Maura’s OpEd: Young people provide inspiring example

By Maura Healey  | December 31, 2018

This New Year’s Day, I’m thinking a lot about what we owe to the young people of Massachusetts and this country who spent so much of the last year mobilizing for change. In 2019, we can make more progress together.

For me, that starts with recommitting to strategies that will combat the opioid epidemic, which has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of teenagers and young adults. Evidence-based prevention education and robust mental health and substance use treatment save lives, and it’s time to get all young people get the services and support they need.

The prevention education program my office launched with the GE Foundation is now available to every middle school in Massachusetts, but that’s just one important step. We’re continuing our lawsuit against Purdue Pharma to make sure our next generation can grow up safe and healthy. And we’re taking on the e-cigarette industry, which is following the Big Tobacco playbook by targeting young people in our schools.

This year, I’m also going to continue our efforts to combat climate change and advance the clean energy revolution in Massachusetts. Young people have reminded us again and again — and even gone to court to show us — that their future and the future of this planet is at stake. Whether it’s working for more efficient cars or cleaner power plants, we’ll be there in 2019.

Finally, since the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., last February, young people all across the country have organized in unprecedented numbers for common sense gun safety reforms. No student should have to interrupt math class for an active shooter drill or feel unsafe walking home from class. I’m inspired by their leadership and promise them that in Massachusetts we’ll keep defending our strong gun laws and partnering with students, survivors of violence, and law enforcement on the reforms we need.

Wishing you and your families a wonderful start to 2019. Happy New Year!

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By Maura Healey  | December 31, 2018

This New Year’s Day, I’m thinking a lot about what we owe to the young people of Massachusetts and this country who spent so much of the last year mobilizing for change. In 2019, we can make more progress together.

For me, that starts with recommitting to strategies that will combat the opioid epidemic, which has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of teenagers and young adults. Evidence-based prevention education and robust mental health and substance use treatment save lives, and it’s time to get all young people get the services and support they need.

The prevention education program my office launched with the GE Foundation is now available to every middle school in Massachusetts, but that’s just one important step. We’re continuing our lawsuit against Purdue Pharma to make sure our next generation can grow up safe and healthy. And we’re taking on the e-cigarette industry, which is following the Big Tobacco playbook by targeting young people in our schools.

This year, I’m also going to continue our efforts to combat climate change and advance the clean energy revolution in Massachusetts. Young people have reminded us again and again — and even gone to court to show us — that their future and the future of this planet is at stake. Whether it’s working for more efficient cars or cleaner power plants, we’ll be there in 2019.

Finally, since the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., last February, young people all across the country have organized in unprecedented numbers for common sense gun safety reforms. No student should have to interrupt math class for an active shooter drill or feel unsafe walking home from class. I’m inspired by their leadership and promise them that in Massachusetts we’ll keep defending our strong gun laws and partnering with students, survivors of violence, and law enforcement on the reforms we need.

Wishing you and your families a wonderful start to 2019. Happy New Year!

READ MORE ON BOSTONHERALD.COM