Commonwealth Peace and Justice Agenda 2019-2020

Commonwealth Peace & Justice Agenda

Commonwealth Peace and Justice Agenda for 2019-2020

The Massachusetts Peace & Justice Network has partnered with allied legislators to submit a set of bills to the Massachusetts state legislature concerning nuclear disarmament, Middle East wars, military spending, legislative ethics, and the design of the state flag and seal.  Below are the 9 bills that we submitted.

Nuclear War Danger

No First Use, RESOLVE TO PREVENT THE FIRST USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS BY THE UNITED STATES:   Call on the US Congress to pass a law providing that the US will never use nuclear weapons first. #NoFirstUse

(H.3211; S.2165) Advocate: Steve Gallant; Sponsors: Natalie Higgins, Pat Jehlen (Vets & Fed Affairs) 

Back from the Brink, RESOLUTIONS RELATIVE TO THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: Press US Congress to de-alert nuclear forces, adopt a no first use doctrine, curb presidential first use, reverse nuclear weapons modernization, and engage in diplomacy towards nuclear disarmament. #BackFromTheBrink

(H.3240; S.2155) Advocate: Ira Helfand; Sponsors: Lindsay Sabadosa, Jo Comerford (Vets & Fed Affairs)

Nuclear Weapons Divestment, AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE DIVESTMENT OF STATE PENSION FUNDS FROM NUCLEAR WEAPONS: Divest state pension funds from corporations involved in the manufacture or maintenance of nuclear weapons.  #DivestNuclearWeapons

(H.2202; S.1516) Advocates: Peter Casey, Jonathan King; Sponsors: Mike Connolly, Jamie Eldridge (Public Service)

Nuclear Ban Treaty Alignment, RESOLVE CREATING A CITIZENS COMMISSION CONCERNING THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS BEING IN ALIGNMENT WITH THE UN TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: Establish a commission to plan how to convert nuclear weapons, companies, and contracts in the state to peaceful purposes. #NuclearBan

(H.3239; S.2157) Advocates: Timmon Wallis & Vicki Elson; Sponsors: Lindsay Sabadosa, Jo Comerford (Vets & Fed Affairs)

Redirect Military Spending

The People’s Budget, AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A COMMISSION TO REPORT ON THE PEOPLE’S BUDGET: Call on Congress to pass a federal budget that creates millions of jobs, invests in infrastructure, moves towards single payer healthcare, makes college free, expands housing, makes corporations and those with high incomes pay their fair share, and reduces military spending; forms a commission to report on the impact on the state.  #PeoplesBudget

(H.3220; S.1659) Advocate: Andrea Burns; Sponsors: Jay Livingstone, Paul Feeney (Vets & Fed Affairs; Revenue)

Build Bridges, Not Bombs, RESOLVE ESTABLISHING A COMMISSION ON SHIFTING FUNDS FROM NEW NUCLEAR WEAPONS TO TRANSPORTATION: Forms a commission to study the impact on state finances if the US Congress cancelled the proposed $trillion dollar nuclear weapons upgrades, and instead invest the funds saved in transportation infrastructure.  #BuildBridgesNotBombs

 (H.3585) Advocate: Jerry Ross; Sponsor: Nika Elugardo (Vets & Fed Affairs)

Taxpayers Information and Communication Act: AN ACT PROVIDING FEDERAL AND STATE BUDGET INFORMATION TO RESIDENTS OF THE COMMONWEALTH: State Treasurer to send an annual, easy to understand report to Mass taxpayers on how their Federal and state income taxes were spent in the prior year.   #TaxpayersInfo

(H.2738/S.1819) Advocate: Jonathan King; Sponsors: Jack Lewis and Mike Connolly, Jo Comerford (State Admin)

Yemen War

Divest from the Yemen War/Raytheon, AN ACT RELATIVE TO PENSION DIVESTMENT FROM COMPANIES SELLING WEAPONS TO THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA: Divest state pension funds from companies selling weapons to Saudi Arabia.  #DivestFromRaytheon

(H.2349) Advocate: Paul Shannon; Sponsor: Denise Provost (Public Service)

Respect for Native Americans and our History

Change the State Flag and Seal, RESOLVE PROVIDING FOR THE CREATION OF A SPECIAL COMMISSION RELATIVE TO THE SEAL AND MOTTO OF THE COMMONWEALTH: Form a commission to redesign the state flag, seal, and motto, which currently depict the conquest of Massachusetts from Native Americans. 

(H.2776, S1877) Advocate: David Detmold; Sponsors: Lindsay Sabadosa, Nika Elugardo, Jason Lewis (State Admin)

Download the Commonwealth Peace & Justice Agenda

Peace activists at January 23, 2019 lobby day for Commonwealth Peace Agenda
Peace activists at January 23, 2019 lobby day for Commonwealth Peace Agenda

What Comes Next:

The life of a bill is long, and this process needs public support and advocates to make sure the legislators know the people want peace!
1. Jan 18th, 2019-All bills for 2019-2020 session must be filed with a lead sponsor from the state house or state senate (preferably both).
2. Jan 23rd, 2019, 10am, State House room 167 – Lobby Day! Advocates meet with legislators to share about the bills’ importance and to ask that they co-sponsor.
3. Feb 1, 2019- All co-sponsors for bills must be signed on.
4. Each bill is assigned to a committee.
5. Each committee has a hearing concerning each bill.
6. Advocates attend hearings to testify to the committee the importance of the bill.

The Massachusetts Network for Peace & Justice

The following organizations were represented in Northampton on January 12, 2019 when this agenda was adopted: 

Massachusetts Peace Action
Resistance Center for Peace and Justice
Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility
Pioneer Valley Physicians for Social Responsibility
Change the Mass. Flag
Amherst Peace Vigil
Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution (FCCPR)
Traprock Center for Peace and Justice
350 Newton
Newton Dialogues on Peace and War
Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom – Boston Branch
First Parish Bedford UU – Peace Committee
Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND/WiLL)
Beyond the Bomb