My organization held its annual Lobby Day at the State House yesterday. Over 220 people came to the capital to talk with their legislators about the importance of funding affordable housing production and preservation and small business support. Our folks work in the heart of neighborhoods and communities that struggle with violence, poverty and the foreclosure crisis. They work with residents to make their neighborhoods better places to live and work.
The Governor spoke at our event. It is always thrilling to have the head of our Commonwealth present. He spoke of how we are all addressing the foreclosure crisis in our communities but we all - government, financial institutions and community groups - still can do more.
Some of the folks who came to the State House had never been there before. I attended one meeting with a Senator's aide and nearly 10 people who work in community economic development. A group member, a community organizer, stood along the wall when there were plenty of chairs in the room. I had to keep encouraging him to join us at the table. He finally sat down with us.
I needed to leave the meeting early and as I stood, I leaned over and whispered to him "Always sit at the table. You belong."