Massachusetts is one of the most prosperous states in the nation and yet many of our residents live just at or above the poverty line.
A recent study by Mass Budget and Policy found that the gap between Massachusetts's richest and poorest households is the 8th highest in the nation.
In large measure this is a function of two factors - our regressive tax system and the erosion of the minimum wage. In 1968, the Massachusetts minimum wage was worth $10.52 (adjusted for inflation). Today, it is $8.00.
At the same time, nearly 1 million hard working people in Massachusetts—almost one-third of our workers—are forced to go to work sick because they can’t risk losing their jobs and the wages their families need. This creates substantial instability and puts many workers a few sick days away from poverty.
The legislature has failed, thus far, to enact either an earned sick time bill or a minimum wage bill - and so now, we are going to the ballot. On August 7, we submitted our ballot petitions to the Attorney General. You can read a summary of the earned sick time petition here and the minimum wage petition here.
Senator Elizabeth Warren signed our minimum wage petition and Senator Ed Markey signed our earned sick time petition. That's the kind of progressive support we have.
Now it's your turn to act. First, review
-- more information about how a ballot initiative works here.
-- the plan to go to the ballot here ...
... Then contact Ben Wright, our campaigns director - and get into the act. Ben will help you connect to a signature collection effort in your community - or help you start one. He can be reached at email@example.com. Plans are due August 28 - and signature gathering will begin in mid-September.