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Governor Signs Historic CORI Bill
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On Friday April 4th, 2014 the Boston Workers Alliance staff went across the water to work with the Alliance of Cambridge Tenants (ACT) putting on a “How to Help Seal My CORI” workshop. There was good attendance from community tenants of the Washington Elms Housing Development. It was a lively crowd of mature adults who had a number of very interesting questions about CORI in relation to jobs, housing, and hospitals. This workshop was put together by concerned citizens of Pisani Center in Cambridge. They felt that not enough is being done to explain and empower locals around the new state CORI reform legislation that went into effect May 5, 2012.
The workshop facilitator Hakim Cunningham has been a long time CORI reform advocate, he went through a PowerPoint presentation with the residents of Washington Elms explaining the nuances of the new CORI legislation and how community residents can best navigate them. There was food, drinks and pizza, mixed with lively dialogue provided by ACT. It was a 2 hour workshop that begged the question, “why aren’t there more workshops like this happening around the state for local residents to be informed about how to empower themselves through the new CORI reform legislation of 2012.”
What a representative had to say about the workshop:
“The ease, the comfort [Hakim] made us all feel was uplifting. [He has] empowered and enlightened us with the depth of [his] knowledge on CORI and CORI reform.”
“You gave us critical feedback that if we find ourselves faced with a CORI record to “Stay Calm” to be “PATIENT” not “IMPATIENT” “IMPATIENCE breeds ANGER” because to embark on the process of having to seal a CORI can be stressful enough.
Boston Workers Alliance
Dear BWA’s Friends and Community,
As many of you have heard, the Boston Workers Alliance’s office in Grove Hall was totaled after a car involved in a shooting crashed through our wall at around noon on Saturday. Thankfully, to our knowledge, no one was hurt in the accident or the gunfire.
Video Interview: http://youtu.be/
This dramatic incident only highlights the ongoing crisis we are experiencing in our community. Since 2005, the BWA has helped hundreds of members obtain or create jobs, and collectively won major policy changes that impacted hundreds of thousands of residents. Still, joblessness amongst young men in our community hovers at 40%, and we see the consequences of this urban depression through the weekly violence in our streets.
Despite this setback, BWA’s passion to advocate for our community is stronger than ever. Our Grove Hall office will be closed, but we will continue our work out of the Boston Staffing Alliance at 140 Winthrop Street in Roxbury. Meanwhile, we begin the process of assessing our damages and seeking support from our community during this trying moment.
We are grateful for the outpouring of support we’ve received in the last two days. For those who are able, we are opening a community fundraising campaign to ensure our financial stability during an uncertain moment.
BWA is also planning its annual fundraiser tentatively for May 9* to celebrate our work and to come together as a community (please note date change). Please plan to join us – tickets will be available on the BWA website starting next week!
Finally, we ask that you join our staff and members who work everyday to address the root causes of the violence and trauma of our communities. We have several major rallies and actions that we seek support in March and April. The strength of our organization is not about what office we work from. It is about our members and our community who come together to build a better world.
Thank you for your ongoing support. Please see below for more information about BWA’s upcoming actions.
Boston Workers Alliance
Speakers and Coordinators
Today was a great day in labor and community organizing history, 13 men sat around a table at 140 Winthrop St. Roxbury, MA at the Macomber Learning Center and discussed how to get younger African – American men and women into the skilled trades unions. They took it a step further and posed the question, “Why can’t we work in our own city with billions of dollars of construction breaking ground all over Boston?” The young men were joined by older and experienced journeymen from the Laborers, Tapers, Electricians and Bricklayers Unions who made the younger guys aware that there is politics that goes with the trades.
The Second Chance Program is strategizing to start small with 3 local family homes and scale up to commercial building renovations across the city. The energy surrounding the table stemmed from the common goal of finding ways to teach and train ourselves. Former City Councilor Chuck Turner said, “Our ability to win or lose is all in our minds. We have the determination and will to achieve and leave a legacy for the next generation; then our jobs are not fought for in vain.” The Second Chance Program is looking to have local contractors who are licensed and Masters in their trade to come out and teach the youth the skills they have acquired over the years.
David Johnson a Master Sheet Metal Worker of Barnette Plumbing & Heating said he is willing to bring all of his talent to the table, to help the plight and causes of young black men and women who want to do what’s right to provide for their family’s. The meeting was scheduled for 1 hour but it went well over an 1 hour and a half once the blood and creativity around the table started to bubble and rise to the top of the dialogue. Stay tune for the next Second Chance Program Construction meeting it looks like we are just getting started.
Boston Workers’ Alliance has been invited to join a discussion on mass incarceration. The panel will be hosted by the Harvard College Women’s Center and will take place Tuesday, March 4th. Our very own Samantha Akwei will be one of the panelist to talk about the mass incarceration of women of color.