Senator Joan B. Lovely
State Senator
2nd Essex District


June 22, 2017

Senate Releases Commonwealth Conversations 2017 Report

(Boston, MA) –Today the Massachusetts State Senate released its “Commonwealth Conversations 2017 Report.Commonwealth Conversations, cosponsored by Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst), Senator Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport), and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), was a statewide listening tour spanning nine regions, giving the Senate the opportunity to meet with local residents, businesses, and interest groups in every corner of the state to hear their concerns on the issues of every resident.

Thousands of residents attended public town hall forums across the state, and advocated for issues ranging from combating climate change, healthcare, housing, and ensuring a more equitable transportation system. The report aggregates testimony from the town halls into legislative priorities, and also reflects information gathered from meetings and stops throughout each day of the Tour.

“The 2017 Commonwealth Conversations Report reflects the voices of thousands of residents who came out to have their voices heard on the issues that affect their day to day lives.   Through the Senate’s collaborative process of civic engagement and shared leadership, we will craft a robust agenda to move the Commonwealth forward on economic development, climate change, housing, transportation, criminal justice reform and many other issues reflected in the report,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) “The enthusiastic participation of the public and the members of the Senate once again made the Commonwealth Conversations Tour a smashing success.”

“In every community, people described a vision for the state that includes support for working families, sustainable economies, and investing in the Commonwealth’s future,” said Senator Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport) Chairman of the Commonwealth Conversations Tour. “The Commonwealth Conversations 2017 Report reflects what we heard across the state, and has helped us set clear, bipartisan priorities for this session.”

“The 2017 Commonwealth Conversations Report serves as an important tool the Senate will use to address issues from different constituencies across the state,” said Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem). “The North Shore leg of the tour welcomed residents to the City of Peabody for an important conversation on wide range of issues including housing, substance abuse, economic development, renewable energy, education, and criminal justice reform. Thank you to my constituents who engaged with the Senate and are working closely with us to improve our communities across the Commonwealth.”

The North Shore leg of the Commonwealth Conversations Tour was hosted by Senators Joan Lovely, Tom McGee, Jason Lewis, and Sal DiDomenico. Senate President Stan Rosenberg and other Senators joined along each stop of the tour which included a downtown revitalization tour of the City of Malden and a tour of ROCA, a Chelsea based social service agency Two additional events open to the public included a BARR Roundtable Forum on transportation followed by a Town Hall meeting hosted by Senator Lovely at Higgins Memorial Middle School in Peabody.

In 2015, the Massachusetts Senate embarked on the initial Commonwealth Conversations Tour of eight day long tour stops around the Commonwealth to hear directly from residents about their concerns and issues important to them.  Rather than sitting in conference rooms stuffed with special interests, we went to where people really talk — school auditoriums and town halls, substance abuse centers, and small businesses.  The 2015-2016 legislative session finished with a number of issues passed by the Senate as a result of the feedback from residents during the tour.