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Our Schools, Our Futures, our first campaign, created high wage, career opportunity jobs for Boston residents with half of those jobs going to recent Boston Public School graduates. We organized a diverse coalition of youth organizations, community groups, churches and unions to work with the City of Boston to leverage its resources to create good painting career jobs for community residents.
Secure Jobs, Secure Communities addressed the growing wealth gap between rich and poor. Large commercial property owners in the Greater Boston area, like The Blackstone Group, enjoy many millions of dollars in annual profits, while residents of the communities where most of their service workers live -- Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan -- can barely make ends meet. This campaign linked SEIU Local 615's organizing of low-wage security officers working in downtown Boston office buildings with community organizations in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan. The campaign won union representation, better wages and benefits for almost 1500 security officers.
Green Justice: On October 27 2009, Massachusetts adopted a first-in-the-nation, $1.4 billion energy efficiency plan that will bring jobs and home retrofits to Massachusetts's working class communities. The Green Justice Coalition made sure this happened by:
· Forming a statewide coalition of community organizations, labor unions, environmental and faith groups.
· Mobilizing hundreds of their members to attend state hearings, testify, and pressure utility companies for a Green Justice energy efficiency plan.
· Surveying neighborhoods and showed that existing utility plans do not effectively reach low-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color.
· Gathering thousands of postcards and calling utility CEOs to make sure they adopted our plans.
This victory is a triple win for the planet, economic justice, and environmental justice. It is also a testament to base-building, which changed the story from Business As Usual to Green Justice.