Category Archives: Massachusetts Municipal Association

Covid voting changes extended

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association –

 
Breaking News from the MMA  
Gov. Baker signs law to extend pandemic-related voting changes

A law signed by Gov. Charlie Baker today provides a three-month extension for a number of changes to voting procedures that were enacted last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including early voting by mail.

The new law does the following:
• Allows a city or town with a municipal caucus or annual or special municipal election scheduled before June 30, 2021, to postpone such municipal caucus or municipal election to a date certain not later than Aug. 1, 2021

• Allows the select board, board of selectmen, town council or board of registrars to vote to eliminate a municipal caucus scheduled to occur before July 31, 2021, and, in the alternative, use nomination papers to nominate candidates …

MMA’s The Beacon for March

Massachusetts Municipal Association
Hello Members!  

Here’s the March 2021 issue of The Beacon – packed with the latest COVID-related news, including federal relief updates and FEMA reimbursement changes, information about local and state pandemic response efforts, state grant opportunities, details about MMA member group virtual meetings, and general membership webinars.  

Link to the March 2021 issue of The Beacon (no login required)  

By publishing The Beacon as a PDF, we can ensure that we get you the very latest information that you need ASAP. (If you did not receive this email directly, please share your email address with us – along with name, title and city/town – at database@mma.org.)  

Best wishes to all of you during this challenging time.  

John Ouellette Manager of Publications and Digital Communications  
Jennifer Kavanaugh Associate Editor  
Meredith Gabrilska Digital Communications Coordinator  

MMA on State’s Steps

 
Breaking News from the MMA  

Mass. to return to Step 2 of Phase 3 Monday, advance to Phase 4 on March 22

The Baker-Polito administration announced today that Massachusetts will return to Step 2 of Phase 3 of the state’s four-phase reopening plan on Monday, March 1, and will transition to Step 1 of Phase 4 three weeks later, on March 22.

Gov. Charlie Baker said the steps to further reopen the Commonwealth’s economy were being taken because public health metrics continue to trend in a positive direction, including drops in average daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, while vaccination rates continue to increase.

The administration released its reopening plan on May 18, 2020, conditioning any progress on sustained improvements in public health data. The state had advanced to Step 2 of Phase 3 last October, but returned to the previous step on Dec. 13 in response to an increase in new COVID infections and hospitalizations following the Thanksgiving holiday. The step back reduced capacities across a broad range of sectors and tightened several other workplace restrictions. …

Read the MMA’s magazine, the Municipal Advocate

Hello Readers! 
The pandemic has caused everyone to retool and reprioritize, including us at the MMA. We’ve shifted our focus in order to provide as much relevant and timely information as possible to help municipalities navigate this challenging time. There are, however, a range of ongoing pre-pandemic challenges that will need our attention as soon as we’re able, and key among them is climate change. Today, we present the new issue of the Municipal Advocate on that topic. This issue features articles on: • The Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program, which provides tools and grants to communities to address concerns on the front line• The Massachusetts Climate Action Network, which is partnering with cities and towns to dramatically reduce emissions and purchase more local renewable energy• The collaborative work of 15 Cape Cod towns to develop and deploy preventative, mitigating and adaptive climate strategies• Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that can help us take bold and multi-faceted action to address climate change• The Trustees of Reservations’ effort to assess the vulnerability of five key coastal areas As an added convenience, all the links in the document are clickable, as are the story titles in the table of contents. We hope you enjoy this issue. Best regards,John OuelletteMMA Manager of Publications and Digital Communications

MMA’s The Beacon

Hello Members!   Here’s the February 2021 issue of The Beacon – packed with the latest budget and COVID-related news, complete coverage of the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show, information about local and state pandemic response efforts, an interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci, and details about MMA member group virtual meetings.   Link to the February 2021 issue of The Beacon (no login required)   By publishing The Beacon as a PDF, we can ensure that we get you the very latest information that you need ASAP. (If you did not receive this email directly, please share your email address with us – along with name, title and city/town – at database@mma.org.)   Best wishes to all of you during this challenging time.   John Ouellette Manager of Publications and Digital Communications   Jennifer Kavanaugh Associate Editor   Meredith Gabrilska Digital Communications Coordinator   Meredith Gabrilska Digital Communications Coordinator

MMA annual meeting

I spent both yesterday and today attending the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting, which was held virtually this year. They employed a platform that was markedly better than my usual Zoom meetings.

