the North End, extending into next year.
“This is just the start, folks. The ultimate goal is an inter-harbor ferry network connecting East Boston, the North End, the Seaport, Charlestown, and really making use of what is our best natural resource in the city – our harbor,” said Madaro.
While the work mentioned above only scratches the surface of Madaro’s accomplishments this year on Beacon Hill, as he continued, it became clear that some of his best work in 2022 was building a better infrastructure to support those with mental health or substance abuse issues.
Along with the funding provided to the Crossroads Family Shelter that will help provide mental health and substance abuse recovery services for the homeless, Madaro also helped secure funds for other mental health initiatives.
These initiatives include $75,000 for YouthConnect, a social-work program that serves families and kids that are historically underserved. As well as a whopping $3 Million to increase the amount of diversified substance-use treatment providers in communities of color.
Madaro was also integral in state-wide mental health care reform in his work, providing what he calls “The most comprehensive reforms to mental health law in decades in Massachusetts.”
Earlier this year, his legislation emphasized protecting and strengthening children’s mental health by expanding support in schools and increasing access to mental health care for all residents throughout Massachusetts.
“There’s no family, and there’s no part of Massachusetts that isn’t impacted by mental health and or substance abuse disorder issues,” said Madaro, who also serves as the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery.
Madaro also highlighted some state legislative wins, such as protecting reproductive and gender-affirming care, sports betting legalization, and more.
Before Madaro’s updates concluded, he also announced some favorite community events that are returning and are rapidly approaching.
First, the annual Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner will return in person for the first time in two years. The dinner will take place on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Salesian Boys and Girls Club.
“If you, or your friends or family or any neighbors that you know need a place to eat a warm Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings on the holiday – or just want to be in community with people – come on down,” said Madaro.
There will be restaurant-style dine-in service, as well as takeout and delivery options.
Next, Eastie’s Elves is also returning in-person Friday, Dec. 9, from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor. Admission is an unwrapped toy for a child in need and gives you access to a fun night of dinner, music, raffles, and a cash bar.
Toy collection boxes will also return – something the event has done the last two years and specific details and locations will be revealed on social media.
“Please stop by Eastie’s Elves; it’s an awesome way to kick off the holiday season,” said Madaro.
Overall, in what was a busy and seemingly successful 2022, Madaro thanked residents who helped his recent re-election bid and shared his excitement for the year to come. “I’d just like to start off by thanking my neighbors in Eastie for re-electing me last week as your state rep. I love this job, and I am so excited and motivated to continue representing us on Beacon Hill,” said Madaro