Jul 11, 2022
Financial Empowerment, Anti-Poverty, & Immigrant Assistance Nonprofits Join Growing Coalition Supporting Tax on Million-Dollar Earners on November Ballot
BOSTON – Fair Share for Massachusetts, the campaign working to pass the Fair Share Amendment, the proposed state tax on incomes above $1 million which would raise billions of dollars to invest in transportation and public education, today announced the endorsement of 28 social service providers from across the state.
“The CEDC has served as a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site for 19 years now,” said Corinn Williams, executive director of the Community Economic Development Center of Southeastern Massachusetts. “Each year, we help working families, immigrants and elders pay their taxes, and we see firsthand how working-class people are paying more of their income in taxes than the very rich do. The people we work with are paying their fair share. Now more than ever, it’s time to make our tax system fairer so that multi-millionaires pay their proper fair share, too.”
The 28 social service providers include financial empowerment nonprofits, anti-poverty agencies, immigrant assistance groups, food banks and homeless shelters from communities including Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Fall River, Greenfield, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, New Bedford, Quincy, Somerville, and Worcester.
“Regardless of district or zip code, Massachusetts' students deserve access to science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) programming that is proven to result in long term student success,” said Juan Maldonado, Associate Director of Sociedad Latina in Boston. “With the additional funding raised by the Fair Share Amendment, we can take a meaningful step towards educational and racial equity.”
“I am proud to support this important work to bring Massachusetts the revenues needed to support and sustain critical infrastructure,” said Justin Pasquariello, Executive Director of East Boston Social Centers. “To continue to lead in education, we must invest more in early education and care and in all districts. To continue to support families of all incomes, our economy, and our environment, we desperately need investments in our transit infrastructure. Currently, our residents with lower incomes have the highest effective tax rates because more of their income goes to sales taxes and property taxes. The Fair Share amendment will bring all Massachusetts taxpayers closer to giving the same percentage of their income to make critical investments in the commonwealth.”
“It’s no secret there is a correlation between zip code and the quality of housing, transportation and education resources available in any given area,” said David Gibbs, executive director of the Community Action Agency of Somerville. “The Fair Share Amendment will help low-income families in communities like Somerville, and others throughout the state, by creating additional resources for the creation and preservation of affordable housing, improving public transportation, and enhancing public education opportunities. By addressing these infrastructure and education issues now, we will ensure working families receive the best access to resources they can get in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, regardless of what municipality they live in.”
“Preparing students for a diverse and multicultural world is a large part of what it means to receive a strong public education in Massachusetts,” said Mei Hung, executive director of the Chinese Culture Connection, Inc. in Malden. “If the Fair Share Amendment is passed this November, not only will the wealthy have the opportunity to share some of their extra funds for a good cause, but schools will be able to better prepare our children for life in Massachusetts and beyond.”
“PACE sees first-hand the need for increased investment at all levels of our education system,” said Pam Kuechler, Executive Director of People Acting in Community Endeavors (PACE) in New Bedford. “Recruiting, retaining, and valuing our early education teachers is critical, and with the mental health of our children impacted by the pandemic, we must find the additional resources our next generation deserves.”
The social service providers join more than 215 organizations and thousands of activists across the state who are working together to win the Fair Share Amendment on the ballot. The campaign previously announced support from 63 community organizing groups and 26 housing and community development organizations. After years of grassroots advocacy, the state Legislature voted in June 2021 to place the Fair Share Amendment on the November 2022 statewide ballot, where it is now set to be decided on by the voters.
The full list of endorsing social service providers is below, and a full list of organizations that have endorsed the Fair Share Amendment is available at fairsharema.com/endorsements.
Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee
Center for Living & Working, Inc.
Chinese Culture Connection, Inc.
Citizens for Citizens
Community Action Agency of Somerville, Inc.
Community Action Program Inner City
Community Economic Development Center of SE MA
East Boston Social Center
Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath)
Greater Boston Legal Services
Greater Lawrence Community Action Council
Immigrants' Assistance Center, Inc. (IAC)
Just A Start
Latinx Community Center for Empowerment
National Association of Social Workers, MA Chapter
People Acting in Community Endeavors (PACE)
Quincy Asian Resources, Inc.
South Boston En Accion
The Midas Collaborative
True Alliance Center
Union Capital Boston
Worcester Community Action Council
Worcester County Food Bank
Background on the Fair Share Amendment
The Fair Share Amendment on the November ballot will allow Massachusetts to improve our transportation and public education systems by making the very rich pay their fair share. The ballot question would create a 4 percent tax on the portion of a person’s annual income above $1 million and dedicate the funds raised to transportation and public education. Only people who earn more than $1 million annually will be impacted; 99% of us won’t pay a penny more. And we’ll all benefit from better schools, roads, bridges, and public transportation.
The Fair Share for Massachusetts campaign is led by Raise Up Massachusetts, a coalition of community organizations, faith-based groups, and labor unions committed to building an economy that invests in families, gives everyone the opportunity to succeed, and creates broadly shared prosperity. Since our coalition came together in 2013, we have nearly doubled wages for hundreds of thousands of working people by winning two increases in the state’s minimum wage, won best-in-the-nation earned sick time and paid family and medical leave benefits for workers and their families, and started to build an economy that works for all of us, not just those at the top. Learn more at FairShareMA.com.
Image by Peter Lewitt