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The Fiscal and Management Control Board and its Role in Improving Transportation and Funding in the Commonwealth

January 6, 2016 04:00 PM

Speaker: State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry

By: Zachary Hellyar, CDM Smith Inc.

Photo credit: www.frankmonkiewicz.com

On December 17th, Massachusetts State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry joined WTS-Boston at our Annual Meeting and discussed the current role of the Fiscal and Management Control Board (FCMB) and its impacts on future transportation and funding.  Senator Forry grew up in Dorchester’s Uphams Corner neighborhood, where her parents settled after immigrating to the United States from Haiti in the mid-1960s. In 2005, she was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives becoming the first woman and person of color to represent the Commonwealth's 1st Suffolk District, a diverse and thriving cross-section of Boston which includes Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan and South Boston. In April 2013, after a highly competitive special election, Linda Dorcena Forry was elected to the Massachusetts State Senate. 

After a very impressive and in-depth introduction by outgoing WTS Boston Board Member Lyris Bauduy-Liautaud, P.E., MCE, Senator Forry took to the stage.  She greeted the crowd and thanked everyone in attendance for making time for the event and noted that she was honored to be the speaker at the WTS 35th Annual Meeting.  She was very quick to break the ice and set the tone of the event by taking a few pictures of the audience with her cell phone and then prompting the crowd to say “Women rock!” This got a roar of a response.  For those who didn’t know Senator Forry, it was a great way to get a quick snapshot of her personality.

Senator Forry talked about how WTS is an important part of the Boston transportation industry.  WTS brings people together from all facets of the industry to a place where their opinions may be heard whether they are engineers, planners and more.  Every opinion matters and plays a big part in making up WTS.

Senator Forry discussed how the FMCB in Boston will improve future transportation and funding for both the city and state.  The shutdown of the MBTA last February resulted in scrutiny of the organization.  Forry was quick to point out that it was not the staff of the MBTA who were at fault.  She stated “our infrastructure needs to be on point” and that is one of the many issues they plan to address at the FMCB meetings.  MBTA personnel also need to be properly equipped to handle any situation, even a record setting winter.

Senator Forry stated “we all know that money doesn’t grow on trees,” then emphasized the need to work with the MBTA, MassDOT and others to make sure those in Washington understand our needs.  These organizations also play a critical role helping the FMCB develop future plans.  The MBTA shutting down this past winter was a good indicator that Boston’s and the Commonwealth’s infrastructure needs to improve as a whole and this can only happen through legislation.

Senator Forry continued on to say that we need more women and more diversity on the FMCB.  She knows that women are the “queens of multi-tasking” and it is a great trait to possess.  She then shared her specific path of rising in the political world while raising four healthy, beautiful children.  “It can be a little chaotic” she said, “but that is why it is important to have organizations like WTS who understand and can support women in the public and private sector.”  She is and will continue to be a partner of WTS, and is so happy to see its growth over the past 35 years. 

Forry discussed how it is important for all those in attendance to be present at the State House and to make their voices heard on a number of issues.  She wants people to meet with their legislature and representatives to get them as involved as possible in the future decisions of their industry.




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