The Baker Administration has been hosting some regional listening sessions to get input for its economic development strategy -- I participated in one of these in May at UMass Dartmouth. It was the closest session scheduled to us geographically. The session was held by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Michael Kennealy to help inform the Baker-Polito Administration’s economic development strategy for the next four years. The new economic development strategy will be signed by the Governor at the end of this year and guide the administration's legislative agenda.
The room was filled with over 150+ people -- town officials, business professionals, business leaders, non-profits, community leaders, residents, students – an abundance of key stakeholders in the conversation joined in for the conversation. Key themes that came out of the two roundtables that I participated in were spot on with what we are hearing from business leaders across the South Shore:
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined the Chamber and South Shore Economic Development Corp. (SSEDC) leaders, Braintree Mayor Joe Sullivan, Weymouth Mayor Bob Hedlund, and area developers in a discussion held June 4 that focused on economic development and housing initiatives both generally around the Commonwealth and more specifically throughout the South Shore and the Braintree/Weymouth Landing.
Throughout the discussion, which started at Landing 53 (25 Commercial Street, Braintree), Lt. Gov. Polito discussed how the initiative, South Shore 2030, launched by the South Shore Chamber is very similar to what she and Governor Baker are looking to achieve across the Commonwealth, and how the leadership of the mayors and the business community took this vision and made it a reality at the Landing. A plan is important, she said, but without resources and partnerships, it cannot be implemented.
Key stakeholders gathered at the beginning of the month to recognize some critical leadership in the next phase of South Shore 2030’s Housing Initiative. The business voice is a critical component to moving the number on our housing goal of 44,000 new units by 2030. It isn’t only about increased housing production, but the right kind of housing in the right locations – some key housing developments and town initiatives were highlighted during the event and can be found on South Shore 2030’s housing page.
Getting to that 44,000 number will take a lot of effort and leadership from community members, local officials from all 25 communities, small business, big business, all industry representatives. This is bigger than just increasing the number of homes on the South Shore – it is about building our communities and supporting the economic vitality of the region. We have some great leadership here on the South Shore and Rockland Trust’s, Christopher Oddleifson, is leading the charge with a $35,000 contribution to support the project work.
Check out some of the media coverage of this announcement from the sources below.
For more information about the Housing Initiative and/or to get involved in the conversation, contact Courtney Bjorgaard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781.421.3915.