Terra Friedrichs
      Specifics on my community work
My hopes for my town and for the whole world:
  • CREATE a sustainable. diverse, and just society
  • PRESERVE the Town's natural and social character, including its strong schools and historic villages
  • LESSEN the tax burden on residents
  • IMPROVE  the lives of the disadvantaged and underserved
  • STRENGTHEN the power of the vote
* By engaging in creative new "business models"* we can do this @ the LOWEST COST possible, do we can preserve the middle class.

* ENRICH our Town Character which is, in one way. defined by its strong schools, its village atmosphere, and its caring community.  I want to find creative ways to preserve this way of life, while also increasing diversity in our culture. 

* IMPROVE  the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.  We can do this by focusing public assistance dollars on the people who need it most.  We can create public/private partnerships to create economically viable services.  We can improve the lives of our seniors so that they will stay with us here in our town, and help the town remain affordable.

* LESSEN THE TAX BURDEN ON TAX-BURDENED RESIDENTS.  We need to do more outreach to *the business community in this state.  Business development lessens the tax burden on residents.  We should also hold the line with developers that are making a lot of money, while residents are left with the bills for infrastructure needs.

I believe that many of the issues that we have in town are due to a planning/budgeting process that needs to be improved.  I believe that by improving the process, we'll be able to collaborate better, which will result in better services without raising taxes unnecessarily.


  • - HOUSING OUTREACH volunteers to serve on the Board of Directors of a Housing Rehab Trust, and to help find working, responsible  low income members of our community that can qualify for a $100-300K mortage.  Volunteers are needed to help these folks learn how to fill out applications.  Volunteers are needed to hand out flyers, talk to people, and find methods to get the word out!  The first project planned for the Housing Rehab Trust is a "Condo Buy-Down" program, which will further our public housing dollars while helping the people that need help the most.
    - MARKETING PRO & MARKETING VOLUNTEERS to help the Economic Development Committee design/implement an outreach plan to raise awareness at industry groups as to why "good healthy" businesses would want to move to Acton.  Economic Development helps lessen the burden on residential taxpayers.
    - ECONOMIST/Financial Modeler, to help develop a new financial model for the town to estimate the "costs/benefits" of strategic policy options.  We need help estimating the Supply & Demand impact on appreciation rates to the taxpayer's own net worth.  We need help understanding the complex relationships between Town services and business development.  These models will help Acton negotiate more effectively with developers and know what businesses to target/encourage. 
    - LAWYERS, for occasional research & independent advice on our options for saving land, negotiating with developers, etc to help us be more responsible with community resources.
    - ARCHITECTs, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTs, REAL ESTATE PROs for Design Review Board to advise developers and to help the town save more trees and be more sustainable/affordable while also getting a more coordinated "look/feel"


    terra at citizenactionteam. com

    p: 978 266 2778
    c: 978 808 71-7.3


    For an example of how we can serve a lot of people with not a lot of money, please look at a national effort that I co-founded:


    The Citizen Action Team's Relief Database is a innovative method for donors & volunteers to connect directly with organizations that do relief and social services work.  It's for Acton, and any community in the country.

    It is a way to recycle surplus and to get donations out to the field in the most direct
    way possible.


  • My Current Regional Work:

    In order of service:

    - Green Acton, Board of Directors. The organization advocates for sustainability and environmental justice. My work spans many of GA's committees, my focus is on Land Use, to help ensure more responsible use of land. My hope is that the town can ensure that housing built is affordable to people who work in the shops so that they may be able to walk to work. and that the town forms a Housing Rehab Trust, focused on ensuring that existing housing remain affordable and become more affordable.

    - Racial Justice for Black Lives, Steering Commitee. The organization is a regional community group seeking to center Black/Brown voices, and working for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. My work is focused on research and policy

    - 350MA MetroWest node. Member. This group is a local chapter of the 350MA, working to address climate change. My focus is on leveraging municipal rights to reduce human impact. See the muniicpal sustainability checklist.

    - Assabet Valley Chapter of the Green Rainbow Party. Member. Working for People, Peace, Planet, my work in the chapter this year has been focused on the local chapter's work this year for more robust prisoner rights to healthcare, and to change prisons as we know them to be more about restorative justice and less about punishment. 


