MICAH ACTION DRAWS 250 ON SUNNY SUNDAY
May 28, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
APRIL 27, 2009
For more information: Contact: Michael Jacoby Brown, cell: 617 645 0226 Email: MBrown@micahma.org
MICAH BRINGS CONGREGATIONS TOGETHER FOR HISTORIC GATHERING
More than 250 congregants and clergy from all over Metrowest gathered on a sunny Sunday afternoon at a MICAH public action at St. Tarcisius Church in Framingham to urge Metrowest State Representatives and Senators to support more revenue for hard-pressed Towns throughout Metrowest. MICAH, the Metropolitan Interfaith Congregations Acting for Hope, is a Metrowest Interfaith community improvement organization.
Senator James Eldridge, and Representatives Pam Richardson, Tom Sannicandro and Tom Conroy listened to people from across Metrowest described describe how cuts in revenue would affect schools and other town services. All the elected officials present pledged their support to MICAH’s campaign to close the telecomm tax loophole (which exempts telephone poles from local property taxation) and to provide towns the local option to add a 1% tax to restaurant meals and hotel rooms. Representative Alice Peisch did not attend but sent a letter supporting MICAH’s campaign. Senator Karen Spilka sent a message that she also supported MICAH’s campaign.
Rabbi Greg Litcofsky, of Shir Tikva of Wayland, set the tone, describing how this legislation, although not a complete solution, “would bring millions of dollars to hard pressed town throughout Metrowest.”
Ben Richmond, a high school student at Lincoln Sudbury high school, described the effects of the planned cutting of the Martin Luther King service program Dr. Karen Back, a Wayland pediatrician and member of Shir Tikva, described how without adequate funding for a teacher’s aide, one parent in an overcrowded second grade in Wayland was looking for a “stimulant” to deal with the child’s behavior problem, which, Dr. Back, said, “is not the right prescription.” Mary Avalos, a parent and congregant at Christ Lutheran in Natick, spoke about the poor conditions at Natick High School. Marcia Reni, a congregant at St. Cecelia’s in Ashland and a member of the Ashland School committee, and Mitzila Pineda, from St. Stephens in Framingham, both detailed the effects of cutting programs and increasing fees for sports and transportation in Framingham and Ashland. Ms. Pineda described how the high cost of sports was denying her son in high school the opportunity to participate in sports.
Senator Eldridge and the representatives not only supported MICAH’s campaign to help the Towns, but also encouraged MICAH members to contact their friends in other towns and cities to encourage them to pass the telecomm and rooms and meals legislation.
Clergy present included Rabbis Neal Gold and Greg Litcofsky from Shir Tikva in Wayland, Fr. Hector Castoldi and Fr. Joseph Pranzo from St. Tarcisius in Framingham, Fr Paco and Fr. Bert Stankard from St. Stephens, Framingham, Rev. Rebecca Bourret from Christ Lutheran, Natick, Rev. Bruce Pehrson, from Wayland Methodist, Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell from First Baptist, Framingham, Rabbi David Thomas and Cantor Lorel Zar-Kessler, from Beth El, Sudbury, Rev. Kathleen Hepler, from First Parish Unitarian Universalist, Framingham, and Rev. Adam Tierney-Eliot from the Eliot Church, Natick.
MICAH in the past had worked to support the Regional Transportation Authority, the Framingham Community Health Center, and with its allies in the Mass Community Network and the National PICO network, worked to pass the Massachusetts health care reform law and the “SCHIP” children’s health care law, which President Obama recently signed into law.
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