Snowpocalypse: Laying Bare The Wages of Austerity and Under-Investment

The snowstorms have highlighted the dangers of slashing budgets -- things fall apart. We can do better. Help convince the Massachusetts Legislature -- it's time to invest in MA. 

The transportation debacle at the MBTA, after the historic snowfalls, has people talking about what happens when you don’t invest in infrastructure. Even the media have started paying attention.

But this story is bigger than just the T.

The system’s collapse foreshadows what is in store for ALL our public services and infrastructure:

> Our cities and towns are losing crucial local aid money

> In some places, the quality of our education system is dropping, while we are siphoning money to for-profit charter schools, many of which cost more and provide no benefits over the public schools they are replacing

> We have a substance abuse crisis in the Commonwealth, and too often those most in need are denied beds, or diverted into the criminal justice system, which only exacerbates the problem.

> Public higher education is becoming increasingly unaffordable for the middle class, saddling more and more young people with crippling debt.

After over a decade of cutting budgets to the bone, we need significant reinvestment in Massachusetts, and that takes revenue.  We CAN raise revenue to reinvest in Massachusetts, simply by asking that everybody pays their fair share--and right now, the wealthiest in Massachusetts are not.*

With just a small increase on taxes for those earning over half a million dollars a year, which ensures everyone pays their fair share, we could raise over $2.1 billion dollars in revenue, and revitalize our Commonwealth.

This MBTA crisis crystallizes what happens when you don’t invest, and it should be an object lesson for all our public sectors. 

Now is the time for political leadership, but we know that Beacon Hill has passed on opportunities to lead in the past. The grassroots must insist that that the right message is heard -- and that legislators act on it.

We can do so much better, and now is time to reach out to your legislators and start working with them to create bold economic and social change (review our 2015-16 Shared Prosperity Legislative Agenda here). And we must continue to work on this message until there we see political leadership and real change.

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On March 4th, 2015, Progressive Massachusetts members from across the state will take our voices to Beacon Hill. RSVP here to join us.

Our chapters and partners are building the grassroots strength it will take to fix our infrastructure,  increase revenue and fight income inequality. Plug in with us -- and take a few simple steps today to make sure we are heard:

  1. Email your legislator. For contact info, and a sample letter, click here.
  2. Sign and share a petition from our partners at Transportation for Massachusetts to increase investment in the MBTA
  3. Join our Lobby Day on March 4th, and invite your friends.
  4. Build our collective voice -- reach out to your networks to to join you in contacting the legislature and attending our lobby day! We are stronger together.
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