REP. REYES: Women in Government and a Successful BASH

By: State Rep. Estela Reyes – 3/24 

I want to start my column this month by recognizing Tom Duggan and the Valley Patriot’s 20th Anniversary BASH.

This event raised a record amount – over $58,000 for scholarships for eight local students in the Merrimack Valley.

Tom is instrumental in the operations of the Valley Patriot and is a fighter for our community.

What an incredible achievement on top of a night of eating, celebrating, and networking. My sincerest thank you to everyone involved in making the The Valley Patriot’s 20th Anniversary BASH so successful.

I also want to congratulate Eileen Suarez, student Commander of Lawrence High School’s JrROTC, who received a Valley Patriot scholarship in the amount of $11,485 last month.

I would also like to take a moment of remembrance for Lawrence Police Sargent Charlie Saindon who passed away tragically last month.

Charlie was a valued member of the Lawrence Police Department and a beloved member of the community.

His sudden passing left a hole in many hearts. We will remember Charlie for his commitment to the health, safety, and operations of Lawrence, and through his loving wife Kelley and his children.
My deepest condolences to those affected by this massive loss.

The health and safety of this community is a top priority of mine as your elected representative. I was excited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony at Lawrence General Hospital, revealing its new Charlie and Liz Daher Accelerated Care Unit at the Emergency Center. This new unit will allow LGH to care for more patients who require urgent services. I am excited about this development for LGH and for those who it will support.

Outside of community happenings, March is a special month because it serves as a time to celebrate women’s history by acknowledging and reflecting upon the integral contributions of women to American history and within society today.

Each March, the National Women’s History Alliance designates a yearly theme for Women’s History Month. This year will celebrate “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.”

This is a perfect introduction to highlighting the accomplishments of female leaders in Lawrence and Methuen who consistently embody the spirit of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within our community.

Women have been fundamental to the success of Lawrence as a 20th century world leader in the production of cotton and woolen textiles.
During the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike, women played a huge role as proponents of social justice, advocating for higher wages for workers in Lawrence’s mills.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank my fellow female legislators in the Massachusetts State House of Representatives and Senate for all that they do, uplifting women and advocating for minority populations in Massachusetts. Only 231 women have served in the Massachusetts legislature, compared to over 20,000 men.

This figure highlights just how necessary it is to support female legislators, uplift those interested in serving in public office and present girls with the necessary education and support to believe that representing their community is an attainable goal.

Our governor, Maura Healey has set this precedent as the first woman and first openly LGBTQ person elected Governor in Massachusetts. Both Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll have been trailblazers, paving the way for future generations of women in politics and a more inclusive Massachusetts.

To conclude this month’s entry, I want to wish everyone a happy Saint Patrick’s Day, a joyous start to Ramadan, and a Happy Easter. As always, please reach out to me at with any thoughts, questions, and concerns.

You can contact Estela Reyes’ office through her Legislative Aide, Laura Byman, Office of Representative Estela A. Reyes | 4th Essex District, State House, Room 33 | 24 Beacon St. Boston MA 02133. (617) 299-0191 email: ◊