Linking Community and Labor for a Better Future

Building a Brighter Day
Building a Brighter Day

June 5th, 2014: CLU’s “Salt of the Earth” Awards

Get your tickets now! Community Labor United's annual fundraiser and awards celebration will be held this year on June 5th at 5 pm at SEIU Local 32BJ District 615, 26 West Street, in downtown Boston. We hope you will join us – click here to reserve tickets or take out an ad.

Our Salt of the Earth Awards honor the work of CLU's community and labor partners. This year's awardees are:

  • Ken Rigmaiden, General President, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, for his leadership bringing community groups together with the Painters Union to fight for pathways to good jobs for those who need them most and equitable development across the country.
  • Right to the City VOTE for developing a shared community platform, educating voters in communities of color, and increasing the political power of working class communities and communities of color in Greater Boston.
  • Coalition for Social Justice for tirelessly building a grassroots community movement for social justice in Southeastern Massachusetts through smart strategic political, coalitional, and community organizing campaigns.
  • Jocelyn Jones for bringing the power of the Attorney General's office in partnership with unions and community organizations to fight for workers' rights and economic justice for all workers whether in unions, worker centers, or not.

Join us to celebrate another strong year of organizing! Over the past year we helped win $600 million a year for the state's public transit systems, capped T fare hikes at 5% every two years, and created voting seats for riders on transit authority boards. We also helped roll back The RIDE's outrageous fee hikes and now we're going for an MBTA Youth Pass. On June 5th we'll also be showing off our new Energy Efficiency Toolkit, a multi-purpose package that tells how we won our weatherization victories, then shows you how to take advantage of them. 

Of course we'll ply you with beer, wine, and tasty finger food as well. Contact for tickets or an ad in our electronic ad book. Click here for a copy of the ad and ticket order form. See you there!

CLU's work recognized -- and studied

CLU is winning national recognition for our groundbreaking work. "This Is How to Create a Green Economy That Works for All," Michelle Chen's article in The Nation, spotlights our Green Justice campaign for combining economy, environment, and especially equity. And check out this national webinar on the Green Justice energy efficiency campaign, which drew 90 organizers, policy specialists, and opinion-makers.

Check Out CLU's Energy Efficiency Toolkit

Released in spring 2014, our toolkit summarizes our campaign, lists the stakeholders, and provides tips for organizers, utility customers, and weatherization workers who want to bring our breakthrough reforms to more cities in Massachusetts -- or duplicate them in other states.

Good Jobs, Strong Communities

CLU's new report, Good Jobs, Strong Communities – An Agenda for Good Jobs in Boston, lists ten ways Boston’s next mayor can make the city’s labor market work for all of Boston, from funding youth jobs to holding companies accountable for the work they contract out. It says the city’s jobs problem is not just a low wages but the growth of no-benefits, no-security, no-leverage work in our economy.

Use Our Imagination!

In September Community Labor United and the Design Studio for Social Intervention launched the Department of Public Imagination. Chelsea Collaborative, Chinese Progressive Association, and Massachusetts Senior Action Council are hosting three artists who will work with their members, form creative action teams, and express their aspirations through public cultural projects. The facebook page is

CLU's Energy Efficiency Campaign: A Triple Win for Economy, Environment, and Equity

Building a Brighter Day: Energy Efficiency Innovations Yield High Returns for the Commonwealth shows that CLU and the Green Justice Coalition have won a healthier economy, a healthier environment, and healthier families in Massachusetts—improvements worth $21 for every dollar invested in home weatherization. Download an executive summary here.

“This is a triple win for Massachusetts,” said Jeremy Shenk, deputy director of Community Labor United. “We are strengthening the state’s economy by saving consumers money and creating new jobs. We are making our environment more sustainable by burning less fossil fuel. And we are increasing equity and opportunity by raising weatherization workers’ wages.”

Working with utility companies and the state’s Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, GJC has opened up the state’s energy efficiency programs to low-income communities and communities of color over the past four years. It has also improved wages and job quality for home weatherization workers. Those higher wages and other workplace reforms could save the government over $44 million a year in higher tax revenues and money it won’t have to pay out in public benefits. The health benefits—from reduced workplace injury and death, lower asthma rates, warmer and healthier homes, and more money for food—will yield another $10.7 million a year.

Other Reports from the Green Justice Energy Efficiency Campaign

Public Information for Better Programs: Why Energy Efficiency Data Reporting Must Be Timely, Consistent, Statewide, and Transparent shows the many benefits of regular reporting from the state and utility companies. Basic data, such as locations where efficiency work is being done, and the amount of financial and energy savings to Massachusetts residents, significantly enhances program design and delivery

Report Says "Pre-Weatherization" Pays! Recommendations on Pre-Weatherization and Tiered Incentives shows that a small subsidy will allow low-moderate income residents to weatherize their homes, save more than the cost of repairs, recover the money they are paying into Mass Save, and weatherize the oldest, draftiest homes in the Commonwealth. (“Pre-weatherization” measures fix conditions that keep a house from being weatherized such as knob and tube wiring, appliances that emit carbon monoxide, and asbestos.)

"Public Transit, Public Good" Transit Campaign

Early in 2012 transit riders and workers gathered to protect the state's public transit systems by launching the "Public Transit–Public Good" campaign. Our report, Route to Our Future, said we need to fund Mass. transit, fix it, and make it fair. The campaign has scored impressive successes: winning seats for riders on regional transit authority boards, getting "forward funding" and more funding for transit authorities, and limiting MBTA fare hikes to 5% every two years. For more information see

May Day March brings labor and immigrants together

See this awesome May Day video from the Carpenters Union: (For the full-length version, go to

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