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Home / Blog / Advocacy / Help Us Expand Local Cultural Council Membership Opportunities

Help Us Expand Local Cultural Council Membership Opportunities

Bethann Steiner, Public Affairs Director

Support H. 3378 and S. 2243 in 2021

Update: April 14, 2021 – These proposals have been assigned bill numbers and have been referred to the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development for review and consideration this session. HD655 is now H. 3378 and SD1204 is now S. 2243.

 

Mass Cultural Council is thrilled to collaborate with Rep. Ken Gordon (D- Bedford) and Sen. Adam Hinds (D- Pittsfield) during this new 2021-2022 legislative session to advance HD655 and SD1204, bills filed to expand membership opportunities for Local Cultural Councils (LCCs).

Call to Action

Help us secure additional legislative support for this proposal. Contact your State Representative and State Senator and request that they co-sponsor HD655 and SD1204. Share the information about the bill below for their consideration.

Background

The Mass Cultural Council Communities Initiative proudly manages the Commonwealth’s Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program, the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation.

Led by municipally-appointed volunteers, each year the Commonwealth’s LCCs award more than $4 million in grants to promote and enrich cultural life in all 351 Massachusetts communities. LCC grants support more than 6,000 cultural programs statewide, providing residents in every city and town access to arts and culture.

The Problem

State law (MGL Ch. 10, Sec. 58) prohibits “elected public officials” from serving on their LCC.

Mass Cultural Council believes this restriction is appropriate for chief municipal decision makers, like mayors, city councilors, and select board members. However, this law also prevents those who are elected to serve in other local and regional capacities — like town meeting members, school committee members, local assessors, and library trustees — from serving on their LCC. In smaller, rural communities this severely limits the number of residents willing and able to serve as an appointed LCC member. LCCs cannot convene to conduct their important business if they cannot achieve quorum.

The Fix

HD655 and SD1204 amend the statue and authorize local and regional elected officials to also serve on LCCs, excluding the community’s chief appointing authority and members of the local appropriating authority, as defined in MGL Ch. 59, Sec. 21C. HD655 and SD1204 offer a technical correction that is good for rural communities, promotes good governance and civic engagement, and strengthens participation in our cultural sector.

The Ask

Please help us spread the word about this proposal: Urge your state legislators to support and co-sponsor H. 3378 and S. 2243.

Download a one-pager on this legislation


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