Your Better Angels Say: Get Yourself To AHMA Lobby Day on May 29!

Joyce Mandell

Have you ever had your alarm go off early in the morning and in a semi-comatose state, you slap the snooze button.  You might have wanted to get up early to exercise or meditate or do something you know would be good for you but what is just an extra 5 or 10 minutes of precious sleep? Isn’t sleep good for you too?  You hit the snooze button again and again and again.  

I personally can find many seemingly good reasons not to do what I know is important like get up at the first alarm bell or go to AHMA’s lobby day on May 29th.  For some of us, work or child care duties pose a real barrier to going to lobby day.  There are other voices you may hear that get in the way too.  You may know those doubting inner utterances: The State House is so far away!  I’m only one person.  Why should it matter whether I go or not?

I urge you to listen to your better angels if you are having any doubts about whether or not you should sign up and attend lobby day!  Here’s what my better angels say to me:

It does matter that you show up!  You do count!   It is crucial that we have a strong showing of the super pro housing force that we are at AHMA.  At the rally on the state house steps at 10 am, we will be having a speaking program featuring Housing Secretary Ed Augustus and Lt Governor Kim Driscoll.  These key leaders are taking a stand to speak in support of our pro housing agenda.  We need to show up strong to flex the power of our movement for them, for the media and for us. It’s often the NIMBY people that mostly show up.  Now it is our turn!

Pushing statewide pro housing policies can help lessen our local fights.  For example, we passed a comprehensive ADU ordinance in my hometown of Worcester last December 2023.  It took an incredible amount of organizing to get supporters to attend and speak out at three hearings including a very contentious city council meeting.  If we can work collectively to get ADUs by right passed statewide through AHMA’s YIMBY bill or as an element of the Housing Bond Bill, we can spare the local fights in other towns and cities. If you were going to do one action this year to move the pro housing conversation forward statewide, it would be to rally and lobby with AHMA at the State House on May 29th.

You don’t want to miss out on the camaraderie and fun!  I am always impressed with the sense of community and depth of relationship that naturally occurs when AHMA advocates leave their hometowns and join together.  Think of this as a pre-taste of the AHMA summer social, an annual event where we spend time with, connect and enjoy each other. We will be handing out t-shirts at the rally and will have a private room in the state house for lunch, housing storytelling and other interactive activities.  You can pop in and out of the group space when you are not meeting with your local state representatives.

If you have not yet done so, let us know today if you can join us at Lobby Day:  There will be no hitting the snooze button on May 29th!  I am looking forward to joining with you to show the strength of our AHMA pro housing network that day.

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