Working families are under siege, finding it harder and harder to achieve a middle class standard of living, while income wealth inequality grows.
- Nearly 15% of our children live in poverty;
- We are eighth in the nation in income inequality;
- 66% of our students graduate from college with debt, the average debt is just over $28,000, while state support for public post-secondary schools is in decline;
- In the Greater Boston Area, more than 50% of renters pay at least a third of their income in rent, and 25% are paying at least half their income in rent, while the wait time for a rental voucher is over 10 years;
- Our real minimum wage has lost 25% of its value since 1968;
- The average family spends $13,000 a year on health insurance, even after reform, while 240,000 remain without any coverage at all;
- Our tax system is more regressive than most, collects less revenue than 21 states AND the national average.
We can and we must do better.
Massachusetts has the economic engine, creative and intellectual capital, environment, historic models, energy and inspiration to reinvest in, re-create and grow a true Common Wealth. We can build more opportunity and more equity, better prospects and greater justice. We can use the power and strength of our economy as our tool to shape a better society. We can and we must bring about true economic justice and shared prosperity.
Progressive Massachusetts believes that, with a SHARED PROSPERITY AGENDA, we can lead the nation once again in protecting and expanding the middle class while reducing poverty and inequality.
QUALITY, FREE PUBLICLY FUNDED EDUCATION FROM PRE-K THROUGH POST-SECONDARY
- Within Five Years: Free, publicly funded education for all residents, from pre-K through Community, Vocational or Four-Year College
- A First Step: Universal, publicly funded pre-K available for all residents
QUALITY, AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE COVERING ALL MEDICALLY NECESSARY TREATMENT
- Within Five Years: A Single Payer system, similar to Medicare for All
- A First Step: A Public Option which enables any resident to pay into an enhanced MassHealth system
AFFORDABLE AND DECENT HOUSING IN A SAFE AND VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOOD
- Within Five Years: Universal access to housing that costs no more than 1/3 of your household income
- A First Step: Increased funding for rental assistance programs
A JOB THAT PAYS A LIVING WAGE AND IS CLOSE TO SAFE AND AFFORDABLE TRANSPORTATION
- Within Five Years: Every job in Massachusetts pays at least $15/hour, and everyone has access to safe, affordable transportation
- A First Step: Enact RaiseUp MA - Increased minimum wage indexed to inflation and earned sick time
AN EQUITABLE TAX SYSTEM THAT RAISES SUFFICIENT REVENUE TO INVEST IN OUR COMMONWEALTH
- Within Five Years: A constitutional amendment to implement a graduated income tax
- A First Step: Enact legislation that raises $1 billion in new revenue from the wealthiest residents and closes corporate tax loopholes
A FAIR AND EFFICIENT CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
that works to ensure public safety and strong communities and the effective use of public funds
- Within Five Years: Comprehensive sentencing reform, reduction in prison populations and a system of justice reinvestment that supports prevention, treatment and rehabilitation while decreasing emphasis on punishment
- A first step: Passing legislation that removes costly and ineffective mandatory minimums for non-violent drug offenses
ACTION: Our LEGISLATIVE AGENDA highlights bills that move us toward our Shared Prosperity.
TOOLS: Download and print a PDF of our Shared Prosperity agenda to share at events
INFO: For more on the Shared Prosperity Agenda from our members, please see our issues blog series on the subject.