ORGANIZING NOTES 

August 8, 2023

        When We Organize We Win

Join Community and Labor struggles that make a difference

 

 

Who says our housing crisis can’t be solved?

It is estimated that 200,000 new units need to be built to address the housing needs of the homeless, the inadequately housed renters, the middle-income people forced into lengthy commutes, and the homeowners squeezed by mortgages (Lt. Gov Kim Driscoll, March 9, 2023).

Yet, we only build about 12-15,000 units a year (WBUR Oct 26, 2022). Worse, the costs of land and construction are so high, that even if for-profit developers built enough new housing it would cost too much for those who need it to move in. The median price of a single-family home in the Commonwealth is $685,600. Simply put, the commercial housing market can not solve our housing crisis.

There is a smart alternative to relying on the production of homes by the private sector.   Social Housing, which is mixed-income (low, medium, and moderate) rental housing built on government-owned land using state funding that is replenished by the rent from moderate-income tenants.

Social housing has worked for almost 100 years in Vienna.

And more recently in Mexico.                                  And even in Maryland.

It is time to bring Social Housing to Massachusetts.  Write to your legislator asking them to co-sponsor the Social Housing Bill introduced by Reps Mike Connolly & Lindsay Sabadosa together with Senator Lydia Edwards (H. 3873).  The bill would allow the state to raise the initial funding for social housing by creating bonds. The money would be a guarantee that a portion of the units created go to low-income renters and another portion to moderate-income tenants.

Unlike the more familiar public housing for low-income tenants, social housing doesn’t place people in ghettoes. That is a major advantage of the mixed-income tenant model.  It is also true that in the best social housing, control of living conditions is shared by tenants, avoiding the oppressive control of traditional government housing.

Read the Bill Here.

 

RALLY FOR RANKED CHOICE VOTING

BOSTON

Co-Chairs MassVOTE Executive Directors Cheryl Clyburn Crawford and Tanisha Sullivan will lead a group of supporters and coalition partners in a rally to make a statement that Boston residents want Ranked Choice Voting.

 

Stand with Boston Supporters this Thursday, August 10th, Sam Adams Park, 6-7:30PM, 1 Faneuil Hall Sq., Boston

 

  “The 1st 100 attendees get ice ceam!”

CommonWealth Magazine shares the SCOOP!

 

SIGN UP!

 

NO NEW FOSSIL FUEL INFRASTRUCTURE

Join the DAILY Standout on Beacon Hill

Demand the Governor and the legislature take immediate action to stop ALL new fossil fuel infrastructure in Massachusetts Every Work Day, XR members, ORMA members, Red Rebels, 350MA members and others have been at the front door (Hooker entrance) of the state house, from 9 am to 5 pm, visibly carrying the message, and visiting the governor’s office every two hours to deliver the message physically. ORMA’s Climate Crisis Group will be there on Thursday Aug. 3, from 1 pm to 5pm Join us! If you can’t make it, sign up here for a convenient shift. We will stay until our demands are met – To follow this action, click here.

SUPPORT MAINE PUBLIC POWER

Pine Tree Power has an ambitious plan to convert Maine’s investor-owned utilities (IOU) to a Community-Owned Utility (COU) – a nonprofit owned by and for Mainers. It would be transformative, showing other states how they can free themselves from IOUs. It would not only lower electricity bills and greatly improve reliability, it will help Maine meet climate goals that the investor-owned utilities are dragging their feet on.

The referendum is on the November 7 ballot. It stands a good chance of passage since Mainers hate the investor-owned utilities (Central Maine Power and Versant) for their atrocious service, and Maine already has 10 relatively small municipal COUs. But it will only pass if there is plenty of outreach to counter Central Maine Power’s fear campaign.

They are looking for help with:

 

* Deep phone canvassing August 3 – August 31

* Text-banking Sept 1 – Nov 7

* In-person actions August 4-6 in Portland to make art and/or canvass; transportation

 

Learn more at https://pinetreepower.org, then help however you can at https://act.350.org/survey/jul-23-em-us-volunteer-pine-tree-maine/

 

Where Do the Candidates Stand

 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.

CLIMATE:

Mitigation From Trees

Q:  Preserving mature trees–both in forests and in towns and cities–reduces carbon emissions and mitigates heat, air pollution, and flooding caused by climate change. Do you support a ban on logging in public forests? Do you support local and state legislation to limit the cutting of urban trees that are healthy and not dangerous? If elected, what will you personally do to save trees, especially where (for state officials) clearcutting threatens water reservoirs and aquifers and where (for city/town officials) tree cutting occurs in environmental justice communities?  

See more questions HERE:

 

The state budget was released this week and we can now show you exactly how the first billion dollars from the Fair Share Amendment will be spent here in Massachusetts! 

 

      If you would like to work with ORMA Members on

  • Climate Change
  • Community-Based Alternative Emergency Response Teams
  • Ranked-Choice Voting
  • Housing For All       

ORMA depends on your support to continue Bernie’s Political Revolution to create a society, a politics, and an economy that works for everyone, not just billionaires, corporations and the political elite.

If you value Organizing Notes and its twice a month distribution schedule, please make a donation to ensure its continued existence.

Invest in Change Now!

 

Please send requests for action items, articles or upcoming events

for the next Organizing Notes to 

beccobrien.orma@gmail.com by Thursday, August 17th

We’d love to have you send us your favorite pictures of Bernie here in MA!

 

Campaigns End, Movements Endure


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