Leadership Council Meeting Minutes
April 11, 2017

 In attendance: Jim Ayres, United Way of Hampshire County, Mary Jane Bacon, Office of Senator Rosenberg, Jane Banks, Center for Human Development, Tim Brennan, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, Catholic Charities, Dave Christopolis, Three County CoC, Steve Connor, Hampshire County Veterans Services, Dawn DiStefano, Square One, Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF, Brad Gordon, Berkshire Regional Housing Authority, Steve Huntley, Valley Opportunity Council, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Jennifer Kinsman, United Way of Pioneer Valley, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Michelle Michaeliann, BHN, Andrew Morehouse, Food Bank of Western MA, Rebecca Muller, Grantworks, Kristin Peterson, YWCA of Western MA, Christina Royal, Holyoke Community College, Jim Seney, VAMC, Janna Tetreault, Community Action

 Minutes of March 1, 2017 meeting:
Kathryn Buckley-Brawner moved to adopt; Steve Huntley
Unanimously in favor

Budget update: Current cash balance for the Network (at United Way of Pioneer Valley) is $4,045 for the remainder of fiscal year, includes receipts and pledges (one outstanding pledges). Partner contributions totaling $5,584 came in during the last couple of months. UWPV will forego its 10% admin fee for the remainder of the year (thanks expressed). Additionally, the Hampden County CoC and Community Action have each separately contracted with Pamela to provide facilitation for the Network committee meetings (dependent on geography of meetings and/or with youth meeting on rotating basis). This allows for the bulk of the UWPV funds to be allocated to the Network’s legislative advocacy work, along with general networking opportunities.

Legislative Update: Pamela reported that the Network has met with a dozen legislators over the last several weeks – Senator Rosenberg, Senator Lesser, Rep. Kulik, Rep. Farley-Bouvier, Rep. Gonzalez, Rep. Kocot, Rep. Mark, Rep. Tosado, Rep. Scibak, Rep. Vega, Rep. Velis, and Rep. Williams – to share Network priorities. At each meeting, different Network partners have attended based on the legislator’s district. Additional meetings are scheduled with Senator Hinds, Senator Humason and Senator Welch. The meetings have been very positive.

Prioritizing the Network’s Budget Priorities: At our last meeting with Senator Rosenberg, Rep. Kulik, Rep. Kocot and Rep. Scibak, the group received a direct ask for the Network’s top priorities among our list of priorities.

The Leadership Council discussion focused on answering the questions:

  1. What priorities will most greatly serve our region in particular?
  2. Where are there no or few other champions on the issue (i.e., our delegation is most needed)?

The group also reviewed the House Ways and Means (HWM) budget in relation to these questions to determine its priorities.

Motion to approve these top priorities list below: Peg Keller. Seconded: Steve Huntley
In favor: 21. Opposed: 1 (Steve Connor expressed preference for MRVP to be among the Network’s top priorities)

Motion to approve these priorities in the order listed below: Kathryn Buckley-Brawner. Seconded: Tim Brennan.
In favor: 20. Abstentions: Jim Ayres, Jay Sacchetti

The Leadership Council priorities are:

  1. Youth program funding ($0 in HWM)
  2. Consortium funding ($0 in HWM)
  3. Network earmark ($0 in HWM)
  4. Secure Jobs Initiative ($500K in HWM budget, down from $800K in Gov.’s budget)
  5. Tenancy Preservation Program ($500K in HWM, level funded; ask is $1m)
  6. RAFT language expansion to define family to include individuals (language not included in Governor or HWM budget)

The LC agreed that these priorities will be qualified by the explicit notation of the importance all of its initial priorities.

Network earmark amount (Motion to accept: Steve Huntley; Seconded: Tim Brennan; All in favor):

The Leadership Council decided after discussion to request the earmark in the amount of $125,000 but make clear to Rep. Kocot that if budget constraints required a reduction, the Network could also manage to continue with an amount between $50-$75,000.

Note: Pamela also raised earlier in the meeting the suggestion posed by Bill Miller (who was unable to attend the meeting) that the earmark be drawn from the family homelessness line-item since it is much larger than the individual services line-item and any earmark will proportionally impact the services less. While the Council heard this suggestion, it was not discussed at greater length. Pamela will inquire of Rep. Kocot for his feedback.

Application for Davis Foundation funding:
Motion for the Network to apply for Davis Foundation funding for FY18: Steve Huntley
Seconded: Gerry McCafferty
All in favor

Next meeting date:
July 27, 10 am- 12 noon
Greenfield, location TBD

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