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  • Writer's pictureMichael Hays

Wanted: Policy Action; Forum Set for 2/1

When I took the oath of office in Spring City Borough as a new council member in 2010, I remember being determined and somewhat anxious to “get stuff done.” (Has Gov. Shapiro trademarked that line yet?) 

It was one short campaign cycle after Pres. Barack Obama won the White House and inspired a new generation. My policy priorities were tied to climate change, health care, and infrastructure. Yet, I found myself in the minority as one of only two Democrats on the 7-person governing council – not to mention obvious limitations on national issues that I cared about as a 28-year-old. 

To find inspiration for actual local policy ideas, I attended conferences sponsored by organizations such as the Young Elected Officials Network. I recall meeting a Denver councilwoman on one of those trips and hearing about “inclusionary zoning” for the first time. As Robin Kniech explained it to me, the deep interconnections between opportunity, justice, and housing started coming into focus. Cities and municipalities could require developers to set aside a percentage of new units at below market rates. 

Fast forward about 12 years to our present moment where a new cadre of local elected officials find our county, state, and nation grappling with double-digit increases in homelessness and housing costs. 

It’s time to get to work and the hour is late. 

Join us at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1, for our Policy Forum in West Norriton (Ascension UCC). We will have a short lineup of speakers offering tangible policy solutions that can be implemented at the local level to address our housing crisis. All 62 municipalities will be invited. Our forum is open to the public.

So far, we have confirmed attendance from Towamencin, Royersford, Lower Merion, West Norriton, Upper Gwynedd, and speaking slots with State Rep. Napoleon Nelson and Lower Merion Commissioner Anthony Stevenson. More are coming in every day. 

You can RSVP on our Facebook page or my emailing montco30percent (at) gmail (dot) com.

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