Heard a couple of inspiring speeches about leadership, heard a couple of programs about implicit bias, one on state finances, got addressed by both the Lt. Governor and the Governor, and learned about the MIIA price increases for the town’s insurance (5% for health insurance). Because it was all virtual, I can go back for the next month to listen to more of the programs – the MMA usually runs 5-6 concurrent workshops at a time, so one has to pick wisely.

I found it most interesting when Jeff Beckwith, the Executive Director of the MMA asked the Governor a series of questions after the Governor’s remarks, as they were personal questions aimed at how the Governor was doing with the world turned upside down by covid, and the Governor did speak quite personally. The Governor said he used to leave home at 5AM and get home at 9PM because he was usually driving home from some far part of the state, but in a covid virtual meeting world he gets done at 7PM and then walks from his home office to his kitchen to see his wife, and now has time for walks with his wife and reading books.

The Governor recommends reading Lincoln on the Verge (Baker said there was almost no United States left for Lincoln to govern between the time of Lincoln’s November election and his March 3 swearing in), watching Ted Lasso (a comedy on TV), and said:

  • “public life is a team sport”
  • “the founders wanted people to have to work together with people with whom they disagree to get things done”
  • “state and local people are judged by what they accomplish, not by what they oppose”

The Governor and Lt. Governor were both select board members before holding state office, so the MMA is especially fond of them for that and also because they have financially supported municipalities.

MMA’s The Beacon

The Massachusetts Municipal Association has made The Beacon, its monthly magazine, a PDF and now distribute it digitally. This month I especially took note of:

  • the discussion of the new police reform legislation
  • that the “Department of Revenue projects a drop in tax collections of about 6%”
  • the housing and transportation bills enacted this week

Hello Members!

Here’s the January 2021 issue of The Beacon – packed with the latest budget and COVID-related news, updates about the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show, information about local and state pandemic response efforts, and details about late-session legislative activity and member group webinars.

Link to the January 2021 issue of The Beacon (no login required)

By publishing The Beacon as a PDF, we can ensure that we get you the very latest information that you need ASAP. (If you did not receive this email directly, please share your email address with us – along with name, title and city/town – at database@mma.org.)

Best wishes to all of you during this challenging time.

John Ouellette

MMA Manager of Publications and Digital Communications

Jennifer Kavanaugh

Associate Editor

Meredith Gabrilska Digital Communications Coordinator

The MMA’s The Beacon

Hello Members!   Here’s the November 2020 issue of The Beacon – packed with the latest budget and COVID-related news, updates about the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show, information about local and state COVID response programs, and details about our robust member group webinar offerings this fall.   Link to the November 2020 issue of The Beacon (no login required)   By publishing The Beacon as a PDF, we can ensure that we get you the very latest information that you need ASAP. (If you did not receive this email directly, please share your email address with us – along with name, title and city/town – at database@mma.org.)   Best wishes to all of you during this challenging time.   John Ouellette MMA Manager of Publications and Digital Communications   Jennifer Kavanaugh Associate Editor   Meredith Gabrilska Digital Communications Coordinator

See the article which I think contains a photo of Medfield’s Jeremy Marsette, DPW Director in Natick –

MMA on reopening schools and police reform

I attended an on-line Massachusetts Municipal Association program on reopening schools and police reforms. The Massachusetts Municipal Association has now made the program available to hear, so I am sharing the link to do so, as I found it instructive.

