United Way of Massachusetts Bay Honors Payano and Vargas at State House Ceremony

Sen. Pavel M. Payano receives his “Legislative Champion” award from United Way. (Courtesy photograph.)

(Additional photograph below.)

United Way of Massachusetts Bay honored Sen. Pavel M. Payano and Rep. Andy X. Vargas, both representing Haverhill, as inaugural “Legislative Champions” last month.

Payano and Vargas were presented awards for their “demonstrated strong leadership and commitment to education, food security and economic justice, including transformative policy solutions such as Baby Bonds and matched savings programs,” read a statement from United Way.

“This award not only highlights our shared commitment to creating thriving and equitable communities but also reflects the collective voice of our residents who support our efforts toward empowering economic mobility and enhancing early education. Being chosen by the people we serve adds a special significance to this recognition. It motivates us to continue working together to build pathways that uplift every resident, ensuring that progress and prosperity are accessible to all. I am grateful for this honor and look forward to our continued partnership in making meaningful change across the state,” Payano said in a statement.

In his statement, Vargas said, “The United Way stands out for its impact, efficiency and consistency in advocating for and uplifting vulnerable communities. From food security to housing, they strive address the needs of our residents and I am honored to work alongside them.”

John Hancock U.S. General Counsel and Head of U.S. Government Relations Tom Samoluk said of the legislators, “They are changemakers, ‘good trouble’ makers and policymakers who are blazing trails for communities across the Commonwealth.”

Sens. Brendan Crighton, Lydia Edwards and Jason Lewis and Reps. Aaron Michlewitz and Joan Meschino were also honored during the event at the Massachusetts State House.

Rep. Andy X. Vargas receives his “Legislative Champion” award from United Way. (Courtesy photograph.)

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