"Sexual Harassment Occurs in the State House every single day."

The #MeToo movement brought national attention to how pervasive sexual assault and sexual harassment are across institutions and industries, but anyone who ever worked or advocated in the Massachusetts State House already knew.

As State Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa (D-Northampton) said in a recent article, “Sexual harassment occurs in the State House every single day.” 

And that needs to change. 

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Driver's Licenses: An Equity Issue and a Public Safety Issue

Chairman Boncore, Chairman Straus, and members of the Joint Committee on Transportation, my name is Jonathan Cohn, and I am pleased to offer testimony. Progressive Massachusetts would like to go on record in support of S.2061 / H.3012: An Act relative to work and family mobility.

The Work and Family Mobility Act would enable all qualified state residents to apply for a standard Massachusetts driver’s license, regardless of immigration status, to increase road and public safety and allow for greater mobility across our Commonwealth.  

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What Do Raytheon, Staples, and GE Have in Common? They Don't Pay Enough in Taxes.

The bad news: Train derailments. The certified worst traffic in the country. Underfunded public schools. Tuition hikes at public colleges and universities. A growing statewide affordable housing crisis. Every day, we see new examples of how Massachusetts is in dire need of new revenue.

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Are Your Legislators Keeping It 💯 for Our Students?

In the 1980s, steep cuts in property taxes strained school budgets across the state, creating gaping inequalities between the richest and poorest communities.

In response to that, parents from Brockton sued the state, claiming that it was failing to meet its constitutional obligation to “cherish” education for all students. This language written goes all the way back to John Adams.

In June of 1993, the Legislature responded to this lawsuit -- and the underlying funding crisis -- by passing the Education Reform Act, which has shaped the course of public education in Massachusetts since.

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💯% Renewable Energy: We Have the Technology. We Need the Policy.

The following testimony was submitted to the TUE Committee on July 22, 2019.

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Chairman Barrett, Chairman Golden, and Members of the Joint Cte on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy:

My name is Jonathan Cohn, and I am the chair of the Issues Committee of Progressive Massachusetts, a statewide grassroots advocacy organization devoted to advancing progressive policy in the Commonwealth. As such, we are committed to fighting for an energy system that reduces pollution, promotes clean energy, reduces greenhouse gasses and protects our natural climate and environment.

The 100% Renewable Energy Act (S.1958/H.2836) will help us achieve that, and we urge you to give these bills a favorable report.

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Take Action: Here's How to Keep it 💯, 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. 

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.

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Will MA Be a Leader on Housing Access & Equity?

Chairman Eldridge, Chairwoman Cronin, and Members of the Judiciary Committee: 

My name is Jonathan Cohn, and I am the chair of the Issues Committee of Progressive Massachusetts. Progressive Massachusetts is a statewide grassroots advocacy organization that fights for shared prosperity and racial and social justice. 

Shared prosperity is impossible in a state where people cannot afford to live or are barred from opportunities for housing. Tackling our affordable housing crisis requires action on a wide variety of fronts, and curbing the outsize role of eviction records in access to housing is an important part. We urge you to give a favorable report to the HOMES Act (S.824/H.3566). 

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Take Action: Families Are Being Ripped Apart Right Here in MA.

Every day, we hear new horror stories about families being ripped apart at the border and the terrible conditions that children seeking asylum are held in. 

We can -- and must -- continue to lobby our elected officials in Washington to do all they can to close the dystopian detention camps and craft a humane immigration system. 

But there’s work to be done in Massachusetts, too. Police officers in Massachusetts are being deputized by ICE to act as immigration officials, ripping families apart and forcing our immigrant friends and neighbors to live in fear. 

Massachusetts, we can do better. 

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The Safe Communities Act (SCA) will enable us to do so. 

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Dignity Should Not Be a District-by-District Decision

The following testimony was submitted to the Joint Committee on Education on June 25, 2019.

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Chairman Lewis, Chairwoman Peisch, and members of the Joint Education Committee: 

My name is Jonathan Cohn, and I am the chair of the Issues Committee of Progressive Massachusetts, a statewide grassroots advocacy organization fighting for progressive policy. 

One of the planks in our organization’s platform is an “All means all” agenda of racial and social justice. That means ensuring that underrepresented communities are treated with dignity and respect. 

The reduction of Native American identity to “mascot” status is the opposite of that. We would like to go on record in support of Bill S.247/H.443 (An Act Prohibiting the Use of Native American Mascots by Public Schools in the Commonwealth). 

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Everyone Deserves a Safe and Respectful Workplace

The following testimony was submitted to the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development on June 25, 2019.

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Chairwoman Jehlen, Chairman Brodeur, and members of the Joint Labor and Workforce Development Committee: 

My name is Jonathan Cohn, and I am the chair of the Issues Committee of Progressive Massachusetts. Progressive Massachusetts is a statewide grassroots advocacy organization that fights for social and economic justice. 

Good-paying jobs with fair working conditions are a central part of our organization’s shared prosperity agenda. As such, Progressive Massachusetts would like to go on the record in support of S.1072 (An Act addressing workplace bullying, mobbing and harassment), known as the Healthy Workplace Bill. 

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