POLICY FOR THE PEOPLE

On the Issues

Housing

Accessible and affordable housing is a human right and many Billerica families are struggling to stay in their homes. The pandemic has accelerated the crisis tenants are facing with rising rents and opportunities for homeownership dwindling across Massachusetts. Working-class folks, seniors, people with disabilities, persons of color, and those with physical disabilities or mental illness are disproportionately harmed by our current systems.  It has led to expanding economic inequality, increased homelessness, and damage to our economy.

 

Teresa will fight for policies such as: 

  • protections for vulnerable renters from unjust evictions

  • increasing resources for community organizations such as Lowell Community Teamwork

  • Zoning reforms that encourage the creation of walkable, sustainable, and inclusive communities

  • Increase available state funds for local solutions

  • Strengthen tenant protections to ensure all persons understand their rights and can access legal help when needed

  • Remove Legislative barriers which prevent cities and towns from addressing local needs

Healthcare

Accessible and affordable healthcare is a human right and too many of us are struggling to access needed services, pay for prescriptions, or recover from unexpected medical bills.  Many systemic problems were exposed during the pandemic. The Legislature must deliver on long-promised reforms such as:

  • Close loopholes that serve as barriers for preventative care access 

  • Increase funding and accessibility to critical and long-term mental health services

  • Cap rising pharmaceutical prices and index the cap to inflation

  • End out-of-pocket costs, like copays and deductibles, for working families

  • Guarantee healthcare to everyone by transitioning to a Medicare-for-All style system

  • Explore creative solutions to increase Mental Health services across the Commonwealth and Billerica

Government Accountability & Transparency

Every constituent should be able to understand the legislative process and easily find records of their legislators voting record.  A strong, effective government must be open and transparent.  That's why Teresa signed the Voters Deserve to Know Pledge. To uphold a strong commitment to accountability and transparency, we must:

  • Make committee votes and testimony public, and improve our public records laws. Laws mandating the disclosure of public records have existed in the Commonwealth since 1851, except for the Governor and State Legislature

  • Remain accessible, through town halls and office hours  

  • Pass An Act Promoting Equality and Respect in the Legislature, creating an independent commission to investigate sexual harassment and other workplace allegations on Beacon Hill

Education

Public education is the investment in our future. As a parent and high school history teacher, Teresa understand the challenges of fighting for needed services, difficulties of attending parent-teacher meetings, and the despair of watching a child flounder without the needed supports. Teresa will work to

  • Increase local aid to our public schools 

  • Fully fund the Student Opportunity Act to giving every student the opportunity to succeed

  • Expand efforts to better assist English learners and increase local reimbursements for special education

  • Enact Universal pre-k and debt-free public higher education

Environment

We must act with urgency to confront the global climate crisis. As a leader in technologies and sciences, Massachusetts must lead through bold and decisive action. Teresa will work with all stakeholders to focus on protecting our watersheds and conservation lands. To make impactful change, we must:

  • Power Massachusetts' electric grid with 100% renewable energy by 2035

  • Transition heating & transportation to 100% renewable energy by 2045

  • Divest public money from fossil fuels, including from the state pension fund and public university endowments

  • Pass the Massachusetts Green New Deal.

Justice for All

The last several years have forced Americans to confront our history and imagine a better future. Divisions over race, religion, identity, ethnicity, and culture keep us from making meaningful progress towards a more inclusive and equitable community.  We must lift one another up and focus on empowering one another, not tearing each other down. Justice for all means Teresa will work to 

  • End sub-minimum wages for service workers

  • Protect and expand collective bargaining rights

  • Lower taxes for working families and increase overtime protections

  • Dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline

Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic continues here in Billerica and the Merrimack Valley.  Substance use disorder can be solved with adequate supports and quality health care. We must invest in non-punitive shelters and expand resources. Teresa will work to ensure 

  • Youth addiction and support services are fully funded

  • Eliminate prescription marketing and

  • Increase the availability of the overdose reversal agents

  • Increase access for prevention and long-term treatments.

  • Expand funding for counseling and support for children and families

Veterans

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Teresa served as an Intelligence Analyst for the Air Combat Command. As a veteran from a military family, Teresa understands the struggles of life after service. Our fellow patriots are more likely to suffer from mental illness, to commit suicide, and struggle to readjust to civilian society. From the State House, Teresa will: 

  • Ensure all veterans are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve

  • Increase funding for younger veterans who are raising children and caring for aging parents

  • Increase housing options for veterans 

  • Advocate for every veteran to obtain services they were guaranteed by our Commonwealth and Nation

  • Ensure accountability for the mismanagement at the Holyoke Soldier's Home 

Seniors

Teresa was fortunate to grow up near all her grandparents. Their struggles, their triumphs, and their wisdom created the woman she is today. Stories are how we preserve our humanity and our seniors are the holder of our stories. That is why we must:

  • Ensure all seniors have access to humane housing, especially in long-term care facilities

  • Prevent seniors from being forced out of their homes due to rising taxes and housing costs

  • Increase investments in accessible housing for seniors and persons with disabilities

  • Increase funding for non-profit entities that serve our residents so well, especially the Council on Aging