    - Harvest Food Coop, member. My work focused on furthering the sustainability and democratic principles of the cooperative.

    - Occupy Boston, member. Sustainable Economy, Decolonize to Liberate, Camp Safety/Logistics, Non-Violent Direct Action, and various other working groups

    - Credit to the People, founding member. The group consists of retired and/or professional economists, bankers, brokers, philosophers, artists, [etc.] for the purposes of sharing information about how money works, in the hopes of creating a public bank in Massachusetts, and local currencies that are more people/community centric.

    - Member, Board of Selectmen (BoS)
    The Board of Selectmen are the "governing" body for the town.  See a status of my adventure as a Selectman "click here".

    - Historic District Commission
    Associate Member, BoS Liaison. The HDC helps preserve the character of our walkable historic villages.
    - Design Review Board
    Co-Founder, Member.  The DRB helps developers understand our
    "vision" for the town, and helps the town get what the residents want from development.  Recent surveys indicate that residents very much desire "walkable communities", and the DRB is helping to make that possible by working with developers and designing bylaws that encourage these environments.
    - Green Advisory Board.   I co-founded this official committee, as well as the private group Green Acton. See my views regarding the environment on the left of this page, "Sustainable Societies".  [from 2011:] This group is new and will be advising the town on what "green" initiatives to investigate.  There is a lot of interest in investigating energy usage/buying options.  If you're interested, please contact us. [update in 2020: the GAB is incredibly successful, has led the way in MANY very important local sustainability efforts. But since we are still in a Climate Emergency, the work is just starting! We have great hopes for them to help lead us to sustainability!]
    - Farmer's Market/Agricultural Commission.  I hope that we can create additional opportunities for residents to "get closer" to their food sources.  I hope that we can help farmers remain economically viable and sustainable.  This effort is just getting started.  Please contact us for details on the plans.  Meetings are starting up this fall (2008). [2020 update: Yay! the AgCom is up and running! See the town website for details.]
    - Cable Advisory Committee, Associate Member.  The CAC negotiates and administers the Cable TV licenses in town.  It also administers the Technology Fund.  Tje CAC brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars to the town for technology enhancements.  I hope that we can increase the contributions from the cable companies to the town, so that we can promote greater/equal access to technology.
    - Affordable Housing, Volunteer, helping find lower income people to participate in the condo-buy-down program, to help the town get to our 40B goals faster. [2020 update: we have a Housing Rehab Trust proposal almost ready for public viewing!]
    - Finance, Trying to create a more "realistic" cost/benefit models to assess the "value" of strategies like funding "Senior Services", Condo-Buy Downs (to help fund more affordable housing for your $), costs of development.  Having a more comprehensive model that estimates the future costs of development will be helpful for negotiating with developers. It will help the Town to get them to contribute their fair share of the costs that you would otherwise have/had to pick up later.  The hope is to create a model which reflects ALL of your costs, not just the costs to Town Hall. [2020 update: not much progress here...holistic/strategic planning seems largely in the hands of the developers rather than the residents]


    - Community Preservation Act Advisory Committee, Member & Promoter of the Community Preservation Act.  The CPA has brought millions of dollars to the town for:
    + land purchase
    + historic preservation
    + recreation
    + affordable housing
    - Cable Committee, Member of the Negotiating Team which brought an additional $200,000/year into the Town's technology budget
    - Economic Development Committee, Original Member, helped develop the charter/goals for the EDC, to create marketing materials and make the town more attractive for businesses by having a single point of contact and streamlined processes to help businesses to get started in Acton.  Future goal: "outreach" to industry associations, etc.
    - Conservation, Volunteer, helped arrange for the town to get its own consultant to oversee Golf Course environmental impact.
    - Petitioned the town to take wetlands out of the allowable buildable lot calculations.

    RACIAL JUSTICE FOR BLACK LIVES: help with racial justice efforts.

    For more details, please contact me...


    terra at citizenactionteam. com

    p: 978 266 2778
    c: 978 808 7.17-3

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