Madaro Points Out Legislative Updates

At last week’s Gove Street Citizens Association (GSCA) meeting Rep. Adrian Madaro briefed residents on some of his legislative accomplishments this year.

Madaro started out talking of the decades-old plan to connect the East Boston Greenway with neighborhoods north of Eastie.

“I was able to partner with the Friends of the East Boston Greenway to deliver a $100,000 budget amendment for an engineering, environmental and feasibility study to extend the East Boston Greenway past Constitution Beach to Belle Isle Marsh.”

Madaro also secured $50,000 in the House Budget to help Piers Park Sailing Center continue to provide funding to the popular youth program.

“Piers Park Sailing Center is a great programs for youth during the summer and afterschool,” said Madaro. “As an alum of the program it was really one of the only ways my friends and I had access to the

Boston Harbor. While the program gets hundreds of kids out on the water every year it also has numerous programs for seniors and people with disabilities.”

Madaro highlighted a $45,000 earmark for Crossroads Family Shelter that provides transitional housing for homeless women and children.

“Clearly it’s not enough to just provide housing for women and children that are homeless,” said Madaro. “It is also crucial that we empower these women and provide them with the skills and the tools they need to keep a roof over their heads.”

The $45,000 will go towards helping Crossroads continue to operate a workforce development and educational program for women.

For the East Boston Social Centers Madaro said he was able to secure $50,000 for Eastie’s oldest social service agency that provides low cost early childhood education for neighborhood families.

The $50,000 will be used to help relocate one of the Social Centers daycare sites that was displaced by the rehabilitation of the Orient Heights Housing Development.

“The rehabilitation of the Orient Heights Housing Development is a great project but it did present some challenges,” said Madaro. “One of those challengers was finding a new home for the Social Centers’ daycare facility–a place many working families relied on daily. This funding will make sure that support for this program continues uninterrupted.”

Madaro also secured $25,000 for Youth Connect. This program provides mental health and diversion services for high-risk youth through a dedicated social worker at the East Boston Police Station.

“Our police are great, but they’re not social workers,” said Madaro. “This program helps get youth on the right track and addresses underlying causes, like drugs, crime, and gang activity.”

Another Madaro amendment for public safety added another $1 million to the already $10 million in approved state funding for the Shannon Grant program.

“Shannon Grant is a series of grants directed to community programs to address gang and youth violence issues,” said Madaro. “It has become one of the most vital and effective tools by engaging communities, nonprofits, and police to divert East Boston youth away from gangs and into more productive activities.”

Madaro also said state funding will be helping fund more beat cops in Eastie through community policing grants. This money will ensure more police are walking around the neighborhood in more busy areas ike squares and business districts.

“This helps our local police build relationships and trust with residents and businesses,” said Madaro. “This was a popular program that was cut during the 2009 recession but we were able to get it back on track.

Another $250,000 in public safety money will go to funding a dedicated State Trooper(s) that will patrol Constitution Beach during the busy summer months.

Finally Madaro secured $75,000 in funding to run a job readiness program at East Boston High School as well as another $75,000 for a Museum of Science engineering education program at Eastie’s elementary schools.

“The job readiness program at the high school has been something I’ve gotten into the budget for the past few years,” said Madaro. “It is a program that has worked really well putting students on a path to a successful career right out of high school. The Museum of Science engineering education program is something that is new to the budget and something I’m really excited about. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education is training students for the jobs of today and the future. However, studies show that a disportionate amount of women and people of color are not represented in these fields.We will partner with the Museum of Science to begin a pilot program to bring quality STEM education to every elementary school in East Boston. This program will really open the eyes of the students in our community that a career in STEM is something they can attain.”

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