Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz
Massachusetts Second Suffolk District
2009-2010 Legislative Session Closes Out With Major Victories for Chang-Díaz
Passage of CORI Reform, Foreclosure Protection, New Funds for Small Businesses, Youth Jobs, and Local Rec Center Mark Freshman Term

Boston, MA - State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz praised her colleagues for a successful end of the legislative session, heralding passage of CORI reform, foreclosure reform and other issues she had made top priorities for her first term.

“When I came to the Senate two year ago, these were the issues I heard about from countless people in our neighborhoods, and I made CORI and foreclosure reform my top priorities. Today I am incredibly grateful and proud to be able to say those bills are on the Governor’s desk for his signature,” said State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz. “These are tremendous victories that will make a real difference in the lives of families in our community. The passage of these bills is an incredible testament to what we can accomplish together - no matter how hard the times,” she continued.

Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system reform will help people get back to work, reduce recidivism rates, ensure taxpayer dollars are spent more wisely, and make access to criminal records fairer and more effective. The reforms to the state’s foreclosure laws prevent rental tenants in good standing from being evicted when the buildings they live in are foreclosed upon by a bank, through no fault of their own. Further, the changes establish greater procedural protections for homeowners facing foreclosure.

“As Chairwoman of the Housing Committee, I want to commend Senator Chang-Díaz for her contributions to the foreclosure bill” said Senator Sue Tucker (D-Andover). “Her tireless work on this issue was so valuable throughout the process.”

In addition to CORI and foreclosure reforms, Chang-Díaz pointed to several other accomplishments in her first term. These accomplishments include: a $1 million increase in funding for youth summer jobs in this year’s state budget, the now underway renovation of the Cass Recreation Facility in Roxbury--slated to be re-opened this fall after laying vacant for decades, passage of pension reform legislation and Probation Department controls to increase government accountability and transparency, and increasing access to capital for small and minority-owned businesses.

Chang-Díaz pointed out that there is a still much to do. “Whether it’s cracking down on the supply of illegal guns in our neighborhoods, or ensuring that the minimum wage is a living wage, or continuing to improve our schools--there’s a tremendous amount to be done before our neighborhoods live up to our aspirations for them,” she said. “That is why I am running for a second term--to continue delivering the changes our community needs.”

According to Chang-Díaz, these measures will provide real relief for families across the Second Suffolk District. CORI and foreclosure reform mean greater access to higher quality jobs for those who have served time, and real protection from unnecessary eviction for renters in good standing whose landlords face foreclosure. Summer jobs funding will help to keep our kids and neighborhoods safe. And increased support for small and local businesses helps ensure that economic recovery reaches those who need it most and that we’re building wealth and economic independence in our neighborhoods for the long term.

“When Sonia was first elected, I assumed she would be the new kid on the block who had to learn the ropes before she could become effective,” said Horace Small, director of the Union of Minority Neighborhoods. “Instead, what we got was an effective, polished, intelligent elected official who worked hard, picked her spots carefully, reached out to consider others’ opinions and ideas, and who fought like a champ for the poor, the dispossessed, the black and the brown.”