“We were urging the city council in Malden to support a resolution that would call on the Massachusetts Legislature to raise revenue in a variety of ways so that the cuts to services for lower and middle income people and families would not be too hurtful,”
Above: Paul F. Cutone, Union Treasurer; Rich Cutone. Both are SEIU Local 888 members and custodians at Malden’s Public Schools; Daniel Hoffer, COPA Organizer SEIU Local888; Joanne Repoza, Vice President of the Board of Directors at MASC; George Bayers, Treasurer, MASC; Rachie Lewis, Community Organizer, MASC; Margurite Gonsalves President Malden Education Association.
The Citizen Engagement Committee met Tuesday evening with representatives from “Campaign for Our Communities” to discuss solutions to address the state’s revenue deficit. The group wants the city council to pass a resolution stating that they want the governor and state legislature to “invest in our community, to strengthen our economy and improve the quality of life of Massachusetts residents.” The governor would do this by passing legislation that would raise substantial new revenue while holding down increases for low and middle income individuals and families. Their plan is to pass major revenue reform in the Commonwealth in 2013.
“When we go to the statehouse, they want to know ‘who do you support?’ When we have the city officials behind us, they know it’s for the benefit of the city,” said Paul Cutone, SEIU Local 888 treasurer and Malden public school custodian.
Committee Chairwoman and Ward 5 Councillor Barbara Murphy said they will definitely keep this proposal under advisement, and it will be in front of the entire city council in another two to three weeks. “We would all love more local aid money, we’re not against that at all,” Murphy said. “We have taken it under advisement and it seems, on the surface, something we would all be in favor of.”
“Campaign for Our Communities” was formed to inform Massachusetts about the importance of investing in our communities. It is a coalition of several community organizations, including Massachusetts Senior Action Council, Boston Teachers Union, Progressive Massachusetts, SEIU Local 888, Mass Alliance, and the Greater Boston Labor Council.
“We were urging the city council in Malden to support a resolution that would call on the Massachusetts Legislature to raise revenue in a variety of ways so that the cuts to services for lower and middle income people and families would not be too hurtful,” said Daniel Hoffer from SEIU Local 888. “So what we’re advocating for is broad-based revenue increases, whether that’s from closing corporate tax loopholes or one time revenue streams, like selling assets or raising revenue from those people who can most afford it, and there are a variety of approaches, and we were urging them to pass this resolution so the people in the statehouse could feel better about discussing revenue.”
During the past few months, representatives from Campaign for Our Communities have visited and successfully convinced city councils all over Massachusetts to pass this resolution. These include Brockton, Boston, Lawrence, Worcester, Arlington, Cambridge, New Bedford, and Springfield.
“The question becomes how, obviously, is revenue raised and who does that impact, because that has to come out of someone’s pocket,” said Councillor Murphy. “So however we balance the budget, there is someone on the receiving end and someone on the taking end. So obviously that is something we don’t have control over; the governor does, but certainly as a city the more local aid we get, the better position we’re in.”
See the original story in the Malden Advocate: http://malden.advocatenews.net/campaign-for-our-communities-group-seeks-council-backing-for-increased-state-aid/