- On 28th February, amidst a big snowstorm, Codman Square NDC in partnership with Dorchester Bay EDC held their Doughnuts Meeting online. Rep. Russell Holmes, Rep. Chris Worrell and Senator Collins and his aide - Jordan Chrispin were able to attend the meeting. Two of MACDC’s priority legislation – HERO and CITC - were discussed in great length, with the officials agreeing to cosponsor. them!
- On 3rd March, Community Development Partnership along with Marthas Vineyard Commission, Falmouth Housing Trust, Housing Assistance Corporation of Cape Cod, Housing Nantucket, Island Housing Trust, Coastal Community Capital hosted their Doughnuts meeting via zoom. The meeting was well attended with officials including Senator Julian Cyr, Representative Christopher Flanagan, Representative Sarah Peake, Representative Dylan Fernandes, Representative David Viera, Representative Diggs; Rep Xiarhos.
The Metro West CD meeting was held on 13th March on Zoom. It was also well-attended, with the following legislators: Senator William Brownberger, Representative Jeffrey Roy, Representative Kate Donaghue, Senator Jamie Eldridge, Representative Steven Owens. There were also staff for: Senate President Karen Spilka and Senator Robyn Kennedy. There were also many city (Watertown and Newton) employees present as well as Metro West CD Staff. Caitlin presented on Metro West CD’s work and policy priorities (In addition to our highlighted priorities, they talked about MRVP). Each legislator, or their staff, then had 2-3 minutes to talk about their priorities and how they align with those of Metro West CD.
JPNDC held their Doughnuts Meeting on 9th March in their beautiful office in Jamaica Plain. It was attended by Senator Liz Miranda, Rep Samantha Montano, City Councilor Kendra Lara , Citywide Councilor, Ruthzee Louijuene. There were also about 25-30 other people there. Two board members talked about how they got involved with the work, and representatives of each NDC department spoke about their legislative priorities. When the woman running the childcare program spoke, she introduced a woman postal worker in her work uniform who stopped by on her way to work. She spoke through tears about how, as a single mother of five children, NDC had completely changed her life by providing her with reliable childcare. Their work was closely linked to MACDC’s priorities and was talked about by our Interim Executive Director- Kevin Murray in the meeting as well.
NuwVue Communities held their Doughnuts meeting on 17th of March The gathering was held in person at NewVue Communities, 470 Main Street in Fitchburg. Senator John Cronin, Representative Natalie Higgins (Leominster) and Rebecca Hess, Aid to Representative Michael Kushmerek (Fitchburg), heard firsthand the impact of the Community Investment Tax Credit Program and the Agency’s ability to leverage operational funds typically not supported through grants and other funding sources. Additionally, the delegation heard more about the need for affordable housing and small business programs, home ownership and supporting healthier homes. Equally important addressing climate change as well as advocating for increased opportunities for childcare were also raised as topics for discussion by members of the community that are graduates of NewVue’s Stewards Training. Senator Cronin and Representative Higgins and Ms. Hess listened wholeheartedly and voiced their support for NewVue’s key legislative priorities.
Urban Edge held there Doughnuts meeting on 15th of March at their office on Columbus Avenue. Along with the City and State elected officials, they had a wide-ranging discussion on the importance of affordable housing and the real estate pipeline, closing the racial wealth gap, and their new strategic plan. Their presentation included the importance of CITC, the HERO bill, and An Act Creating the Massachusetts Healthy Homes Program. In attendance were Rep. Chynah Tyler, Councilor Erin Murphy, Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson, Councilor Kendra Lara, Rep. Sam Montaño, and Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune.
Allston Brighton CDC held their Doughnuts with Delegates meeting on Thursday, March 23rd from 9 - 11 AM, moving it from its initial date of March 16th as the Mayor's office came by to congratulate them on a grant they had won from the city on that original date & time. 4 individuals from the state house were in attendance - 2 staffers to Senator Brownsberger's office, a staffer from Rep. Kevin Honan's office, and Rep. Honan himself. There were also six members of the community and several staff members joining them - either online or in person. In the first half of the meeting, MACDC's top 3 legislative priorities were explained to the legislative delegations. Rep. Honan was generally approving of the different bills and said he'd seriously consider cosponsoring on several. The other half of the meeting was spent with community members talking about some of the challenges they're facing in their personal lives, asking how the state and city governments can be of assistance.
- Hilltown CDC had their meeting on March 20. Their discussion focused mostly on rural policy issues and rural economic development. They provided an overview of RPAC and MACDC legislative priorities emphasizing funding needed for the new Office of Rural Affairs. They also discussed some of the issues they see with state programs having a more urban focus making it difficult for the Hilltowns to access grant funds.
