Stand Against Discrimination of Transgender People in MA!

As the mother of 2 transgender children, I have had many reasons to be glad that we live in Massachusetts. Our community has been very supportive since my daughters transitioned about 3 years ago, and Massachusetts is one of only 18 states in which my children can enjoy full protection under the law. As you may know, this came about in 2018 when the Legislature passed transgender anti-discrimination legislation, protecting the rights of transgender individuals in all public spaces.  What you may not know, however, is that this legislation is in jeopardy. Very soon after Governor Baker signed this law, opponents collected enough signatures to challenge it on the ballot via a so-called citizen's veto referendum. This November, the rights of my daughters and all other transgender people in Massachusetts will be at stake.

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Criminal Justice Reform Is One Step Closer to a Reality

HRC_(3).pngPDF VERSION - Hard work and advocacy paid off with the release of the criminal justice conference committee’s new CJR bill. This comprehensive bill addresses almost every issue affecting our criminal justice system. When we began this process in 2016, we could not have imagined the setbacks and the hard work that lay ahead. But through the near destruction of the bill when the Council on State Governments process collapsed, the bill--like a phoenix from the ashes--was revitalized, and the legislation emerged even stronger and more sweeping than advocates expected.

Below is a synopsis of the proposed bill. I included the main ask from advocates for reform and what was in the final bill.

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SCA: When Lawmakers Won't Make Laws

 

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APRIL 1 - PRINTER FRIEINDLY - Here's more on the policies we'll be pushing via the budget process: 

These 3 provisions have broad public support, and extend critical protections to all immigrants.

ALL are from the Safe Communities Act–and are endorsed by the two MA police chief associations.

ALL comply with federal law. Federal law prohibits limiting communications between local and federal agencies about immigration status. It does not require local law enforcement to collect this information.

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Safe Communities Act - A Brief History of Legislative Inaction

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Take Action on Gun Violence -- and Join Us on March 24th

Students from across Massachusetts walked out of class (or, if they had a snow day, out of their homes) to march to the State House to demand action on gun violence.

According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Massachusetts has some of the strongest gun laws in the country and, correspondingly, one of the lowest gun death rates. And we should be proud of that. But the question isn’t whether we’re doing better than other states -- it’s whether we’re doing as best as we can. And there, the answer is a clear no.

The Massachusetts Legislature, however, has the opportunity to strengthen our gun laws this session, although time is short.

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4 Ways to Resist Trump’s Agenda Here in Massachusetts


We’re running out of time in the legislature. We’ve got 4 action items for Pres Day!:

  1. Register for Lobby Day (read more below!)
  2. Make calls this week for Safe Communities (read more!)
  3. Push to increase voter participation (read more!)
  4. Upgrade the Legislature with a progressive legislator (read more!)
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Special Elections have Special Powers

Support Progressive Candidates on the State and Local Level

Finally getting Massachusetts back on track as the progressive leader we once were is a project with many fronts—grassroots organizing, legislative pressure, and electoral change … We need to build a better, more progressive Beacon Hill. Not just in name, but in actual policy-making and priority-setting.

To win on our issues: we need more legislators willing to stand up to the forces in the system that have pulled our policy too far to the right.

 

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2017 in the House: Miderm Review

A guide to the Mid-session Scorecard (View Spreadsheet here, website here) -- All numbers refer to the spreadsheet.

The 190th legislative did not have a very auspicious start.

Both House and Senate fast-tracked a bill to give pay increases to the Senate President, Speaker of the House, judges, the governor, and other constitutional officers; raise stipends to appointed committee chairs and select other legislative leaders; and increase the number of legislators eligible for stipends (1h).

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2017 in the Senate: Midterm Review

A guide to the Mid-session Scorecard (View Spreadsheet here, website here) -- All numbers refer to the spreadsheet.

The 190th legislative did not have a very auspicious start. Both House and Senate fast-tracked a bill to give pay increases to the Senate President, Speaker of the House, judges, the governor, and other constitutional officers; raise stipends to appointed committee chairs and select other legislative leaders; and increase the number of legislators eligible for stipends (1s). Here at Progressive Mass, we understand that it is important that elected officials be paid well for the work that they do (especially so that they don’t seek more lucrative work that leads to a host of conflicts of interest), but the bill reflected the endemic problems of Beacon Hill. It lacked any semblance of deliberative, democratic process, and its ultimate effect was to centralize power further in Leadership, creating a more hierarchical and less democratic Legislature. It also left out woefully underpaid staffers from the pay increase---and the countless workers across the Commonwealth facing stagnant and sub-livable wages. In short, we deserve better from our Legislature.

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Progressive Needham Sends Delegates to Convention

After a packed general chapter meeting on Friday night at the Kirks' home, many Progressive Needham members got up early the next morning to Caucus with the Needham Dems. 

It was a mini-reunion the next day, with many first-timers, as well as many people who had caucused before, but not in many years. 

 

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