Posted on August 31, 2010 by Aron Goldman
“The market looks the other way when it comes to neighborhoods like this too often.”
Governor Patrick was in the North End last week, and he made it clear that the deep disparities exemplified by the North End are unacceptable. And at the same time, he spoke about transcending neighborhood boundaries, and his campaign’s commitment to engaging infrequent voters in minority communities (contrary to conventional campaign strategy). Video below. We invite any candidate to offer their perspectives on civic engagement and the issues that have been identified by our stakeholders as priorities (see left).
Filed under: Civil/human rights, Economic & workforce development, Housing & community development, Local democracy & civic engagement | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 14, 2010 by Aron Goldman
One out of every twenty-one MA residents are under correctional control (Source: Pew Report). Only four other states arrest more of its citizens than we do. Nationally, one in eighteen men, and one in eleven black men and women, are in the system. Even after your sentence is complete, your criminal record (CORI) can follow you for life.
To help prevent misdemeanors from becoming life sentences, activists (Neighbor to Neighbor, Jobs with Justice) have been pushing for CORI reform for years. The work is starting to pay off. Reform legislation recently passed the MA House and Senate (with support from community activists and the criminal justice officials alike), and it is in conference now. Governor Patrick is ready to sign it.
Springfield resident, Orlando Ramos, came to our offices this morning to explain how the legislation works, and the implications for residents (video below). And on June 30th, the Springfield Health Disparities Project has organized a “CORI Independence Day” event to help residents understand their rights, seal their records, and move on (flyer here, PDF).
Filed under: Civil/human rights, Economic & workforce development, Health disparities, Local democracy & civic engagement, Public safety & criminal justice | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 13, 2010 by Aron Goldman
It’s taken me a few days to write this one, because it’s just hard to know where to begin. Remember the legend of the welfare queen (living it up on the taxpayer’s dime) constructed by the Reagan administration, and revived to help pass the Clinton Administration’s 1996 Welfare Reform Act? Well she’s back, and with her comes all the moralism, anger, and fear associated with those periods. When I saw the phrase “lifestyle audits,” I just assumed we were talking about Wall Street and banking executives. Is that conversation over already? Wouldn’t that be a more lucrative line of inquiry?
Welfare rolls are down 50-70% as a result of the welfare reform act. Where have all those people gone? The most popular theories are: prison, the military, and a vast and expanding low wage underclass. Looking for alternatives? Here are three new case studies of projects for mothers on welfare (Lumina Foundation, 32-page PDF).
Disclaimer: We do not take positions on candidates. We do however track emerging policy and research that relates to poverty, inequality, and the region (see list at right).
Filed under: Civil/human rights, Economic & workforce development, Public safety & criminal justice | Leave a comment »