Op-Ed: Make your voices heard

March 10, 2017
By

By Local State Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez

The JP Historical Society is one of my favorite Facebook pages. They have hundreds of photos posted depicting Jamaica Plain from as early as the 1800s. One of the best shows horse drawn buggies crawling along next to the pond – reminding us that JP was once known as the “Eden of America” for its rolling hills and vast green space.

The area has seen a few changes since it was an epicenter for the Jamaica rum trade or a streetcar suburb. It’s changed since the anti-highway movement came together in the 1960s to stop an eight-lane roadway from being built where we now see the Orange Line. The neighborhood has even seen more than a few changes during my years as state representative. Hundreds of new faces, new businesses, and a multitude of creative ideas have accompanied these changes in the landscape to make JP the great neighborhood we all love.

That’s why I’m asking to hear from our neighbors, those who have lived here forever and those who are new to the area.

I started this process by conducting a community survey at the end of 2016. Over 800 people responded to voice their opinions on various issues from housing to transportation. The results were insightful and helped set my priorities for the new legislative session. The responses showed the breadth of perspectives of the people I represent.

I heard from you in January, when my office received communications on over 125 different bills from nearly 400 constituents who shared their views. These contacts were crucial in helping me decide where to focus my energy. As House Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, I’m charged with considering healthcare policies and their fiscal impacts. But the interests of my constituents are the reason why I continue to focus on health, affordable housing, immigration, and workforce development, among other issues.

While surveys and emails are great ways to communicate, I prefer face-to-face contact. That’s why I’m hosting a series of events titled, “Community Calling.” We’ll talk about the results of the community survey and create a forum to continue the conversation.

I haven’t seen this much energy and involvement in a while. In this new era, more people are reaching out to government than ever before and I want to make sure I hear from you what issues are most important and how I can best serve the community as your state representative.

To accommodate people’s busy calendars, I am hosting the same event on two different dates in separate locations, as follows:

Monday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m. on the 6th floor of MCPHS University (670 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115);

Thursday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church Jamaica Plain (633 Centre St. Jamaica Plain, MA 02130).

I look forward to seeing you in a few weeks!

 

 

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