Welcoming All to Framingham
Framingham has a proud tradition of welcoming new faces into its family.
That said, the surge of new residents over the past decade requires our efforts to become more intentional and intense if we are to maintain our tight-knit neighborhoods, vibrant community organizations, engaged civic affairs, and prosperous local businesses. Over the past decade much less than half the voters in the City were living here; and only one-third of residents were here 15 years ago.
We all see transition in every neighborhood. Multi-generational families leaving and new ones arriving, just as committed to family and community as those before them. New residents come from Brazil, India, and Central America for sure, but also from Watertown and Newton, Revere and Boston.
Newcomers come to Framingham for opportunity, fellowship, and happiness. They bring energy and enthusiasm to be part of our community.
Further, designating Framingham as a sanctuary city or confiscatory policies does little to advance the needs of this population and in fact could be harmful. In fact, FPD policies and practices for the past three decades have balanced these competing interests to serve this population and our community.
Being welcoming is much more than being friendly, tolerant, or peaceful. We believe that truly welcoming places have intentional, inclusive policies, practices, and norms that enable all residents to live, thrive, and contribute fully — including immigrants and newcomers.
As a Councilor, John has:
- Created Neighborhood Advisory Groups, connecting our neighborhoods with their representatives in government
- Supported policies to ensure Framingham is welcoming to all
- Joined with community members to promote Framingham's diverse communities
- Worked on the Welcoming Ordinance
Welcoming places are made possible by welcoming people and leaders, including immigrants and newcomers themselves. Whether you’re a student or teacher, elected official or government worker, non-profit leader or business owner, each of us is empowered to foster more welcoming places at work, in our neighborhoods, and places of gathering. In short, to strengthen our community!
We can learn much from other communities that have had similar population shifts to better embrace, harness, and fully leverage the contributions of all residents, strengthening our neighborhoods, community organizations, businesses, and civic affairs.
As a Councilor, John will continue to support:
- Create and distribute a new resident guide, available in languages spoken to residents, to new residents, such as the Cambridge New Resident Guide or Somerville New Resident 101;
- Expand civic engagement programs, like the Citizen’s Policy Academy;
- Convene a bi-annual meeting of new residents to integrate and incorporate new residents into our community;
- Assist existing and emerging community groups in achieving their potential, such as accessing the municipal bulletin board;
- Celebrate community accomplishments through citations and resolutions;
- Evaluate city policies and procedure to eliminate barriers to participation; and,
- Seek out and engage new residents.
Well organized neighborhood groups like Friends of Saxonville, have demonstrated great success in interacting with local, state, and federal governments. In Coburnville and Tripoli, we have recently formed such a group and already see better communication amongst neighbors, timely action from City decisionmakers, and a stronger sense of community. With support, our neighborhoods will connect newcomers and townies to bring the Framingham renaissance that we desire.