Honoring our partners in government

Every year, we take the opportunity to recognize our community’s
partners in government who have allied with us to build a more just Commonwealth; one that embodies the most cherished values of our Jewish community through our Legislative Reception. This event celebrates not only our honorees, but also the power of civil discourse and debate across ideological lines, in the service of building strong and powerful coalitions, to improve the quality of life, and ensure access to opportunity for all in the Commonwealth.

On behalf of JCRC, the Mass Association of Jewish Federations, our member organizations, and our partner agencies, we are honored to be presenting awards to four remarkable public servants who recognize that during times of great challenge, we must unite in our commitment to act on an urgent agenda; from civil rights to human services, economic opportunity to safety and security, supporting the MA-Israel partnership, and inclusion and respect to public safety and democratic values.

For a “spoiler” sneak peek into this year’s award recipients, I encourage you to read below:

Prior to her legal career, Attorney General Maura Healey was a professional basketball player, a point guard known for her floor vision, ability to attack the rim, and above all, sportsmanship.  She has carried these attributes into her role as Attorney General, running point on the fight for immigrants and refugees, combating racism and anti-Semitism, and working to ensure that all people have their rights secured.

Widely known in Jewish communal circles as the originator of the first White House Passover Seder while working for President Barack Obama, State Senator Eric Lesser has quickly developed the reputation as an innovative thought leader behind the Commonwealth’s economic development policy. Senator Lesser led last session’s bipartisan Millennial Engagement Initiative focused on creating policy and procedures that are responsive to the needs of young people.

Upon State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez’s recent nomination as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee he offered some insight into his philosophy: “I hope to use this post to protect those in most need of it.” When Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Chairman Sanchez, amid concerns for his own family, quickly mounted a campaign to raise funds and ensure that the Commonwealth was ready to aid as quickly and efficiently as possible.

It’s not merely his sharp legal mind and grasp of policy that has made Chief Legal Counsel Lon Povich a trusted advisor to Governor Charlie Baker. Lon’s ability to leverage both humor and humility to wade through the partisan fog in his quest for truth, have cemented his reputation as the go-to mensch on Beacon Hill. His openness to be a sounding board and an ally for building consensus epitomizes the best of the hard working and dedicated staff members serving the Commonwealth on Beacon Hill.

A well-functioning society and a responsive government would not be possible without outstanding, public servants like these four individuals, along with hundreds of elected and appointed officials, staff, and civil servants who honor their duty to the people of the Commonwealth and the weighty responsibility to secure the rights and privileges to all who reside within her borders. Our legislative agenda is bound by this common theme of our shared humanity, whether it be immigrants and refugees seeking safety and security, people with disabilities and our seniors living independent lives of dignity, or are neighbors and friends seeking to rise up and provide a better future for their families.

To celebrate these four partners and meet other leaders, advocates, and policy makers in the Commonwealth, please come together with us on March 19, 2008 from 3-5pm at the Massachusetts State House.

Shabbat shalom,