Phil DeCologero Endorses Diana for Re-Election

Phil and Diana

On the heels of the fiercely contested Democratic primary to serve the 14th Essex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, former rival Phil DeCologero of North Andover has endorsed the re-election of incumbent State Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen).

“Campaigns can often be contentious,” said DeCologero. “This summer I saw that first-hand when Rep. Diana DiZoglio and I debated and discussed our visions for the Merrimack Valley. Yes, we had our fair share of disagreements, but I respect Rep. DiZoglio for sticking to a productive discussion about the issues facing our communities. What I didn’t often discuss is where Rep. DiZoglio and I do agree. Rep. DiZoglio has fought for increases in local aid, more funding for special education, and legislation requiring local officials to follow the same rules as our state officials. Most important to me, Rep. DiZoglio has fought to bring attention to the epidemic that is substance abuse. Many times politicians shy away from these tough issues, but I admire Rep. DiZoglio for making them a priority. These issues don’t always make for the best sound-bites, but they do make for a person who has my vote. This is why I ask that you please join me in voting for Diana DiZoglio this November 4th.”

Among his many accomplishments, DeCologero, a lifelong resident of the Merrimack Valley, helped to spearhead the North Andover Merchants Association, for which he was recognized by the Merrimack Valley Business Magazine as one of their “40 Under 40.” He was also instrumental in helping to launch Methuen’s first Italian Festival and has served on the North Andover Democratic Town Committee Executive Board since 2008.

“I want to thank Phil not only for his support, but also for the great work he has done for the Merrimack Valley in recent years,” said Diana, who represents portions of North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill in the Legislature. “Our community deserves leadership that can put people first and politics aside, by working together to get things done. My former challengers and I have already begun to share our visions for the Merrimack Valley with one another and I look forward to continuing to work together moving forward.”

Diana was also recently endorsed by fellow primary opponent Oscar Camargo, also of North Andover.

Diana Meets with RMV Registrar to Raise Concerns Over Proposed Lawrence Branch Move

Diana meets with Celia Blue, Registrar of the Massachusetts RMV.

Diana meets with Celia Blue, Registrar of the Massachusetts RMV.

State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) hosted a meeting on Monday, October 6 between the Lawrence legislative delegation and Celia Blue, Registrar of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), to express concerns over the recent proposal to move the Lawrence RMV branch from its current location on Route 114 in South Lawrence to Downtown Lawrence.

Diana, who represents the Lawrence neighborhood in which the current RMV resides, says she was not included in any discussions regarding the proposed move of the state agency. In her capacity, Diana said it is her responsibility to speak up on behalf of constituents who have not had a seat at the table on this matter. She first requested a meeting with the RMV back in August.

Joining Diana in the meeting were State Senator Barry Finegold (D-Andover), State Representatives Marcos Devers (D-Lawrence) and Linda Dean Campbell (D-Methuen) and Patrick Kerwin, Legislative Aide to State Representative Frank Moran (D-Lawrence).

The Representative, who represents portions of North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill in the Legislature, has argued the current RMV is critical to the economic vitality of businesses along Route 114.

“The proposed relocation does not take into consideration what would happen at the current site,” said Diana. “It is liable to create severe blight that would be detrimental to future economic development, hurting surrounding businesses located along the 114 corridor.”

Diana and other members of the delegation also raised concerns to the Registrar about the lack of convenience for residents to travel to a Downtown Lawrence location.

“RMV customers want free, convenient, ample parking, which the current site affords and the downtown area does not offer,” said Diana. “If other nearby RMV locations have easier, more affordable access, my constituents tell me that they will likely pay their visits elsewhere.”

During the meeting, the Registrar noted the RMV is looking to modernize its facilities and that every 10 years, they are mandated to put branch locations out for bid. They are currently reviewing the Downtown Lawrence proposal and are poised to finish that review within one month. The criteria on the RMV’s RFP (Request for Proposal) requires the branch include at least 185 parking spaces, a mandate the delegation was skeptical could be fulfilled at a Downtown Lawrence branch.

The Registrar stressed that no final decision has been made about the possible relocation.

