CPA offers opportunity to build Pittsfield's future

To the editor:

I'm writing to encourage my fellow citizens to vote "Yes" on Question 5 to adopt the Community Preservation Act (CPA) for our beloved city of Pittsfield.

The commonwealth of Massachusetts created the CPA as an opportunity for its communities to help shape their future. Once adopted, a CPA guarantees matching funds from the commonwealth and across Massachusetts, communities with CPAs have benefitted from a reliable source of revenue to support community needs. Projects such as accessible housing, parks, playgrounds, open space, and the preservation of historic buildings, including those occupied by several of Pittsfield's arts and cultural institutions, that taken together, make a significant contribution to our quality of life and local economy, will all benefit.

Adopting a CPA would also reinforce Pittsfield's momentum as a community that is proactively shaping its future. At an earlier time in my life, I was fortunate to serve as a planning commissioner for a town in the midst of transition to a brighter future. I witnessed firsthand the social and financial return on investment when people made intentional choices to improve their community by preserving and enhancing their shared cultural and natural heritage. At this juncture in Pittsfield's history, it is especially important that we remain focused on building the community we want, and a CPA would provide new means to carry out our intentions in that regard.

On Nov. 8, please join me in voting "Yes" on Question 5!


Van Shields, Pittsfield