Eviction Moratorium extended until October, Essex County Artist Fund, & more | July 21, 2020

JULY 21, 2020

See our other COVID-19 related posts by clicking here.

Read about tomorrow’s planned protest at City Hall by clicking here.

Gov. Baker extends Eviction Moratorium in MA until October 17

Gov. Charlie Baker extended the MA Eviction Moratorium until October 17 earlier today.  was previously scheduled to expire on August 18th. Tenants are still encouraged to pay rent and homeowners to make their mortgage payments to the best of their ability.

Previously set to expire on August 18th, this law’s limitations on evictions and foreclosures have allowed many tenants and homeowners impacted by the coronavirus pandemic to remain in their homes during the state of emergency.  During this 60-day extension, the Baker-Polito administration will consult with court administrators and stakeholders regarding programs and policies to help tenants avoid eviction when proceedings are allowed to resume.

The law suspends most residential and small business commercial evictions and residential foreclosures. Even with these protections in place, tenants are still encouraged to pay rent and homeowners to make mortgage payments to the best of their ability.

The law also prevents landlords from sending notifications to residential tenants that threaten eviction or termination of a lease, limits court actions on non-essential evictions, relieves tenants from late fees, allows landlords to use “last month’s rent” to pay expenses, requires lenders to grant a forbearance for up to 180 days and allows for alternative payment agreements between lenders and borrowers.

Even with these protections in place, tenants are still encouraged to pay rent and homeowners to make mortgage payments to the best of their ability.

For more information and resources related to the eviction
moratorium please click here.

Senator Ed Markey’s Round-table on Alzheimer’s Disease Research & Funding

Senator Ed Markey hosted Alzheimer’s activists and researchers for a livestream round-table discussion about the progress medical researchers are making in treating the disease, the importance of federal research funding in the fight for a cure, and the work that Senator Markey has done throughout his career to advance Alzheimer’s research and support for caregivers.

After losing his own mother to Alzheimer’s disease in 1998, Senator Markey established the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s, and since passed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act which sets and funds a goal to find a cure by 2025. As a result of his bill, Congress appropriated $2.8 billion of Alzheimer’s and related dementia research at the National Institutes of Health in the 2020 fiscal year budget, a 370 percent increase since 2014.


  • Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA)
  • Katie Brandt, Co-Chair of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act Advisory Council
  • Dr. Jonathan Jackson, Mass General Hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
  • Mike Belleville, Alzheimer’s and dementia patient advocate

Watch above or on our website by clicking here.

“Pathways in Freedom:” New Digital Program on African American History is Launched

Click for full-resolution image

When and how did slavery end in Massachusetts? What was the experience of gradual emancipation like for African Americans who lived it? In what ways did a growing anti-black sentiment inhibit “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?”

Launched by the National Park Service at Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Pathways in Freedom harnesses the power of technology to offer an immersive experience for students and the public alike to explore these questions and more. Funded in part by Eastern National, the new program is hosted by “OnCell,” a leading digital storytelling platform for cultural destinations.

“This project has been in the works for over two years, but certainly the launch of it is timely in this moment,” said Paul DePrey, Superintendent of Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works National Historical Sites. “Our new program is well-researched and will critically challenge traditional perspectives of our nation’s history.”

Salem Maritime National Historical Site chose to launch the project on the 246th anniversary of the birth of Sabe, a man of African descent who lived in Salem. Sabe Derby and Rose Lane-who’s lives inspired Pathways in Freedom-were free when they married in 1799, but their status in earlier years living in Salem and laboring for the Derby family are less clear. Several primary source documents trace the continuous relationship between Sabe and Rose and the Derby family, as well as the ambiguity of their transition from slavery to freedom.

“This is the kind of interpretive and educational program we would like to develop more of,” remarked Susan Russo, Program Manager of Visitor Experience and Community Engagement at Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Sites. “Innovative approaches like Pathways in Freedom allow teachers to engage students with the multi-faceted stories of Salem. These stories also allow our visitors to connect the past with the present and inspire appreciation for these special places.”

