Friday, June 9 Legislative & Public Health Updates

Dear friends,

I write to you today with public health and legislative updates. 


Table of Contents

  • Cambridge Updates
  • Lifeguarding Opportunities This Summer
  • Public Health Updates
  • Recent Press
  • A Glimpse at the Past Week
  • Mental Health Services and Resources


Cambridge Updates

Gun Buyback Event Tomorrow, June 10

The Cambridge Public Health Department and the Police Department are holding a gun buyback event tomorrow, June 10, from 10:00AM to 12:00PM. This public health and public safety event will provide residents with an opportunity to anonymously and safely dispose of their unwanted firearms and, in turn, reduce the potential for an accidental discharge or wrongdoing in a home or on our streets. As an incentive to participate, residents will be awarded gift cards for firearms they turn into public safety officers the day of the event. The values range depending on the firearm type and children who turn in toy guns will be eligible to receive a gift card to Toscanini’s ice cream. More information is available at The drop-off locations are:

  • Reservoir Church, 170 Rindge Ave., parking lot
  • Pentecostal Tabernacle, 77 Columbia St., parking lot

Public Health Helpline Supports Residents with COVID-19

To speak with someone, call the confidential COVID-19 Hotline for the public health departments of Cambridge, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop at 617-933-0797. The hotline is managed by the Cambridge Public Health Department. Learn more at

City Offering Free At-Home COVID Tests

The Cambridge Public Health Department, in partnership with the Cambridge Health Alliance, is providing free COVID-19 rapid antigen at-home test kits. They can be picked up Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM in the CHA lobby at 119 Windsor Street. Cambridge businesses or organizations that would like free rapid tests to provide to customers can call the COVID-19 hotline at 617-933-0797 to request them.

Lifeguarding Opportunities This Summer

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) needs certified lifeguards to work at our beautiful state beaches and pools this summer. Qualified applicants who are certified can receive up to $1,000 in bonuses if they commit to staying through September 4. Plus, this year the Healey-Driscoll Administration raised the pay to between $22-$27 per hour, depending on position and related credentials.

To be considered for a DCR lifeguard position, applicants must be at least 16 years of age by the date of hire, must complete lifeguard training, and must be certified in first aid and CPR. For more information or to apply, visit 


Public Health Updates

Upcoming Stakeholder Listening Sessions on Problem Gambling

The Department of Public Health’s Office of Problem Gambling Services (OPGS) is holding its 7th annual stakeholder virtual listening sessions to discuss modern day gambling and strategies, policies, and programs to reduce the harms caused by problem gambling. Share your thoughts or recommendations about the programs provided by the OPGS and register for the listening sessions held on June 20 and June 21.

End of COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

As a reminder, the COVID-19 public health emergency has ended. That means: 

  • Healthcare facilities can set their own mask policies
  • Private insurers aren’t required to provide free rapid tests
  • Vaccines & treatments are still covered by insurance in MA

Learn more at

MassHealth Redetermination Underway

The MassHealth eligibility redetermination process began on April 1. Over the upcoming year, MassHealth will renew the membership of all 2.3 million members. Visit or call (800)-841-2900 to learn more about this process. 


Recent Press

Frontier students work with lawmakers to file bill on menstrual products

By Chris Larabee, Greenfield Recorder

What began as a class project exploring students’ civic identities has found its way nearly 100 miles east, as three Frontier Regional School students testified at the State House Tuesday afternoon to support a bill they helped file with local legislators.

On the State House floor on Tuesday afternoon, [Representative Natialie] Blais called the students “statewide leaders,” while Joint Committee on Public Health chairs Julian Cyr and Marjorie Decker thanked the students for taking time out of their day to come to Boston and participate in the legislative process.

“Your voices are really important and you are really leading the way, not just for your peers, but for adults, and I’m already thinking about how I’m going to take your testimony and have my 12-year-old and my 14-year-old read it,” Decker said. “Thank you for just being incredible leaders, not of the future, but of today.”



A Glimpse at the Past Week

Senator Ed Markey and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy hosted a great conversation at the Boston University School of Public Health about the importance of promoting mental health among children and youth.


I joined a Pride Month celebration and flag raising on the front steps of the State House, hosted by the MA LGBTQ+ Legislative Caucus and Governor Healey. It was a joyous affirmation of love, authenticity, and allyship. I could not be more proud to live in a state that not only values the humanity and dignity of the LGBTQIA community, but also enacts laws ensuring that their rights and those of their providers are protected.


I joined members of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators to hear from Executive Office of Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao and her staff


I held a hearing with my Public Health Committee Co-Chair Senator Julian Cyr on bills related to reproductive health, sexual health, and pharmacies. I am grateful to everyone who testified. We listened to powerful testimony about PrEP, date rape drugs, menstrual products, midwife care, and lactation services, among other topics. I particularly appreciate the courage of those who shared painful stories in the hope of sparing others from trauma.

Copyright 2018 Authorized and Paid for by The Friends of Marjorie Decker © All Rights Reserved