Salt of the Earth Awards 2021

Dear allies,

Each year, Community Labor United recognizes individuals and organizations who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to improving the lives of working-class families in Greater Boston and throughout the Commonwealth. This year, for our 15th Annual Salt of the Earth Awards, Community Labor United honored our brave essential workers, organizations who stood up to help our communities, and our legislators who fought to provide us the resources we needed to weather this pandemic. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for the celebration yesterday. 2021 Salt of the Earth Award Recipients include:

The essential workers of Massachusetts including the healthcare heroes of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and the Massachusetts Nurses Association 

MassUndocuFund (Mass. Jobs with Justice and Matahari Women Workers’ Center)

Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, for their leadership in securing a historic investment in MA’s Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic through the American Rescue Plan, including:

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren
  • Senator Edward “Ed” Markey
  • Congressman Richard Neal
  • Congressman James “Jim” McGovern
  • Congresswoman Lori Trahan
  • Congressman Jake Auchincloss
  • Congresswoman Katherine Clark
  • Congressman Seth Moulton
  • Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley
  • Congressman Stephen Lynch
  • Congressman Willian Keating

In case you missed the event, watch out for our introductory video on Facebook and Twitter. Below you will find opportunities to engage and continue the fight on many issues that affect our communities. Please spread the word by sharing our Facebook posts as well as following and retweeting us on Twitter. You can sign up to receive regular updates from CLU.

Help us reach our fundraising goal!
Community Labor United’s work of bringing together many of the strongest community organizations and unions in the state has only grown stronger during this pandemic. Now is the time to continue building a stronger movement for the working-class power, the labor movement, and for racial, gender and economic justice. We are very close to reaching our fundraising goal for 2021 and invite you to make a donation to our campaigns via our website. If you would like to continue contributing to our campaigns, we urge you to set up a recurring donation. Together, we can create the future our communities deserve. 

Special Thank You & Well Wishes!
Please join us in giving a special farewell to Christopher June Zizzamia and Jane Porcel, who are both leaving the CLU staff for new adventures. The impact of your work with CLU is greatly appreciated and everlasting. It has been our pleasure to work with you both and we are excited to see what the future has for you. Thank you for the many contributions!

ICYMI: Launch of the Coalition to Protect Workers’ Rights
This Tuesday, labor and community leaders gathered outside the Statehouse to advocate for gig workers’ rights and benefits as independent contractors in Massachusetts. Big tech corporations like Uber/Lyft are misclassifying gig workers that strip them of fundamental labor rights. 

“This is a critical source of employment for many, especially for people of color who make up a huge percentage of the workforce. And so we speak together to secure job protections and a real voice for on the job, legal classifications as employees, and a path to unionization. These employees and all employees deserve benefits including minimum wage, health and safety regulations, worker compensation, unemployment insurance, and protection against discrimination,” said Lee Matsueda, Executive Director of Community Labor United. Watch the full rally here and visit the Coalition to Protect Workers’ Rights website to learn more. 

Watch Our Webinar: Accessing Child Care Vouchers
On May 25, 2021, the Care That Works (CTW) coalition hosted a webinar for job seekers in need of child care while searching for a job. Lindsay McCluskey, Deputy Director, Community Labor United, and Sarah Levy, Senior Attorney, Greater Boston Legal Services, provided information on the benefits of and how to access child care vouchers provided by Massachusetts. View the subsidized child care PowerPoint here and watch the full webinar here to learn how families can access child care subsidies provided by the State. 

Action Alert: Flexible child care for MA residents NOW
The pandemic has exposed the inequalities in our state’s child care system. Low-income communities and communities of color have all disproportionately borne the brunt of the pandemic. With the American Rescue Plan funding, our leaders have a unique opportunity to match the federal Child Tax Credit and support our families and caregivers in need. Join the Care That Works coalition to demand that our MA legislators fund flexible child care and provide much-needed financial support to our families. Sign the petition today!

Call/Email Your Legislator!
Riders and workers across Massachusetts deserve representation on the MBTA Board, and a low-income fare that enables us to equitably access and afford our public transit systems. Call and email your legislator, and urge them to support better public transit for riders and workers across the state. 

SIGN NOW: The Boston City Council and the Mayor must take bold action on clean and healthier buildings and jobs in the City of Boston.
Join us in asking our elected officials to pass a reinforced and updated Building Emissions Performance Standard (BEPS) ordinance that will invest in our community, create good jobs and lessen the impact of storms, flooding, and warming temperatures. Sign the petition today!

Tell Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, and Environmental Secretary Katie Theohorides to act on energy justice today! 
State programs, like Mass Save, which are designed to work with residents and businesses to improve their energy efficiency, have failed to service many of the people most in need. Sign the petition to urge Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, and Environmental Secretary Katie Theohorides to reject any plan that doesn’t center the needs of environmental justice and low-income communities, and increase access and remove barriers for the underserved and language isolated communities across the state.

ICYMI: The Boston Globe – Social justice is a key issue in Mass. energy efficiency programs

City Life/Vida Urbana: Residents of Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, and nearby communities: Defend Affordable Housing at 3371 Washington Street! 
Turtle Swamp Brewery and its landlord, Monty Gold, have aggressively filed suit against the proposed affordable housing for seniors at 3371 Washington Street. In doing so, they’re holding up desperately needed housing for the rapidly growing population of low-income seniors. They’re also jeopardizing the stability of El Embajador restaurant, a small business that’s been in the community for almost 30 years. This is the moment for our community to come together again and ensure this affordable housing gets built! Sign City Life/Vida Urbana’s petition today!

Tell MA Legislators: Evictions are still an emergency!
Since the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures was lifted in October 2020, Massachusetts residents have faced a worsening housing crisis with few protections. Without further action by the Legislature, tenants and homeowners will lose important safeguards against eviction and foreclosure on June 30, 2021, when the CDC and Fannie/Freddie orders expire. Join Homes for All in urging legislators to pass the COVID-19 Housing Equity bill. View the website to take action now.

Thank you for reading and taking action!

In Solidarity,
Community Labor United

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