Oppose the corporate takeover of our neighborhoods

PROTECT OUR PUBLIC SPACES

The Massachusetts legislature is poised to pass a bill that would enable “Community Benefit District” (CBD) corporations run by the wealthiest property owners to essentially “own” and manage the public spaces in your neighborhood. Frighteningly, the bill contains zero safeguards to protect against that entity from trampling over our civil liberties and limiting equal access to public spaces.

Ask your legislators to oppose the corporate takeover of our neighborhoods.

Message Recipients:
Massachusetts State Senate
Massachusetts House of Representatives

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Your Message

Please oppose enactment of H.4546. This dangerous bill would enable a Community “Benefit” District corporation run by the wealthiest property owners to actually “own” and manage the public space in our neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the bill contains absolutely zero safeguards for civil liberties and equal access to public spaces, and it would force property owners to pay for activities that only a minority of local residents support. However well-intentioned its proponents may be, good intentions do not take the place of legal protections.

I understand that many legislators initially viewed this legislation as a positive tool to invigorate communities. However, serious concerns have come to light more recently and it would be a mistake to ignore those issues. Given the nature of the concerns – about fundamental issues regarding property rights and traditional government functions of openness and accountability – it is clear that this legislation needs further evaluation and consideration.

For instance, this legislation contains no protections for free speech and assembly. Such protections were a critical feature of past legislation affecting the management of public spaces.

This sweeping legislation would enable major changes in the way that local neighborhoods are managed, and impose new financial burdens on residents without giving everyone a say. It needs much more thought and attention to unintended consequences.

Please oppose a rushed enactment of this legislation in light of all the unanswered questions.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]
[Your Address]

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