Our endorsed campaigns and initiatives for 2011 include the following:
Multi-language training materials: We believe that our training materials and our most important communications should be available to the vast majority of people in our communities, including those for whom English is a second language. In collaboration with Mass Senior Action Council members, we are currently launching a project to translate our training materials into 5 different languages that will be accessible on our website.
Civics in Schools: Together with Teens Leading the Way, a teen-led state wide group that has been working for over the last 2 years to do the necessary research, we are endorsing the campaign to make civics a graduation requirement in Massachusetts's high schools. [Senate Docket 01635]
The teens have been gathering together to learn about the legislative process, building positive relationships with their own legislative delegation. The next step is to identify local allies, including local school committees. If you would like to help this group with this campaign please feel free to contact Geoff Foster from UTEC.
Redistricting Reform: Together with MassVote and Oiste, ONE Massachusetts will be part of a coalition of non-profit organizations and community groups working on a re-districting campaign to ensure that the voices of all sectors are properly represented at the state level.
“An Act to Invest in Our Communities”: Our government can only continue to build and maintain our public structures if we support our state with adequate funding. We are facing a difficult challenge this year: closing a budget gap that would prevent us from continuing to invest in our communities. We are endorsing the “Act to Invest in Our Communities” sponsored by Rep. James O'Day and Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz [House Docket 02261 & Senate Docket 1012] because we believe this bill is a step forward in creating a more equitable tax system for all and in addressing our current revenue shortfall.
The act proposes an increase in the income tax rate from 5.3% to 5.95%, including an increase in personal exemptions from $4,400 (single)/$8,800 (married) to $7,900 (single)/$15,800 (married). It also proposes an increase of the dividends and interests rate from 5.3% to 8.95%, with an exemption for low and middle income seniors and disabled persons.
The proposal would yield up to 1.2 billion dollars, necessary to taking a more balanced approach to the current budget gap and continuing to support our public structures.
“An Act to Promote Efficiency and Transparency in Economy Development”: This Act sponsored by Rep. Carl M. Sciortino [House Docket 02946] proposes to increase transparency in the way our state government grants tax credits to corporations: It implements more detailed reporting and clawback provisions for when grantees fail to achieve the outcomes they outlined when the state government considered granting their tax credits.
Together with MassPIRG we will also work in making the Legislature implement its promise of making the state expenditure/revenue items accessible through their website.
Please contact your legislators TODAY – urging them to support the above campaigns!
ONE Massachusetts is a stronger voice for social, economic, and racial justice today because our network of ONE Mass members is growing smarter and stronger every day.
All over the state, community-based networks of activists, both organizations and individuals, are working together to reach out to neighbors and friends to get them engaged in local and statewide campaigns to restore and rebuild their own communities.
If you would like to participate with us in any of our 2011 initiatives please do not hesitate to contact us to get you connected in our ONE Mass Network.
The Staff of ONE Massachusetts
Students Teach Civics!
p>The best fun this bill-signing season was watching teens from all over the state, working to get their own Reps and Senators sign their bill to reinstate civics as a course in Massachusetts High Schools. They dropped off letters to every single legislator, organized phone banks, and convinced various statewide groups to endorse their campaign.
p> Check out more info on their campaign and be sure to welcome these savvy students when you see them in the halls.
student-run clubs, such as student council and class officers, learn to run meetings with motions, etc.