Young people have been moving out of Massachusetts for years, and the Governor is rightly concerned. Springfield and Holyoke are in desperate need of the kind of economic and cultural vitality that retains, attracts, and is created by young people.
Elizabeth Clay, who heads the Governor’s Office for Civic Engagement (and is herself the kind of young professional we’re talking about); and Greg Bielecki, Secretary for Housing and Economic Development will be in Springfield next Wednesday to kick off a series of discussions across the state about what would make a difference.
Some things we’ve discussed:
- Free municipal Wifi
- Subsidized housing and studio space for artists in reclaimed warehouses
- Support for socially and environmentally responsible youth enterprise
- Sustainable center-city coworking development (WSJ, 7/28/09)
- GOTV (get out the vote) campaigns to incorporate more young people, and people of color, into the democratic process and leadership positions
- Better public transportation infrastructure (busses, light rail, safe and well-maintained bike paths)
Details: Wednesday, Sept. 23rd, at 6PM, 436 Dwight St., 3rd Floor Court Room. All are welcome, spread the word. To RSVP, send an email to grassroots.governance -at- state.ma.us . Official flyer here.
Caveat: The local and regional demographic trends are of course more complex, and you can get into it more with this 2006 MassINC/UMass Donahue Institute/Mass Housing report called “Mass Migration,” and this 2007 Federal Reserve report on brain drain.