More than six months ago, the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence brought together a working group to advocate for the Massachusetts Legislature to fund gun violence prevention with a portion of the state's ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act). The group included representatives and leaders from many of our member organizations, and members of our leadership team. Our group developed a set of core values for this funding, which included prioritizing marginalized communities and community-based gun violence prevention programs. We have held those core values throughout this work, and we are so thrilled to announce that Governor Baker has signed H.4269, An Act relative to immediate COVID-19 recovery needs, into law.
This bill spends approximately $4 billion of the roughly $6.25 billion that Massachusetts was allocated through the American Rescue Plan Act. Included in this bill is a $50 million investment in violence prevention throughout the Commonwealth. We are proud to say that this investment includes pieces of our original language and holds true to our core values outlined at the very beginning of this process. We could not have done this alone, and we are deeply grateful to our partners and allies who were with us every step of the way in this work.
“We thank Governor Baker, Speaker Mariano, Senate President Spilka, Chairs Michlewitz and Rodrigues, and the entire Legislature for their commitment to addressing the root causes of gun violence” said Ruth Zakarin, executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence. “We are deeply grateful to our legislative champions, Senator Creem, Representative Miranda, and Representative Vargas for their advocacy to ensure that this funding was included in the final bill. This funding will make a tangible difference for community based organizations across the state doing the grassroots work of preventing gun violence and promoting peace. We are thrilled to have played a role in securing support for community driven solutions to trauma and violence.”
Click below to read our full press release and list of partner organizations.