BOSTON/State House - Answering a call from the federal government to help Central and South American children fleeing violence and depressed economic conditions in their home countries, Governor Deval Patrick on Friday offered temporary sanctuary to some of the unaccompanied immigrant children who have crossed the border between Mexico and the U.S. in recent weeks and are now stranded in southern Texas.
BOSTON/Dorchester - Two years ago, a duplex house on Norwell Street in the Four Corners neighborhood of Dorchester was foreclosed upon. The owner, who ran a daycare facility there was forced to close down. Tenants continue to live next door, not knowing if or when a constable from Housing Court will show up with eviction papers.
The property is now owned by Fannie Mae, the federal government sponsored mortgage enterprise, which has refused offers from a local non-profit to buy and renovate the house as part of a pilot neighborhood stabilization project.
USW local 8571, School Bus Drivers – Dorchester
Bostonians hit out at the Israeli assaults on the Palestinian Territories that began last week, and has reportedly claimed the lives of dozens of Palestinian civilians so far.
In a rally at Boston City Hall on Tuesday, state and local legislators, and pro-choice advocates, hit out at the recent US Supreme Court rulings, which struck major blows against the provision of women’s reproductive healthcare.
Domestic Workers – State House
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the bill dubbed the "domestic workers’ bill of rights" on Wednesday. His assent to the bill follows a state senate endorsement of the bill last month, and will guarantee basic labor rights and government benefits for a wide range of home services workers. Massachusetts is the fourth state with similar legislation, along with New York, California, and Hawaii, and the act will impact around 60,000 domestic workers.
Gas Leaks – State House
Somerville, Mass. – Somerville may join the growing list of Commonwealth cities and towns that ban or restrict the use of plastic bags, and neither city officials nor most of those questioned in the streets recently oppose the idea.
Somerville, Mass. – A citywide ban on expanded polystyrene or “Styrofoam” that went into effect last month is largely not being respected or enforced.
BOSTON – Boston Public Schools bus drivers renewed calls for their employer, Veolia, to reinstate the four fired leaders of their union, the United Steelworkers (USW) local 8751, in a rally at the Freeport bus yard in Dorchester on Monday.
Minimum Wage – Statehouse
Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law on Thursday an act that will gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2017. The current state minimum wage is $8 an hour and the first increase will take place on January 1, 2015, when the minimum wage will rise to $9 an hour.
SEIU 888 – Malden