Shared Prosperity Agenda Highlights

Progressive Massachusetts is highlighting one aspect of our Shared Prosperity Agenda, with members writing their perspectives on why Education, Healthcare, Housing, Jobs and Wages, and Progressive Revenue are important to them.


 

Week 1 -- Education

Within five years, we want free, publicly funded education for all residents from pre-K through Community, Vocational, or Four-Year College. A good first step would be universal, publicly funded pre-K available for all residents.

Part 1: Throwing Away Money

"The fact is investing in education is an economic issue. We all talk about the importance of investing in our children, but somehow this talk doesn’t translate into action. Somehow our policy makers have forgotten that when you invest in something, there can be a significant economic return."

Part 2: The Great Equalizer

"A solid K-12 education paves the way for college or other further education which all prepares students for jobs. However, Massachusetts school face inadequate and inequitable distribution of resources to many predominantly minority schools. This lack of resources fuels educational disparities."

Part 3: How Public Schools Shaped My Life

"Education is more than just graduating high school, in order to go to a good college, to get a good job. It is much more than that. We spend years of our lives in our school system, and our time there shapes not just our future success, but who we are as people."

See what the gubernatorial candidates have to say about these and other education and workforce development proposals here, Lieutenant Governor Candidates here, Treasurer here, and Attorney General here.

See our full statement of Education Values here.

Sign our petition here.


Week 2 -- Health Care

Within five years, we want quality, affordable health care covering all medically necessary treatment, a single-payer system similar to Medicare for all. A good first step would be a public option, enabling any resident to pay into an enhanced MassHealth system.

Part 1: Medicare for All

"If Massachusetts amends its health insurance payment system by replacing the multiple payment system with a single payer system, a Medicare-for-all, the patients and their doctors will only deal with a single payer and the money the state saves could be used for other programs including research, education, environment and transportation infrastructure, for example. This will not only benefits Massachusetts but the nation as well."

Part 2: History of Healthcare Reform in Massachusetts

"Since the 1980s, the state has tried a series of dramatic health policy endeavors, each of which has influenced national policy. To understand where we are going next, and if we want to enact our Shared Prosperity Agenda, it’s worth taking the time to understand the rich history of the health reform movement here at home. Below Ari Fertig has adapted a version of some of that history by Brian Rosman, Research Director atHealth Care For All."

See what the gubernatorial candidates have to say about these and other healthcare proposals here, Lieutenant Governor Candidates here, Treasurer here, and Attorney General here.

See our full statement of Health Care Values here.

Sign our petition here.


Week 3 -- Housing

Within five years, we want affordable and decent housing in safe and vibrant neighborhoods, made possible with Universal access to housing that costs no more than 1/3 of our household income. A good first step would be increased rental assistance. 

Setting the Table for Housing Reform

"[H]ome prices in the communities in and around Boston have skyrocketed in the eight years prior to 2013 – and they were not cheap to begin with. Not surprisingly, we learned the main drivers include increased demand to live in the area combined with a nominal increase in the supply of housing."

See where the Governor candidates stand on housing reform issues here, for Lieutenant Governor here, for Attorney General here, and for Treasurer here.

See our full statement on Housing values here.

Sign our petition here


Week 4 -- Jobs and Wages

Within five years, every job in Massachusetts should pay at least $15/hour, and everyone should have access to safe, affordable transportation; a good first step would be an increased minimum wageindexed to inflation, and earned sick time.

Part 1: Here's a Tip...

"The Massachusetts Senate’s minimum wage law raised the tipped employee wage to 50% of the full minimum wage, a total of $5.50 when the full minimum wage matured to $11. Instead, the tipped wage will rise, over three years, to $3.75 from $2.63. It is unclear what the senate got out tossing the higher tipped increase (as well as minimum wage indexing) out the window. House leadership seemed dead set against an increase higher than $3.75, such that they shut down Reps’ efforts to raise the wage. While still too low, the increase arrests decades of widening disparity between the full and tipped wages."

Part 2: Earned Sick Time Now!

"Providing workers with the option to care for themselves in the privacy and comfort of their own home is long overdue in Massachusetts. I hope you will support this important initiative by voting “yes” for earned sick time in November."

Part 3: Transportation Infrastructure

"Last year, the legislature voted to increase investments in our entire transportation system with the passage of a transportation financing bill that raised the gas tax for the first time in 22 years. The legislation also indexed the gas tax to inflation, which ensures that we will able to keep pace with rising costs, and continue to get a good return on our transportation investment, with improved economic opportunities, more jobs, and safer roads and bridges. 

But this November, Massachusetts voters will have to choose whether they want to support an improved economy and safer roads and bridges, or they want to let our state’s infrastructure slide into dangerous disrepair."

See where the Governor candidates stand on jobs, wages, and transportation issues here, for Lieutenant Governor here, for Attorney General here, and for Treasurer here.

View our full statement on Jobs Growth and the Economy values here, and Transportation values here.

Sign our petition here


Week 5 -- Progressive Revenue

In the next five years, we want a constitutional amendment to implement a graduated income tax. A good first step would be to enact legislation that would raise $1 billion in new revenue from the wealthiest residents and close corporate tax loopholes.

Part 1: Income Tax Cuts

"While the budget cuts caused by the tax cuts of the past 15 years have affected everyone who relies on goods schools, roads, public safety and the many other things we do together through government, the primary beneficiaries of these tax cuts have been the highest income residents of the Commonwealth.  High income people in Massachusetts pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle and lower income people do, and the income tax cuts of the last fifteen years – particularly the large cut in the tax rate on dividend income – have made our tax system still more unfair."

Part 2: Fiscal Conservatism Means Investing Smart

"We can only have a healthy economy within the context of a healthy community.  A healthy economy and a healthy community both require investments of capital that, in turn, require open discussion, agreement on priorities, and a strategic plan for achieving them."

See where the Governor candidates stand on a Progressive Revenue here, for Lieutenant Governor here, for Attorney General here, and for Treasurer here.

View our full statement on Revenue values here and for State House Rules Reform here.

Sign our petition here.


 

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