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It’s time for Pittsfield to say ‘yes’ to CPA

In her letter to the editor, Sara Clement writes: "The Community Preservation Act is a piece of legislation that actually does what it says. It preserves communities. It preserves neighborhood fabric."

To the Editor:

I’m writing to urge Pittsfield citizens to Vote YES on Question 5. When we are open-minded, study the facts, figures and multiple examples of success stories, it is a natural conclusion that Pittsfield would benefit immensely from CPA’s adoption. It is time to say YES.

Question 5 has been embraced across all sectors of the Pittsfield community, in a groundswell of support from civic organizations, private businesses, and community leaders that support adoption of the Community Preservation Act in Pittsfield, and with good reason: CPA is a clear win for those communities that adopt it, economically and socially. In addition to transforming struggling and once-blighted neighborhoods, quality housing initiatives supported by CPA have created more than 5,000 construction related jobs directly, and through indirect impact added another 6,000 estimated jobs with more than $150 million in new revenue for local governments.

An additional 10,000 high paying jobs have been generated in the rehabilitation of historic properties by CPA funding, preserving the beloved structures that help give a community its identity while retrofitting it to a landscape that’s competitively ready for commercial activity of all kinds.

Its impact on parks and open spaces in the Commonwealth has been extraordinary – more than 23,000 acres of park land, farm land, forest land have been acquired or preserved. It’s enabled towns to build needed dog parks, skate parks, playgrounds, athletic fields. It’s led to the creation of hundreds of new assets and programs for youth recreation.

Out of more than 160 towns and cities that have adopted CPA in Massachusetts, not one municipality has ever repealed it. That’s because the Community Preservation Act is a piece of legislation that actually does what it says. It preserves communities. It preserves neighborhood fabric. It preserves the distinct landscape that makes us who we are, and would help to optimize those assets to position Pittsfield as a promising community with a high quality of life, that’s ripe for commercial growth.

Perhaps most importantly, it provides HOPE. Hope for all manner of worthy projects that many residents support and believe in, things like new, healthy youth recreational programming that we desperately need in this city.

Adopting the Community Preservation Act is a crucial step that we need to take, and an exceedingly small price to pay, to help get us back on track to having the thriving community that so many of us want and deserve.

Sara Clement

1306 East Street

Pittsfield, Mass.

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