As a Commissioner with the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, (MCSW) I invite the citizens of Malden (and the Commonwealth) to an open public hearing taking place on Wednesday, February 27th at the Waltham Government Center. The hearing will begin at 4:30 p.m. and continue until 6:30 p.m or until all testimony is heard.
The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women's mission is to "advance women toward full equity in all areas of life and to promote rights and opportunities for all women". The Commission was established by legislation created in May 1998 and has been operating since 1999. We are empowered to conduct public hearings across the Commonwealth and report findings from these hearing to the state legislature; both written and oral testimony is accepted.
You do not have to be an eloquent speaker, elected community official or affiliated with any particular group to testify. If there is an issue relating to women (e.g. human rights) and their families, you can testify. As an example, before I became a Commissioner, I attended a public hearing at North Shore Community College. The reason I attended was to hear testimony and support the young women who were involved in Girls Inc. in Lynn.
At the hearing, a woman came up to the microphone to testify from the heart. She was a Grandmother who was trying desperately to find help because she was raising her grandchildren. She received no financial, emotional or community support as she struggled to provide a home for her grandchildren that had been abandoned by their parents. This heartfelt testimony resulted in legislation and organizations to assist "Grandparents raising Grandchildren"; support groups developed and help was given to others in her situation.
I realize not everyone can make it to Waltham during a work week. However, if you have testimony to give, you can forward it to me or send it directly to the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women via their Executive Director, Jill Ashton (www.mass.gov/women or email@example.com).
In order for things to change, you've got to stop talking and take action. Testifying at public hearings is one way to take action and have your voice heard. Finally, the Commission puts together a schedule of public hearings for the year; if you think we need one closer to Malden, please let me know and I'll do my best to arrange it.
Enjoy the journey