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Rep. Aaron Michlewitz Sets New Legislative Priorities: Gun Control, Early Voting / Election Reform, Gay Couples Tax Credit and Car Rental Fees

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As he begins his third term in the Massachusetts State Legislature, Representative Aaron Michlewitz has put forth an aggressive agenda of legislative proposals for the upcoming 2013 – 2014 session.

Known for championing neighborhood-related issues such as the Green Ticket Bill and Greenway Conservancy Reform, Michlewitz is sponsoring seven new bills on broad issues such as Gun Control, Election Reform and Gay Rights. The lifelong North End Democrat represents the Third Suffolk District that includes the North End / Waterfront, South End, Chinatown and parts of Downtown Boston. We recently sat down with Representative Michlewitz to get the rundown on his latest proposals.

State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz speaks at a North End event accompanied by House Speaker Robert DeLeo. (Photo by Matt Conti)

Gun Control
Representative Michlewitz has partnered with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to sponsor new Gun Control legislation that would create a statewide Gun Offender Registry list. Similar to the Sex Offender Registry, those convicted of gun crimes residing in Massachusetts would have their names and addresses listed in a database accessible to the public.

The Sandy Hook School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut have encouraged legislators to introduce new gun control measures. “I have always been a strong supporter of gun control laws and this registry list of offenders is an important step that will identify those who have previously violated our gun laws,” said Rep. Michlewitz.

Early Voting and Election Reform
If you voted waited a long time in line to vote during last November’s election, you will probably be supportive of Michlewitz’ Early Voting proposal, a system already adopted by many other states. “There is still a need for re-precincting,” noted Michlewitz, “but early voting will help ease the lines at the polls that many constituents experienced last year.” Cities and towns across the Commonwealth will be given the option of allowing early voting for statewide elections, up to 2 weeks before election day at a central location for each ward. For the North End’s Ward 3 in Boston, voters could go to City Hall during the early voting period to cast their votes.

In the election reform front, Michlewitz is sponsoring requirements for election audits, pre-registration and clerk training. Machine counts would be randomly verified and 16 & 17 year olds will be able to pre-register so they are automatically registered on their 18th birthday. “Getting young people to vote in their first election is crucial to developing lifelong voting habits,” said Michlewitz. In addition to Early Voting and Election Reform, the Representative would make permanent Bilingual Ballots for Boston’s Chinese and Vietnamese speakers.

Gay Rights
As a supporter of same sex marriage, Rep. Michlewitz would make Massachusetts the first state in the nation that would reimburse gay married couples who are state workers for tax penalties imposed on them regarding imputed income related to health insurance. The Same Sex Couples Tax Credit would offset the extra tax penalties that came as a result of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The City of Cambridge already offers a similar reimbursement to city employees, as do companies like Facebook and Google.

Tunnel Safety
Recent concerns about safety in tunnels has motivated the Representative to sponsor “An Act Concerning Tunnel Safety” whereby privately owned tunnels would be required to disclose their insurance coverage. The Copley Place tunnel under the Prudential Center would be an example of a privately owned tunnel that would be subject to the proposed legislation.

Rental Car Fees
Looking to give Boston and Cambridge residents a break, Michlewitz is also introducing legislation to exempt city residents from the Boston Convention Center surcharge on rental cars. This would also apply to some ZipCar-type fees.

As he does at the start of every term, Representative Michlewitz is in the process of meeting with community leaders throughout the Third Suffolk District, including local businesses and neighborhood groups such as the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) and the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA). He invites others interested in discussing legislative issues to contact his office at 617-722-2400 or via email at aaron.m.michlewitz@mahouse.gov. He also maintains a website at www.AaronForRep.com.

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Leave a comment on this post:

Chris says:

No one saying your not making legitimate points. But comparing the North End to Sodom and Gommoria is a tad on the dramatic side and when you say that and it makes the paper have you really accomplished anything but being the loudest voice in the room? To a city official how do you think you sound if you say that and tell people to use bug spray as mace or what not? There are serious problems in the neighborhood but yelling and making outrageous claims and criticizing the people who now make up a vast majority of the population of the north end will get you no where.

Chris says:

Although we have numerous problems in the neighborhood it serves no one to be constantly so negative and quite frankly nasty. It turns people off and allows people to easily write you off and undermines your legitimate points. There’s a line between serious and insane.

NO. END LANDLORD says:

Chris you are entitled to your own opinion and I am entitled to mine. I always speak from My Heart & Soul and that is Honest to God’s Truth, and I am never going to apologize for the Truth.

NO. END LANDLORD says:

Chris, another thing I want to mention is who is the one to determine Insanity, or for that matter Negativity? Am I angry, you better

believe I am, and rightfully so. I don’t like when people with any authority lie or try to b.s. me along with the other residents.

We have been at this for over 20 years, and just maybe you are the New Kid On the Block compared to us and you are not affected

by what goes on in our Small Neighborhood because you might be in a much better living space.

Resident says:

Ambitious start for the new year, Aaron, continued success.

Pavel Bure says:

Great Job Aaron!!! You are doing a wonderful job. You are a hardworking individual and have your ear to the ground in the Neighborhoods you represent. More politicians should be like you. You are the epitome of the working class!

So proud to call you my rep!

Pavel

NO. END LANDLORD says:

Pavel, I don’t know how long you have been in the
Neighborhood, but those of us who have lived here our
entire lives have watch the decline of the Quality of Life
in our Neighborhood for over 20 years.

I don’t know if you live in the Strada or the Waterfront
area, but if you live in either place you are not affected
by the Trash, Dog Crap and Broken Bottles, Drunks
yelling outside of your window, etc..

We depend on our Politicians to correct the above matters
and these Ordinances that they put together are not
affective and have to be revised.

Aaron is a very likeable person and most of our City
Officials are also, but the Ordinances are not working
and too many of our lives are being affected by this.

God Bless you if you are not affected or not aware of any of
these serious problems. We are not running a popularity
contest, the Neighborhood is a prosperous Neighborhood
and that is Great, but not at the Expense of any Residents,
Rich or Poor.

NO. END LANDLORD says:

I am so glad Aaron you are getting all this recognition.

Now, I hope you and City Officials can revise these
Ordinances.

We have to make the fines much higher, and the warnings
have been in effect for over 20 years, eliminate the
warnings and hit them in the pocket, and let’s get the
North End where it is suppose to be.

These Ordinances are a Joke and there aren’t any Residents
that have any proof as to what is really going on.

If these Ordinances were that effective, you would not
have the same offenders. Let’s get the word out that
if you enter our Neighborhood, whether you are a Resident, or Tourist you are not going to Trash or Disrupt
this Community in any way, shape or form.

We live in a Very Prosperous Neighborhood and that is
Great, but it is filthy and people do not think twice of
Disturbing the Peace. There is a Happy Medium, let’s
start thinking of the Residents a little more and not just
the businesses. I know the State gets 6.25% and the
City gets .75% in taxes, which is fine, but let’s not let
these drunks and violators think they are entitled to do
whatever they want to do in our small Neighborhood..

WHERE THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY.

marge S says:

Love all the initiatives ! Great going, Aaron!

Junior says:

Our young neighborhood rep is really making a name for himself. Go Aaron!

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