During last year’s gubernatorial campaign, Governor Charlie Baker – along with other serious candidates for Governor – met with JCRC to discuss the priorities of the organized Jewish community. Yesterday, over 50 leaders from across our network welcomed him back to congratulate him on his victory and to take an important step toward establishing a deep and broad relationship between him, his administration, and our community.
Over the course of an hour, the Governor heard from Jewish leaders and activists about a range of issues of concern to us and our member agencies:
- We discussed the importance of addressing poverty and investing in economic development, including workforce development, our support for his efforts to raise the Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit, and opportunities for employment training and jobs for people with disabilities.
- We talked about the flourishing MA-Israel economic partnership and directions the administration can take to continue building our Commonwealth’s ties to the global innovation economy. We are thrilled that Governor Baker continues to state publicly and affirm privately that when he is ready for trade missions, that Israel is at the very top of his list of destinations.
- We also raised synagogue leaders' engagement with the MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence to pursue a multi-pronged strategy to combat gun violence, with a focus on a robust private sales background check system and the coordination of systems and agencies responsible for gun crime information.
- We thanked the Governor for his commitment to participating in community conversations, such as Greater Boston Interfaith Organization’s Action in May, and we expressed our concerns about rising anti-Semitism and our desire for public leaders to speak out against all forms of bias.
- We talked about the social safety net and the work of the CJP partner agencies to care for the seniors and people with disabilities, to support families dealing with poverty and to address economic insecurity. And, we expressed our commitment to continue to partner with government to ensure a vibrant safety net for all the people of Massachusetts.
As we asked questions and asked the Governor to work with us on these critical areas, we also reminded him that our community is a resource and a partner to our leaders in government on a range of crucially important work and that JCRC will continue to connect with political leaders in a way that allows our differences to be discussed and our shared priorities to thrive.
We look forward to continuing yesterday’s dialogue and I am grateful to all our network agencies who came together to renew our commitment to the success of our Commonwealth.