“I am committed to, over the coming days and weeks, advocating in favor of the current Lawrence RMV branch,” said Diana. “On a matter of this nature, which will affect residents not just in my district, but throughout the Merrimack Valley, it is critical that we work together to ensure our concerns are heard loud and clear.”

Former Rival Oscar Camargo Endorses Diana for Re-Election

Oscar Camargo

Once a challenger in the hotly contested Democratic primary to serve the 14th Essex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Army veteran Oscar Camargo has endorsed the re-election of incumbent State Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen).

Oscar, a North Andover resident, is a former member of the Massachusetts National Guard and now serves in the Army Reserves at Fort Devens. While with the National Guard, he had tours of duty to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo. He is also a part-time consultant at Northeastern University.

“Representative DiZoglio and I both feel confident about the general election,” said Oscar. “I look forward to working with her and all Democratic nominees from North Andover, Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill in their endeavors.”

“I want to express my gratitude to Oscar for his endorsement and for running a respectful campaign, focused on the issues that matter most to the voters of the 14th Essex,” said Diana, who represents portions of North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill in the Legislature. “Oscar has some great ideas, particularly regarding veterans issues. I am excited to now be working together, sharing these ideas, to ensure the concerns of our community continue to be addressed on Beacon Hill.”

Diana to Host CASA Awareness Day on Beacon Hill

Diana Substance Abuse

Diana has announced she will host CASA Awareness Day on Beacon Hill on Tuesday, September 16th in the State House.

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a national program that was founded in 1977. The idea of the program was to use trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. Judges across the country soon began utilizing these volunteers and there are now more than 900 CASA programs in the nation. Most CASA advocates have full-time jobs and work on their cases in the evenings or on weekends.

The Northern Essex County CASA program launched in 1991 and in 2000 became part of Family Services of the Merrimack Valley. The program serves the Lawrence and Newburyport Juvenile Courts. Northern Essex County CASA has more than 50 volunteers who advocate annually on behalf of more than 100 children. There are more than 8,000 children in foster care in the Commonwealth due to abuse and neglect.

Diana, alongside Awareness Day co-host State Representative Leah Cole (R-Peabody), will provide for attendees an introduction on what CASA does and the positive impact it has had on abused and neglected children. CASA is partially funded by the Commonwealth, with other funding coming federally and from grants.

“Findings have shown that children who have been assigned CASA advocates spend less time in foster care than those who do not have CASA representation,” said Diana, who represents portions of North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill in the Legislature. “I am committed to fighting for sufficient funding for CASA so we in the Merrimack Valley and across the Commonwealth may have enough advocates to ensure vulnerable children do not fall through the cracks and find safe, permanent homes.”

Diana Endorsed by Fire Fighters Across 14th Essex District

PFFM

State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) has been endorsed by all four fire fighter associations in the 14th Essex District, including North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill, as well as the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts (PFFM), an organization representing fire fighters and their families across the Commonwealth.

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed legislation, sponsored by DiZoglio, to assist fire fighters’ efforts to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

“In just her first term in office, Diana has proven herself one of the strongest and most affective voices on Beacon Hill for public safety officials, both in the Merrimack Valley and across the Commonwealth,” said Edward Kelly, President of PFFM. “No one works harder than Rep. DiZoglio and the PFFM is proud to stand with her in the upcoming elections.”

“Diana’s level of commitment to public safety issues is a breath of fresh air,” said Daniel Pas, President of Local 2035 North Andover Fire Fighters. “She is truly dedicated to making our voices heard on the state level. We couldn’t be prouder to call her our State Representative. I have no doubt that she will continue serving the communities of the 14th Essex District well.”

“Diana DiZoglio has been a passionate and affective representative for Methuen fire fighters, unwavering in her advocacy for them in the State House,” said Tim Sheehy, Methuen Fire Fighters President. “We need Diana’s leadership and commitment to public safety for our brothers, sisters and family members to remain in the House of Representatives.”

“Diana is a strong advocate of public safety,” said Eric Zahn, President of Lawrence Fire Fighters Local 146. “She always works hard to ensure that the government is doing their part to maintain the security of the community. She brings an energetic and open-minded attitude toward the concerns of her constituents.”

