On April 25, more than 200 community developers representing 43 CDCs from across the Commonwealth came together for MACDC’s Annual Lobby Day at the State House. CDC leaders met with dozens of legislators to push for our shared agenda, including increased funding for Small Business Technical Assistance, legislation to strengthen the Community Preservation Trust Fund, and a Four-Step Agenda for addressing our housing crisis. At noon, these leaders were joined by dozens of friends, allies and legislators in the Great Hall to hear from Senator Brendan Crighton who thanked the leaders for their advocacy and their local leadership. CDC leaders also heard from Edison Ribeiro of Erise Builder’s Inc., a small business owner from Jamaica Plain who talked about his journey from Madison Park Vocational School High School, to working for a company whose CEO mentored him, to starting his own construction company, to getting help from JPNDC and now hiring and mentoring young people who work for him. His inspiring story and leadership reminded us that everyone needs help, and everyone can pay it forward.
In the afternoon, the MACDC Board of Directors meet with Governor Baker for over an hour. This was the fifth year in a row that we have had the opportunity to meet with the Governor on Lobby Day. Each of these conversations has been substantive and productive, but this year’s meeting might have been the most important. We dedicated over half the time to talking about the book Color of Law, which we had given to the Governor at our Convention last October. At the time, the Governor said he would read the book and discuss it with us at our next meeting. True to his word, we did just that, having a fascinating and at times emotional, conversation about racism, segregation, and what each of us can do to redress the harm caused by decades of racist federal, state, and local housing policies.
“This was one of our largest and most impactful Lobby Days in years,” said MACDC President Joseph Kriesberg. “We thank everyone who came – especially the dozens of people who were attending their first MACDC Lobby Day.”
To see pictures from the event, go to our Facebook Page.