An Act Establishing Paid Sick Days (HD 1726 and SD 624) sponsored by Sen. Patricia Jehlen (D-2nd Middlesex), Rep. Kay Khan (D-11th Middlesex) and a number of other state legislators is one of the best bills we've seen proposed at the State House in quite a while. The more so because it seems to have some legs, if the energy at this week's rally - staged by the Mass. Paid Leave Coalition and MomsRising.org - was any gauge.
Mass. ACLU Scores Important Civil Liberties Victory with Cambridge City Council Vote Against DHS Surveillance Cameras
Kudos are due to the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and Cambridge City Councilor Marjorie Decker (D) for spearheading a successful drive to win Monday's unanimous Cambridge City Council vote to halt work on the installation of 8 surveillance cameras under the auspices of a program funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - the very name of which inspires wags of a certain age to start doing their best Col.
As the global recession deepens into depression, Gov. Deval Patrick can perhaps be forgiven for sticking to what he knows when faced with steeply declining state revenues - even while needed federal aid is now hanging on an upcoming Senate vote on Pres. Barack Obama's first stimulus package.
Anyone who has had questions about how Boston's multibillion dollar teaching hospitals (a.k.a. "academic medical centers") can remain nonprofits while acting like for-profit corporations towards their un-unionized labor force - or remain non-profits while not doing their fair share to provide affordable healthcare to everyone that needs it in our fair metropolis - will find the new report by Community Labor United most illuminating.
Progressives need a media watch in Boston. It's been too long since we've had a dedicated group of folks on the broad political left who have been willing to keep an eye on the regional media and offer criticism and corrective to coverage that isn't up to snuff by standards of democracy and social justice. In fact, the last time such a group existed most people were not getting their news on the web - and the media watchdogs were doing their thing via letters and phone calls. But much has changed for the news industry in the last decade.
I am, of course, signing this editorial - as I tend to when I feel constrained to write on issues that go beyond the normal metropolitan and statewide focus of this publication. My message this week is a simple one. Everyone who is capable of understanding that the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip is a reprehensible act and a massive violation of the human rights of its inhabitants must do whatever they can to stop it.
The news today is that Put Patients First - a new coalition of social service labor, and legal groups spearheaded by Service Employees International Union Local 1199 - is pushing Gov. Deval Patrick (D) to increase money for health programs in Massachusetts using anticipated federal stimulus funds. This sounds like a good idea, though absent much in the way of public details at this juncture, it's difficult to make any firm pronouncements about the move here at Open Media Boston HQ.
In addition to donating to Open Media Boston (which we certainly encourage everyone to do), there are lots of other ways to help us keep progressive news, views, tech and arts coverage coming your way week-to-week. Here are the top 8 ...
1) Become an OMB Field Reporter. More than anything else, we need more people with basic journalism skills willing to go out on a regular basis and cover events. The more reporters we have, the more your humble Editor/Publisher can spend time raising money to make this venture a long-term success.
The recently launched Green Justice Coalition - spearheaded by Community Labor United - has just issued a refreshing report called "The Green Solution: A Win-Win Plan to Address Climate Crisis and Jumpstart an Equitable and Sustainable Economic Recovery." We say refreshing because unlike the majority of reports on potential solutions to our looming environmental crisis, The Green Solution links environmental issues to the economic crisis and proposes a strategy that can help grapple with both related problems.
Well it's the holiday season, and you know what that means ... all the non-profits you've never heard of fill your mailbox and email inbox alike with touching entreaties about why you should part with some portion of your diminishing funds to help them save something, or help someone, or do good in some highly specific way. They're always careful to start hitting you up just before Thanksgiving - just before you start blowing money on gifts. But we're not so scientific at Open Media Boston. Nor are we shy. We're a growing news publication. And, as it happens, a non-profit.