A Letter from John T. Hailer, Chairman
As I reflect on The New England Council's work in 2020, I want to begin by echoing Jim's words commending the Council staff on how well the organization adapted and continued to serve members amid a year of crises.
I say crises because it was not COVID-19 straining and challenging our country in 2020. We have grappled with both a public health crisis and a resulting economic crisis, both of which have been exacerbated by the fact that we are also living through a period of unprecedented political division, which has resulted in tension and unrest across the country.
With the divisive 2020 election behind us, I share the hope of many Americans that we can now move forward together as a nation. We know we have so much work to do as a country to heal our divisions and rebuild our national unity.
But I'll tell you what gives me hope. No organization I know is better equipped to work towards those goals here in New England than The New England Council. It has never been more important for us to remember that we are all New Englanders. Regardless of party or political outlook, we recognize that we have shared priorities for the good of our region as a whole.
Thanks in no small part to the Council, we have a tradition of working cooperatively here—of finding ways to overcome our differences with respect and dignity. Through regional, cross-sector collaboration, we had the opportunity to advocate common-sense policies that can ensure our businesses, our institutions, and our communities continue to thrive.
Throughout 2020, the Council advocated for bipartisan policies that promote economic growth in New England and beyond. First and foremost, the Council supported much-needed COVID-19 relief and economic stimulus packages, and communicated some of the region's top priorities to our Congressional delegation. Throughout 2020, the Council was also a strong voice for federal investment in infrastructure and supported a broad definition of what constitutes infrastructure, including not just traditional transportation infrastructure, but also investments in technology, as well as educational, research, and healthcare facilities.
The Council carried on a long history of support for investment in research & development, which is so critical to our country, and such an area of strength for New England. And we continued to advocate for fair trade policies that enhance our bilateral relationships with key economic partners.
In this time of so much division in our country, The New England Council remains an invaluable asset acting as a united force to address the challenges we are all facing, and to ensure that our voices are heard on Capitol Hill and beyond. Standing together in difficult times remains the best way we can ensure continued success for New England--and for all New Englanders. I am proud to play a role in leading the Council's work, and thank each and every member for your ongoing participation in this important organization.
John T. Hailer