Another key piece to the program’s development was collaborating with two local scholars with experience in developing interpretive and educational materials. Pathways in Freedom was conceived of and created by Dr. Bethany Jay, Associate Professor of History at Salem State University and Lindsay Randall, Curator of Education and Outreach at the Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology in Andover.

Dr. Jay is the co-editor of Understanding and Teaching American Slavery and does critical work with Teaching Tolerance’s “Teaching Hard History: American Slavery,” a program of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Lindsay Randall has worked on these two projects as well and develops and implements thoughtful and creative programs that highlight experiences of black and indigenous people. Finally, National Park Service education staff completed and launched the project which uses interactive technology, innovative interpretation, and rich documentation so that users can “do history.”

The Pathways in Freedom interactive tour is set in Salem and surrounding communities between the years 1783 and 1808 as African Americans pursue new lives and work as free people. What options were available to them and how did they make their choices? How might their personal life and relationship with former enslavers affect their chances for success? How did the larger community respond to its newly freed members? Pathways in Freedom offers an opportunity for students and the general public alike to gain a deeper understanding of the past so that we might better confront the injustices of today.

Note: A narrated version of this program is planned and will be added soon.

Press release above from U.S. National Park Service

Essex County Artist Fund

We need artists, Artists need us. Now more than ever.

Click to go to their GoFundMe page

The Essex County Community Foundation has set up a fund to help artists struggling dueing the COVID-19 pandemic. For more info. about this fund here are a few snippets from their GoFundMe page:

Artists, musicians, writers, actors, and other creative makers bring meaning to our world and connection to our communities. They depend on social integration, not distancing. They mostly work as freelancers and cannot access unemployment benefits. They are among the most hurting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and we can’t see them fail.

The Essex County Artist Fund, in collaboration with administrative partner Rocky Neck Art Colony, Inc. is Essex County Community Foundation’s response to the immediate and everyday needs of artists to be supported and lifted up across the county and across sectors. At ECCF, our philosophy is to build a creative ecosystem focused on awareness and appreciation for arts and culture, capacity building, collaboration and cultural planning.  Individual artists and arts/culture organizations are key to this network. www.eccf.org/creative-county.

As a community foundation, ECCF provides critical support to nonprofit 501c3 organizations, but cannot directly pay individuals. We are grateful to our trusted administrative partner, Rocky Neck Art Colony, Inc. which will voluntarily receive all donations and make all individual payments during this campaign.

ECCF’s Creative County Initiative (CCI) will provide the fund’s first $20,000 to meet what we know is a much greater need. We hope to raise at least an additional $25,000 in this campaign.

Funding will be provided as long as funds are available.

We will support artists in two ways:

1. The fund will provide $400 per applicant to support full or part-time professional artists who have lost income used to sustain their creative practice due to the COVID-19 crisis.

2. We will invest in the county-wide visibility of all artists who receive funding by featuring their websites and their work on www.essexcountycreates.org and our ECCF social media platforms.

We welcome applications from all individual artists, musicians, actors, writers, or other creative professional living in Essex County, MA. We will prioritize lower-income artists.

If you are a struggling artist you can apply for this fund by clicking here.

From Mayor McGee’s office: The Lynn Public Health Department has confirmed that as of today, the number of active, confirmed positive COVID-19 cases is 500 with 6 new cases today. 3,216 Lynn residents have recovered and 106 have died. The total number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Lynn since March 21, 2020, including those who have died and recovered, is 3,822. Please visit the new City of Lynn COVID-19 Data Dashboard which is updated daily.


Please visit http://www.ci.lynn.ma.us/covid19/resources.shtml#p7GPc1_2 for more information on how you can get a free COVID-19 test in the City of Lynn through August 14th.

We will continue to provide regular updates on COVID-19 through the City website (www.lynnma.gov), social media, and the Smart 911 emergency notification system (sign up at www.smart911.com).

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