May 08 2012
The race continues
Posted by: Kevin B. Gilnack, Campaign Manager
Earlier this month, I wrote about the long and challenging road ahead in our marathon to build power for human services, and last Friday I was pleased to join 300 friends and colleagues from The Caring Force in keeping up our pace.
The MetroWest Human Services Advocacy Coalition - led by agencies like Advocates, Inc., Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Justice Resource Institute and many others - convened a legislative breakfast featuring many members of their delegation. Legislative breakfasts are powerful ways to connect legislators with people from their district, and for both constituents and legislators to have the opportunity to share their perspectives and listen.
On behalf of the entire The Caring Force, I'd like to thank the legislative organizers for allowing us to be such a special part of the event! Almost all of the attendees - including our legislators - dawned our bright gold t-shirts, many attendees filled out pledge cards to get involved, and during breaks, we were plesed to have videos of the powerful stories from our April 2 rally featured.
The event organizers also deserve a great deal of credit for highlighting a wide range of human services (check out the clip below of Dierdre from JRI highlighting the many devestating cuts that human service programs have faced), while also emphasizing a single, forceful message that legislators could take away: human service workers need a Salary Reserve.
We were also thrilled to see the folks from MetroWest helping prepare for another important leg of the marathon toward building power: voter registration! Being informed about candidates, showing up at the polls, and supporting people who are committed to supporting human services is a vital element for improving the support we receive from government.
The Caring Force is proud to join them in their cry to bring relief and stability to the dedicated workers who provide care to one-in-10 Massachusetts residents - check out our blog post from last week highlighting a story from one of our members on this exact topic and find out who you can get involved.
The speakers and legislators all had important remarks to share during the program and I invite you to check them out below:
Eric Masi of Wayside Youth & Family Support Network welcomes attendees
Bill Taylor of Advocates, Inc. discusses the history of funding for human service worker wages and the Salary Reserve
Deirdre Hunter of Justice Resource Institute details the extensive cuts human services have faced recently
State Senator Karen Spilka addresses attendees
State Representative Kate Hogan addresses attendees
State Representative Tom Sannicandro addresses attendees
State Representative David Linsky addresses attendees
State Representative Chris Walsh addresses attendees
State Representative John Fernandes addresses attendees
Rep. David Linsky responds to a question on healthcare reform
Rep. Sannincandro responds to a question on raising taxes to support human services
Legislators discuss a question on funding transportation