Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast

by Richard P. Howe Jr.

Mayor Rodney Elliott

On February 25, 2014 several hundred members of the local business community gathered at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center for the annual Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast.  Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and several members of the Massachusetts Legislature attended the event and talked about many Federal and State Issues.

Congresswoman Tsongas spoke about the great damage that last fall’s shutdown of the Federal government caused to the economy but also said she now sees signs that the Democrats and Republicans have learned that they must work together to get anything accomplished.  She said the process is still messy but people have learned that no legislation will pass in Washington unless it has bipartisan support.

State Representative Kevin Murphy who represents the Highlands and Acre neighborhoods of Lowell spoke next.  He said the most important part of economic development is to support the businesses that already operate here in Lowell.  One way to do that is to ensure that any increase in the minimum wage is modest so that small businesses are not harmed.  Representative Murphy also said that the best way to attract new businesses to Lowell is to continue to have a talented workforce living here.  To do that, we must continue to support our public schools, Middlesex Community College and UMass Lowell.

State Representative James Arciero who represents Westford, Littleton and part of Chelmsford said that many major high tech companies such as IBM and Kronos are located in his district.  The challenge in his towns is a lack of public transportation.  He said that the young people who work at these companies prefer living in cities and not in suburbs and that many do not even own cars and rely on public transportation.  Making trains and buses more convenient for workers is an important issue for Representative Arciero.

State Representative Marc Lombardo represents Billerica and was also the only Republican elected official who participated (the rest were Democrats).  Lombardo criticized state government for imposing too many regulations and fees on small businesses.  His believes that before any new regulations or taxes are enacted their impact on business profitability should be considered.

State Representative Dave Nangle who represents Belvidere, South Lowell and part of Chelmsford talked about the importance of state government support for the elderly.  As an example, he said the state contributes more than $250 million per year to Elder Services, an agency that helps older people stay in their homes as an alternative to moving to nursing homes.

State Representative Kevin Murphy

State Senator Ken Donnelly who represents Billerica, Lexington and Arlington said the transportation bill that recently passed the legislature is a very important tool for economic development.  He said that when employees are stuck in traffic jams, they are not being productive so making our transportation system more efficient helps business.  Senator Donnelly also said more money should be given to Community Colleges and Vocational High Schools to provide older workers with training in new technologies so that the workers will continue to have skills that are valuable to employers.

The final speaker was Representative Tom Golden who represents the Lowell neighborhoods of Centralville and Pawtucketville and part of Chelmsford.  He said the most important part of his job is to listen to all kinds of people – employers, workers, young people, the elderly, everyone.  Only by learning about people’s problems and challenges can a legislator understand the types of laws that are needed.

The Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce is located at 131 Merrimack Street in Lowell.  The Chamber provides its members with resources, advocacy and information, along with networking and marketing opportunities.  For more information, visit the Chamber’s website at

កិច្ចប្រជុំពិភាក្សាអំពីនីតិបញ្ញត្តិ ដោយសភាពាណិជ្ជកម្មក្រុងឡូវែល

អត្ថបទដោយ រីឆាដ ហូវ

ប្រែសម្រួលជាភាសាខ្មែរដោយ សុខា


This article appears in the March 7th, 2014 Edition of KhmerPostUSA