This email today from the now defunct Suburban Coalition. Too bad, as I found their meetings really interesting and informative (to say nothing of convenient, as they were often held at the Newton Marriott). The Town of Medfield was a member for a number of years. Former Senator Timilty always used to say the real divide at the legislature was city reps versus towns reps, not so much Republican versus Democrat.
At our last business meeting, on July 10, 2017, a vote was taken to dissolve the Suburban Coalition. This action took place after several years of efforts to sustain our work with a very small number of active volunteers. While we believe our mission is as important and relevant as ever, we simply no longer have the capacity to carry out the mission in a meaningful way.
The Suburban Coalition was founded in the 1980’s in response to Proposition 2 ½. The mission of the organization has been to ensure that smaller municipalities have a voice on Beacon Hill. We strove to ensure that every community had the funding, resources and support from the state to deliver the essential services of life safety, education and infrastructure maintenance to its citizens. We believe that thriving communities contribute to a strong commonwealth. During the past several decades, our efforts have made a difference. The Suburban Coalition was the first organization to advocate for the Senior Circuit Breaker, bringing property tax relief to seniors. More recently, we advocated for changes to Municipal Health Insurance and have been active in efforts to both establish the Foundation Budget Review Commission and to ensure that the recommendations of the FBRC are implemented.
Thanks go to many people and organizations for efforts and support over the years. Most of all, thank you to all who attended our meetings and took our message back to your boards and communities, and to your legislators. Without your input and participation, we would not have been as successful as we were. Please continue to advocate for your communities, your citizens and your students.
Thank you to the boards and committees who joined the Suburban Coalition. You made us stronger by adding your names to the list of those supporting our positions and efforts.
Thank you to the many legislators who welcomed us into your offices or came to our meetings and listened to our views. Listening to our views and sharing yours helped all of us move forward productively.
Thank you to the organizations who partnered with us over the years. Several organizations supported the efforts of the Suburban Coalition by providing data, sharing expertise, participating in our meetings and publicizing our meetings to their members.
The core workers of the Suburban Coalition has always been a relatively small group of dedicated, passionate volunteer advocates. Some have come and gone as circumstances in their lives dictated; others have stayed the course for a very long time. These people spent countless hours identifying and debating the issues, developing positions, meeting with legislators, planning events and trying to build a sustainable structure for the organization. To all those who have, at one time or another, been a key part of the Suburban Coalition, thank you so much for all your time, knowledge, passion, and willingness to stay the course as long as you did.
Advocating and participating in government is no less important today than it was in the 1980’s when the Suburban Coalition was founded. Our government, our democracy, works best when many voices are heard. Our Commonwealth is healthier and stronger when the resources are available for all communities and citizens to thrive. The core group of volunteers who have steered the Suburban Coalition over the years will continue to participate and advocate on behalf of their communities and fellow citizens. We trust that those of you who have followed and supported the organization will too.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.