“Rep. DiZoglio has worked tirelessly in her first term on various bills for the people of her district,” said Gregory Roberts, Haverhill Fire Fighters President. “That is why, once again, we will be supporting Rep. DiZoglio.”

“I am truly honored to receive this support from our local fire fighters, as well as PFFM, which represents more than 12,000 of our brave public service men and women in the Commonwealth,” said DiZoglio, who represents communities in North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill. “As they continue to protect our hardworking families, I will continue to fight for them in the Legislature to assist them in their dedicated service.”

Massachusetts AFL-CIO Endorses Re-Election of State Rep. Diana DiZoglio

Diana with Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steven Tolman

Diana with Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steven Tolman

The Massachusetts AFL-CIO has endorsed the re-election of Diana to continue serving the 14th Essex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

“Two years ago, based upon her commitment to helping working families in the Merrimack Valley and across Massachusetts, we endorsed Diana DiZoglio for State Representative,” said AFL-CIO President Steven Tolman. “Since then, she has proven an extraordinary legislator, fighting tirelessly for the issues that matter most to our hardworking men and women in the Commonwealth. We are proud to again support her and encourage our members to join us in helping her to win re-election.”

“I am truly honored and humbled to receive this support from the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, which represents nearly 400,000 working families across the Commonwealth,” said Diana, who represents portions of North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill in the Legislature. “Over the past two years, I have consistently advocated for jobs, infrastructure, health care, education, organizing rights and more to ensure a strong quality of life for Massachusetts workers. I want to continue representing these families in the 14th Essex District so I may ensure their concerns are always heard loud and clear on Beacon Hill.”

Diana Urges DOT Secretary & RMV to Apply the Brakes on Proposed Move in Lawrence

Diana is urging Richard Davey, Secretary of MassDOT, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to reconsider the recent proposal to move the Lawrence RMV branch from its current location on Route 114 in South Lawrence to Downtown Lawrence.

Diana, who represents the Lawrence neighborhood in which the current RMV resides, says she was not included in any discussions regarding the proposed move of the state agency. In her capacity, Diana said it is her responsibility to speak up on behalf of constituents who have not had a seat at the table on this matter.

“In recent weeks, countless residents from across my district have contacted me to express their concerns about this proposed move,” said Diana, who represents portions of North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill in the Legislature. “On a matter of this nature, which will affect residents from across my district, and throughout the Merrimack Valley, it is critical that we work together to ensure their concerns are heard loud and clear.”

From an economic perspective, the Representative argues, it could prove counterproductive to relocate the RMV branch.

“The RMV has proven critical to the economic vitality of businesses along Route 114,” said Diana. “The proposed relocation also does not take into consideration what would happen at the current site. It could create severe blight that would be detrimental to future economic development, hurting surrounding businesses located along the 114 corridor.”
Additionally, Diana says the RMV relocation makes little sense when it comes to convenience for Merrimack Valley residents.

“RMV customers want free, convenient, ample parking, which the current site affords and the downtown area does not offer,” said Diana. “If other nearby RMV locations have easier, more affordable access, my constituents tell me that they will likely pay their visits elsewhere.”

Diana has requested that immediate attention be given to this issue and that the Secretary meet with her and other local legislators from the region whose constituents the move would impact.

Legislature Passes Puppy Doe Legislation

The Massachusetts Legislature has passed animal welfare legislation that creates harsher punishments, along with increased financial penalties, against acts of animal cruelty.

Under Senate Bill 2345, An Act protecting animal welfare and safety, sponsored by State Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) and co-sponsored by Diana, maximum penalties for animal cruelty convictions will be increased from five to seven years and the maximum fine will be increased from $2,500 to $5,000.

The bill also allows a penalty of up to 10 years and/or a fine of $10,000 for repeat convictions. Additionally, the bill requires veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse. The legislation creates a task force comprised of experts in law enforcement, animal protection, veterinary medicine and the law to systematically and comprehensively evaluate the state’s cruelty statutes to ensure continued progress.

