On Wednesday, March 25, 2020 the MBLLC petitioned the Governor Baker to request a Major Disaster Declaration for Massachusetts. If approved, independent contractors and the self-employed would become eligible for Unemployment Insurance that they would not have access to otherwise.
The following day, as is detailed here, Gov. Baker announced that he had submitted an official request to for the declaration which President Trump later granted on March 27, 2020 as is shown here. We thank the Governor for the request and look forward to continued collaboration in fighting COVID-19.
As Coronavirus/COVID-19 forces everyone around the world to adjust and change the way they work, the MBLLC will serve as a voice for our constituencies to mitigate the impact from this crisis. That will include working with the Department of Corrections (DOC) to ensure the safety of the incarcerated and the DOC staff, while recognizing some changes will be required to ensure that.
Most recently, the DOC announced the suspension of visits as is detailed below. Following that announcement the MBLLC quickly spoke up regarding a now rescinded attached memo which would have placed a moratorium on staff discipline and suspensions. We thank DOC Commissioner Carol Mici for addressing this promptly and we look forward to continuing to work with the DOC during these trying times.
Additional information from the DOC can be found in the Q&A document linked here.
On Wednesday, March 11, 2020 the MBLLC met with the Massachusetts Women of Color Coalition (MAWOCC) via conference call to discuss their efforts. Focused on empowering women of color throughout the Commonwealth, the organization is 400+ strong as they fight for important matters such as racial and gender parity on public boards and commissions. They are seeking to implement this through H4153 and requested the MBLLC's support to make it a reality.
The MBLLC looks forward to working together with the MAWOCC and welcome's you to explore their work through their website here. You can also learn more about H4153 here and we urge you to share your support of the bill with your State Legislators.
On Wednesday, March 4, 2020 the MBLLC and Governor Baker met for the first of their 2020 quarterly meetings. The administration spoke with the Caucus addressing specific concerns raised previously including State Police diversity, MBE contracting opportunities, home ownership, and micro business supports.
These meetings have led to numerous successes, including the most recent announcement of the Governor introducing $15m in his recently filed Economic Development bill. The $15m will go towards supporting micro businesses building on Chairman Gonzalez' steadfast advocacy to aid in the creation of 1,000 Black and Latino micro businesses in the Commonwealth.
Meeting attendees also discussed efforts to create a State Police Cadet program providing an additional avenue for minority applicants, specific State projects with language that will increase minority participation in the ownership and construction of said projects, and a new diversity transparency tool set to be released in the coming months.
MBLLC log posts are curated by the Caucus Executive Director.