🚨Actions You Can Take from Home During the COVID-19 Crisis (with UPDATES)

With the outbreak of COVID-19, Massachusetts is facing a crisis.

We have a public health crisis, as the number of those infected grows every day. We have an economic crisis, as the threat of a recession looms larger every day and workers risk weeks (or months) without a paycheck. And we have a democratic crisis, as the virus outbreak challenges our ability to hold traditional in-person elections.

And this is on top of the crises we already face, such as the inequality that affects all aspects of our society.

And our Legislature needs to respond with the requisite urgency and comprehensiveness. 

Can you email your state legislators to demand quick and comprehensive action? 

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Actions You Can Take from Home During the COVID-19 Crisis

With the outbreak of COVID-19, Massachusetts is facing a crisis.

We have a public health crisis, as the number of those infected grows every day. We have an economic crisis, as the threat of a recession looms larger every day and workers risk weeks (or months) without a paycheck. And we have a democratic crisis, as the virus outbreak challenges our ability to hold traditional in-person elections.

And this is on top of the crises we already face, such as the inequality that affects all aspects of our society.

And our Legislature needs to respond with the requisite urgency and comprehensiveness. 

Can you email your state legislators to demand quick and comprehensive action? 

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The MA Senate's Next Generation Climate Package: What's in & What's out

Last fall, Senate President Karen Spilka promised that the MA State Senate would take up a climate package by the end of January. And the Senate did, passing a trio of bills this past Thursday:

S.2476: An Act to accelerate the transition of cars, trucks and buses to carbon-free power

S.2477: An Act Setting Next Generation Climate Policy

S.2478: An Act relative to Energy Savings Efficiency (Energy SAVE)

In the lead-up to the vote, senators filed 155 amendments, the vast majority of them to the Next Generation climate bill. So let's save that one for last.

What did the three bills do?

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Take Action: The MA Senate Votes on Climate Action This Week

This decade -- the 2020s -- will be the decade in which our collective actions determine whether or not we'll continue to have an inhabitable planet. And that means we need to start taking action--fast.

Tomorrow, the Massachusetts State Senate will be voting on omnibus climate legislation (for a good overview, read this).

The bill is strong in many ways, but it can be bolder and more equitable.

And that's where you come in.

Can you call your state senator today in support of the amendments below?

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We Need to Use Every Tool in the Toolbox

The following testimony was submitted to the Joint Committee on Housing on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

 

Chairman Crighton, Chairman Honan, and Members of the Joint Committee on Housing:

My name is Jonathan Cohn, and I am the chair of the Issues Committee of Progressive Massachusetts, a statewide grassroots advocacy group committed to fighting for an equitable, just, democratic, and sustainable Commonwealth.

It is because of those values that we write today in support of H.3924 (An Act enabling local options for tenant protections) and S.773 (An Act supporting affordable housing with a local option for a fee to be applied to certain real estate transactions).

 

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We Cannot Achieve Shared Prosperity Under Water

The following testimony was submitted to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

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

 I, Jonathan Cohn, Co-Chair of the Issues Committee of Progressive Massachusetts, am pleased to offer this testimony on behalf of Progressive Massachusetts. Progressive Massachusetts is a multi-issue, grassroots, member-based advocacy organization committed to an agenda of shared prosperity, racial and social justice, good governance and strong democracy, and sustainable infrastructure and environmental protection.

Progressive Massachusetts would like to go on the record IN SUPPORT of bills H.2810.

As a coastal state, Massachusetts is especially vulnerable to climate change. To put it bluntly, we cannot achieve shared prosperity under water.

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Help Us Start off 2020 Strong

Optimism! It’s a word we don’t hear much of these days. But, friends, we can be optimistic because, despite all the bad news we receive daily, together we are doing good work and making progress. 

With your help, we are making Massachusetts legislators fulfill our state’s progressive promise. Chapters working in unison bring pressure to legislators. Progressive Mass working in unison with ally organizations to coordinate and amplify brings even more pressure. Organized activism - multi-issue and single-vision - is necessary to counter big money, deeply-rooted prejudice, and legislative inertia. Organized action is also necessary to counter the angst and anxiety we all feel!

Our success is driven by small, monthly donations. Donate today to help our 2020 push to make Massachusetts a leader on progressive policy.

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It's about Respect

The following testimony was submitted to the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.

 

Chairman Pacheco, Chairwoman Gregoire, and Members of the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight:

My name is Jonathan Cohn, and I am the chair of the Issues Committee of Progressive Massachusetts, a statewide grassroots advocacy organization focused on advancing progressive policy here in the Commonwealth.

One of the most foundational progressive values is respect—treating every person with dignity and worth—and that is why we urge you to give a favorable report to H.2776/S.1877 (Resolve providing for the creation of a special commission relative to the seal and motto of the Commonwealth) and H.3572/S.1898 (An Act promoting equality and respect in the legislature).

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Voters: Tax the Rich and Big Corporations, Invest More in Transportation

Anybody who has ever waited in a station for perpetually delayed trains, driven through potholes, or sat in traffic congestion for hours on end knows that we have a transportation problem.

Indeed, a report earlier this year found that Boston had the worst rush-hour traffic of any major city. But this isn't just a Boston issue: voters across the state think that transportation should be a higher priority for the Legislature.

According to a new survey from WBUR and MassINC, 77% of voters support raising new money to invest in the Massachusetts transportation system, with similar numbers across regions.

So what can we do about it?

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Ranked Choice Voting and Early Voting: Making Our Elections More Democratic

Testimony submitted to the Joint Committee on Election Laws.

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Chairman Finegold, Chairman Lawn, and Members of the Joint Committee on Election Laws: 

My name is Jonathan Cohn, and I chair the Issues Committee at Progressive Massachusetts, a statewide grassroots advocacy group committed to fighting for progressive policy here in the Commonwealth. A core part of our platform is an electoral system that expands voting, the electorate, and its trust in candidates and elected officials.

Accordingly, we urge you to give a favorable report to An Act to use of ranked choice voting in elections (H.719/S.414), An Act providing a local option for ranked choice voting in municipal elections (H.635/S.420), and An Act to extend early voting for all elections (H.681/S.390).

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