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Left In Lowell » Blog Archive » Governor’s Civic Engagement Liason Office

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February 2, 2007

Governor’s Civic Engagement Liason Office

by at 3:43 pm.

Ron Bell, former Deputy Campaign Manager and, by consensus of the grassroots, an absolutely amazing organizer, has been tapped by Gov. Patrick to head up the Public Liaison Office, which is a new post dedicated to encouraging civic engagement. He announced it in his weekly podcast, which is worth a listen. Some more info from the press release:

Public Liaison staff will be tasked with exploring creative new ways for neighborhoods and communities to communicate with each other and with the Governor’s Office. They will also work to engage people who are not traditionally active in political life.

The office will be lead by Ron Bell, a highly-respected leader with more than 20 years experience in community organizing. He is the founder of Dunk the Vote, a non-profit dedicated to helping young people understand the importance of getting together, getting organized, and making their voices heard. […]

Beginning next week, Public Liaison staff will travel to various communities to engage in a conversation about the issues facing the Commonwealth. They will visit local Chambers of Commerce to hear from business leaders and will stop at local schools to talk to students about Black History Month. On February 8, Bell will attend the Greater Boston Foodbank’s Super Hunger Awareness Month kick-off event.

Rounding out the Public Liaison Office are Assistant Director Christine Alaimo, a former social worker and member of Governor Patrick’s campaign; Christina Mills, a former Constituent Liaison in Lieutenant Governor Murray’s former mayoral office in Worcester; and Anny Jean-Jacques, an attorney with extensive experience in youth issues.

Governor Patrick today also filed legislation to establish the Commonwealth Corps, a program that will challenge residents to give one year of service to strengthen their communities. In its first year, Commonwealth Corps will consist of 250 members who will be placed in nonprofit organizations or public entities throughout the Commonwealth. Governor Patrick hopes to expand the Corps membership to 1,000 over five years. […]

Building on the work of Senator Marc Pacheco, Representative Patricia Haddad and others, the legislation also incorporates service learning into the state’s Higher Education curriculum by establishing a Commonwealth Student Corps. The pilot program will be administered by the Massachusetts Service Alliance in five public colleges and universities over three years. The pilot schools will promote curriculum-based community service programs that will provide students with avenues for volunteerism within fields of study like environmental science, healthcare and education. […]

Additionally, Governor Patrick today issued an Executive Order to facilitate greater volunteer opportunities for state employees. Under previous rules, state employees were given one paid work day a month to participate in the state’s Mentoring and School Volunteer Program. The new program opens the qualified service opportunities beyond mentoring to allow state employees to have more volunteering options, such as working at a food bank, helping to maintain public parks, or assisting the elderly.

7 Responses to “Governor’s Civic Engagement Liason Office”

  1. Josh Says:

    And how much will all of this cost?

  2. Ryan Says:

    A pittance compared to its potential importance.

  3. Josh Says:

    And you know this how?

  4. Ryan Says:

    You’re aware of the definition of “potential,” right? I don’t “know” if it will pay off, but I have very high hopes. If government is delivered into the hands of the people, not some elites who think they own offices, then yes it will definitely be worth it. If community activism is no longer scorned - and becomes admired - in great part because of the Governor’s influence, it will be worth it.

    Just because you don’t value the progressive movement doesn’t mean it can’t be a success. The status quo has completely and utterly failed; it’s time we try something new and different. Government for the people and by the people sounds good to me.

  5. Josh Says:

    “Hope” is a nice campaign slogan and all, but it’s not good policy. Call me crazy, but I prefer to have definitive proof that my tax dollars will actually succeed. If you prefer the lesser standard of “hope,” then use your own damn money.

  6. Steve Says:

    So, let’s see, unless you have “definitive proof” that you will not have a car accident, you don’t drive. Call *me* crazy but I bet you do take that and other calculated risks. Which means that you are not crazy (just too stubborn to grant someone else an obvious discussion point). Touche! (I’m just passing through, so bother responding; I won’t see it.)

  7. Chris McCue Says:

    Great to see Gov. Patrick’s SERV program highlighted here! Lowell-area state employees (and the general public) interested in learning more about becoming a mentor to a child are encouraged to attend tonight’s (July 10) info session hosted by the Lowell Spinners at the ballpark. From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., caring adults can find out what mentoring is (and isn’t), meet representatives from local youth mentoring programs like Big Brother Big Sister, and automatically become part of the Red Sox Mentoring Challenge if they opt to pursue becoming a mentor. Right now, nearly 5,000 kids are on waiting lists for mentors. Through the Challenge, they automatically become eligible for Red Sox tickets, get a free tour of Fenway Park and a special t-shirt, and an invitation to a fall event with Bill Russell. (State employees can also learn how to use their mentoring leave benefit too!) To sign up for the Spinners mentoring info session, e-mail Chris McCue at cmccue@massmentors.org. Mass Mentoring Partnership, the umbrella agency for youth mentoring in Massachusetts, is one of the original partners that launched the time-off for community service program for Massachusetts employees originally limited to mentoring and school volunteering. That initial program has just been expanded under Governor’s Patrick’s administration through the new State Employees Responding as Volunteers program (SERV).

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