Issues Blog

Entries, updates on issue organizing and information, legislative action, and other material related to our Progressive Platform and Legislative Agenda

Earned Sick Time Now!

Over the summer, we are highlighting aspects of our Shared Prosperity Agenda. Our members are sharing their experiences and expertise on Education, Healthcare, Housing, Jobs and Wages, and Progressive Revenue.

This week we are focusing on Jobs -- 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.

Stacie Shapiro is an activist in Needham. This letter to the editor was published in the Needham Times on July 24, 2014.


stacie.jpegToday, nearly one million employees working in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts receive no paid sick time from their employers. Since taking time off to see a doctor or staying home to recover from an illness will result in a loss of pay, for many of these employees, taking time off is simply not an option they can afford.

This November, thanks to a coalition led by Raise Up Massachusetts, there will be a question on the ballot that [question 4], if passed, will ensure that workers across the Commonwealth will have the right to earn a limited number of paid sick days per year.

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Tipped Workers

Over the summer, we are highlighting aspects of our Shared Prosperity Agenda. Our members are sharing their experiences and expertise on Education, Healthcare, Housing, Jobs and Wages, and Progressive Revenue.

This week we are focusing on Jobs -- 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.

Matthew Szafranski, the author of this post, is the Editor-in-Chief of Western Mass Politics & Insight (WMassP&I), a Springfield-based political blog. Read more from WMassP&I here and contribute to the blog's fundraising campaign to maintain its operations through this particularly busy political 2014 cycle in Western Massachusetts.


beacon_hill.jpgCome January, tipped employees in Massachusetts will receive their first raise in over 15 years. The increase will be meager $1.12. The full minimum wage will rise to $11 from $8. Still, this time, the most vulnerable workers affected by minimum wage laws are not completely forgotten thanks in part to the work of Raise Up Massachusetts and the Shared Prosperity Agenda of Progressive Massachusetts.

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Setting the Table for Housing Reform

Over the summer, we are highlighting aspects of our Shared Prosperity Agenda. Our members are sharing their experiences and expertise on Education, Healthcare, Housing, Jobs and Wages, and Progressive Revenue.

This week we are focusing on 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. In addition, Roosevelt Institute | Boston members voted to increase participation in town meetings, further strengthening our individual democracies and paving the way for increased development.

Roosevelt Institute | Boston is a civic volunteer group working give young people a seat at the public policy table and increase upward mobility in their communities. Thank you to Alex Lessin for writing this synopsis of their work!


In January of this year Roosevelt Institute | Boston decided to address the high cost of housing in Greater Boston by conducting a series of policy workshops. The goal of the workshops was to inform our network (primarily renters between the ages of 20 – 35) about the high costs of housing, identify the underlying policy causes, and determine potential solutions. We asked experts, “Why is housing in greater Boston so expensive for young people and young families?"

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