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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.
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