Short Term Rentals, Facebook Data Breach,  The March for Our Lives, and More from O'Neill and Associates
CEO's Corner

Dear Friend,

Last week saw the exit of yet another high profile Trump administration official. The departure of David Shulkin, Secretary of Veteran Affairs, was no surprise after weeks of damaging headlines and rumored controversy between him and President Trump. Secretary Shulkin is one of a long list of senior officials to be ousted - the latest act of a President who seems to take actions as a means of distraction, drawing attention away from the fact that this administration is accomplishing little of what it campaigned on.

While the media stay transfixed by the weekly cascade of firings, turmoil, and policy fits and starts of this administration, one area where the conservative agenda has moved forward with efficiency is the Federal judiciary. President Trump inherited an unusual number of court vacancies, including many judicial emergencies that required immediate attention. Those vacancies existed because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell used a variety of procedures to delay or prevent confirmation of virtually all of President Obama's judicial nominees. In contrast, under the GOP-led Senate, President Trump has moved quickly to fill federal seats across the country. In fact, this President has appointed more appellate judges in his first year than any president before him. Confirmations are moving fast, but not all are assured. In a few instances, the president's nominees were so unqualified the Senate was compelled to force their withdrawal.

This ability to flood the federal courts with conservative appointees will impact US public policy for years to come as federal judges are entitled to hold their positions for life. Generations of Americans will be affected if these nominees refuse to recognize the protections organized labor provides working men and women, that love is love no matter your gender, and that women have the right to make decisions about their bodies free from government interference. Presidents come and go, but federal judicial rulings transcend elections.

With the significant shift to the right in the courts, I believe it is more important now than ever to embrace the empowered civil commitment of our youth. Throughout our nation's history, and especially at our most pivotal moments, it has been young people who have answered the call and taken a position at the forefront of progress. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the civil rights movement, but the involvement of young Americans, black and white, were the engine of his force for change. Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of his assassination. Reflecting on his legacy I am reminded of his message that, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." The recent success of the #MarchForOurLives and the many student walk-outs confirm the next generation will again force change. Their political courage has fostered substantive discussion about gun control and even influenced the passage of the STOP School Violence Act of 2018 - increasing funding to further secure schools against gun violence as part of the recent bipartisan Omnibus Bill passed by Congress.

On the night of Dr. King's assassination in 1968, Presidential candidate Senator Robert Kennedy said, "What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black."

This call to action rings as true today as it did 50 years ago. The youth will again lead us forward.

Tom O'Neill

Current Events and Expertise
Legislature Considers Options on Short-Term Rentals
By Lindsay Toghill

There are many challenges for state government as new technologies become incorporated into everyday life. Last session, the Massachusetts Legislature came to agreement on regulation of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft after ongoing concerns about public safety.  This session, the issue of Short Term Rentals (STR) like Airbnb has become a significant priority for the Legislature as it considers lost lodging revenue and public health and safety.

Click below to continue reading! 

Facebook's Data Breach Raises Concerns in the Digital Media World
By the OA Digital Team

Last year Facebook measured 240 million monthly active users in the US, each of whom provided the tech giant with a trove of personal information scattered through cookies, tracking pixels, status updates, GPS check-ins, and other widely employed data-harvesting methods. Of that 240 million, few probably stopped to think about where their data was being stored, who had access to it, and how it might be used. Now, that lack of transparency is causing major headaches at Facebook HQ.

Click below to continue reading!

Client Spotlight
The Family Pantry of Cape Cod Sees Rise in Clients Following Back to Back Nor'Easters

