A Letter from Mass NOW’s President

Dear Mass NOW Community, 

The Massachusetts 2019-2020 legislative session is slated to end this Friday, July 31st – with speculation that the session may be extended to continue addressing important issues. 

With so much going on and our state legislative session possibly wrapping up soon, this week is a critical time for action. Here are updates and action steps we can all take to advance some of the policies Mass NOW supports:

  1. Last night the House passed ‘Consolidated Amendment D’ to allocate money for menstrual products in homeless shelters. We need you to call your State Senator today to get advocate for amendment #252 to Econ Bill S.2842 to get this through the finish line. Please share on facebookinstagram and twitterThe Massachusetts Menstrual Equity Coalition has released three videos to educate lawmakers and our communities about menstrual equity, period poverty, and the I AM bill. Shout-out to activists Lauren Kim, Chioma Ugochukwu and Michelle Koh for all their work on the website and these videos. 
  2. Both the Massachusetts Senate and House have passed their own versions of a policing accountability omnibus bill. In the coming days, the two sides of the legislature will negotiate their bills and pass one piece of legislation together. Now, the ACLU of Massachusetts is calling on lawmakers to prioritize measures, such as ending qualified immunity, that will support communities of color and hold police accountable.
  3. We’re still fighting for our priority bills to protect immigrant rights, improve LGBTQ-inclusive sex education, and expand abortion access. Contact your lawmakers today in support of the Safe Communities Act, the Healthy Youth Act, and the ROE Act

Let’s keep the pressure up – and keep fighting for a more equitable Commonwealth.
In feminist solidarity,
Sasha Goodfriend, Mass NOW President

Federal Action: Protect Access to Safe & Secure Housing for the Transgender Community 
The Trump administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has proposed a dangerous new rule designed to discriminate against the transgender community and make it harder for transgender individuals to safely access shelters. Their latest proposal attempts to gut protections for transgender people by removing critical equal access protections to regulations meant to ensure the safety of anyone in need of HUD-funded programs. 

This is unconscionable. Access to safe and secure housing is sometimes all that stands between transgender people and deadly violence.

Take Action Today: Protect transgender people from discrimination in emergency homelessness services and send a message to the Trump administration and HUD.

Upcoming Events & Programming 
We’re continuing to plug and uplift some incredible feminist programming our partners are hosting this summer. 

Multiple Truths: Survivorship in the 2020 ElectionsThursday, August 6th, 5-6 PM 

Join us and survivors of sexual assault for the Multiple Truths: Survivorship in the 2020 panel, an event hosted by JDI, the Massachusetts Coalitions Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. JDI is aiming to create a space and dialogue for and with survivors to advance conversation around the upcoming elections and community change more broadly. Survivors have multiple truths that impact their identities, and voting decisions and their choices around civic engagement.

This event will feature a non-partisan and moderated speaker panel of survivors, activists and community leaders who will explore the question: “What do the 2020 elections mean for survivors of sexual assault, particularly those that are young and/or first-time voters?” You’ll hear from:

Monika Johnson Hostler,Executive Director of the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Violence
Sasha Goodfriend, President of Massachusetts NOW
Chastity Bowick, Director of the Transgender Emergency Fund, and
Luz Villar, community activist and congressional staffer. 

These speakers will share both personal and professional insights regarding the intersection of survivorship identity and electoral politics. RSVP here. 

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day Virtual Panel 
August 13, 2020, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is on August 13th because that is how far into 2020 on average, Black women must work in order to earn what white men earned in 2019 alone!

The Office of Economic Empowerment is hosting a virtual panel on this day with Black women leaders from across Massachusetts to discuss why the wage gap is so outrageously wide for Black women and what can be done to fix it.  RSVP here. 

In Case You Missed It 

Watch some of our favorite Menstrual Activists from the Massachusetts Menstrual Equity Coalition talk about period poverty.