Weekly Update: People over Profits.
Dear friends and allies,
Our movement has a long history of supporting the Black Freedom Movement, and today we remember this as people march on Washington again on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic I Have a Dream speech in 1963. We must not stop now.
We support the demand for racial justice echoing around the country. Together with our allies on the ground, we call for reallocating police funding and investing in what our Black and brown brothers and sisters need to survive and thrive in our communities.
As we recover from this pandemic, we also understand that to affect change, we must all get behind responses that put people ahead of profits, protect workers and their families.
A recent op-ed penned by our allies at Resource Generation calls on Massachusetts lawmakers to raise taxes for the rich to fund the pandemic recovery. This illustrates what is possible when we think creatively about engaging in civic action at the individual, group and governmental level to set the stage for a just recovery and attempt to reset our state and local economies.
In addition to a progressive tax system that asks more of those at the top who have benefited from nearly 30 years of tax cuts, individuals and organizations must band together to envision and demand policies and practices that will support workers with decent wages, extend access to child care to working families, and provide a comprehensive system of health care for all regardless of income.
Celebrate the Labor Movement
This Labor Day, the Greater Boston Labor Council is organizing a drive-in celebration and rally! We will rally together, safely from our cars, enjoy a program featuring the premiere of a short Massachusetts labor film, music, action and more. The event will end with the screening of a family film, to be announced.
Registration is now open. There is no cost to enter, but you must register to reserve your spot. Space is limited. Register by clicking here.
A Just Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Funding the MBTA
As the MBTA struggles to save or raise $400 million over the next two years, now more than ever, we must not resort to cutting service or hiking fare, which will only hurt workers and MBTA riders. In this moment of crisis, we need a reduced fare system for working families to keep the T affordable and accessible for our low-income communities that are already bearing the financial brunt of this pandemic. Instead of putting the onus of funding the MBTA on the riders, the state legislature should implement a progressive taxation system that compels everyone to pay their fair share and generates revenue to fund our public services.
Green Justice Coalition’s #Safe-T Survey
Do you feel safe using public transportation during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? Has coronavirus affected your willingness to use subway, bus, and commuter rail transit systems? The MBTA is returning to increasing service as Massachusetts enters the next phase of reopening from pandemic-related shutdowns. Complete the Green Justice Coalition’s #Safe-T Survey to make your voices heard. We want to know how the changes in the MBTA system affect you and your family.
Reopening Our Schools Buildings Safely
As we near September, reopening our schools safely is on everyone’s mind. The Massachusetts Teachers Association has rejected DESE’s guidance on requiring remote teaching from schools. Safety should be our top priority and DESE’s recent guidance is not a step in the right direction. As MTA has iterated, “this new guidance is clearly designed to force local educators’ unions to agree to in-person learning regardless of the condition of the school buildings in their districts, indoor air quality, testing capabilities or area COVID-19 transmission rates.” Districts are deciding on their method of instruction for this Fall, and we must ensure that all precautions have been taken and preparations have been made to ensure our children, educators, and staff remain safe.
Join us and AFT members in telling Governor Baker that we need to start the year with remote learning until districts and the state can meet our health and safety criteria!
Raise Up Massachusetts: Keep Emergency Paid Sick Time Moving!
Emergency Paid Sick Time has been reported favorably out of the Labor and Workforce Development committee! The next stop for Emergency Paid Sick Time legislation is the Ways and Means committee of both the Senate and House of Representatives. For activists, community groups, and grassroots organizations like us that means it is time we reignite the urgency for Emergency Paid Sick Time on Beacon Hill.
Please take two minutes to email your State Representative and State Senator right away! Personalize your letter if you can — one or two sentences of your personal reason for championing this legislation or how it would impact your life makes a monumental difference.
Contact your legislators for the Guaranteed Housing Stability Act!
HELP WIN THE GUARANTEED HOUSING STABILITY ACT – HD.5166 in the Massachusetts State House. Our partner organization, City Life/Vida Urbana, along with Massachusetts families, parents and teachers are standing together to oppose the reopening of schools as well as protect our communities from mass evictions when our state’s eviction moratorium expires on October 17. HD.5166 will prevent a massive surge of unjust evictions and foreclosures due to COVID-related debt, prevent rent hikes and no-fault evictions as we recover from COVID-19, and help establish a Housing Stability & Recovery Fund to relieve small business owners. Our children need housing security to continue their education. Here is how you can take action:
Thank you for reading!
Community Labor United