Vaccines and Violence - Rachel for Cambridge

Vaccines and Violence

Dear Friends,

I write this while thinking of our siblings in Haiti and Afghanistan.  The world holds so much pain, and we each have to find our way to respond.  The classic “Think Globally, Act Locally” bumper sticker is a helpful frame for me.  Those able to support Haitians and Afghanis financially in these moments of crisis might consider contributing to Fonkoze, Hope for Haiti, and/or Women for Women.  

Rally For Our Youth, organized by My Brother’s Keeper Cambridge 8.2.21 - Wicked Local Staff Photo/Ann Ringwood

Locally, our young people are experiencing an uptick in violence.  I’m grateful that My Brother’s Keeper Cambridge, Councilors Simmons and McGovern, Vice Mayor Mallon, and Mayor Siddiqui have convened various meetings to address the shootings in the Port as well as tensions between young people in North Cambridge and the Port.  I continue to believe that, if we were to provide every child with a champion -- an adult who helps them navigate school, connect with opportunities that excite them, and secure needed resources -- we would effectively prevent most violence amongst our teenagers and emerging adults.  I remain committed to advancing this cause in our schools and community, and I’m also eager to support complementary efforts.  

As our children get ready to return to school September 9, we continue to work to protect them and everyone around them from COVID-19.  I have been pleased to see the recommendations from Interim Superintendent Greer and her team, which have included universal masking inside school buildings and outdoor lunch as much as possible.  The School Committee has passed these proposals unanimously.  

On the Committee, I have been the most vocal advocate for mandating vaccines for anyone in schools who is eligible and does not have a medical or religious reason not to get vaccinated.  You can read the joint Cambridge Chronicle OpEd piece City Councilor Patty Nolan and I wrote on this topic here (or the shorter letter to the Boston Globe editor here).  I know that many of you have weighed-in with the City Manager and School Committee about a vaccine mandate - thank you for speaking out.  

In closing, the stretch between Labor Day and Election Day is peak campaign season!  Your campaign help could make the difference in sending me back to the School Committee.  Please sign up to write to your friends, knock on doors, and/or host a yard sign.  Strengthening our schools and improving outcomes for our children will take all of us.  I am very grateful to count you as partners.

As always, I welcome your ideas and questions.

In collaboration,



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