As the Commonwealth of Massachusetts prepares for new leadership on Beacon Hill, it is also a time for reflection and appreciation. When Governor Deval Patrick takes his lone walk down the steps of the State House on January 7th, he will be remembered as a great friend and supporter of the Greater Boston Jewish community.
The Governor clearly laid out his principles when he first ran for office: generational responsibility, social justice, and investments in our individual and communal futures. He made it clear that “we do not have to agree on everything to work on anything.” That vision and perspective laid the framework for eight years of successful collaboration between his administration and the Jewish community.
The priorities of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and Governor Patrick often complemented each other in the public square. We stood with the Governor as he personally rallied support to defeat efforts finally to put marriage equality on the ballot, thereby enshrining the principle that civil rights would not be put up to a popular vote and that marriage is a right belonging to all of us. We were equally proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Governor Patrick and other leaders in the faith community to offer temporary sanctuary for migrant children entering the United States without family.
We worked together to expand coverage and reign in the costs of health care in the Commonwealth; to increase the minimum wage; to increase funding for youth jobs; and to create and pass stronger gun violence prevention legislation.
It was also a tremendous source of pride for our community when the Governor made two trips to Israel to build upon the many strong connections between the business and academic communities of Israel and Massachusetts. Due to his leadership, MassChallenge and MassChallenge Israel are working to develop deeper economic ties between the growing healthcare, biotechnology and tech sectors in Israel and Massachusetts, and starting this year, we will finally have direct flights to Israel from Boston.
Governor Patrick exhibited superb governance during times of crisis and there is no better example than his steadfast leadership in the face of the Boston Marathon attack. His steady hand and his compassion guided the City and the Commonwealth. His remarks at the interfaith gathering with President Obama – when the Governor called us all to unite in our shared civic faith – provided the unifying and healing moment we all needed
We share Governor Patrick’s commitment to family, community and social justice. For that, and for all you have achieved, we say thank you for your service so far to the Commonwealth.
Executive Director, JCRC