House Budget Includes Funding to Assist Disabled Merrimack Valley Veterans

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has included in its Fiscal Year 2016 Budget an amendment, sponsored by State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen), for $125,000 in funds to assist the Career Resources Corporation (CRC) in its initiative to help disabled veterans who are seeking employment opportunities.

CRC, which is based in Haverhill, is a non-profit that serves communities across the Merrimack Valley. For 40 years, it has worked to empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers to be successful and self-sufficient.

The organization’s partnership with Valley Works Career Center, the Veterans Northeast Outreach Center and the City of Haverhill Veterans’ Services has provided area veterans with comprehensive support to seek and maintain employment.

“CRC is committed to enhancing the quality of life for people throughout the Merrimack Valley who are living with a wide range of disabilities and other challenges,” said Brad Howell, Chief Executive Officer at CRC. “The Veterans with Disabilities Employment program has been extremely effective in assisting veterans obtain employment. Representative DiZoglio and Chairman Brian S. Dempsey (D-Haverhill) have been tireless supporters of this program by successfully advocating for funding and building support among the local delegation. Their commitment goes beyond funding as they also consistently attend CRC events advocates for people with disabilities. CRC wishes to thank Representative DiZoglio, Chairman Dempsey and the Merrimack Valley delegation for their support.”

“Unemployment remains high among veterans, comparative to the overall population,” said DiZoglio, who represents communities in North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill. “These are men and women who have put their lives on the line for us and we need to do everything we can to help them transition back into our community. This program will go a long way toward ensuring the continued success of our service men and women. CRC has estimated that with the inclusion of this funding, it will be able to serve an additional 27 veterans in the Merrimack Valley who are seeking jobs.”

“This program will go a long way in providing our local veterans with the critical support services they need and will ensure that our veterans are provided access to employment opportunities,” said State Representative Brian S. Dempsey (D-Haverhill). “I commend the leadership of Representative DiZoglio on this issue and the hard work of the entire Haverhill delegation in their commitment to our veterans.”

House Secures $400,000 in FY16 Budget for Nicholson Renovations

Included in the Massachusetts House of Representatives’ Fiscal Year 2016 Budget is an amendment, sponsored by State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) and the Methuen House delegation, allocating $400,000 toward renovations for Nicholson Stadium at Methuen High School.

“We in the Methuen legislative delegation have worked hard to assist the City of Methuen in completing this long overdue project,” said DiZoglio. “As a Methuen High School graduate and former student athlete, I have been very committed to fighting for additional funds to assist in this project’s completion. We have now secured a total of $1 million and I am grateful to House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey (D-Haverhill) for his leadership in helping to secure these funds.”

Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Day Celebrated at State House

State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) with Albert Latulippe of the Lawrence-based Rock Steady Boxing.

State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) with Albert Latulippe of the Lawrence-based Rock Steady Boxing.

State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) hosted Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Day at the State House on Friday, April 24.

Joining DiZoglio were Parkinson’s Disease advocates from across the Commonwealth, including members of the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) and a representative from Rock Steady Boxing, a Lawrence-based fitness center that works to improve quality of life for persons battling Parkinson’s through non-contact, boxing-inspired training.

DiZoglio recently sponsored a resolution, co-sponsored by 50 other legislators from across the Commonwealth, proclaiming the month of April as Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month in Massachusetts. Among the co-sponsors were State Representatives Marcos A. Devers (D-Lawrence), Frank A. Moran (D-Lawrence) and Leonard Mirra (R-West Newbury).

The Representative presented the resolution to North Andover resident Charles Brown, Massachusetts Assistant State Director for PAN.

“Parkinson’s Disease is a chronic, progressive neurological disease, with no treatment to slow or halt its progression, that affects between 500,000 and 1.5 million Americans and is the 14th leading cause of death in the United States,” said DiZoglio, who represents communities in North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill. “I was honored to host this important event and join with citizens from the Merrimack Valley and across the Commonwealth in raising awareness about the disease. North Andover resident Charles Brown lives with Parkinson’s and I want to thank him for his inspirational comments and for joining with us in hosting this Awareness Day.”

Diana Hosts St. Paddy’s Luncheon for North Andover Seniors

Diana St Paddys 2

Diana St Paddys

State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) hosted a St. Paddy’s Day luncheon at the North Andover Senior Center to celebrate the holiday and bring members of the senior community together.

The event, which drew an attendance of 85 seniors, was catered by Borelli’s Italian Deli in Methuen and featured a traditional corned beef and cabbage lunch.

“I was so delighted to host a St. Paddy’s Day luncheon for a second consecutive year for the amazing North Andover seniors,” said Diana, who represents portions of North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill in the Legislature. “The food was incredible and it was a pleasure catching up with friends and meeting some new faces too. Social events like these are so important to keep our seniors engaged and active and I look forward to hosting more events like these in coordination with the Senior Center in the future.”

Diana Celebrates Read Across America Day with Kittredge, Timony Grammar Schools

Diana with the talented students of Methuen's Timony Grammar School

Diana with the talented students of Methuen’s Timony Grammar School

Diana with Kittredge School Principal Richard Cushing and two fourth-grade students

Diana with Kittredge School Principal Richard Cushing and two fourth-grade students

Diana joined North Andover’s Kittredge School and Methuen’s Timony Grammar School in celebration of Read Across America Day on March 5.

Read Across America Day, sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA), promotes literacy across grades and celebrates the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

“I was delighted to read to the amazing students at Kittredge and Timony in honor of Read Across America Day,” said Diana. “Occasions like these are immensely important in working to ensure our youth strongly grasp reading skills and concepts in their education.”

My Own Voice Choir Performs at State House

My Own Voice 2015

State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) hosted My Own Voice Choir for a concert at the Massachusetts State House on Friday, February 20.

My Own Voice Choir, a part of the Treble Chorus New England, was founded in 2012 to provide choral opportunities to children and young adults with special needs. Performers from other choirs provide mentoring support at rehearsals for My Own Voice participants. Performers in the choir hail from Methuen, Haverhill, North Andover, Andover, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Peabody and Middleton.

“I was honored to have the opportunity to host My Own Voice for this performance at the State House,” said DiZoglio, who represents portions of North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill in the Legislature. “It was a moving and powerful concert and a reminder that, provided the opportunity, all young people have great talents to showcase.”

“We were delighted to be able to perform on the Grand Staircase for a second year,” said Bernadette Lionetta, founder of My Own Voice. “Providing opportunities like this for our choir reinforces all our abilities and talents. My Own Voice’s mission is to provide as many opportunities as we can for our choristers and we are thrilled that State Representative Diana DiZoglio has helped us with this effort.”

Following the performance, DiZoglio invited the choir members to sit in the House Chamber, where the Representative spoke about the legislative process and how citizens can be actively involved in it.

Diana Sworn-in for Second Term in State House

Diana Swearing In

State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) has been officially sworn-in to serve a second term representing the 14th Essex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Diana represents portions of North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill in the Legislature.

“I am truly honored to have the opportunity to continue serving the amazing residents of the 14th Essex District,” said Diana. “My constituents have placed their trust in me and I will continue to work hard to make them proud. With the start of the new legislative session, I am eager to continue working on issues critical to the Merrimack Valley, among them education and economic development and jobs. I am committed to fighting for sufficient funding for public schools and public safety, as well as focusing on substance abuse issues and education.”

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.”