Strength in numbers: updates and resources to drive change

Dear allies,

Last month, labor leaders, elected officials, community organizations, and allies came together for our annual Salt of the Earth Awards to celebrate extraordinary leaders who empower our communities and embody the fight for racial, economic, and environmental justice. Community Labor United recognized Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steve Tolman, Undersecretary of Environmental Justice and Equity María Belén Power, and the Boston Union Trade Sisters. We have been proud to stand with these changemakers in our fights, and their work continues to give us hope for a brighter, more equitable future. Thank you to all who joined us in honoring these awardees and celebrating our work together.

Below you will find opportunities to engage and continue the fight on many issues that affect our communities and allies. Please spread the word by sharing our Facebook posts as well as following and retweeting us on Twitter. You can sign up here to receive regular updates from CLU.

In solidarity,
Community Labor United

Campaign Updates

Legislative briefing on Wednesday, July 26: Give working parents more child care options by supporting family, friend, and neighbor-provided child care
Join the Care That Works coalition for a timely conversation on the future of our child care system. Together, we can build a more equitable child care system that recognizes the critical support family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) caregivers provide to our communities. To expand families’ access to child care and strengthen the child care they receive from the providers they know and trust, we urge legislators to co-sponsor our legislation H.456An Act to expand access to family, friend and neighbor-provided childcare. The bill would:

  1. Raise the FFN provider pay up to the state minimum wage to support parent choice and better connect providers to quality-supportive resources.
  2. Give parents more flexible use of the child care voucher’s ten daily hours to fairly reimburse all the providers they need and prefer in a day.
  3. Promote quality-supportive programs and practices for FFN child care by establishing a state FFN Advisory Council.

Legislative Briefing on H.456
Wednesday, July 26 | 1–2 p.m.
MA State House, Room 350

NEW DATE: Community Child Care Kickoff, Saturday, August 5
Join Care That Works and New England United For Justice at their Community Child Care Kickoff event to support higher wages for caregivers, flexible child care vouchers for parents, and connecting parents and providers to good jobs and resources. All are welcome to join anytime between 1 – 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 5 at 102 Columbia Road, Rear Courtyard, Dorchester.

Click here to view the event flyer in Spanish!


Sign our petition: Give working parents more child care options!
Family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) providers offer trusted child care close to home, especially very early and late in the day, for thousands of families in Massachusetts. Sign our petition to support H.456, An Act to expand access to family, friend, and neighbor-provided childcare, to increase FFN provider pay to the state minimum wage, and make child care vouchers more flexible for parents who choose FFN care! Read our bill summary to learn more about expanding access to family, friend, and neighbor-provided child care. Sign our petition today!

 On track for a Low-Income Fare at the MBTA
Together, we have made giant steps toward a low-income fare (LIF) program at the MBTA. Last month, the MBTA Board passed a FY2024 budget that includes a commitment to start up a low-income fare program! And we are optimistic that the Massachusetts state budget will contain $5 million of dedicated LIF funding to make that possible…we’re staying tuned to the latest from Beacon Hill as the budget is finalized.

To ensure these are lasting victories, however, the Massachusetts Legislature must still pass H.3373/S.2231. This legislation would require the MBTA provide reduced fares to low-income riders, no matter who is Governor. Together, we can ensure a lasting program that advances our mission to create an affordable and accessible MBTA for all.

Take action for a low-income fare and stay updated on what’s next by signing up for email updates with Public Transit Public Good. Please also uplift our demands by retweeting our posts on Twitter!

Chelsea’s first microgrids project approved by Chelsea City Council
Chelsea is leading the way towards a more resilient and affordable energy future! Recently, the Chelsea City Council voted unanimously to invest in the construction of Chelsea’s first microgrid. Microgrids will have lasting, positive effects on local residents and economies through its unique cloud-based model that enables greater energy independence for communities. We are thrilled that energy justice is underway in Chelsea and that the City Council understood these benefits that the microgrid will bring, especially to environmental justice communities that face higher risks in climate emergencies.


The Little City That Could
Mother Jones – May and June Issue
“Chelsea’s modest microgrid will equip key sites with limited backup power in emergencies…The ultimate goal, says 38-year-old María Belén Power, an organizer and former GreenRoots associate executive director who helped inspire and lead the city’s microgrid effort, is ‘social and community resilience.’”

Partner News

Victory for Encore Boston Harbor union workers!
We celebrate Encore Boston Harbor union workers’ ratification of a new contract agreement with Wynn Resorts! Room attendants, cooks, cocktail servers, and drivers at the resort, among others represented by Unite Here Local 26 and Teamsters Local 25 united together in the fight for fair pay and better benefits, including pensions, housing loans, legal funds, and education.

Learn more at Boston Business Journal.

Energy Democracy: A Conversation from the Frontlines
Community Labor United’s Executive Director Lee Matsueda joined PowerSwitch Action, organizers, and leaders on Tuesday, June 20 for a panel discussion on how communities across the U.S. are organizing locally for energy democracy. The panelists shared how they’re reimagining our electric system to work for everyone and discussed the work that’s being done to build sustainable and equitable clean energy infrastructure. Watch the full recordinghere!

Save the date: 10th Annual Eastie Week (July 9 – July 26!)
Join East Boston residents and organizations for Eastie Week between July 9 and July 26 to celebrate the vibrant and resilient community of East Boston, including its people, history, culture, music, and art. There will be FREE and low-cost, family-friendly community-led activities hosted by East Boston organizations and partners. Get involved and learn more here!

Urge your state legislators to reject permanent tax breaks for the ultra-rich
Massachusetts must prioritize spending on programs that will make our state truly equitable and livable. Join Raise Up Massachusetts in urging state legislators to reject permanent tax breaks for the ultra-rich and large multinational corporations and, instead, use tax dollars to invest in affordable housing, child care, educational opportunities, reliable transportation, and more. Email your legislator today!

Mark your calendar: Building Pathways Awards Celebration on Thursday, September 28
Building Pathways is having their annual awards celebration on Thursday, September 28 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. They’ll be recognizing allies, partners, and graduates who’ve helped achieve their mission of diversifying the union building trades, including recruiting women and people of color.

Chinatown Needs Green Space Now
“Our experience with COVID-19 has underscored the importance of public open space for our mental, physical, and emotional health. This year, eight community organizations are coming together under the banner of Chinatown HOPE, supported by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, to organize gardening brigades and wellness programs in order to activate open space, build resident leadership, and to continue the call for new and improved open spaces laid out in city and community plans for years.

As we continue to reckon with our city’s long history of racial injustices, local officials, institutions, and community members can take action today to achieve real milestones for environmental justice as Chinatown grapples with the extreme heat, drought, flooding, air pollution, traffic, and overcrowding that are part of our historic legacy.”

Angie Liou, Asian Community Development Corporation
Lydia Lowe, Chinatown Community Land Trust
Debbie Ho, Chinatown Main Street
Karen Chen, Chinese Progressive Association Ben Hires, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center

Read more at Sampan.

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