Congress is currently debating a discretionary budget which spends more than 50% of our income tax dollars on endless wars, nuclear weapons upgrades, foreign military bases, and other military accounts. Financing this requires cutting major programs funding human and environmental needs nationally, and therefore also in Massachusetts. The alternatives are the People’s Budget generated by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and just recently, the Moral Budget released by the Poor People’s Campaign.
More than 30% of the Massachusetts state budget is actually derived from federal funds returned to the state. Unfortunately this information is not made clear by any agency of the State, or of the Federal Government, so that the relationship between the federal appropriations and state budgets is often opaque.
2: 05 pm: Welcome: Patricia-Maria Weinmann, Assistant Coordinator, MIT Radius
2:10 pm: The Poor People's Campaign : Moral Agenda for the Nation
2:20pm: Panel 1: Developing a Moral Budget for Massachusetts
Chair: Savina Martin, Mass Poor Peoples Campaign
- A Moral Budget for the Nation -Shailly Gupta Barnes, Institute for Policy Studies
- Increasing the Mass State Budget in the House – State Representative Mike Connolly
- The CPC People’s Budget in MA – Andrea Burns, Our Revolution
- Producing a Moral Budget for Massachusetts- Jonathan King, Mass Peace Action
3:00 pm: Panel 2: Housing, Transit, Infrastructure and Energy
- Affordable Housing – Michael Kane, Executive Director, MA Alliance of HUD Tenants
- Roads, Bridges, Water Supply- Heidi Peltier or Robert Polli, UMass Amherst
- Public Transit – State Representative Denise Provost, Somerville
- Sustainable energy - Alan Palm, 350 MA
3:45 pm Coffee Break
4:00 pm: Panel 3: Education and Health
Chair: Ruth Rodriguez Fay, Save Our Schools, Worcester
- Child care and Pre-K Education – TBD: Defending the Early Years
- K-12 Education – Lisa Guisbond, Citizens for Public Schools
- Higher Education: Fund Our Future – Merrie Najimi, President, Mass Teacher's Association
- Basic and Biomedical Research – Prof.Ishara Mills-Henry, Framingham State
- Adult and Senior Health – Suzanne Curry, Health Care for All
4:45 pm Panel 4: Cutting the Pentagon Budget
Chair: Cole Harrison, Mass Peace Action
- Investing in Veteran’s Needs – Dan Luker, Veterans for Peace
- Toward a Sustainable Defense budget - Lindsay Koshgarian, Institute for Policy Studies
- Cutting Raytheon Weapons for Saudi Arabia - Paul Shannon, American Friends Service Committee
- Cancelling New Nuclear Weapons – Dr. Kea Van der Ziel, Greater Boston Phyicians for Social Responsibility
5:30: Next steps:
- Methodology for a state Moral Budget – Jelena Mitic-Elliott, Institute for People’s Engagement
- Constitution of Publications Committee -Panelists
5:45: Closing Keynote: A State Budget Responding to Our Needs – State Representative Nika Elugardo, Boston
6:00: Benediction: Rev. Leslie Sterling, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church
- (All panels – 8 minute talks, then general discussion)
- Program committee: Jonathan King, Savina Martin, Jelena Mitic Elliott, Patricia-Maria Weinmann.
- Co-Sponsors: Mass Poor Peoples Campaign; MIT Radius; Institute for People’s Engagement; Mass Peace Action.
- Additional support from the Amy S. Rugel Foundation.