Support Unarmed Community Based Emergency Response
Ask your State Representatives and State Legislators to co-sponsor legislation to fund alternatives to our current emergency response system, H.2264 and S.1407, increasing the availability of non-law enforcement, unarmed, community based response options for calls to 911.
We know that well over 90% of 911 calls are for nonviolent emergencies, that is, for wellness checks, reported vagrancy, and personal crises. When 911 responders are armed police, violence frequently results, and the needs of the person who is the focus of the call too often are ignored. Tell your legislators that the best way to address emergency mental health, homelessness, and substance misuse in our communities is through an unarmed response involving trained crisis managers, who may be peer responders, or other behavioral health specialists. Ask your Representative to to co-sponsor H.2264 HERE and your Senator to co-sponsor S.1407HERE.
Click HERE to read the Bill and HERE for the Fact Sheet
MA Peach, ( Massachusetts Promoting Equitable Approaches to Community Health), a new coalition of organizations and individuals, supports and promotes new emergency response models that focus on public health and addressing underlying problems. VOLUNTEER HERE.
There are already several alternative 911 response programs in Massachusetts. Amherst launched CRESS (Community Responders for Equity, Safety & Service) in August of 2022, Northampton will inaugurate a similar service in 2023, and the Cambridge City Council just voted to launch HEART (Cambridge Holistic Emergency Alternative Response Team)..
Stop the Massport Carbon Bomb!
Stop Private Jet Expansion
A Luxury the Climate cannot afford!
Massachusetts has made important strides in confrontin the climate crisis, and is poised to make more thanks to the Climate Roadmap and related legislation.
But ALL of that progress will go up in smoke (literally) if the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) has its way! Massport (an independent board accountable only to the Governor) is planning a massive expansion of private jet capacity at Hanscom Field, building 27 new hangars for parking private jets and tripling capacity of the field.
Our allies in Mothers Out Front are fighting to protect the frontline communities near Logan Airport (East Boston, Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop). Communities that have already shouldered the burden of industrial pollution stemming from the airport and highway, as well as regional stockpiles of jet fuel, residential heating oil, and road salt.
The most recent assault comes in the form of a proposed “Haul Road”. Construction of this road, on unused railroad right-of-way, would result in 3,000 trucks passing through these communities, spewing emissions into places like libraries, schools, playgrounds, and more across surrounding communities.Activists have spent years mitigating the harm inflicted by Logan expansion and the removal of the central artery during the Big Dig, opening up access to the waterfront at Piers Park, and more. Opposing this haul road now prevents us from having to mitigate and undo poor decisions in the future. Let’s learn from our past and focus on protecting communities and the access to the waterfront.
Progressive Mass is continuing it’s activist Sundays. Sign up — and share the link — hereWe will be using this series to make calls to voters about calling their legislators on key issues. It’s a great activity for long-time activist pros as well as people looking to dip their toes in. You may remember that JPP had an ongoing Activist Afternoon in the pre-pandemic days–now that PM is starting one we’ll have even greater reach!
Cambridge Starts its Journey to Net Zero Emissions
In late June the Cambridge City Council passed its Building Energy Use Disclosure Emissions Reduction Ordinance (BEUDERO) ordinance, a measure that will reduce fossil fuel use. The ordinance requires existing and new government buildings above 10,000 square feet, and commercial buildings above 25,000 square feet to annually track whole-building energy and water use and report to the City. Most importantly, large commercial buildings must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, with an earlier 2035 deadline for commercial properties greater than 100,000 square feet. This ordinance is a significant climate victory, as buildings in Cambridge produce 80 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, which is a far higher fraction than in most of the country. By far, the most energy-intensive buildings in Cambridge are bio-medical buildings.
BEUDERO, the most significant step in the fight for Green New Deal legislation, was initially introduced to the Council by progressive Councillor Quinton Zondervan in 2014. In liberal/progressive Cambridge there are no GOP Councillors. The ideological fault line within the council divides those who favor increasing commercial development and the construction of market-rate housing from progressives who oppose further gentrification and emphasize the need for housing low-income and no-income residents.
In this year’s Council, the progressives led the fight led the fight for BEUDERO, and the pro-development Councillors pushed back, amending the proposal to remove large apartment buildings from the net-zero requirements and shifting the target date for mid-size commercial buildings by 15 years, from 2035 to 2050.
The next steps toward net zero in Cambridge include a proposed amendment to BEUDERO requiring new commercial buildings to achieve net zero by 2030 instead of 2050; and creating standards for decarbonizing residential buildings. As this is a Council election year, the political impact of these votes will soon be evident.
“Enacting the night’s amendments completes the third and final phase of aCambridge Green New Deal proposed by councillor Quinton Zondervan; the first two phases, passed in March, require developers of large new non-residential buildings to calculate their project emissions, including from construction activities and building materials, and the City of Cambridge to provide free access to green-jobs training programs for low-income Cambridge residents.” “She called Beudero a major, nearly unprecedented piece of climate legislation that will prevent hundreds of thousands ofmetric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and can serve as a model for communities across the globe.”
Making Massachusetts Attractive to Residents
Massachusetts has a lower rate of outmigration among high-income households than among other households. This is true both in the most recent year for which IRS data are available (2020-2021) and over the preceding ten years (2011-2021). Overall, Massachusetts has seen only a modest decline in population in recent years. A large body of research shows that state tax rates do not have a significant impact on where high-income households choose to live.
A forthcoming review of IRS data from 2011-2021 by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that Massachusetts had a significantly lower average annual rate of outmigration of high-income households (2.4 percent) during this 10-year period than of other households (3.1 percent). High-income households have not been fleeing the state. A comparison of migration out of Massachusetts compared to the out migration rates from other states showed that Massachusetts had a lower rate than all but 11 other states. Our outmigration rate is lower than those of Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire.
Revenue losses from high-income tax cuts in the legislature’s proposed budget that partially reverse the Fair Share Amendment, will impede our ability to address problems, like lack of affordable housing and childcare, that make it harder to retain working households and attract new residents.
Tell your Representative HERE or Senator HERE to preserve the gains of the Fair Share Amendment.
Source, Kurt Wise, Massachusetts Budget & Policy Center
We need your help! As dedicated volunteers, you have the power to engage local legislators in meaningful conversations that address our concerns. In an effort to maximize our impact we are creating questions for you to have ready when the time presents itself. Let’s come together and ask our local leaders thought-provoking questions that delve into the heart of our most pressing issues.
CERTS SUPPORT QUESTION:
“There is a growing movement across the country to provide non-law enforcement responders for 911 and other crisis events that do not involve probable felonies. In most locales this would be over 90% of emergency calls. Eugene, Oregon, created a successful program (CAHOOTS) almost 40 years ago, and more recently in Durham, North Carolina. In Massachusetts similar programs are underway in Amherst (CRESS) and Cambridge (HEART). Do you favor creating a similar program for us?“
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Community-Based Alternative Emergency Response Teams
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