At the Crossroads: A Compact for the True Commonwealth
By overwhelmingly voting for Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren, the people of Massachusetts said it’s time to invest to create jobs and opportunity for the middle class and for people striving to enter the middle class. We declared the old scheme–cutting taxes on the wealthy and creating special tax breaks for insiders–a failure; we will no longer accept warmed over “trickle-down” policies. We affirmed, as President Obama and Elizabeth Warren said again and again, that the economy must grow from the middle outwards.
We already know how to do this: after the second World War, we built the strongest economy and proudest middle class in history by investing in healthy communities and education, developing infrastructure, and partnering public investment with private industry. This is the mandate in Washington, for President Obama in his second term and Elizabeth Warren in her first. And here in the Commonwealth, we must enact these policies and strengthen this vision at the local and state level.
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 return to our foundational ideals that shaped our state, and then defined our nation. We can use the power and strength of our economy as our tool to shape a better society.
We do this by investing in the middle-class and jobs:
- supporting businesses and entrepreneurs who remain rooted in our communities — – not offering advantages and incentives to corporations that extract our wealth and resources.
- recognizing and developing our state’s unique competitive advantages and growing the industries that will give us advantages for decades to come
- ensuring that our regulatory structure and permitting process foster small businesses and start-ups,
- valuing the critical role of Labor in decision-making about corporate governance, social priorities, working conditions and wages.
We do this by investing in people:
- deepening our commitment to affordable, first-rate, public education for all children, regardless of where they live.
- recommitting to making public higher education affordable
- valuing jobs that support families, their security and stability by paying a living wage
- ensuring workers have the skills they need for the good paying jobs we have
We do this by investing in infrastructure:
- modernizing our public transportation and ensuring the funding is adequate to keep fares affordable
- improving roadways, bridges and digital highways, the drivers of economic growth.
- maintaining our role as a global leader in research and technology and clean energy
- reorienting our thinking, spending today’s dollars on tomorrow—rather than spending tomorrow’s dollars today.
We do this by fairly and adequately funding our government
- making our tax code reflect today’s economic realities not yesterday’s,
- unapologetically raising the revenue we need to grow and prosper as a Commonwealth.
- raising this new revenue primarily from the highest earners and shielding working families and seniors from the additional burden
We can do this: We have done it before. With leadership, political courage and grassroots advocacy, we will do it now, again.
For over 200 years, we have led the nation, always by investing in the future and with a deep sense of obligation to democratic self-determination and the community good:
- We created the first public park in our new country, and we called it Boston Commons.
- Our Constitution and form of government became a sturdy model for the nation.
- We founded the first public schools, built the first public transportation system.
- We were first legalize marriage for all, the first to offer health care insurance for all.
This Compact is offered in the spirit of all these firsts. We mean to be both pragmatic and idealistic, detailing specific ways to realize a common vision for our Commonwealth. We call on our legislators and fellow citizens to insist on making the promise of 2012 a reality.