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The Massachusetts of 2040

by Ken Lefebrve, Jr.
March 7, 2012

As election cycles come to pass every few years, they bring to light those hot-button issues reflecting problems that are of the most immediate concern to the most people.

The distant future however, is often mentioned in passing but rarely discussed with detail; everyone wishes for the next generation's wellbeing but seldom do we give that vision shape.

While it's true that even the best laid plans can and often do fail (still waiting for those flying cars), the only way that we as citizens can help to shape our future is by coming to terms with what we value and what we would like to see changed in our society. The beauty of this planning being that even those things which don't seem practical in the next few years, or the next decade, may still come to fruition somewhere down the line- but only if we acknowledge these goals and give them aim. Whether you believe in this government and its current policies or those of past administrations, or none of the above- ideas begin with discussion amongst the people. There was an education professor from North Dakota, one Arland D. Weeks, who said something that I believe best sums up our nostalgia and apprehension--
 

"There have always been problems of old, but people did not always define them...with greater general enlightenment society has become self-conscious, for intelligence has a revealing power."
 

This passage was written in 1917, at the tail-end of the First World War, before the dawn of radio or television, with photocopies and the internet not even existing in the realms of science fiction. This teacher could have never truly realized just how truly integrated our thoughts and demands have become that we can now share and receive them in an instant. In the spirit of this I'd like invite you to take part in the a survey (https://roosevelt.nationalfield.com/public/form/15/awepo) that I'm currently running with members of the Roosevelt Institute to try and gauge the concerns of the people of the Commonwealth. The Roosevelt Institute Campus Network is a non-profit, student-run network working towards developing a policy blueprint for the state's future generation of voters. We are hoping to give weight to the voices of the people in Massachusetts not behind any one candidate or solution, but rather to allow ideas out there that will shape the state's policies in the decades ahead.

Although we designed this survey primarily with students in mind, we are looking for responses from any and all people living in this state and would greatly appreciate any input that Holliston and its surrounding communities have to offer. If anyone is interested in participating in this project either through the working policy groups, contributing literature, or anything otherwise then please feel free to contact me at krlefebv@student.umass.edu, and be sure to check the project's website (http://www.rooseveltcampusnetwork.org/mass-2040-blueprint-millennial-massachusetts).

 

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