Planning & Government

NMCOG: Envision 2050 Focus Groups & Survey

The Northern Middlesex Council of Governments (NMCOG) is developing a Long-Range Regional Transportation Plan called Envision 2050. As a part of that, we are conducting a public engagement process to understand and identify transportation needs in our region.  Envision 2050 is our comprehensive vision for the future of transportation in the NMCOG region. By projecting and planning for anticipated growth over 30 years, this plan will establish a foundation for cost-effective, energy-efficient, and equitable transportation options for all users. Over the next year, NMCOG staff are working directly with the constituents and city/town staff of Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Lowell, Pepperell, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, and Westford to develop our Envision 2050 Plan. Through a comprehensive evaluation of transportation services and community engagement, NMCOG will publish a report for the public. 

Northern Middlesex Council of Government (NMCOG) is embarking on Envision 2050 Long-Range Regional Transportation Plan, our comprehensive vision for the future of transportation in our region. Please take the Envision 2050 survey to help shape the future of transportation in our region. For more information on the plan, visit Envision 2050 website. Should you require assistance or have any questions related to this survey, or the transportation planning process, please contact the NMCOG office at 978‐454‐8021 or contact Justin Howard at [email protected].

  •        Envision 2050 Pedestrian/Bicyclist Focus Group: Virtual, January 17, 2023, 12 pm – 1 pm: Register here.
  •       Envision 2050 Transit Focus Group: Virtual, January 19, 2023, 12 pm – 1 pm: Register here.

Massachusetts Legislative Update

October was one for the books as the Senate made history with the passage of the VOTES Act! On October 6th, we voted and passed this major election reform bill known as the VOTES Act. We now wait for the bill to be brought to the floor in the House. As Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Election Laws, I’m proud to have led the work on this landmark election reform bill, which makes vote-by-mail, early voting, and same-day registration permanent in Massachusetts. With the record voter turnout in the 2020 election, we must build on this momentum and have as many people as possible exercise their fundamental right to vote. While other states across the country are making it harder for people to cast ballots, our state is striving to protect and expand voting rights.

We continued to keep busy with two major hearings for the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet, and Cybersecurity. Our hearings largely focused on data privacy, an important issue before the committee. We heard testimony from key stakeholders and experts on ways that Massachusetts can be protecting its citizens from data misuse. We also have several bills before the committee on broadband and digital equity, which has become a priority over the past couple of years as so much of our lives have moved online. We look forward to continuing working with experts, advocates, and organizations to find ways to improve digital equity so that all residents may have internet access.



MITREs Social Justice Platform and its Center for Data-Driven Policy host a discussion Thursday, September 30, 3-5p.m. ET on the success, challenges, and expectations delivering on the Presidents executive order on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the federal workforce. Kimberlyn Leary and K. Sabeel Rahman with the Office of Management and Budget will share the White Houses perspective on progress thus far. MITREs Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity, and Social Innovation Stephanie Turner will also host a fireside chat.

Afghan evacuees need your help

The International Institute of New England (IINE) is preparing to receive more than 500 humanitarian arrivals in the next 12 months, including 150 individuals recently evacuated from Afghanistan. Many of these individuals will be settled in Lowell and Greater Boston. These individuals will need case management, emergency direct assistance, English language training, and moreYour donation is urgently needed.

Since 2014, IINE has resettled more than 330 Afghan refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders (SIVs). IINE’s comprehensive programming addresses their many urgent needs. Services include: locating and setting up housing, welcoming arrivals at the airport, case management, English classes, job training and placement, youth mentoring, and legal assistance.

Beacon Hill State House

Updates on Beacon Hill

All the latest Beacon Hill updates can be found on Michelle Ciccolo’s lastest newsletter, “Summer on Beacon Hill”, which you can view here. The topics covered in the newsletter are as follows: Final FY22 Budget Passed, Education, Job Opportunity, “Getting Back Out There”, Vaccine Update, Zero Waste Caucus, Notable Hearings, Paid Family And Medical Leave, and Fair Share Amendment.

Trahan and Becerra at Lowell General

Congresswoman Trahan Welcomes Secretary Becerra to Our District

This week, Congresswoman Lori Trahan welcomed U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to our district to see the incredible ways local community health centers,hospitals and youth success organizations have supported our community throughout this pandemic. Read the full write up of their visit to Lowell General Hospital here.

Congresswoman Trahan and Secretary Becerra also sat down with UTEC leaders as well as state and local partners to highlight federally supported programs with a proven track record of reducing youth recidivism and addressing gun violence in Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill. Read the full press release here.


Moulton Helps MBTA Secure $859 Million in Funding from American Rescue Plan Act

On Thursday, August 12th,Representative Seth Moulton announced that the U.S. Department of Transportations Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is awarding the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) with $859.6 million worth of critical funding through the American Rescue Plan. Moulton led a bipartisan effort, with the support of 78 other lawmakers, to include transit relief in the federal response to the pandemic. Read the full press release here.

Massachusetts highways

Federal Transportation Policy Table Update

The House passed the INVEST Act on July 1st that makes significant investments in transportation infrastructure over the next five years.

The $715 billion bill proposes spending on surface transportation as well as drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. A complete detailing of the allocation of funds can be seen here. For further updates and information on this matter, visit Transportation of Massachusetts’ (T4MA) website.

A summary of the funding is as follows:

Roads, Bridges, and Safety: $343 billion

Transit: $109 billion

Passenger and Freight Rail: $95 billion

Drinking Water Infrastructure & Assistance: $117 billion

Wastewater Infrastructure: $51.25 billion