OP-ED: Rep. Lewis Urges Framingham Mayor Spicer To Issue Curfew and Face Mask Orders

By Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis

FRAMINGHAM – Times of crisis test who we are as leaders and bring out a community’s unique strengths and greatest vulnerabilities. 

And while our current pandemic is like nothing any of us have experienced in our lifetimes, now is not the time for a cautious approach to confronting our current deadly reality. 

I have been joining colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in imploring Governor Baker to learn from the experiences of leaders in Italy and Spain and follow the leadership of Governors like Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) and Andrew Cuomo (D-New York) for over a month now. And with our governor’s insufficient response, issuing advisories for individuals as opposed to clear orders, the onus for true leadership has
fallen to the municipal executives of our Commonwealth’s major cities. 

Framingham has had a high number of COVID-19 cases, and more must be done immediately to protect all our city’s residents. 

While the window for our city to take statewide leadership in responding to this pandemic has passed, yesterday, April 13, I called upon Mayor Yvonne Spicer to immediately:

 Follow the leadership of the Mayors of Boston and Lynn and issue a curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.  Exceptions must be made for those providing or receiving essential COVID-19 services, but as we enter this period of a likely surge of cases, Framingham must do more to ensure that all our residents are making choices that are in the public health interest of everyone.

 Follow the leadership of Medford, Salem, and Beverly and issue an order preventing patrons from entering an indoor facility without face covering (e.g. cloth masks, scarfs, bandanas).  Restaurant and grocery store workers are providing essential services during this pandemic, and we must all do our part to protect them when we access these establishments. 

While these requests are not comprehensive of everything our city should be doing during this pandemic, for the health and safety of our community’s residents, these actions must be taken immediately. 

While Framingham may not be identical to Lynn or Salem, Beverly or Boston, this deadly pandemic doesn’t respect municipal borders.

We must make bold decisions while concurrently resolving any emerging unintended consequences. Over time we will know what decisions were most productive, but one thing is certain, inaction will have negative
consequences.

State Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis represents one-third of the City of Framingham 18 precincts and the Town of Ashland. He lives in the City of Framingham.

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