So here is New England Futures, the Fat Albert of the regional plans in the Northeast (Granite State Future in New Hampshire is part of this). I want you to take a look at who the players are (I almost typed 'payers') and who the payees are, too. This is a huge plan involving all aspects of life. You'll be told that you'll die as a town if you're not part of the 'region' and then you'll hear what it takes to participate. Just your sovereignty, that's all. Just your freedom, your ability to use your property, to make a living, to teach your children without coercion, to move freely. Just your life. This is not an exaggeration. And now---New England Futures. From their website.
The New England Futures Project is led by the Partnership for New England, a collaboration of seven organizations with a commitment to regional solutions to New England’s challenges. The members of the Partnership are:
The Citistates Group
Institute for Sustainable Communities
New England Council
New England Initiative at UMass-Lowell
Mt. Auburn Associates
New England Association of Regional Councils
The Orton Family Foundation
The Citistates Group (a lead partner). The Citistates team, headed by writers Neal Peirce and Curtis Johnson, is the only group in the United States with a track record of preparing journalistic, region-wide-based series looking at current and future strategic issues and suggesting some ways they might be addressed. Their reports have appeared in 23 major metropolitan dailies, among them the Arizona Republic, Seattle Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, Miami Herald and Boston Globe. Peirce authored the 1976 book, The New England States, with a broad look at New England as a whole followed by chapters examining “people, politics and power” in each of the six states. He also wrote Over New England, companion to the New England Public Television program. He lives part of each year in New Hampshire and writes the country’s first nationally syndicated column focused on states and cities, distributed by the Washington Post Writers Group. Johnson, with Peirce, co-authored the 1993 book: Citistates: How Urban America Can Prosper in a Competitive World. A former chief of staff to a Minnesota governor, Johnson served four years as board chair of the Twin Cities’ Metropolitan Council. Farley Peters, a veteran government activist, serves as business manager and speaking agent for the Citistates Group.
Institute for Sustainable Communities (a lead partner and fiscal agent). ISC is an independent nonprofit organization that provides training, technical assistance, and financial support to communities, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), businesses, and government agencies. ISC’s mission is to help communities around the world address environmental, economic, and social challenges to build a better future shaped and shared by all. Working in communities ranging in size from small rural villages to large industrial cities, ISC provides practical assistance that results in citizen leaders, organizations, and communities having the capacity to build on and extend the impact of projects long after ISC’s departure. ISC has a total of 92 staff and offices in Montpelier, Vermont; Washington, D.C., Ukraine, Russia, and the Balkans.
New England Council. Founded in 1925, the Council was the region’s first collective business voice and continues to coordinate the six states’ federal legislative policy, working with the region’s U.S. House delegations and 12 U.S. Senators. It also launches special projects of region-wide impact such as a recent “Creative Economy Initiative” that highlighted the major economic potential of the region’s fine arts, graphic design, theater, advertising, fashion, and web creation capacity.
New England Initiative at UMass-Lowell. Based at the Center for Industrial Competitiveness at UMass-Lowell, this newly-formed organization is headed by David Soule, former director of the Boston area Metropolitan Area Planning Council. The Initiative is assisting major regional groups research and address critical challenges shared across the six-state region.
Mt. Auburn Associates. This consulting organization has focused on economic development strategies and analysis of regional futures in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and across the U.S. Mt. Auburn forges broad economic strategies that merge sophisticated blueprints for region-wide business openings and wealth generation (grounded in new economic opportunities with a special eye to equity and social justice issues. The group’s specialty is to develop, on one side, economic cluster development, commercial revitalization, entrepreneurship and small business development), with a corresponding focus on workforce development and imaginative community development. A recent report dealt with economic potentials across New England’s northern tier.
New England Association of Regional Councils. This organization was created to increase the effectiveness of regional councils throughout New England. Its mission is to strengthen the capability of local councils, to enhance the regional concept of planning and development, and to spark educational efforts for the general public, governmental agencies, and public and private organizations.
The Orton Family Foundation. The Vermont-based Orton Family Foundation seeks to engage and empower citizens in land use planning as a pathway to sustainable communities. In partnership with non-profit organizations, government agencies, business associations, and other intermediaries, the foundation advances its mission by promoting a diverse suite of planning tools and techniques while cultivating a deep network of civic innovators. The foundation conducts its work primarily in the Northeast and Rocky Mountain West.