The legislation is known as the “Puppy Doe” bill, in reference to an August 2013 incident in Quincy where a young dog was discovered starved, beaten, stabbed and burned in an area park.

“The horrific acts of cruelty inflicted upon Puppy Doe greatly concerned me and other animal lovers in the Merrimack Valley and across the Commonwealth,” said Diana, who represents portions of North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill in the Legislature. “This tragedy called for swift and comprehensive legislative action to prevent future animal cruelty and I want to thank Senator Tarr for his leadership in working to ensure the advancement of critical animal welfare legislation.”

The legislation will take effect 90 days after the Governor signs the bill into law.

Diana Hosts 14th Essex Senior Day on Beacon Hill

Senior Centers Visit 1

Diana recently hosted the North Andover, Methuen and Lawrence Senior Centers for a visit at the Massachusetts State House.

Nearly 100 Merrimack Valley seniors participated in the visit, as they toured the State House and joined Diana and fellow local legislators for a meet-and-greet over coffee and pastries.

Diana brought the seniors into the House Chamber to provide a hands-on civics lesson on the legislative process in the Commonwealth. The seniors sat in the seats of lawmakers as Diana explained how an idea becomes a law and strongly encouraged them to be actively involved in the process.

“During my first term, I have strived to host events like these that bring our amazing seniors from the Merrimack Valley together,” said Diana, who represents portions of North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill. “I believe it is so important that we keep our older adults socially engaged, independent and active and I plan on hosting many more gatherings over the months and years to come.”

Joining Diana to welcome the seniors were State Senators Kathleen O’Connor Ives (D-Newburyport) and Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), as well as State Representatives Marcos Devers (D-Lawrence) and Frank Moran (D-Lawrence).

House Passes DiZoglio Bill Assisting Fire Fighters’ Fundraising Efforts for Muscular Dystrophy Association

PFFM

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has passed legislation, sponsored by Diana, that assists fire fighters’ efforts to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

Fire fighters are the MDA’s largest national sponsor and one of their most historic supporters of efforts to assist those suffering with neuromuscular disease. During the month of August, through Labor Day, fire fighters across the Commonwealth will be joining together to raise money for the cause.

“Every day, our fire fighters in the Merrimack Valley and across the Commonwealth dedicate themselves to helping people in peril,” said Diana, who represents communities in North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill. “Their work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association marks another selfless act. With the passage of this legislation, our fire fighters will be able to ‘fill the boot’ as they raise money in this immensely important effort that demonstrates the true meaning of community involvement and public service.”

“Firefighters have been in the fight to cure Muscular Dystrophy for over 60 years and by partnering with the people in our communities, we have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for research and direct support to those in a personal fight,” said Edward A. Kelly, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts (PFFM). “Our efforts have been hampered in recent years by legislation which indirectly stymied our efforts. That’s where Representative Diana DiZoglio took up the fight. Through her passionate leadership, she swiftly sponsored legislation to enable firefighters throughout the Commonwealth to be back on the streets ‘Filling the Boot’ for MDA. Diana has proven in her short time in the Legislature that she has what it takes to lead and effect positive change for the people of Massachusetts. We are lucky to have Diana advocating for firefighters on Beacon Hill.”

The MDA, which is based in Tucson, Arizona, is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to researching treatments and cures for more than 40 neuromuscular diseases. It provides support and health care services to families across the globe and brings together communities from all walks of life for advocacy and fundraising.

“The Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts (PFFM) are proud of our commitment to stand with the MDA in the fight against muscle disease,” said Kathleen Tighe, Boston area director for the MDA. “Since the tradition began in 1952 with Local 718 member George Graney answering the call of a neighbor in need in South Boston, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) has contributed more than $450 million to MDA. These funds have supported MDA’s portfolio of health care services, clinic visits, summer camps and research for over one million Americans who live with muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular diseases.”

Fire fighters in Massachusetts have helped to fund breakthroughs such the discovery of the gene for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at Boston Children’s Hospital, a treatment for Pompe Disease, and numerous advances toward understanding the causes of and possible treatments for ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in addition to sponsoring local children’s attendance at a week-long, fully-adaptive MDA Summer Camp each July.