October 30, 2008
This November, our communities face the threat of an ill-conceived proposal to repeal the state income tax. Though proponents (a "yes" vote) point to punishing irresponsible government, we believe the initiative would have a disastrous effect on already disadvantaged and oppressed neighborhoods.
With a loss of over 40 percent of the state budget, there would be a brutal cutback in services that would primarily hurt lower income communities and communities of color that do not have the same cushion as wealthier communities and individuals.
Some of our hard-fought victories would be wiped out or severely cut, including youth jobs and programs that have helped keep young people off the streets. Like other city services, those jobs are paid for by state grants. Youth would be hit doubly as state funding for our already failing public schools would be slashed, leaving expensive private schooling the only decent method of education.
Likewise, state funds would be unavailable for initiatives like cleaning up toxic sites and dealing with the MBTA’s mounting debt to prevent additional fare increases. Question 1 is a clear environmental injustice: While the services our communities need would be severely cut or eliminated, those with higher incomes would be pocketing hundreds more than the average worker.
This November the choice on Question 1 is clear: Choosing "NO" is a vote to support our communities and a vote for environmental justice.
[Due to the importance of this issue, we have also published this article in our October newsletter.]