Notes from the Field...

...occasionally feature, from the work of our grassroots member activists and our chapters.

Hundreds Strong for Progressive Pioneer Valley

Unstoppable! That’s what we are.

230 of us crammed into the library community room on Monday night, representing critical movements up and down the Valley. The energy was amazing, and we accomplished three big things:

1- In 17 breakouts, we dove deep into climate justice; LGBTQ rights, race and anti-hate; economic justice and the foreclosure crisis; immigration, and voting rights and democratic engagement.

2- We clarified how Progressive Massachusetts’s concrete legislative and electoral resources can augment the region’s heroic grassroots movements.

3- We triumphantly announced the first Progressive Mass chapter in western Mass: Progressive Pioneer Valley!

 

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Worcester: Rally in Solidarity with Immigrants

Progressive Worcester endorses tonight's rally in support of the immigrant and refugee community. 

Please show up in solidarity and reject the toxic policies of Trumpism from creeping into Worcester. After the Rally, see it through, stay for the City Council meeting. City Council must hear from you. 

And remember,

We can take action as a state. But the Legislature must act.

The Legislature can pass the Safe Communities act, to establish 'sanctuary' in Massachusetts, and protect vulnerable communities under Trump's coming policies. Right now, Legislators are choosing which bills they will choose to highlight with their co-sponsorship.

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The Human Toll of Austerity, or What Got Left out of Baker's State of the State

During his State of the State speech last Tuesday, Governor Charlie Baker congratulated himself on his commitment to addressing the opioid epidemic. He also congratulated himself on curtailing public spending in order to reduce the deficit without raising taxes. These priorities, however, are in fundamental conflict.

In December, in an act largely buried by the news around the presidential transition, Governor Baker unilaterally cut $98 million from the state budget, taking the axe to a wide range of programs. Among the agencies hit was the state Bureau of Substance Abuse Assistance (BSAA), which faced cuts of nearly $2 million. This money is neither an abstraction nor a rounding error: this is money that would be used to hire treatment and prevention coordinators, as well as to fund various treatment and community programs that directly combat addiction in local communities.

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Jeff Sessions and Criminal Justice in Massachusetts

Do you know what North Korea and the United States have in common? They have similar per capita rates of incarceration, among the highest in the world. But lately some states have used an approach called justice reinvestment to dramatically cut the number of people in prison while continuing to lower crime rates, saving money in the process. In Massachusetts, a few bills are up for a vote this legislative session that take this approach to justice reform.

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JP Progressives: Progressivism during Trump

(Ed. Note: our Progressive Mass Legislative Priorities for 2017-18 is a multi-issue agenda that encompasses many of the MA bills raised at the forum. Print it and take it with you for any interaction with your MA State Legislators!)

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Re-post from our chapter, JPProgressives', site. Join our list and we'll connect you to chapters in your area! (or help you start one!) 

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Senate Republicans Aren't Hearing So Well

At least not when it comes to Trump's Cabinet nominees. In their rush to confirm, they have skipped over some crucial steps of the vetting process. If we don't make them slow down and do their jobs properly, we may end up with a Cabinet who will serve only themselves, not the American people.

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JP Progressives take on Criminal Justice Reform

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Report from the field  -- JPProgressives convened a community conversation on mass incarceration, following the lead of their chapter members. Engaging with neighbors, activists, advocates and legislators, JPP is doing the work of bending the arc towards justice. By joining the Jobs Not Jails coalition, the JP chapter of Progressive Mass will continue to represent progressive grassroots commitment to social justice, and help lead the organization to productive engagement and action. The chapter invites you to join the JNJ rally on Dec 13. More details are below.

Criminal Justice Reform is a core objective of our Progressive Platform. The Massachusetts Legislature will reconvene in January. Our Legislative Agenda will once again indicate which bills need our advocacy to get us closer to the goal of undoing the injustices of mass incarceration. Stay tuned for more from us on the legislative front. 


 More Than 150 Neighbors Attend Forum in Jamaica Plain to Discuss Mass Incarceration

This year, a standing room only crowd of nearly 200 people filled the First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain for a forum on the problem of mass incarceration.  The event was organized by JP Progressives, whose members had previously established mass incarceration as their top social concern.  The forum was co-sponsored by 10 other organizations, including the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, the Mildred Hailey Tenant Organization, Black Lives Matter Boston, and the Jobs Not Jails Coalition.

The keynote speaker at the event was Rahsaan Hall, Director of the ACLU Racial Justice Program.

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