Now that we have celebrated the holiday season and endured the Bombogenesis storm, it is time to get serious about the business of 2018. And for MACDC it looks to be a very busy year. Here are Ten of the items at the top of MACDC’s agenda for this year:
- Housing Bond Bill – MACDC is working with many others to pass the Affordable Housing Bond Bill early in 2018 before critical housing programs run out of money. The Bond Bill would authorize over $1.7 billion in capital spending for a wide range of housing programs used by our members and others to build and preserve affordable housing.
- Community Investment Tax Credit – Our legislation to extend and expand CITC has been folded into the Housing Bond Bill so we will be working even harder to make sure the full bill is signed into law. The proposed legislation would extend the CITC sunset from 2019 to 2025 and slowly lift the annual cap from $6 million to $12 million. CITC is now generating over $11 million per year for high impact community development and the new federal tax bill makes it even more valuable for many taxpayers.
- Small Business Technical Assistance – We are launching a major campaign to restore full funding to this vital economic development program. Inexplicably, this highly effective program has been cut 62.5% over the past two years to just $750,000. Our campaign seeks to restore the program to $2 million.
- MACDC Lobby Day on April 24 – MACDC will host its annual Lobby Day at the State House on April 24 when community developers from around the Commonwealth will come to the State House to advocate for our shared agenda. Please join us!
- Mel King Institute – I could probably do a Top Ten list just for the King Institute since there is so much going on. The highlights for this year include a full schedule of nearly 30 workshops and courses, further rollout of the Public Housing Training Program, Innovation Forum events on topics such as mortgage lending disparities, green technology and comprehensive community building, the Community Development mentoring program, and of course, our 9th Anniversary Breakfast Celebration in June.
- Community Health – A big focus for MACDC in 2018 will be to expand and deepen our work on the convergence of community development and community health. We see many exciting opportunities to work with hospitals, insurance companies and others in the health sector to address the social determinants of health head-on.
- Suburban Housing – MACDC’s newly formed Suburban Housing Caucus will be increasingly active in 2018 as we work collectively and with our partners to expand housing opportunities throughout Greater Boston. Governor Charlie Baker’s Housing Choice Initiative adds new urgency and new tools for these efforts and hopefully we can pass the Great Neighborhoods legislation that would update our antiquated zoning laws.
- Racial Equity – Racial equity has been one of MACDC’s core values from our inception and in 2018 we intend to step up our efforts to tackle the issue head-on. Our racial equity agenda will include advocacy campaigns to expand business and homeownership opportunities for communities of color; an expanded Boston Pilot Program to increase MBE and WBE procurement on CDC sponsored construction projects; and increased attention to diversifying the community development field itself through our training and mentoring programs offered by the Mel King Institute for Community Building.
- Strategic Planning – MACDC has engaged Diane Gordon to assist the Board in the development of a new strategic plan. We are specifically looking at five key areas – affordable housing, community economic development, community organizing, community health, and CDC capacity building. MACDC is also a participant this year in Neighborworks America’s Excellence in Governance program which is helping us to strengthen our board’s ability to lead us into the future.
- MACDC’s Convention on October 20, 2018 – MACDC will be hosting 6th MACDC Convention on Saturday, October 20th at the Hynes Convention Center. We expect over 600 community developers to join us for a day of celebration, networking, learning and action. The highlight will be a Gubernatorial Candidate Forum (For each of the past three elections, the winner of the Governor’s race has appeared at the MACDC Convention and we fully expect that trend to continue this year!)
We are looking forward to an exciting and impactful year. And we look forward to working with many of you to help accomplish these goals.