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Congressman Moulton gets an earful in Lynn

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Rosa Bentlsy, left, and Kiki (Ruth) Chaiton made their opinions known at North Shore Community College, Saturday.

By LEAH DEARBORN

LYNN – U.S. Rep Seth Moulton (D-MA) addressed issues close and far from home Saturday at a packed town hall meeting.

Moulton began the meeting, at the North Shore Community College Lynn campus, by clarifying the priorities of his office. He said they fit into three distinct spheres: international, domestic, and district-wide.

Mark Murphy said he drove from Lynnfield in the hopes of hearing the congressman speak about the recent attack on Syria.

Moulton’s office issued a joint statement with U.S. Rep Steve Russell (R-OK) in response to the military strike authorized by the president last week.

The April 6 statement read in part, “We cannot stand by in silence as dictators murder children with chemical weapons. But military action without clear goals and objective gets us nowhere.”

It was a topic he addressed early on in the forum.

“I am standing up to President Trump,” said Moulton. “We can’t fight our way out of this conflict.”

Moving on to more local topics, Moulton cited development as a high priority for the 39 towns and cities in his constituency. He said his office has secured a $4.5 million grant for the discontinued Lynn ferry service, which he hopes to have operational soon.

The congressman did face some criticism regarding the loss of health insurance faced by General Electric employees. GE retiree Kevin Maher said he had difficulty reaching Moulton’s office.

Moulton said he had met with four federal and state agencies to treat the problem and assured Maher that the issue is being taken seriously.

Melody Winfield stood up to say she is currently homeless in the city of Lynn, and asked the congressman to clarify the difference between gentrification and economic development.

After offering to sit down with Winfield and determine what can be done to help her individual situation, Moulton acknowledged that opportunity is not equal for everyone. He said that as hard as his team is working on those issues, they can always work harder.

“I really felt like it was the usual rhetoric and it’s not his fault,” said Winfield following Moulton’s response. She said that until recently, her situation made it difficult to even attend forums like the one that took place Saturday. “I can’t be part of the solution if I can’t help myself.”

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