Governor Deval Patrick today launched an online community forum, inviting citizens to continue the conversation started during the administration's series of statewide community forums about the choices and priorities facing the Commonwealth in the current economic climate. Governor Patrick has selected UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack to serve as the forum's "Citizen Moderator."
Available at www.mass.gov/forum, the forum presents the public with a unique opportunity to share their ideas about the state's budget challenges as well as the transportation, pension and ethics reform proposals currently being debated on Beacon Hill. Over the next two weeks, Governor Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Murray and senior administration officials will be online at various times, reading suggestions, answering questions and contributing to the dialogue.
"We need the collective wisdom of all the people in the Commonwealth to tackle the budget challenges and reform opportunities facing us at this critical moment," said Governor Patrick. "This online forum allows us to continue the conversation we started during the community forums and capture those great ideas -- your ideas -- that will help get us through to a better tomorrow."
Chancellor MacCormack will work with the Governor's Office to help facilitate the online conversation and ensure all ideas are heard. At the conclusion of the discussion, Chancellor MacCormack will select from forum participants to assemble a Citizen Task Force. The Task Force will be responsible for compiling ideas, insights and recommendations shared throughout the forum and presenting a report to the Governor.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for citizens to participate in a meaningful dialogue about the future of our Commonwealth,'' Chancellor MacCormack said. "My primary responsibility as moderator will be to ensure that everyone with a big idea has a voice, and that we work together to help solve some of the major challenges facing the Commonwealth. I look forward to hearing everyone's ideas."
In addition to the more than 30 community forums the Governor and members of his administration held throughout the month of May, he kicked off a series of summer town hall meetings in Dennis on Tuesday. The meetings are open to the public, giving residents a chance to talk directly to Governor Patrick about issues they care about most, including the economy, the state's budget challenges, and the Governor's efforts to push for reforms on Beacon Hill. For a full schedule and more information, visit www.mass.gov/governor/townhall
UMass Dartmouth is recognized for its institutional commitment to civic engagement. This fall, it established a new School of Education, Public Policy, and Civic Engagement to organize its intellectual resources to address educational challenges in the region. In January, the campus was named by the Corporation for National and Community Service to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America's communities. The campus has also been classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Community Engagement University.