The Coalition for Social Justice is dedicated to building a grassroots movement for progressive social change viewed through a race and gender lens, rooted in communities that have been excluded from the economic benefits of the current system. We have a dual focus: to recruit and develop leadership, especially from low income communities, and to build effective campaigns that address the economic survival issues that our constituency faces.
We build grassroots power through empowering low-income voters, building a large network of volunteers, holding elected officials accountable and building broad coalitions.
Volunteers are our lifeblood! Join the movement and contact us today!
Our work only continues because of donations from people like you. Donate to Coalition for Social Justice here.
Paid Family and Medical Leave
The Coalition has been heavily involved in the development of Paid Family and Medical Leave along with our coalition partners for over five years. PFML was passed in 2018 as part of the Grand Bargain, and CSJ has supported the implementation process to date.
Our current childcare system is unaffordable and inaccessible for many families across the Commonwealth and our workers are undervalued. Creating a universal childcare system that is accessible and affordable for families and creates opportunities for its workers would decrease our states economic inequality and allow families to further achieve work-life balance.
Protecting the Welfare Safety Net
We partner with the Lift Our Kids MA coalition on the issues to build broad coalitions who can make a difference in the lives if kids in poverty.
Fair Share Tax
The Fair Share Amendment would amend the Massachusetts Constitution to create an additional tax of four percentage points on annual income above one million dollars, so only those with the highest incomes would pay a little more. The revenue generated by the tax would be dedicated towards public transportation and public education.To ensure that the tax continues to apply only to the highest income residents, who have the ability to pay more, the one million dollar threshold would be adjusted each year to reflect cost-of-living increases.
Learn more about our work toward the FSA
This campaign focuses on uplifting immigrants in our communities. Specifically, the Safe Communities Act statewide and ordinances of the like are policies we stand behind. Using our police forces to track down undocumented immigrants creates a safety issue in our communities since any crime witnessed or committed against undocumented immigrants will go unreported. So far, we have coordinated a campaign to prevent Sheriff Hodgson from collaborating with ICE (federal immigration authorities) on its deportation policy.
Main Street Majority Project
The Coalition for Social Justice’s “Main Street Majority” project is prepared to advance the goal of breaking the legislature’s leaderships’ entrenched false narrative that business uniformly rejects progressive policy that improves job quality or raises public revenue. It supports the grassroots movement for progressive social change, by organizing with small business constituents, face-to-face, focusing on low-income neighborhoods and diverse communities, and in districts with leaders that would benefit having old paradigms challenged.
Changing the Criminal Legal System
Holding the Sheriff Accountable
Bristol County for Correctional Justice (BCCJ) is a group that has formed to hold Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson accountable. The Bristol County jail is known for its inhumane conditions and mistreatment of people incarcerated. There have been various reports of inadequate and untimely health treatment, use of excessive force, lack of nutritious meals and a high number of inmate suicides (highest in the state). BCCJ will work toward local and statewide efforts of raising the standards in our jails as they develop.
CSJ is working to empower everyday people to be active in the social and political landscapes of their communities. This takes place through voter empowerment, direct canvassing, community surveys, and more…
CSJ is part of the coalition that will work to make sure that service is added back with the recession of COVID-19; a years-long project. Learn more here
ACCOMPLISHMENTSTo Meet the Needs of Working-Class Families
- In 1997, helped to win over $100 million in new child care funding.
- In 1997 and 1999, helped to implement and then to expand a new state Earned Income Tax Credit, benefitting low-wage workers.
- In 1999 and 2006, helped win $1.50 and $1.25 increases in the state minimum wage, particularly benefitting female workers and making Massachusetts with $8.00 one of the highest minimum wage rates in the nation.
- In 2000, helped win a 10% increase in the welfare grant, the first increase in 12 years.
- In 2002, helped win a progressive tax package, including closing the capital gains tax loophole, stopping $1.1 billion in budget cuts to essential services, including many programs particularly benefitting low-income women and their families.
- In 2005, collected 18,000 signatures to help win affordable health insurance for hundreds of thousands of uninsured families in Massachusetts, including coverage for low-wage workers just above the poverty line, disproportionately female.
- In 2008 and 2010, helped defeat tax-rollback ballot questions that would have resulted in severe budget cuts, particularly services affecting low-income women and their families.
- In 2010, we helped to win legislation to reform the CORI system, removing barriers to employment for people seeking to turn their lives around.
- In 2011, helped preserve the Commonwealth Bridge Program which provides health care to cover 27,000 legal immigrants who meet the eligibility guidelines for state-subsidized health insurance. (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court ruled that the state must provide equal access to Commonwealth Care, regardless of immigration status.)
- In 2011 helped to restore the children’s clothing allowance of $150 per year per child so they were able to start the school year with suitable clothing.
- In 2011, helped protect access to homeless shelters for people who become homeless as a result of foreclosures, job loss, and expiration of unemployment compensation, illness or disability.
- 2014: Minimum wage increase to $11 by 2017.
- 2014: Earned Sick Time, for all workers in MA
- 2018: Minimum wage increase to $15 by 2023.
- 2018: Paid Family and Medical Leave for all workers in MA.
- 2018: Helped pass criminal justice reform which, addresses the issue of racially discriminatory mass incarceration. Its provisions include eliminating many of the mandatory minimum sentences for low level drug offenses, raising the threshold for classifying larceny as a felony, authorizing judges to waive probation, parole and other court fees, and CORI reform.
- 2018: Helped pass legislation to repeal the “family cap”
- 2018: Won increased funding for the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) for SNAP recipients
TAX JUSTICE VICTORIES | 2002-2010In coalition with other organizations throughout Massachusetts, we have made significant contributions to major tax justice victories.
- In 2002, we helped win a tax package that prevented $1.1 billion in budget cuts to essential services. The tax package included eliminating the capital gains tax loophole, which allowed investors who held investments for 6 or more years to pay nothing in state income taxes. And it froze the income tax rate at 5.3%, preventing the scheduled income roll-back to 5.0%.
- From 2003 through 2008, we helped to close several hundred million in unfair corporate tax loopholes, culminating in the passage of combined reporting in 2008, which saved $300 million by preventing companies from shifting profits on paper to other lower-tax or no-tax states.
- In 2008, we helped achieve the defeat of Question 1, the proposed elimination of the state income tax, persuading voter 10,000 voters to vote NO on a ballot question that would have decimated state services.
- In 2009, we helped win a tax package that restored $1 billion in essential services, featuring an increase in the sales tax from 5% to 6.25%. Because of this tax package, scheduled cuts to vital services such as rental subsidies, substance abuse treatment, MassHealth dental coverage, and prescription drug assistance for seniors were reversed.
- In 2009, we helped to close the telecommunications tax loophole, a 1915 law which exempted communications companies from paying property tax on their poles and wires.
- In 2010, we helped to defeat Question 3, a ballot question that would have resulted in $2.5 billion in cuts to state services as a result of rolling back the sales tax from 6.25% to 3%.
- In 2010, we helped win an increase in the New Bedford city meals tax, raising $750,000 and enabling the recall of 34 laid-off workers who provide essential services to the city. The state had passed the meals tax option in 2008 as a way to help cities and towns cope with cuts in state aid, but the City Council had refused to support the increase until we organized over 300 hundred residents to call them to advocate for its passage.