Good Morning,

Thank you for attending last week’s MSA webinar covering reopening schools and police reform legislation. To view a recording of the webinar, please follow this link: https://www.mma.org/select-boards-discuss-school-reopening-police-reform-legislation/

Additionally, if you have not already done so, please take a few moments to complete this brief evaluation so that we can continue to develop content and trainings that are beneficial to you.

Best,

Isabelle Nichols

Member Services Coordinator 

MMA & NLC on institutional racism

Gus and I heard a presentation on institutional racism by Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities in January 2020 at the Massachusetts Municipal Association annual meeting.  I recommend that one clicks on the this link https://youtu.be/ERnSi8s3Oyk, and listen to Tim Wise explain institutional racism in three minutes (starts at about 10:50).  The email below came today – 

MMA-2

Dear MMA Members,

 

We are sharing a special message from Clarence Anthony, the CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities, providing support for municipal leaders through the Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) Program. This important initiative was highlighted at our Annual Meeting in January, and is more valuable than ever as a resource for cities and towns, here and across the nation.

Dear NLC Members,

 

I write to you today as the CEO of the National League of Cities, as your colleague, and as your friend.

 

As CEO, I want you to know that the National League of Cities is here to support you during this challenging time. As your colleague, I want you to know that I am acutely aware of the leadership demands you are facing right now. As your friend, I want you to know that I am tired of violence towards African Americans by members of law enforcement. I am tired of implicit and explicit racial biases that permeate our society. And I am tired of the inequities in healthcare, finances, education, housing, nutrition and other basic needs.

 

We have a crisis of humanity in this country, and we’re seeing this crisis reach its boiling point right now. The current situation in America is not just about the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers. This is about communities that have been left behind for hundreds of years.

 

This is about the communities that have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is about a lack of hope and a lack of agency that is felt throughout the Black community. In the words of civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired” – that is the feeling of many African Americans in our nation.

 

You ran for office and work in local government to make a difference in your community. Now, your residents are looking to you for answers, guidance and support.

 

You have a great power and a great responsibility that no one else in this nation has. You, as the person elected by your neighbors and community members, can make a real difference right now – and your residents are looking to you right now for leadership.

 

I challenge you to use the power of the pulpit to heal your community and chart a path forward that prioritizes equity and humanity. I challenge you to look to your colleagues in other cities for support and unity. I challenge you to educate yourself on the history of race in your own community and state, because it affects more than the African American communities, it affects all communities of color. And I challenge you to advance policies and programs that will make a difference in the lives of every person of color that rely on you to lead.

 

In 2014, the National League of Cities created our Race, Equity and Leadership department to strengthen local leaders’ knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities and divisions and to build more equitable communities. It has been an honor to work with many of you over the past six years to advance this mission in your cities.

 

In the coming days and weeks, we are continuing this work and are working to provide you with the support you need. I encourage you to read and share the resources enclosed below. If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at real@nlc.org.

 

Things will get better. However it is up to us to ensure that we make it better by working together.

 

In solidarity,

 

 

 

 

 

Clarence E. Anthony

 

CEO and Executive Director

 

RACE, EQUITY AND LEADERSHIP RESOURCES

 

Responding to Racial Tension in Your City: A Municipal Action Guide

A guide that includes important contextual and tactical information to support your municipality’s efforts to respond effectively. LEARN MORE

 

Advancing Racial Equity in Your City: A Municipal Action Guide

Compiles six immediate steps for improving outcomes for all residents. LEARN MORE

 

Repository of City Racial Equity Policies and Decisions

Review examples of concrete policy and budgetary changes local elected officials have made to prioritize racial equity in their cities, towns, and villages. LEARN MORE

 

My Brother’s Keeper Landscape

City leaders respond the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge by tackling the disparities that face our nation’s boys and young men of color (BYMoC). LEARN MORE

 

City Profiles

Learn how 12 cities and their elected leaders around the country are advancing racial equity in their communities. LEARN MORE