In the last three months, ONE Massachusetts and other organizations across the state organized meetings with legislators urging them to support an An Act to Invest in Our Communities, a revenue reform bill that would raise $1.3 billion and help stop the deep cuts outline in the FY ’12 budget.
From what we’re hearing, these meetings — along with visits to legislators, phone calls and letters – have sent a strong message to the Legislature that there are individuals and organized constituencies throughout Massachusetts who understand the need for comprehensive revenue reform.
Don’t take my word for it – here’s what Rep. Steven Kulik said Monday in response to a GOP proposal to cut the state’s income tax:
“I think it’s a little unusual that in the two weeks since the House Ways and Means Committee released the budget, the taxpayers I’ve been hearing from have not been calling or emailing me to say lower our income tax rate. They haven’t been calling to say cut revenue. They’ve been calling to say please increase spending on services that matter to me. Whether that’ son clothing allowance to poor children, local aid.”
Among those Kulik heard from were members of YES Northampton, an organization that held a March 31 meeting on An Act to Invest in Our Communities with legislators. Meetings were also held in Boston, New Bedford, Lynn, Chelsea, New Bedford, Springfield and Worcester.
In Mansfield, ONE Massachusetts held a training with the Mansfield chapter of Stand for Children called Connect the Dots: How do we Improve Education in this Fiscal Mess?
Democrats, republicans, and undeclareds turned out to stand for children in this training / discussion / messaging forum. Antonia Blinn, Strategy Team member of Mansfield Stand for Children and coordinator for the forum, expressed satisfaction that the goals for the evening were accomplished. “We gained a better understanding and appreciation of the role government plays in the things we value in our community and in our day-to-day lives. We also had the opportunity to engage in open dialogue with the community about the important issues which bubbled up – transparency and accountability in local government, budgeting, and local meetings (e.g., School Committee and Selectman meetings). Open communications…that’s the first step.”
ONE Massachusetts is also working with the Coalition For Our Communities to get the word out about a May 5 (next Thursday) hearing at the Statehouse on An Act to Invest in Our Communities. The hearing will begin at 10:30. We’re expecting hundreds of activists from across the state to attend the hearing, testify and visit their legislators as a demonstration of support for this important revenue reform.
For more information on how you can get involved, please call me at 617-821-8552 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.