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Elizabeth ClayPosted by:
Elizabeth Clay, Director of Grassroots Governance

Wednesday afternoon we held our first lunchtime young adults meeting with Governor Patrick at UMass Amherst with more engaged and eager participants than ever before. (Check out The Daily Collegian and several local newspapers that covered the dialogue). Over 300 people representing almost every county in Western Massachusetts from North Adams to Springfield to Amherst, packed the Student Union Ballroom and brought with them a range of ideas and suggestions for the Governor and our distinguished panel.

Crowd at UMass event              Ruby and Gov at UMass event

Serving on the panel were Tony Maroulis from the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, Ruby Maddox-Fisher from the Center for the Environment at Mt. Holyoke College, Aron Goldman from the Springfield Institute and Brianna Johnson from UMass Amherst who shared their perspectives as young community and business leaders.

Key topics raised in the discussion included identifying new state revenue sources, the high cost of living in the Commonwealth, youth violence, and “turning blue collar jobs green”, among others.

As the event was held on a college campus, one issue that was clearly on the minds of many in attendance was voiced by Marco Cross, a junior at UMass who addressed the increasing cost of public higher education, the decrease in state appropriations for higher education and a sense that student loans are becoming increasingly difficult to secure.(Find out what resources are available as you pursue your secondary and post secondary education here).

Thanks to everyone who came and participated! If you didn’t get to ask your question or you weren’t able to make it, we still want to here what would make you excited to stay in Massachusetts. What would you recommend?

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