MPHA and our allies have been in high gear at the State House since Labor Day. Legislative committees held several hearings on priority public health legislation, which gave MPHA, our members, and our coalition allies, the chance to make our case and rally support behind these bills:
- Zoning Reform for Healthy Community Design legislation (see the fact sheet and MPHA’s testimony). MPHA collaborated with the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance to organize a public health panel for this hearing, which included Susan Buchholz, Coordinator of the Joint Coalition on Health (serving North Central Massachusetts) and Cheryl Sbarra, Senior Staff Attorney for the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards. Dozens of organizations from across the state submitted a joint letter (Joint Letter) in support of the bill, including all of the members of the Act FRESH Campaign.
- Special Commission on Local and Regional Health Bill to strengthen local public health protections (see the fact sheet and MPHA’s Testimony). We were joined by Pheobe Walker, Director of Community Services for the Franklin Regional Council of Governments and Cheryl Sbarra of the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards.
- Shared Use Bill to make it easier for schools to open recreational facilities for use by community groups. (see the fact sheet and MPHA’s Testimony). Tom Skwierawski, Coordinator of the Working Cities Project in Fitchburg, joined a panel along with our partners at the American Heart Association and the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs.