Will craft legislative agenda based on direct feedback from residents

Boston, MA –Today the Massachusetts State Senate released its “Commonwealth Conversations 2017 Report.Commonwealth Conversations, cosponsored by Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst), Senator Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport), and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), was a statewide listening tour spanning nine regions, giving the Senate the opportunity to meet with local residents, businesses, and interest groups in every corner of the state to hear their concerns on the issues of every resident.

Thousands of residents attended public town hall forums across the state, and advocated for issues ranging from combatting climate change, healthcare, housing, and ensuring a more equitable transportation system. The report aggregates testimony from the town halls into legislative priorities, and also reflects information gathered from meetings and stops throughout each day of the Tour.

“The 2017 Commonwealth Conversations Report reflects the voices of thousands of residents who came out to have their voices heard on the issues that affect their day to day lives. Through the Senate’s collaborative process of civic engagement and shared leadership, we will craft a robust agenda to move the Commonwealth forward on economic development, climate change, housing, transportation, criminal justice reform and many other issues reflected in the report,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) “The enthusiastic participation of the public and the members of the Senate once again made the Commonwealth Conversations Tour a smashing success.”

“In every community, people voiced their vision for the state. They encouraged investing in local education and to support the hard working families that work day after day throughout Massachusetts to better their families lives,” said Senator Michael Brady (D-Brockton) Chairman of Revenue. “I commend Senator Rodrigues,  Senate President Rosenberg andSenate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr for coordinating The Commonwealth Conversations tour. Their 2017 Commonwealth Conversations report reflects what we heard across the state, and has helped us set clear, bipartisan priorities for this session.”

In 2015, the Massachusetts Senate embarked on the initial Commonwealth Conversations Tour of eight day long tour stops around the Commonwealth to hear directly from residents about their concerns and issues important to them.  Rather than sitting in conference rooms stuffed with special interests, we went to where people really talk about this stuff — school auditoriums and town halls, substance abuse centers, and small businesses.  The 2015-2016 legislative sessionfinished with a number of issues passed by the Senate as a result of the feedback from residents during the tour.