Op-Ed My First Few Weeks as State Representative

By Representative Nika Elugardo

Many have asked me about my first few weeks as State Representative for the 15th Suffolk/Norfolk District.  Exciting. Challenging. Hopeful.

We had two weeks to file legislation, and two more weeks to review over 6,000 bills and select co-sponsorships. The new representatives are piled into a couple of hearing rooms with our brand new aides, learning all this together. It’s amazing how collaborative my colleagues are, from first-term peers to leadership in both branches. That’s been my most pleasant surprise.

My job is new, but the issues are familiar, from the work culture to policy. A team of champions has carried over from our campaign. Collaboration is key. I’m working closely with other reps, Republicans and Democrats.  Equally important, I am working with you, my constituents who have entrusted me with this awesome honor and responsibility. 

Things are moving quickly on Beacon Hill. Many people work to translate our campaign platform into a legislative agenda that executes our “in-the-building” vision for equitable Housing, Health Care, and Education, and our “in-the-district” goals to expand early childhood education, youth and elder workforce development, and public safety resources.  I am also working with my colleagues to respond to the climate crisis, and to protect our immigrant communities in the wake of the Trump administration’s inhumane policies.

We filed 15 bills in Housing, Revenue, Elder Justice, Indigenous Rights, Public School Funding, and Anti-Nuclearization. Highlights include:

• Housing bills protecting elder housing, enabling locally-driven tenant protections, and empowering housing authorities to use the value of state-owned land to finance housing justice projects and development.

• A resolution, based on a local ordinance drafted by the Roslindale and other Wetlands Task Forces in collaboration with Boston City Councilors Matt O’Malley and Michelle Wu, to enable conservation. commissions to consider climate change within their conservation plans

• A bill establishing a commission to review health insurance shortfalls for medically necessary treatment in public schools.

• A bill providing process and oversight for reclaiming and redirecting dollars currently wasted on corporate tax credits that don’t accomplish a clear and compelling public purpose.

 I cosponsored nearly 400 bills in policy areas ranging from rights of incarcerated persons; to public health; equity for women and LGBTQ+ youth; immigration; climate change; education; workforce development; and animal rights. Collectively, these bills address structural changes so many have been fighting for over decades.

I’m thrilled to have been placed on my two top choice committees, Arts & Culture and Elder Affairs. I also received two additional amazing placements: Children, Family & Disabilities; and Technology and Intergovernmental Affairs, all with amazing colleagues.

I pledge to stay in touch, sharing stories from the District and the State House. Please keep in touch with me as well.

Together we’re on a journey across a long arc of change. I need your input to do my part as an effective Representative. Please contact me at nika[email protected]  Find our mailing list sign up and social media handles at electnika.com.

Enjoy our last weeks of winter. Spring is coming soon.

Representative Nika Elugardo represents 15th Suffolk/Norfolk District

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