Senator and her Soups

Cheryl Brown's picture

Bon apetit, Let's eat!

Legislative issues lie in wait to be addressed, we all agree. But Senator Pat Jehlen believes in the importance of taking a moment of pause to refresh and reflect over food & fellowship. Every year, Senator Patricia Jehlen opens her home to her constituents to sample her homemade soups. The event is free and open to the public. Medford, Somerville, Winchester, and Cambridge constituents are only expected to bring a hearty appetite. However, in the spirit of hospitality, most don't want to come empty-handed. So they arrive with desserts, assorted breads, and wines to compliment the meal. The Senator's modest home welcomes between 50 to 100 guests as people discuss family, community, and legislative issues during face time with the senator. Neighbors and friends appreciate the relaxed post-holiday atmosphere.

One of the initiatives that Senator Patricia Jehlen is actively involved with is the filing of legislation to create community-based alternatives to incarceration for people convicted of non-violent offenses who are primary caretakers of dependent children.

The Women's Prison Association reports that children of incarcerated parents are five times more likely than their peers to end up in prison themselves. By supporting this Bill, the Senator hopes to set in place policy to incorporate individual assessments, family counseling, relapse prevention workshops, vocational & educational alternatives, medical, housing and financial assistance, domestic violence intervention, parenting skill development, entrepreneurial and empowerment seminars, and recreation and leisure activities.

Opening ones home up to strangers shows a certain amount of compassion for people. This same sense of compassion is reflected in Senator Jehlen's support of this Bill to alleviate harm to children caused by separation from their parent.

Senator Patricia Jehlen was first elected to the Massachusetts Senate in 2005. She represents the Second Middlesex district, which includes Medford, Somerville, and parts of Winchester and Cambridge. She is Senate Chair of the Committee on Elder Affairs and Vice-Chair of the Committee on Education. The Act to create community-based sentencing alternatives for non-violent primary caretakers of dependent children is a joint effort along with Representative Russell Holmes and co-sponsor Representative Dave Rogers.

At Senator Jehlen’s annual soup sampling, she takes pride in preparing each soup herself, just as she takes pride in supporting initiatives that strengthen the family both mind and body.

Pictured seated above left to right is Cheryl, Beatrice, Senator Jehlen (in red top) and Norma. Photography provided by Philip Austin Brown



Pat is the best, in lots of ways. I was working and had to miss soup day. Have you ever seen her on stilts in a blue wig? I've got the pics.

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Cheryl Brown

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