Take Action: Here's How to Keep it πŸ’―, Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, people shouldn't have to sue to make progressive change happen, but too often, that's been the case. Two and a half decades ago, parents sued the state for failing to guarantee a high-quality education for all children, and they're doing so again today. Similarly, lawsuits have been necessary to force the state to take the bold action on climate change that's required for a resilient and sustainable future.Β 

It shouldn't have to be this way. If our elected officials were bold enough, they would be proactively passing the bills to move us forward, not waiting until they're forced to.

That's where you come in.

Keeping It πŸ’― on Education

Four years ago, the Massachusetts Legislature created a commission to figure out how to update the state's funding formula for local aid to schools, which hasn't been updated since 1993.

The commission made clear that the state is short-changing schools due to outdated assumptions about the costs of health care, special education, English Language Learner education, and closing income-based achievement gaps.

The Legislature knows exactly what they need to do. They just need to do it.

The PROMISE Act (S.238/H.586) is the only bill before the Legislature that follows through with those recommendations.

But House Leadership has been intransigent. In particular, House Leadership isn't interested in funding education fully for low-income students, those who need that extra funding the most. And that's not acceptable.

Any good education funding bill -- like the PROMISE Act -- would raise the low-income rate up to 100% for the 10th decile. In lay terms, this means spending twice as much as the average per pupil amount per low-income student in a high-poverty district. If we want to close achievement gaps, we need to be spending extra money on the students that need it most in the communities that can't make up the difference in funding themselves.

Can you call your legislators to urge them to support the PROMISE Act and demand that any education funding bill provides the full resources that low-income students need to succeed?

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Keeping ItΒ πŸ’― on Climate

As a coastal state, Massachusetts will be hit especially hard by climate change. According to the latest report from the IPCC, we have to start acting fast if we want to avoid climate chaos, slashing global greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050.

Although we have been a leader in energy efficiency, we still get most of our fuel from dirty energy, particularly natural gas. That needs to change.

The 100% Renewable Energy Act (S.1958/H.2836) will help make that happen.

This bill would accelerate the growth of clean energy and set out clear, enforceable requirements to ensure that Massachusetts stays on track to achieve 100% renewable energy, while ensuring that the displaced workers, low-income communities, and communities of color that have been most impacted by fossil fuel pollution have a seat at the table.

How can you make that bill into a law?

  • Testify -- or simply show up: The hearing for the bill is just around the corner: next Tuesday (July 23) at 1 pm at the State House (Room B2). If you can go, please do to show your support.
  • Make your voice heard: But whether you can or cannot go in person, you can still make your support known to your legislators.

Can you call your legislators to urge them to support the 100% Renewable Energy Act?

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Click the links above -- and again here -- to find out if your legislators are already supportive (and to find their contact info if you don't already have it). Whether or not they are already supporters, they need to hear from you. Your calls, emails, and visits matter.

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PS: Need more info on the bills? We've got you covered.

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