Rogers faces a challenge from
Just the facts
Rogers said he was surprised at the negative tone that the race has taken in recent weeks. He wanted to clarify some comments Dooley made about him that he said were untrue.
He made it clear that he supported
"The fact that I have had three daughters in the
He also said his former aide accused him of "attacking or criticizing essential workers." Rogers explained that, in the case of the numerous deaths at the Charlwell nursing home at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, he advocated for their protection.
"I received calls from workers inside the nursing home who said the administrators were putting them and the patients in harm's way," he said, noting that he was endorsed by the
Because of this, he co-authored a new law that requires nursing homes, assisted living facilities and rehabilitation facilities during instances like a pandemic "to share basic health information to the public" such as the positive case rates and death rates. The families also would be required to know this information.
Rogers also reached out to get personal protective equipment for health-care workers there.
"So I don't know why Dooley said what he said," he said. "I try not to take either the praise or the criticism I get too seriously."
As to Dooley's comments about his "absent leadership," Rogers suggested that Dooley look at his own attendance record since becoming a Norwood Town Meeting representative. According to Town Meeting attendance records provided by
"I have one of the highest attendance records in the Legislature, never mind the House," Rogers countered, "and I am recorded on every vote. I would estimate that he has missed about 200 votes.
"So when he says, 'I'm tired of sitting on the sidelines while nothing is getting done, that's exactly where he was. That makes him the poster child of absent leadership. He says, 'Public service just called me,' but he failed to answer the call."
A desire to serve
Public service was a desire instilled in Rogers from an early age by his parents.
"My parents were very religious," he explained. "They taught us that, if you were not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. It was just ingrained and inculcated by their actions and words."
One of seven children, he stood beside his family members, stocking shelves at the Norwood Food Pantry and delivering
Rogers pursued his law degree at
"Usually you can help someone through a state agency or by working with a congressional delegation," he explained. "But sometimes that comes down to creating a new fund or filing a new law."
Providing leadership in uncertain times
"These are uncertain times for so many families in
Rogers said he was one of the first legislators to urge Gov.
Another issue where Rogers took charge was during the flood on
"That was the day we asked the governor to declare a state of emergency in
"I had to call
In addition, he and Lynch met with the owners of the Steward Health Care Systems on site a couple of weeks later.
"They gave us the commitment that they would open the emergency room in September," according to Rogers. This would be Phase One of their reopening plan. Phase Two would include parts of the building that did not suffer damage to see other patients, while Phase Three is unknown at this time.
What is a great achievement, Rogers explained, is that Steward promised a long-term commitment to
"We haven't built a hospital in
Rogers also visited the homes of many flood victims whose basements and yards were virtually destroyed by what he termed the "super storm."
In response, he created three budgetary items to help those in need.
The first is a line item that would draw down federal money to create a "
Because of the flood, Rogers also worked with Rush to get a
The storm proved that the sewer system was woefully inadequate to address major floods. Rogers was able to procure
"All these families I talked to had one thing in common -- resiliency," Rogers stressed. "If our infrastructure isn't resilient, our citizens are. Everyone said, 'Oh, other people have it worse."
"Education has always been a high priority for me, if not the highest priority," Rogers said, "and especially in this term."
One of his achievements was co-writing the
This commission found that the number of both in-district and out-of-district SPED students was higher than the formula originally provides. Also the funding for health care costs for active employees and retirees was inadequate.
"This is now a part of the Student Opportunity Act, which we passed and I co-wrote," Rogers said. "It's a law I pushed for seven years."
The Student Opportunity Act brought in a 21 percent increase in funding for the
One of his crowning achievements was creating the
This will help build a new
One program for
"These are beautiful facilities," Rogers said. "This used to be a Superfund site, so what a wonderful re-use. And that money was also used to build a fire rescue facility."
In addition, he and Sen.
"No other municipality in
So why hasn't the public heard more about Rogers' accomplishments during his tenure?
"Some legislators have a difficult time patting themselves on the back," he said.
But he hoped people would keep these things in mind when it comes time to vote on Tuesday.
(c)2020 Wicked Local Metro, Needham, Mass.
Visit Wicked Local Metro, Needham, Mass. at needham.wickedlocal.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.