From: Weyant, Elizabeth <EWeyant@mapc.org>
Date: Sun, Mar 15, 2020 at 4:58 PM
Subject: Re: Mayors and Managers: Call TODAY, March 15 at 5pm
SECOND LETTER TO GOVERNOR BAKER
Dear Governor Baker:
Thank you for your continued leadership during these uncertain times. We are grateful that you have set up an emergency response center to disseminate information and help, and we are eager to continue working with you to offer guidance and assistance to our cities and towns across the entire Commonwealth.
Over 200 communities have now closed their schools for at least two weeks. We applaud these municipalities for making such difficult decisions, as we know that school closures come with a host of impacts on our communities. But scientists and medical experts continue to warn us that for school closures to be effective at stemming the spread of coronavirus, all of the schools in the Commonwealth must close. We ask you to immediately make these closures mandatory for all schools and early education centers across the Commonwealth.
We also seek your support and guidance on an emerging set of financial and logistical issues that affect our ability to fight the virus and to overcome this crisis, including ways to address child care for essential personnel and health care workers.
Scientists and medical professionals continue to urge that residents remain at home so we give our hospital and health systems the best chance of treating existing patients and reducing the risk to vulnerable individuals. Unfortunately, this means that we must consider additional closures to further limit spread of the virus. Experts have explained that time is running out to prevent an irreversible strain on our healthcare system and significant loss of life. If we cannot make these decisions as a state, individual communities may declare states of emergency and independently take stronger action. This is far from ideal because it could serve to generate panic and confusion among our residents. In order to ensure statewide consistency and follow recommended public health guidelines, you and your Administration may need to require extensive closures, including gyms, parks, health clubs, and places of worship. Restaurants and food establishments should immediately shift to take out and delivery options only.
By way of this communication, we are requesting that you meet virtually with a delegation of mayors and managers at your earliest convenience to discuss these issues. Maximizing the sharing of information and perspectives can only lead to better decision-making.
Please continue to keep us updated and let us know how we can be helpful in addressing this issue together.
Mayor of Somerville
Town Manager of Arlington
Michael P. Cahill
Mayor of Beverly
Louis A. DePasquale
City Manager of Cambridge
Thomas G. Ambrosino
City Manager of Chelsea
Dr. Yvonne Spicer
Mayor of Framingham
Thomas M. McGee
Mayor of Lynn
Mayor of Malden
Mayor of Melrose
Mayor of Newton
Mayor of Revere
Mayor of Salem
Town Manager of Winthrop
cc: Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito
Secretary Marylou Sudders