Advocating a Brighter Future in the Merrimack Valley

By: State Rep.  Francisco Paulino

Dear Friends and Neighbors of Methuen and Lawrence,
a few years back, when the halls of Suffolk University Law School were my daily walk, a fervent dream took root. I envisioned a community where everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances, was afforded the same opportunities and treated with equal respect.

It was then that I set out to draft the “Payroll Card Bill” in 2015. As I took my first steps in the State House last January, I made it a priority to file that bill, marked as H.1931. It wasn’t just a piece of paper or a bureaucratic exercise. It was, and remains, a testament to my commitment to transparency and fairness in wage payments for every resident of Methuen and Lawrence.

Last week brought us another significant victory. On the 4th of October, the “Wage Equity Act”, H.1849, which I proudly co-sponsored, received unanimous approval from the House. It’s a moment of pride for all of us, reinforcing our shared belief that everyone in Massachusetts deserves equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or any other discriminatory factor.

I’m also thrilled to share news about the grant from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Collaborating with the MassHire Merrimack Valley Workforce Board and the City of Lawrence, we’ve championed an impressive grant of $849,587.

This isn’t just about numbers on a page. This funding will offer 33 community members a chance to gain essential skills for roles in Advanced Manufacturing CNC Machine Operation.

It’s a step forward, ensuring that members of our community are equipped to seize better job opportunities and fortifying Lawrence and Methuen’s place in the state’s economic landscape.

The work, however, doesn’t stop here. Each day brings new challenges, but with it, new opportunities. My promise to you is to remain relentless, always advocating for our community’s best interests. Every decision, every bill, and every late-night strategy session is fueled by our shared aspirations and the stories of resilience and ambition I’ve had the privilege to hear from many of you.

Together, we are crafting a bright future. A future where Lawrence and Methuen are not just spots on a map, but shining examples of community-driven progress. Let’s keep this momentum going, ensuring that our towns are synonymous with opportunity, fairness, and prosperity for all.

This isn’t about declaring ‘mission accomplished;’ rather, it underscores a need that has become a top priority for me, your State Representative.

Thank you for your unwavering trust, support, and the belief you place in our shared vision. Here’s to us, to Methuen, to Lawrence, and to the brighter days ahead. You can email me at ◊