Supporting legislation to strengthen our communities

Dear allies,

As the Massachusetts legislative session begins, Community Labor United is committed to supporting policies that advance and promote human dignity, family-sustaining work, affordable housing, and environmental justice. Each day, we work to amplify and strengthen the voices of everyday people in the local communities we and our partners serve. Together, we are building an inclusive democracy, a people’s economy, and prioritizing the needs of low-income families. Learn the facts about the bills we’re supporting in the ‘Our 2023 Legislative Priorities’ section of this email and take action!

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

MBTA riders need a low-income fare NOW!
Riders and transit workers are united behind legislation to demand affordability and equity on the MBTA. In January, our champions on Beacon Hill filed legislation to require a low-income fare program at the MBTA (HD. 3417 and SD.1550). The measures, introduced by State Sen. Lydia Edwards and Rep. Adrian Madaro, would provide discounted or free fares to low-income riders on bus, subway, commuter rail, and The RIDE.

The low-income fare legislation will:

  • Cut the cost of riding in half, saving eligible bus, subway, and commuter rail riders about $500 per year.
  • Allow seniors and people with disabilities to afford about 200,000 more trips per year on The Ride.
  • Increase low-income riders’ use of MBTA services by about 30% more trips overall, including more trips to access needed healthcare and social services.

Our state is facing a transit crisis, with more than 460,000 people living below the poverty line in the MBTA region. A low-income fare is an essential part of an accessible, affordable, and equitable transit system and would have a major impact on seniors, people with disabilities, and working families who depend on Public Transit.

Take action to win a low-income fare at Public Transit Public Good.

News clips 

Free transit: Is it a public good, like libraries or schools?
The Christian Science Monitor – 1/18/23
A low-income fare system (providing lower fares to lower-income riders) is the answer for Boston for now, says Mr. Williams, who works for Community Labor United. Not only is it easier for local government to embrace a low-income fare system than free fares right away, but focusing resources on riders in the most need “puts something like $500 [per year] back into the pockets of riders.”

Madaro Takes Oath of Office for Fifth Term
East Boston Times-Free Press – 1/11/23
“This session, I will continue my advocacy for a low-income fare on the MBTA. Low-income residents rely on public transit to get their kids to school, go to work, buy groceries, and go to the doctor. By making public transit more affordable, we can provide our neighbors with greater access to meaningful employment and opportunities for economic success.”

Massachusetts delegation celebrates more than $550 million in federal funding to strengthen Massachusetts public transit
Office of U.S. Senator Ed Markey – 2/6/23
Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representatives Richard Neal (MA-01), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Lori Trahan (MA-03), Jake Auchincloss (MA-04), Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-05), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), and Bill Keating (MA-09), members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, today celebrated news that Massachusetts will receive more than $550 million in funding through Federal Transit Administration (FTA) programs in the 2023 fiscal year.

Save the date: Job and Child Care Fair – Saturday, March 25, 2023
Join Care That Works (CTW) on Saturday, March 25, 10–2 p.m. for the Job and Child Care Fair at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury! CTW presents an event to help families receive safe and dependable child care, allowing them availability to pursue their career goals. The Job and Child Care Fair will feature licensed family child care providers (members of SEIU Local 509) in Boston who open as early as 5 a.m. to accommodate families who work in the union construction trades and those who want to gain access to careers in those industries.

The free and family-friendly job fair will also connect parents with child care providers and hiring employers in the union construction trades. All job seekers are welcome to join us at any time during the event to meet tabling union employers and experienced tradeswomen and child care providers.

Care That Works Job and Child Care Fair
Saturday, March 25 | 10–2 p.m.
Register today!

Face painting • Arts and crafts • Lunch provided at 12 p.m. • Raffle Prize
Construction unions and employers • Child care information • And more! 

News clips

Massachusetts has some of the highest child care costs in the country
CBS Boston – 1/30/23
New data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows Massachusetts is one of the highest-paying states in the country for child care. 

Parents spend between $16,000 and $26,000 dollars a year – that’s about 20% of family budgets.

New website breaks down Massachusetts early childhood systems
The Berkshire Eagle – 1/19/23
With Beacon Hill poised to address the dual challenges of access and costs of early childhood education and care this session, advocates on Thursday launched a new website that aims to give lawmakers, parents and others a better view of the constellation of services and supports for children ages 5 and younger.

Massachusetts’ childcare subsidy system is leaving kids behind, study says
WGBH – 1/11/23
Massachusetts isn’t helping as many low-income families access child care as it could or should, according to a new report from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. The report says more than 16,000 children are on a waiting list for a state child care subsidy, according to the most recent count last February.

MA Lawmakers Press for Federal Childcare Relief Legislation
Public News Service – 2/8/23
Democrats are urging passage of the Child Care for Working Families Act, but it has no Republican co-sponsors. Despite a 30% boost to federal child care funding last year, advocates say the industry is still reeling from the economic effects of COVID-19, with day care facilities down about 50,000 workers from pre-pandemic levels.

We’re Hiring!

CLU and our partners are seeking experienced individuals to join our teams! If you know anyone who would be a good fit, please send them our way.

Organizing Director, Community Labor United
Care That Works Senior Organizer, Community Labor United

Visit our website today to view all job opportunities:

Partner News

Chinese Progressive Association: You’re invited to the Year of the Rabbit Banquet 2023
Come celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA)! The jam-packed evening will be filled with exciting performances, speeches, and delicious food. As we hop into the New Year, let’s come together to honor the hard work and achievements of the Chinese community here in Boston and toast to the ever-strengthening grassroots power built!

All guests can purchase tickets via our Eventbrite page or drop by CPA’s office to register in person. Tickets will also be available at the door for $100. If you have any questions, please contact CPA at (617) 433-8522 or

Matahari Women Workers Center: You’re invited to Matahari’s 20th Anniversary Celebration!
Come celebrate 20 Years of Matahari on International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8 from 6–10 p.m. Matahari will honor the achievements of past, present, and future members, listen to music from the early 2000s, play games, and even sample Lamplighter and Matahari’s collab beer “Rise Up!” The event is open to the public and all individuals and organizations are welcome to purchase a ticket or sponsor the event in support of Matahari’s ‘$20K for 20 Years’ campaign. Register for the event today!

Alternatives for Community and Environment: Transit Equity Day 2023 RIDE and Rally for Transit Justice
Transit Equity Day celebrates Rosa Parks and her legacy of justice. We stand behind the notion that public transit is a public good and a civil right, and we are ignited to take action on building the public transit system we deserve. This month, we honored Rosa Parks’ legacy of activism by showing up for the RIDE and Rally For Transit Justice. Our partners, riders, advocates, and allies united for more affordable, sustainable, and safer public transit.

Our 2023 Legislative Priorities

Learn about the bills we’re supporting this legislative session and take action!

Take action for transit justice:

Take action for housing justice:

Take action for environmental justice:

Take action for child care justice:

Take action for Indigenous people’s rights:

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