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ZIP codes workgroup, Small Town Summit save-the-date

ZIP Codes workgroup

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post,?tonight’s Small Town Summit inHeath, on the topic of ZIP codes, has been canceled.?

In place of this meeting, we have created a research team (hard at work now through the end of July) and a workgroup (meeting in late August/ early September).?

The research team is digging into the history of the ZIP code issue and looking at how this problem is addressed in other parts of the country. ?

The workgroup, made up primarily of rural Town Clerks, will use their own on-the-ground experience and info from the research team to develop a strategy for making progress on this issue in FY2020.I will send out updates and next steps in September. In the meantime, we have a couple of opportunities for volunteers to get involved with this work.?

If you are interested in either of these roles or know someone who might be, please contact me by replying to this email or calling 413-824-2593.

Volunteer Opportunity 1:?We are recruiting?one or two more people to serve on the ZIP code workgroup who are not Town Clerks but have experience with the ZIP code issue?(for instance, as it relates to school funding). We are expecting this workgroup will meet once or twice, so joining will not require?a long-term commitment.

Volunteer Opportunity 2:?We also are exploring the possibility of creating a short (5-10 minute) video that explains the ZIP code issue to legislators and the press. If you know someone who has?video recording and/ or editing experience?who might like to help on this effort, please let me know.



Save the date

We are wrapping up the third year of the Small Town Summit. This year, we focused on four pain points for rural municipal leaders in western Mass:
– payments for State-owned land
– transportation
– rural school finances
– and ZIP codes.

While we made much progress on these issues this year, there is still a lot of work to be done. I am making a few changes to the STS format for FY2020 so that we can focus on that work:

Instead of shorter meetings every two months on different topics,?there will be just one longer, multi-issue Small Town Summit on Saturday, November 2, 2019.?

Please save the date. I will send out details in September.

Between now and November 2, workgroups will meet to continue making progress on the issues listed above. The ZIP codes workgroup I mentioned earlier in this email is one of these. I will send out emails over the next few days about the others.

There will be a?Small Town Summit lobbying day in Boston in February or March 2020. Details will go out in September.

Beth Bandy
Director
Rural Commonwealth
413-824-2593
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