Raise Up MA Community Briefing, Bedford

Middlesex Community College, Cafe East, 10:30-12:00
Live-blogging, updating as we go.
Welcome from Margaret Heitz of Lexington.
There are 11 Community Briefings scheduled across the Commonwealth, for folks to speak to representatives and to hear from them about what they are focusing on.
Just completed a busy time on budgeting.
Raise Up MA (RUM) is a coalition of more than 50 organizations committed to building an economy that invests in families, gives everyone the opportunity to succeed, and creates broadly shared prosperity. The coalition works to pass laws, through the Legislature or at the ballot box, that support working families with jobs that pay a living wage and policies that allow them to balance work and family. To support important investments in the people and our communities, RUM believes everyone should be asked to pay their fair share.
RUM Agenda includes:
  • A Constitutional Amendment to support education and transportation infrastructure
  • A Living Wage for Big Box Retail and Fast Food Emloyees
  • Paid Family and Medical Leave
Representatives currently present: Rep. Sean Garballey, Arlington.
Rep. Garballey is strongly supportive of Raise Up MA's agenda. Need folks to speak up to their reps for their support for critical investment in education and transportation. Next steps: Constitutional Convention (ConCon) - take votes to support. Important to call your reps now, ask them to support the amendment. Lobby hard now. If you don't know your rep - get to know them now. Develop a relationship with them. Call them. Ask them not only for a commitment to vote for your issue, but to work for it - news, facebook, twitter - that's how we get these issues to pass.
Margaret reports that Rep. Dave Rogers is unable to join. Sends his regrets.
Benjamin Chandhok, staffer for Rep.Jay Kaufman who couldn't be here. He is traveling back from a conference. Rep Kaufman's agenda mirrors Raise Up MA's. MA has a flat income tax. Rising inequality - Jay wants everyone to pay. Call Jay. Call your reps. Income inequality, transportation/infrastructure, education have gotten worse since ballot for grad tax [This initiative isn't about a grad tax].
Mary from Sudbury: problems in education funding - need the Fair Share Amendment.
Richard from Lexington: language issue within Constitution?
Community member: brilliance of the Constitutional Amendment is in its simplicity, its language to implement.
Ben: Lobby your reps to implement. ConCon is May 18 at 12:30 at the State House.
Carl Nillson: Constitution will say [after it's amended] that the money will go to education and transportation. We all worked together to gather signatures. Will we want it to go to bridges? Roads? Pre-K? That is up to us, the People. Our work won't be over once the constitution is amended and approved [at the ballot box in November 2018].
Members from various communities share what the RUM Agenda means to them:
  • Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC) recommendations released, impress legislators of need for increased education funding;
  • disgusting that we don't have Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML);
  • need to keep business' feet to the fire for PFML;
  • lots of people are working and can't afford food, need SNAP benefits - need for $15 living wage;
  • transpo/infrastructure so important, extend Green Line T
  • sinkhole in Springfield - infrastructure critical safety issue
Reps. Ken Gordon (Bedford), Jim Dwyer (Woburn), Dave Rogers (Arlington) unable to be here. Contact them and let them know you were here.
Meeting adjourns 11:30 AM