The speakout — co-sponsored by ONE Massachusetts and a coalition of Boston organizations — was one of many that are happening across the state in support of the Act to Invest in Our Communities.
The bill would raise the state income tax from its current 5.3 percent to 5.95 percent, while at the same time raising the standard personal exemption from $4,400 to $7,900. The bill also calls for an increase on the tax rate on dividends and interest from 5.3 percent to 8.95 percent. The net effect of the bill would be a slight reduction in taxes paid by low- and moderate-income people and increases for higher income tax payers.
Rep. Malia said the demonstration of support for the bill Tuesday night was encouraging, after a day during which she met with numerous advocates hoping to avoid cuts to their programs.
“The most important legislation I’ve heard about is this legislation,” she said. “Just the face that people are starting to think about this gives me hope. We have to change the discussion (about taxes) from the ground up. The people in this room will be the ones who lead this.”
In addition to the legislators, City Councilor Charles Yancey, Councilor-elect Tito Jackson and aides to Councilor Felix Arroyo and Representative Jeffrey Sanchez were in attendance.
Dorchester People For Peace organizer Mike Prokosch urged meeting attendees to follow up with legislators who attended and those who didn’t in an email excerpted below:
Our numbers and breadth showed that our communities WANT AND NEED more revenue. You can act right now to save our services and jobs.
If you are a constituent of… Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz Rep. Marty Walsh Rep. Liz Malia or Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez …call them today and thank them for coming to support our event. (Rep. Sanchez sent an aide.) The State House switchboard is 617-722-2000.
If you are a constituent of… Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry Rep. Carlos Henriquez Rep. Russell Holmes Sen. Jack Hart …call them today. Tell them how disappointed you are that they did not come. (The reps all promised to come, and Sen. Hart promised to send an aide.) Ask if they are going to support “An Act to Invest In Our Communities,” sponsored by Sen. Chang-Diaz and Rep. O'Day, which will save vital services and jobs in the neighborhoods they are supposed to represent.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and let us know what they told you. And stay tuned! We aren't just going to call our legislators. We are going to mobilize, leaflet, canvass, and march for our communities. We are going to support actions like the Youth Jobs Rally in two weeks (we'll send out info). We'll meet and figure out how to get even bigger and broader.
The speakout was sponsored by the following organizations: New England United for Justice | One Massachusetts | Dorchester People for Peace | 1199 SEIU-Massachusetts | Greater Boston Central Labor Council | Mass Senior Action | Boston DSA | The Boston Coalition to Fund Our Communities – Cut Military Spending 25% | Massachusetts Communities Action Network | Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations | Madison Park Development Corporation