Massachusetts Needs an Economic Bill of Rights

For immediate release: Monday, September 8, 2014

People are being forgotten in rush to do favors for corporations, say Green-Rainbow Candidates

In a statement released today, the team of three statewide candidates for the Green-Rainbow Party called for adoption of an Economic Bill of Rights that would reorder priorities on Beacon Hill to address the widespread economic distress currently being experienced by families and working people in Massachusetts.

The statement noted that" Here in Massachusetts, 31% of the children are living in poverty or near poverty.  In predominantly black communities this number reaches a staggering 57%.  Today 19% of Massachusetts residents require food stamps to feed their families.  Working families are finding that rents are increasing faster than their income, and they can't make ends meet.  More than  20,000 people in Massachusetts are homeless.  Waiting lists to find suitable housing for homeless individuals,  poor families, seniors and the disabled are years long."

"In total, economic desperation is a crisis that should be in the headlines, but our political leaders are more focused on schemes to deliver corporate welfare to make the rich even richer.  It's time we had a legislative agenda for the rest of us."

The statement was authored by Danny Factor of Acton (candidate for Secretary of the Commonwealth), Ian Jackson of Arlington (candidate for State Treasurer), and M K Merelice of Brookline (candidate for State Auditor).

Under the proposed Economic Bill of Rights all residents of Massachusetts would be given a right to employment,  a safe workplace, health care,  education, decent affordable housing, and freedom from hunger.  Government would be responsible for initiating programs to secure these rights.

This change is long overdue according to M K Merelice,: "For too long our policy makers have tolerated high unemployment,  exploitation of low income workers, poverty, medical bankruptcies,  foreclosures,  urban decay,  educational disparities,  and other life-destroying ills while at the same time they fashion new tax breaks and corporate welfare schemes to benefit the well-connected.  Trickle-down economics isn't reaching the hard-working people who play by the rules, struggle to support their families, and still need help keeping a roof over their heads and food on their tables.  It's time for our human values to be reflected in our public policy - and that means lifting up everyone so that economic distress no longer destroys lives in our Commonwealth."

 "The Economic Bill of Rights is a sound investment in the human capital of our Commonwealth" according to State Treasurer candidate Ian Jackson.  "Can we afford it? Of course we can.  If we can afford a Billion for Biotech, we can.  If - as the Patrick Administration asserts - we can afford to spend $3 billion on corporate welfare to help a Houston-based gas pipeline company, or $177 million to lobby for military bases then we can find the resources to invest more directly in the future of our people."

Factor added that "if you believe - as I do - that every single person in Massachusetts deserves dignity, respect, and love, then you must insist that the widespread economic distress in our Commonwealth be addressed with the utmost urgency.  Lives are being destroyed every year in which we delay.  There must be a new dawn of justice in Massachusetts that will give us healthy communities, healthy people, and a sustainable economy that meets the needs of us all."

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For a pdf copy of the full statement click here.

Links to Green-Rainbow Party candidate websites can be found at