Budgets, Transit and Transparency

Gov Michael Dukakis spoke at the Transit Forum
Gov Michael Dukakis spoke at the Subways not Submarines transit forum. He had cut his nose by falling on some ice while picking up litter.

This article appeared in our Spring 2017 Newsletter.

MAPA’s Economic and Social Justice Working Group has been hard at work. In December we and our cosponsors held a standing-room-only symposium at MIT on building a public transportation network that serves more than just Boston. Former Governor Mike Dukakis (above), the keynote speaker, pointed out the need to divert federal funds from the military and bring federal funds to Massachusetts to rebuild (and in some cases, build) more train lines, purchase more subway cars, and develop bus lines that serve communities currently with no, or substandard, public transportation options.

In January, we collaborated with Reps. Mike Connolly (D-Somerville), Denise Provost (D-Somerville), Jay Kaufman (D-Lexington), and Sen. Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville), to introduce the Revenue Information and Accountability Act, which would require the state government to inform Massachusetts taxpayers where their federal tax dollars go. This successor to the Budget for All Resolution is now awaiting a hearing in the State House.

The ESJ working group continues to work with Raise Up Massachusetts to increase Massachusetts’ minimum wage to $15/hr, to pass the Paid Family Leave Act, and to pass the Fair Share Amendment, which would raise $1.5 billion a year for schools and transportation by a 4% tax on people whose annual income is over $1 mil-lion.

We plan to hold an event on or about Tax Day , April 15, to highlight corporations and the rich (including President Trump) who don’t pay their taxes, and tax money used for militarism instead of community needs.

If you wish to work toward economic and social equality we’d love to have you join our work group. We usually meet on the 2nd Monday of the month at Encuentro 5, 9A Hamilton Place, Boston (near Park Street station) , from 4-6 pm.