Every young person in Massachusetts deserves access to a high quality education. He will fight to ensure that our communities get their share of state funding to close achievement gaps and level the playing field for all students. He understands that Chelmsford receives less in State funding than similar communities. He will work hard to resolve that issue once and for all. As a State, we have not done enough to make vocational education a cornerstone of our educational offerings. Rodney will ensure our Vocational Schools are funded properly.
Safe and secure neighborhoods are important to everyone. Everyone deserves a safe environment for their families to live, work and play. I will work with residents and stakeholders to ensure our neighborhoods are vibrant, secure, and safe for all.
The devastating impact of mental illness and substance abuse disorder have impacted nearly every family in our community. These challenges have grown exponentially as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Rodney will work to improve the Commonwealth's failing mental health and substance abuse disorder treatment programs.
Rodney has been a youth sports coach for decades and still acts as Treasurer for Lowell Youth Soccer even though his children are grown. He referees youth soccer, basketball, and lacrosse. He sees how the pandemic has impacted our youth and is concerned with the long term effects. He supports mental health funding in and outside of school settings to help our children.
Between increased housing costs, gas prices, and grocery bills, it has become far more expensive to live in Massachusetts in the past year. Rodney believes that record revenues collected by the state should be used to provide relief to those struggling with the increased cost of living. He supports providing tax relief to seniors, working families, and renters.
Rodney recognizes the rights of all people to control their personal healthcare decisions. He supports an individuals right to privacy and choice.
As we canvas neighborhoods we hear the same theme. Why can't my street be fixed? It hasn't been addressed in years. One of Rodney's first priorities it to review the State Chapter 90 formula and advocate for increased funding. Crumbling roads and bridges in our district and across the state create public safety risks and contribute to traffic congestion. Rodney will seek increased investment in the state's Chapter 90 program to repave roads and sidewalks, and will advocate for overdue repairs to major bridges in our District. In particular the Rourke bridge that he travels every day. Keeping that on time and on budget is crucial to all of us. Rodney understands the Town of Chelmsford has a complex wastewater problem to solve. Rodney will work to solve that issue and get Chelmsford moving again.
Rodney will work to increase funding for the Massachusetts School Building Authority to improve aging school facilities. It's critical for the State of Massachusetts to step up to the plate and fund their fair share of school building construction projects. The current formula isn't working and the reimbursement rate has fallen far behind inflation. The per square foot cost reimbursement needs to be adjusted immediately.