Merrimack Valley Students Intern at State House with Diana

Diana with Merrimack Valley students Grace Stanton and Caitlin Favreau

Diana with Merrimack Valley students Grace Stanton and Caitlin Favreau

Three students from the Merrimack Valley this summer interned in Diana’s Massachusetts State House office.

During their internships, North Andover’s Caitlin Favreau, Haverhill’s Grace Stanton and Lawrence’s Kateen Kumar had the opportunity to attend seminars featuring the likes of Gov. Deval Patrick, former Gov. Michael Dukakis and House Speaker Robert DeLeo. Internships at the State House offer students a prime environment for civic learning, as they assist staff in constituent services and legislative research. Interns are also able to view legislative sessions in person.

“I am a passionate proponent of civic education and the way I see it, there is no better lesson in civics for the Commonwealth’s students than witnessing policymaking firsthand at the State House,” said Diana. “It has been a pleasure and honor working alongside such talented and savvy students as Caitlin, Grace and Kateen and I have no doubt they’ll go onto amazing things in the future.”

Favreau, a graduate of the Academy of Notre Dame who will be attending Mount Holyoke College in the fall, said the internship created for her a strong foundation for civic service and was influential on what she aspires to pursue as a career.

“Diana has been a significant role model throughout my experience at the State House, inspiring young women like myself to enter into the political field,” said Favreau. “She has given me opportunities to contact constituents, work on their cases and explore projects as well. One project that was specifically designed for me was a civic education project, which promoted interest and understanding about our government. As a recent high school graduate, I was able to reflect upon my experiences and give helpful advice, as well as work with teachers, principals, my representative and her colleagues. I have always wanted to help others and make a difference, so with this opportunity and experience, I know this is the right career path for me. As a good mentor told me, ‘I see a future leader in you, keep up the good work.’ If you have the drive, the inspiration, the commitment and hardworking ethics, you will also do well in this field.”

Stanton, who will be a junior this fall at Haverhill High School, said interning at the State House has given her a perspective on how important legislators are in our daily lives.

“I am fortunate to have been given this chance to take a peek into our state government and give a helping hand to Diana and her legislative aide, Andrew,” said Stanton. “I have been able to work on constituent cases firsthand, which has given me a fantastic feeling knowing that I personally made someone’s life a little easier by handling a situation they couldn’t quite deal with alone. I have also met with some incredible politicians and their staff members who also take part in influencing the everyday lives of the populace of the Commonwealth. As an intern I have been able to absorb a greater depth of knowledge, including bill processing and the importance of diction. I would highly recommend interning at the State House for anyone who thoroughly enjoys positively influencing lives and wishes to widen their selection of aspirations for the future.”

Kumar, who currently attends the Massachusetts School of Law, said he was delighted to have the opportunity to intern with Diana.

“It has been an exciting and truly educational experience working within the legislative process with a strong, positive advocate like Rep. DiZoglio,” said Kumar. “To know we have representatives who care about their constituents and having the privilege to work for that type of person has been a heartening and enlightening experience.”

Diana to Host Community Ice Cream Night in Bradford

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Diana will host an outdoor ice cream social and movie night this Thursday, August 15 at the basketball court at Presidential Gardens Neighborhood in Bradford.

Located over 24 acres, Presidential Gardens is a 200-unit rental complex of nine separate townhouses. The property offers generous grounds for outdoor activities and recreation, as well as a free-standing community center for residents to hold programs.

“The Presidential Gardens Neighborhood Association is committed to bringing its residents together in a community fashion,” said Cheryl Capodilupo, Presidential Gardens budget coordinator. “We appreciate the generosity of Representative Diana DiZoglio in supporting our endeavors.”

“Creating opportunities for neighbors to meet in a positive environment stimulates healthy relationships that make for a safer and more close-knit community,” said Diana. “I am really looking forward to meeting local residents at what is sure to be a fantastic night.”

Shown at the event, which begins at 7PM, will be “Hotel Transylvania,” the 2012 fantasy-comedy animated film featuring the voices of Adam Sandler and Kevin James.

On the Transportation Tax Package and Overriding the Governor’s Veto

Diana DiZoglio for State Representative!

If there is one thing that I have learned during my first term representing you on Beacon Hill it’s that things don’t always appear as they seem and that the legislative process can be a real head scratcher.

Witness recently when Governor Deval Patrick vetoed a transportation bill that significantly raised taxes on gas, cigarettes and computer software.

Vetoing legislation that unfairly increases these types of taxes, especially on working people, while making things even harder for state border communities here in the Merrimack Valley appeared to be the right thing to do, right?

It did to me. That’s why when these tax raising measures came before the House I voted not once, but twice, against the increases.

Unfortunately, the House still passed the tax hikes. The first time it passed by a vote of 97 to 55. The Senate then voted to increase revenues even more, and returned their version of this tax package back to the House for a vote. This time the tax package passed by an even larger margin of 105 to 47. In the Senate it passed by a whopping 35 to only 5.

Notice a trend here?

But could my constituents take comfort because the governor vetoed the tax hikes? No, because the governor did not veto them to protect the working people in my border communities from another tax hike. He vetoed the hikes because he wanted a bill that raised these taxes even more. Specifically, he was battling for the gas tax to go up about 3 to 4 cents per gallon.

That’s just crazy, isn’t it? I think so. But it would have been crazier if the legislature had another chance to raise these taxes even higher for the governor to enact. So, of course I voted to override Governor Patrick’s veto that would have allowed this.

Shocking to me, however, was that some of the people who voted with me against these tax hikes, actually voted with the governor to help sustain his veto. Now, this was the craziest thing of all for me to witness out of this whole scenario.

How could this be and what were they thinking?

Well, these folks argue, that had the governor’s veto been sustained, the tax hikes would not have been enacted.

…Really?

The upward, spiraling trend was clear, folks. Every time there was a proposed increase, as the numbers show, the House passed it with even more votes. The governor wanted another bite at the apple and I was not about to let that happen. Had his veto been sustained, the House — that overwhelmingly approved the original tax hikes — would have passed new legislation to raise the gas tax by even more. That is why I voted to override the governor’s veto.

Beacon Hill can be a lot of smoke and mirrors, I am learning. Back home in the Merrimack Valley, however, things are clear as day. Our communities don’t deserve more obstacles and political games. They deserve an honest answer, a level playing field and a fair shot. That’s why I am committed to fighting for you as your state representative and it’s why I opposed these newly enacted tax hikes.