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Rep. Toomey EF groundbreaking remarks 9/25/12

Thank you Martha Doyle, Gov. Patrick, Sen. DiDomenico, Mayor Davis, Councillors Simmons, VanBeuzekom, and Reeves, Cambridge School Committee Member Fred Fantini, and the Hult family for inviting me to celebrate with you today. From its start over 40 years ago as a small company in Sweden to becoming the language partner to the Olympics and the World Cup, EFs growth is a testament to the vision of its founder. Its fitting that a company called Education First would choose to build for the long-term here in Cambridge: as we all know, the Commonwealth is home to hundreds of worldclass universities, and we in state government have always sought to provide an outstanding educational experience from pre-K to post-graduate. Going forward, I encourage the leadership of EF to partner with our schools here in Cambridge and Somerville to create a new generation of multi-lingual leaders who can navigate an increasingly complex and interconnected world. I was born and raised in East Cambridge. Ive spent all my life here, and I can tell you that there were plenty of people around the neighborhood and around the Commonwealth who thought that something like this could never happen in North Point. Where you sit was once a prison, and where there is now a park, there was once polluted waterfront. But thanks to the longrunning efforts of the state, the Charles River Watershed Association, and the Charles River Conservancy, weve made our communities more competitive, more beautiful, and a better place to live and raise a family. Today, we mark another milestone in an impressive journey. I can tell you that without the close coordination of local and state officials, we wouldnt be breaking ground here today. Id like to say thank you to my colleagues on the Cambridge City Council , the State Legislature--especially Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo---the East Cambridge Planning Team, and our neighbors for working tirelessly to take this project from concept to reality. I think that it is important to recognize their efforts and to say thank you. We all hear every day how much gridlock there is in government, and there are lots of people out there who think that government can only get in the way. I think this groundbreaking ceremony is a vivid reminder that those people are wrong. Today is a reminder that when we all pull together---when the private and public sectors collaborate to create new housing, new

parkland, and new jobs---the result is greater than anything we could have achieved on our own. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Cambridge have put in a lot of time and effort to redevelop the North Point neighborhood. With this groundbreaking, EF affirms its commitment to becoming a partner with not only the City of Cambridge, but also with all of Massachusetts. My colleagues in state and local government have worked hard to create an attractive business climate here in North Point, focused on bringing in innovative, growing firms. But just as important, we seek to partner with companies that conduct their business in a socially responsible way, companies that understand that their employees have hobbies, families, and a life outside of work. EF understands that balance, and were thrilled that youre bringing new jobs and new tax revenue to East Cambridge. Just as important, Id like to commend EF for their work in revitalizing a section of the Charles River waterfront. This project is about more than just jobs: its also about reestablishing the historic connection between Cambridge, the creation of the largest skate park in New England---and here, Id l to recognize the efforts of Renata von Tscharner, the president of the Charles River Conservancy---and its about a new chance to experience the beauty of one of our greatest natural treasures. If you havent spent some time in this park yet, I highly encourage it. Bring your friends, bring your pets, bring your family, because when the sun sets each day, the view from this new North Point Park is one of the most beautiful sights anywhere in the Commonwealth. Im absolutely thrilled to see this project going forward, and Im proud of the work my colleagues and I have done to make this a reality. And with that, Id like to introduce a man whose unwavering commitment to Cambridge has made our city one of the best-run municipalities anywhere in the country, a man Ive had the pleasure of working with for more than two decades, Mr. Bob Healy.