BOSTON – State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg announced today that Former Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong is the new incoming Chair of the Baby Bonds Task Force. The Task Force was convened in June and is responsible for developing a comprehensive plan for the State Treasurer on how to create an at-birth publicly funded trust fund program for Massachusetts residents. They intend to deliver their final recommendations by November, before the legislative filing deadline.
Baby Bonds is being looked at across the country, as a way to develop government-supported trust funds for children, providing resources that will address the income inequality gap. When participants reach adulthood, they can access these funds that grow over time, to use towards asset building activities such as higher education, buying a home, or starting a business. Baby Bonds aim to close the racial wealth gap by giving children of low-income families financial opportunities when they turn 18.
Lisa Wong brings to this role, decades of experience as a municipal official. In particular, she has an expertise in fiscal management and policies that help drive equity for residents of the state, particularly in Gateway Cities. Wong became the first Asian American woman to become a mayor in Massachusetts when she was elected in Fitchburg in 2007. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Wong later served as the town manager in Winchester prior to becoming town administrator in South Hadley. She takes over the role as Chair from former State Treasurer Shannon O’Brien, who was appointed Chair of the Cannabis Control Commission earlier this month.
“I have known Lisa for over a decade, and we have worked together on many important issues. I am confident that her background in fiscal management and knowledge of the economic issues our residents face will be an asset to the Task Force,” said State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg. “Massachusetts is home to one of the largest racial wealth gaps in the country. Lisa’s experience and knowledge will support the development of strategies and ideas to narrow the gap, and support the financial stability of our entire state.”
“I’m eager to take over as Chair of the Baby Bonds Task Force and work with a diverse group of Massachusetts leaders to research a potential Baby Bonds program in the state,” said Chair of the Baby Bonds Task Force Lisa Wong. “Establishing Baby Bonds will help ensure the economic security for future generations of Massachusetts residents, and I look forward to providing the Task Force’s recommendations to Treasurer Goldberg.”
Legislation on Baby Bonds has been introduced on the federal level and in other states, including Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley’s American Opportunity Accounts Act, which would establish federally funded savings accounts for all children in the United States. Visit www.mass.gov/babybonds to learn more about the Massachusetts Baby Bonds Task Force.
About the Office of Economic Empowerment
Treasurer Goldberg created the Office of Economic Empowerment (OEE) with the goal of increasing financial stability for everyone in Massachusetts. The office works to promote programs that serve women, families, high school students, Veterans, and seniors. Its initiatives focus on closing the race and gender wage gap, racial equity, increasing access to financial education, improving college affordability, and investing in STEM careers and education.