DiZoglio to chair Senate Committee on Community Development and Small Business

On Thursday, State Senator Diana DiZoglio, D-Methuen, was named the chair of the Community Development and Small Business, as well as the vice chair of the committees for Municipalities and Regional Government and Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities.

In addition, DiZoglio will sit on the committees for Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, Financial Services, Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, and Transportation.

Committee assignments handed to members by Senate President Karen Spilka will help shape a legislator’s priorities for the next two years.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity, as a freshman senator, to head a committee that will debate substantive policy and can help communities along the New Hampshire border,” said DiZoglio. “As a region, the Merrimack Valley will greatly benefit from policies that encourage redevelopment and help our small businesses thrive.”

On the same day that DiZoglio was tapped to lead the senate committee and Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Lowell, was appointed its vice chair, Merrimack Valley Reps. Andy Vargas, D-Haverhill, and Christina Minicucci, D-North Andover, were given seats on the House Committee on Community Development and Small Business.

“I’m pleased so many local legislators will also serve on these committees to bring strong representation for our region,” said DiZoglio. “I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting right to work.”

In his second term representing the 3rd Essex District, Rep. Vargas is looking to apply his private sector experience assisting budding entrepreneurs to his work with the committee.

“In a time where small businesses struggle to compete in this new economy, I’m looking forward to doing all we can to support local entrepreneurs,” said Vargas. “We build stronger communities when we prioritize community development and boost our small businesses.”

Rep. Minicucci, who succeeded DiZoglio as representative for the 14th Essex District, said Thursday she is thrilled to bring her own small business experience to the table in her first term and join her regional colleagues to find innovative ways to support our small businesses.

“The Merrimack Valley has always been a hub of entrepreneurship,” said Minicucci. “Community development is a team effort and I look forward to working with community stakeholders to support our entrepreneurs, help existing companies innovate, and grow job training opportunities to ensure our economy continues to thrive.”

Haverhill and Methuen Receive Shannon Grant to Combat Youth Gang Violence

The Cities of Haverhill and Methuen will be receiving $185,000 through the Commonwealth’s Shannon Community Safety Initiative to address regional youth gang violence.

An additional $29,709.61 will also be distributed to the University of Massachusetts, Lowell’s satellite campus at Harbor Place in Haverhill, which is a Local Action Research Partner with the program.

The $7.1 million being distributed through this year’s grant is being administered by the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security.

The Shannon Grant, is designed to help reduce the prevalence of gangs through community policy initiatives that encourage youth mentoring and improving relationships among families, law enforcement and school faculty.

“The funding provided through this grant will enable the Haverhill Police Department and our partners to continue to provide critical services to at risk youth in danger of falling victim to gang affiliation, criminal behavior and abandonment of educational and vocational opportunities designed to prepare them for productive futures in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said Haverhill Police Chief Alan DeNaro.

“The Shannon grant awarded to Methuen and Haverhill aids us dramatically as we combat drugs and gangs on our streets and in the Merrimack Valley,” said Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon. “Senator DiZoglio’s efforts toward obtaining continuing funding are vital as we compete for available resources. I want to thank her for her consistent support of law enforcement and our efforts to make the Merrimack Valley safer for everyone.”

“I am pleased to see Shannon Grant funding return to Haverhill as we continue working to thwart the corrosive influence of gangs in our communities,” said State Senator Diana DiZoglio, D-Methuen. “Young people are the Merrimack Valley’s most valuable asset, and we at the state level are excited to continue working with our amazing local law enforcement partners to help keep our kids moving toward bright futures.”

Dennis Everett Honored For Community Work in Haverhill

IMG_3185As part of Black History Month and the state’s efforts to commemorate the work
of prominent African Americans in Massachusetts, state legislators nominated local activists, businesspeople and community leaders to be recognized during Black Excellence on the Hill Day on Monday, February 4.

The nominee for the 1st Essex District, Dennis Everett of Haverhill, received a citation Monday from the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus for his work within the city and around eastern Massachusetts.

A married father of seven, Dennis and his wife Katrina Hobbs Everett are heavily involved with the Rehoboth Lighthouse Full Gospel of Haverhill, where Katrina’s father and mother, Bishop Franklin Hobbs and co-pastor Carolyn Hobbs, have been longtime community leaders.

Through their non-profit, Power of Self-Empowerment (POSE), the Everetts work with at-risk youth and seek to empower individuals toward self-sustained social responsibility. Everett has taken a special interest in helping men who are reentering society after a stay of incarceration.

A proud member of the Insulators Local 6 union, Everett’s faith and passion for music are a big part of his activism. Under the stage name Preacha Rhymes, Everett’s music has helped raise awareness around issues such as gun violence and has been recognized by local media.

“I’m overwhelmed, grateful and humbled by this honor. I’m motivated to work even harder,” said Everett Monday while also thanking his wife for her love and support. “We’re a team and we support each other always.”

“Dennis embodies so much of what makes the Merrimack Valley and its communities great,”said State Senator Diana DiZoglio, D-Methuen. “As anyone in the Acre and Mount Washington neighborhoods of Haverhill can attest, Dennis and Kat are real difference makers in this city and I look forward to working with them and POSE in the years to come.”