Volume 3, Issue 8 | January 15, 2021
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Looking ahead, 2021 is full of promise. The Legislature took the oath of office on January 6 and kicked off the new Session. The first order of business is bill filing. We look forward to continuing to work with local elected officials and civic volunteers in the coming year.

As always, constituent services are our top priority. We continue to work remotely and our office is fully functioning. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance.

Very truly yours, Joan Meschino
COVID-19 Vaccination Updates
Beginning, Monday, January 18, vaccinations will begin at residential congregate care and shelter programs and correctional facilities included within Phase 1 of the COVID-19 distribution plan. This will include over 94,000 eligible individuals, both residents and staff, across the Commonwealth.

This wave of vaccinations includes residential congregate care programs, emergency shelter programs, and approved private special education schools which offer residential services and are approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and correctional facilities.

Individuals eligible for vaccination in Phase 1 can visit mass.gov/CovidVaccineMap to view vaccine locations, including mass vaccination sites, sign-up and eligibility information. Sites will continue to be added with appointments released on a rolling basis.

The first mass vaccination site will be located at Gillette Stadium. The site will open with the capacity to provide 300 vaccines per day, ramping up to administering up to 5,000 vaccines per day over time. To determine if you are eligible and to schedule an appointment, visit CIC Health.

Residents and staff of public and private low income and affordable senior housing will now be included in step one of Phase 2. Similar senior facilities are already receiving vaccines through the FPPP as part of Phase 1 of the plan, so this change will align the timetable for other facilities.
Mass Cultural Council Launches Second Round of Financial Relief
Grants of $1,500 are now available to Massachusetts individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists who have lost income derived from their work as a direct result of COVID-19 related cancellations and closures. Mass Cultural Council expects to award approximately 460 grants in FY21. The application deadline is February 2, 2021 at 11:59pm (ET).

Click here for more information about the grants.
$78.5 Million in Additional Grants to Businesses Most Impacted by the Pandemic
The Administration announced that $78.5 million in awards will go to 1,595 additional small businesses in the third round of grants through the COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation. To date, Massachusetts has awarded close to $195 million in direct financial support to 4,119 small businesses out of a $668 million fund set up to support small businesses across the Commonwealth.
Mental Health in a Pandemic
The World Health Organization predicts that mental health effects from COVID-19 could last several years. Be sure to check in on your own mental health as well as your friends’ and families’ mental health regularly. Some helpful tips include setting boundaries when working from home, being honest with yourself and others, spotting warning signs, asking questions to incite conversation, being there to support, and seeking professional help if necessary.
State Legislators Sworn in to Begin 192nd General Court
On Wednesday, January 6th, I, along with colleagues in the Massachusetts State Legislature, swore our oath of office and began the new session. Due to COVID-19, the ceremonies were held both distanced as well as virtually.

I am deeply honored to continue to represent the good people of the 3rd Plymouth District. I enjoy public service tremendously and I look forward to working with you all in the coming year.

Below you can see me gathering virtually with other Members in my Division to take the oath of office.
Public Comment Period Open for CECP
The public comment period for the Interim Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2030 (CECP) is now open and people are encouraged to use the online form to submit specific comments by February 22, 2021.

Webinar sessions for the CECP 2030 are: 
South Shore Legislators Issue Statement on Commitment to Equity, Inclusivity, and Justice
In light of recent events in our nation’s Capitol, we make this unified statement and call to action to residents of the South Shore. [...]

We firmly denounce the hateful and insurrectionist behavior we have witnessed, and we call on the entire South Shore to do the same. It is extremely important that we listen to the perspectives and experiences of others, embrace empathy towards our neighbors, and grow stronger as a community from the turbulent times in which we find ourselves right now.

The South Shore is one of the most beautiful and bountiful corners of Massachusetts, and we are all fortunate to call this place home. But we still have work to do to make this place more safe, welcoming, and inclusive for all walks of life, especially those who are marginalized, disadvantaged, or vulnerable. Not only is this our responsibility as elected officials, this is our duty as good neighbors and human beings. Together, as a South Shore community, we have to unite and condemn racism, violence, and divisive rhetoric. We are resilient. We have the strength, ability, and dedication to emerge from this period of turmoil as a truly welcoming place for everyone, and so we must.

Read the full statement here.
Hingham Organizations Receive Cultural Organization Economic Recovery Grants

The South Shore Conservatory and the Unicorn Singers are receiving Economic Recovery Grants through the Mass Cultural Council & the EOHED. The South Shore Conservatory will receive $100,000 and the Unicorn Singers will be allocated $3,000.

Nearly $10 million in grants were made available to recipients within the cultural sector, including $2 million to support small cultural nonprofits. Read more here.
We Continue Holding Office Hours Virtually!

We continue to hold office hours via Zoom! Please call the office at 617-722-2320 or email to reserve a time slot in the new year:

  • Monday, January 25, 4-5 PM
  • Monday, February 1, 4-5 PM
  • Monday, February 8, 4-5 PM
  • Tuesday, February 16, 4-5 PM

To learn more about our constituent services, please visit our website.
Important Links and Resources

  • MEMA has developed an interactive map showing the locations of COVID-19 testing sites around the Commonwealth.

  • HandholdMA.org website for parents of school-aged children in Massachusetts concerned about their child's mental health.

  • Massachusetts residents can seek COVID-19 testing through the Stop the Spread Initiative which provides free testing in high-priority locations.

  • DESE's report on the number of positive COVID-19 cases in schools.

  • SafeLink 24/7 Crisis Hotline for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: 877-785-2020.

Stay Informed
Visit your town websites to learn the most recent information, local services, and guidance from our municipal officials.

State Resources

Federal Resources
Constituent Questions | 617-722-2320 | Office Contact Information
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