By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
State Rep. Adam Scanlon said that being a constant presence in the communities and keeping his ear to the ground have helped him to have a successful first year.
Scanlon (D-North Attleborough) cited the connections made before being elected as state representative and after as being key to his work. Scanlon was elected in the fall of 2019 and took office this January, representing North Attleborough, Ward 3, Precinct B of Attleboro, and Precincts 1 and 5 of Mansfield. This marked a shift in state politics for the district, as it was the first time in nearly four decades that a Democrat had been its representative.
Scanlon said he has always taken the position seriously, and worked to build relationships with local officials and see that their needs are brought to the Speaker of the House. Though he lives in North Attleborough, the state representative said he’s worked with Mansfield and Attleboro officials just as often, forging new relationships with different organizations.
“When we have sessions, I like to meet people at the State House,” said Scanlon, who previously served as a member of the School Committee and Town Council. “I make every effort to go to my office.”
Scanlon said that his first year was largely dominated by COVID-19. He’s done many meetings via Zoom, and hopes that the State House will fully reopen soon and for in-person sessions.
During his first year, Scanlon worked on a number of issues, such as improving vocational education opportunities This one hits close to home, as Scanlon’s father went to Tri-County Vocational Technical High School and went on to launch his own business. He also secured $100,000 for a new robotics program at North Attleborough High School.
“Without these programs, these success stories, we’d be without them,” said Scanlon of vocational education. “Looking at the labor shortage, there must be ways we can invest in the future.”
Over the summer, North Attleborough was among many towns faced with costly renovations of its water treatment plants to reduce the presence of PFAS in the drinking water. This will likely cost millions to address, and Scanlon was able to get the town $150,000 to install and maintain water vending units for those at risk due to the contamination—this includes those with immuno-compromised systems and women who are pregnant.
In December, Scanlon was told that a bill be drafted—to provide courtesy parking spaces for non-handicapped veterans in off-street lots, retail lots, and parking garages—had progressed to a favorable reporting and third reading. Scanlon said this was the last step before it goes to the floor for a vote.
“We’re grateful to see it almost at the finish line,” he said.
While Scanlon began his first year with some idea of what he wanted to focus on, he described the process as “a moving target” that forces one to evolve with current needs. He cited the pandemic as an example of this and the work that went into ensuring people could get vaccination appointments or have access to test kits. In 2022, he hopes to continue to be a voice on the committees which he is part of and work to get district the resources it needs.
“I want to continue to be transparent on the bills and how we vote,” said Scanlon.