- Northshore CDC hosted aides from Senator Lovely and Representatives Peter Capano, Jerry Parisella, and Tom Walsh's office for Donuts on the morning of March 23rd. In the center of their office, they have a lego model of the Point neighborhood in Salem where their office, a majority of their affordable housing portfolio and community programming is located. Staff spoke about the different programs: Small Business Technical Assistance + Retail Incubator, Family Success program, where they provide one-on-one case management to NSCDC residents and residents in communities including Lynn, Peabody, Danvers, Gloucester, Beverly, Swampscott, and Marblehead, YouthBuild, Youth + Young Adult Housing Outreach (a part of Lynn Housing Authority + Neighborhood Development's NSHAG program), Community Building, and Public Art + Placemaking. They then introduced the staff to board members, residents in Harbor Crossing development, which is permanent, affordable housing for formerly unhoused youth and youth who have aged out of foster care), and students in the YouthBuild program. To give them hands-on experience, they also played the nail game, where teams of three try to hammer four nails each into a 2x4 fastest. After getting a feel for all of their work, they came back to eat doughnuts and hear about policy recommendations, thanking Senator Lovely's office for Sponsoring an Act to Codify the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program. A hard copy of a 20+ slide presentation of Northshore CDC’s work and policy recommendations that also included all of their public funding sources was shared with the people so they could see that the way they vote matters. They also met later with the offices of Reps Manny Cruz, Jennifer Armini, Daniel Cahill, and Donald Wong as well as Senator Crighton's office.
- On March 16th, Madison Park residents continued with the Civic Engagement Sessions and prepped for their community's "Doughnuts and Grits with Your Delegates" gathering the following week. Over 100 community members attended the delegate event to ask elected officials such as Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Representative Sam Montaño, At-Large Boston City Councilors, and Boston Council President questions. Representatives from the Attorney General's office also joined them.
- Rep Ultrino from Malden joined ACDC staff, ACDC Board member Mai Du, and Malden A-VOYCE youth: Elina, Jade, Ada, Katelin, and Angela on 10th March for our first Doughnuts with your Delegation Meeting. Together, our residents, youth, and staff advocated for:
● HERO Act (SD.1226/HD.2510), to generate new income for affordable housing AND climate resiliency in housing;
● Data Equity to help us understand the diverse needs of the AAPI and other communities through data disaggregation;
● CARE Bill (SD.2008/HD.3360) to bring ethnic studies to K-12 education; and
- CITC Bill (SD.1044/HD.2260) to continue generating flexible funding for community programs serving youth, working-class households, and immigrant families.
NeighborWorks Housing Solutions (NHS) hosted three Donuts with your Delegation events inviting state legislators from different parts of their region. On March 8th, they kicked it off at the NHS-developed building, Sycamore on Main, in Brockton. In addition to being a 48-unit mixed income multifamily infill development; there is a terrific local business in the commercial space on the first floor. Brockton Beer Company is a minority-owned business owned by local families. (And yes… there were donuts!) The event was attended by Sen. Michael Brady, Rep. Bill Driscoll, Rep. Carol Doherty, Rep. Gerry Cassidy, Rep. Rita Mendes and Sen. Walter Timilty, three legislative staffers Kathy Keyes, Jim Brett, and Madi Donahue as well as Rob Corley, Cindy Pendergast, Tim Doherty, Amanda Glennon, and Maureen Fitzgerald from NHS.
Two days later, the NHS team held a Donuts with your Delegation event at their soon-to-be-opened NHS development on Lower Winter Street, which contains 18 efficiency units for formerly homeless individuals. Senator John Keenan, Rep. Tackey Chan, legislative aides Doreen Bargoot (Sen. Keenan’s office), Galen Shrand (Rep. Ayers’ office), and Lou Rizzo (Senator O’Connor’s office) attended and were joined by NHS staff Rob Corley, Maureen Fitzgerald, and Noelle Humphries.
The ”Bonus Donuts” event took place at the NHS office in downtown New Bedford on April 11th after the target deadline. The New Bedford delegation was out in force with Rep. Antonio Cabral, Rep. Christopher Hendricks, Rep. Paul Schmid, and Rep. Christopher Markey attending along with legislative aides Mike Moynihan (Sen. Montigny’s office), Al Medeiros (Rep. Cabral’s office) and Steve Tedeschi (Rep. Hendricks’ office).
In all three sessions, there was great support for the affordable housing concerns that were raised and agreement that affordable housing is going to be a critical issue this session. Still to be decided… whether the donuts from Donut King in Quincy or Goulart Square Bakery in New Bedford were superior.
Just A Start hoested their Doughnuts meeting on 30th March via zoom. It was attended by Rep Steve Owens and aides from offies of Rep Rogers, Rep Decker, Rep Connoly and Sen Jehlen. They shared information about the development of the Rindge Commons Economic Mobility Hub, new affordable housing opportunities, workforce training in the life sciences and IT sectors, and financial opportunity programs, as well as budget priorities (CITC, YouthBuild, MACDC State Budget Priorities and Earmark Funding). This high-impact work is critical to residents of Cambridge and surrounding communities. In partnership, we can better serve our communities and bring these ambitious and important plans to fruition.