Community advocates from the Campaign for Our Communities this week launched an interactive map feature on their Web site that allows voters to see the enormous amount of local aid that has been cut from local communities since 2000.
Voters can now scroll over any of the 351 communities throughout Massachusetts to display a pop-up message showing the percentage of local aid that has been cut. Clicking on a particular community provides even more specific information, including a graph broken down by year with the dollar amount of cuts.
The Campaign for Our Communities is a coalition of Massachusetts residents and organizations who oppose the drastic cuts to the locally provided services that stimulate our state’s economy and make Massachusetts a great place to live, work and raise a family. For the past several years, Massachusetts has seen widespread cuts to the programs and services that focus on public education, health care coverage, public safety and services to vulnerable people. These cuts harm all residents of the Commonwealth.
“If we keep cutting our local aid, there will be irreversible damage to our schools, emergency services and overall wellbeing of our towns and cities,” said Yolanda DiFalco, a teacher in Brockton. “Our state needs to find solutions that will protect our communities and make investments at the state level that will benefit all Massachusetts residents.”
The map shows that Boston has lost 60% of local aid since 2000 while smaller communities like New Bedford have lost 46%. Every community in Massachusetts has lost general local aid funding over the last twelve years due to the state’s chronic revenue deficit.
“We need to find better solutions to the budget crisis than cutting the local services that our citizens have come to rely on,” said Shirley McCready of Springfield. “Our communities need local aid to fund schools, police and firefighters, safe roads and bridges, clean water and quality health care. When you see the amount of cuts over this twelve-year period, it’s obvious that the cities and towns of Massachusetts have lost far too much.”
To see the interactive map and learn more about the Campaign for Our Communities, visit the campaign website here.
–Campaign for Our Communities