Now’s the time to engage your State Representative. The MA House of Representatives is considering amendments to its Ways & Means Committee budget recommendations for FY19. So it’s critical that your representative hears from you now.
Even though the Ways & Means Committee proposed allocating close to $14 MIL for Mass Cultural Council (MCC), in real dollars this would represent a cut in funding for arts & culture in FY19.
The MCC’s budget request of $17 MIL was supported by a case statement explaining why funding arts & culture should be viewed as “an investment in the Commonwealth;” if, for no other reason than “culture drives growth and economic opportunity.” (Of course, we know it does so much more.)
Rep. Cory Atkins (14th Middlesex) offered an amendment #184, which proposes fully funding MCC’s $17 MIL budget request for FY19. Although Rep. Daniel Cullinane (12th Suffolk) is already a supporter, his office still needs to hear from you.
Our voices should be heard beyond calls to fully fund arts & culture, however. Our mission to re-brand Mattapan as a cultural destination can not be divorced from issues related to access to affordable housing and economic opportunities, transit equity (including safe, walkable streets), food security, environmental justice, and yes, climate action.
In these regards, we support he Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s legislative priorities: on transportation, sanctuary cities, etc. Of course we support the Act to Sustain Community Preservation Revenue. What about you?
Most concerning, of all–most threatening, that is, to our long-term goals, is what sea level rise holds in store for Mattapan. Go to Sea Change Boston and see for yourself. Global warming aka climate change (however remote in time) might pose an even greater displacement threat than gentrification (which many can see across the horizon).
It might not appear to be the case, but all of this matters right now. Our future Mattapan depends on the actions we take, or don’t take, today.