Last week, our crew made our first big move to encourage our State Representative, Denise Garlick, to actively support An Act to Invest in Our Communities.
Team Needham visits Rep. Denise Garlick about ‘An Act to Invest in Our Communities.”
On Monday, our delegation of Needham residents — small business owners, health care professionals, educators, parents and grandparents – descended upon the Needham Senior Center, where Rep. Garlick holds office hours the first Monday of every month from 10:45-11:30.
As always our Representative greeted us with warmth and sincere interest in hearing what we had to say on behalf of tax reform. We talked about how our municipalities have suffered throughout the past 12 years. Massachusetts tax cuts in the late 90‘s going forward, along with a recession, have resulted in devastating cuts to crucial programs and services, and devastating job losses for so many in our communities.
Georgina talked about how the T’s “The Ride” has doubled their fee–and how devastating this is to seniors who can no longer afford to get out. We also talked about the Needham Schools–the Town Manager has said we cannot meet the budget without drastic cuts to other parts of the town budget. An Act to Invest has the potential to reverse the effects of so many years of cutting.
We were encouraged to learn that Rep. Garlick is open to discussion and likely to support some sort of common sense revenue reform. We hope we will convince her to be more than just a supporter of reform, but a leader in getting it passed!
We know that many in our community share the noncontroversial notion that we make our cities and towns great not by accident but by investing in them. As we spread the word in the community, we are finding lots of support among our friends and family, and people willing to go a step further to make phone calls and even write letters to the editor.
This all feels like the best of citizen engagement and participatory democracy. It’s not a straight line but a long curve, and we’re working on bending it! Happy Lobbying! –Stacie Shapiro