After struggling through a number of Nor'easters in March, it is critical to keep in mind the devastating effects this winter weather has had on our neighbors and the increased damage. Areas such as Cape Cod are especially prone to additional damage following extreme cold, high winds, prominent flooding, and days of power outages caused by back to back storms.
During the difficult times, many in the area are turning to the Family Pantry of Cape Cod for assistance. As Cape Cod's largest food pantry, it serves over 9,300 clients and in 2017 alone distributed over 73,000 bags of groceries and over 30 tons of gently-used clothing. Year-to-date the number of clients the pantry serves is up 11 percent and new clients are up 7 percent largely due to the onslaught of storms and January's brutal cold snap. Many times those who find themselves tight on funds will lower the heat in their homes in an effort to reduce spending. However, bitter temperatures have reached historic lows forcing many families to spend more on heating to keep pipes from freezing.
With services in high demand and the pantry in its quietest months for donations, Family Pantry of Cape Cod finds itself low on resources to provide essential services. Over the past few months the pantry has been forced to cancel two mobile pantry deliveries and two food distributions due to severe weather. 
Please keep the Family Pantry of Cape Cod and all those they serve in your thoughts. We hope you will consider making a  donation.
New England Cannabis Convention

March 24th-25th was the annual New England Cannabis Convention (NECANN) at Hynes Convention Center  in Boston. NECANN is the largest cannabis industry B2B trade show series of its kind in the U.S. Over 6,000 guests attended, making it the largest gathering of cannabis professionals in the Northeast to this day.
The industry show featured 225 exhibitors  and  over 100 speakers including  local  sports broadcast legend Bob Lobel and former Chicago Bears QB Jim McMahon . The headlining panel discussion dealt with  the impact medical marijuana has  had  and will continue to have  on the treatment of sports injuries
Our Vice Chairman Cosmo Macero, Vice President Laura Wareck, and Account Executive Brook O'Meara-Sayen were on the ground at the event helping with press and taking photos of the event. Check out some of the coverage below!

Today at OA
O'Neill and Associates Adds Dr. John Norris as Of Counsel

We are delighted to welcome former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Principal Deputy Commissioner John Norris, JD, MBA to O'Neill and Associates. Dr. Norris will be of counsel to O'Neill and Associates and expand our service offerings for our clients in the biotech and pharma sectors. Dr. Norris is a specialist in Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Medical Device, as well as for-profit and not-for-profit Hospital, Hospital System, and Health Insurance Companies.

Dr. Norris previously served as principal deputy commissioner and COO of the FDA, where he was responsible for co-managing 14,000 employees and $5 billion annual budgets. While at the FDA, Dr. Norris co-led its last major reform.

"John Norris is recognized across a multitude of health care business sectors for his strategic vision and deep knowledge, especially with the FDA," said Chief Executive Officer, Thomas P. O'Neill III. "We look forward to putting his extensive talents to work for our clients. His career speaks to the valuable insight he can offer the ever expanding bio pharma, medical device and health care economy."

The Ireland Funds Hosts its 26th Annual National Gala

On Wednesday, March 14, The Ireland Funds, a global fundraising network for people of Irish ancestry and friends of Ireland, hosted its 26th Annual National Gala at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. At the O'Neill and Associates' table, COO Shelly O'Neill and Vice Chairman John Cahill hosted Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), and former Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA). 
OA Joins the Cause at Boston's March for Our Lives

O'Neill and Associates was proud to march in the March for our Lives-Boston on Saturday, March 24th in the Boston Common. Our team got photos of thousands of marchers calling for action on gun control legislation. The event was a powerful display of peaceful protest and a united community.

OA Celebrates International Women's Day

On March 8th OA celebrated International Women's Day 2018. Our company is proud to be comprised of 50 percent women. Our team wore three colors that celebrated the power of women: purple for #PressforProgress and the fight for gender equality, white for the suffragettes' movement, and red for the leadership, ambition, and determination of women. 

Upcoming Events
  • Saturday, April 7th: Cristo Rey Boston's Cristo RIDE Boston 2018 at The Handle Bar 141 Dorchester Avenue, Boston. $125 donation for a bike.
  • Monday, April 16th: St. Francis House - Race to the Finish Line cocktail party for the Boston Marathon. 6:00pm-8:00pm at Joe's American Bar and Grill on 100 Atlantic Avenue, Boston. Tickets start at $30.
  • Sunday, June 24th: The Family Pantry Gala in Cape Cod is at the Wychmere Beach Club from 5:00-8:00pm

For more information on events please contact O'Neill and Associates 617-646-1000
O'Neill and Associates | (617) 646-1000 |
Communications | Government Relations | Federal Affairs

Boston, MA | Washington, DC