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Mon, Nov 06


Millicent Library Auditorium

Hometown: John K. Bullard

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Hometown: John K. Bullard
Hometown: John K. Bullard

Time & Location

Nov 06, 2023, 6:00 PM

Millicent Library Auditorium, 45 Center St, Fairhaven, MA 02719, USA


About the Event

New Bedford, MA — Hometown is a state of mind. In this deeply moving and thoughtful memoir, John K. Bullard weaves a tale of a family legacy intertwined with the pitfalls and promise of New Bedford, a storied Massachusetts seaport whose past and future can be found in every small American city struggling to survive and thrive. Bullard explores the meaning of public service, greater good, personal responsibility, and the ties that bind people to their hometowns. He grapples with immigration, economics, race, poverty, politics but also our innermost conflicts and ambitions as

we make our way in the world.

Bullard’s story—and his sense of hometown—as he rises from a local to federal leader becomes more sophisticated but never loses sight of the importance of extending a helping hand and giving back to the community. It acknowledges that community is nothing without family, friends, and yes, even rivals. Hometown is about what sends you into the world to seek your fortunes and what draws you home to complete your life.

"This fascinating, fast-paced memoir is an absolute delight. If you care about New Bedford, the Atlantic fisheries, the seafaring traditions of New England, and the bare-knuckle world of politics, you need to get yourself a copy of Hometown. A truly great read. Highly recommended.”

–Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea, Mayflower, and Travels with George

Serving three terms as mayor, John led an aggressive coalition of spirited men and women who helped make saving neighborhoods, culture, and the environment high priority. He brought the City into compliance with the Clean Water Act by building a secondary wastewater treatment plant at Fort Rodman and paving the way for offshore wind to be located at the former Standard-Times Field. This courageous decision cost him his job but paid off in cleaner water for the region.

Later, John joined the Clinton Administration, establishing the first federal office of Sustainable Development in NOAA and later serving as Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries in the Northeast, managing all living marine resources in federal waters. He led the Sea Education Association (SEA) at Woods Hole, teaching college students about the science and policies of the oceans. He co-founded the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership, SouthCoast Learning Network, and New Bedford Light, an online daily newspaper. John also participated in the preservation of the Essex-built schooner Ernestina-Morrissey, and with the Buzzards Bay Coalition to save the bay and watershed.

Presently, John Bullard serves as chair of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster and the Westport Community Resilience Committee and on the boards of the Buzzards Bay Coalition and the Westport Planning Board. Preservationist, planner, and politician, John remains a leader in movements such as promoting wind and alternative powers and protecting the ocean against pollution.

John and Laurie Bullard live in Westport and enjoy spending time with their three children and five grandchildren. Hometown is his first book.

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