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  • 2 EVENTS: Help Bring Police Decertification to Massachusetts

    Occupy Boston - Page 4

    (source: Blackstonian)


    Many professionals are licensed and if found guilty of wrong doing can LOSE their license to practice. Lawyers, Doctors, Plumbers, Electricians, Accountants, Taxi Drivers, Teachers, Real Estate Brokers, Architects, Psychologists, Barbers, etc. are all subject to losing their license or being decertified. Even your personal Drivers License can be revoked for serious infractions.


    Massachusetts is one of only six states without revocation authority. The others are California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.Decertification is a common sense approach to police reform where police, politicians, and protesters can all find agreement.



    Keynote Presenter:
    Leading National Expert on Police Decertification
    Prof. Roger L. Goldman
    Callis Family Professor of Law Emeritus
    Saint Louis University School of Law




    Mass Police Reform, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of MA, National Police Accountability Project (NPAP) of National Lawyers Guild, New England Area Conference (NEAC) of the NAACP, Restore The Fourth – Boston, Boston Police Camera Action Team (BPCAT), Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice (LCCR) and others TBA.


    Repeatedly in the past several years the nation has been shocked by tragic events which have sharply focused public attention on the problem of police misconduct. The issue has emerged onto the national stage and all levels of government are aggressively pursuing new policies to increase accountability and oversight. Massachusetts is frequently touted as a national leader in so many policy areas; however, when it comes to police accountability, there is one simple fix that we don’t have in place. Massachusetts is one of only six states that lack a decertification (or de-licensing) process for those officers who violate their vows to protect and serve.

    Decertification is a common sense approach to police reform where police, politicians, and protesters can all find agreement. This will quite simply prevent officers who commit egregious offenses and engage in misconduct from practicing as an officer and gaining employment in another department in or out of the commonwealth. The best methods of police reform are those which preserve the integrity of policing while also better protecting the safety of the general public. Most professional law enforcement associations across the country are already in favor of decertification.

    Why is Massachusetts lagging behind?

    • The National Decertification Index (NDI)
      by the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST). The purpose of the National Decertification Index (NDI) is to serve as a national registry of certificate or license revocation actions relating to officer misconduct. The NDI currently contains 20,458 actions reported by 39 states.

    • The Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project (NPMRP). A non-governmental, non-partisan independent project that identifies trends affecting police misconduct, and reports on issues about police misconduct in order to enhance public awareness on issues regarding police misconduct in the U.S.
      • Data from the NPMRP 2009-2010 report revealed 170 reported incidents covering over 64 cities & towns in Massachusetts from Adams to Yarmouth.
      • In a sampling of February 2016 alone the NPMRP’s daily newsfeed recorded seven incidents in Massachusetts.

    These incidents, culled only from media reports, are the types of cases that could merit decertification. In the absence of a decertification method any of these officers who exhibited criminal conduct or were fired for a variety of reasons could end up in another city or town within the Commonwealth or perhaps we may even export troubled officers out of state.

    Copyright © 2016 Blackstonian, All rights reserved.

    FF15 Action Needed Today!

    This is huge: the Raise Up Massachusetts bill supporting the Fight for $15-which would raise wages for fast food and big box retail workers to $15 an hour- is coming up for a vote in the State Senate. This bill would directly raise wages for 185,000 workers in Massachusetts. But Raise Up Massachusetts need your help to make sure it gets passed. Can we count on you to call your State Senator TODAY and ask them to support this bill?

    Here’s how to make the call:

    1. Find your State Senator by typing in your address at
    2. Call their office TODAY
    3. Ask them to support Senate Bill 1024, which would raise the wage for fast food and big box retail workers to $15 an hour

    This bill would be an incredible boost for thousands of workers across the state, like Mackinley Celestin who works at McDonald’s.

    We have a chance to once again make Massachusetts a leader for workers’ rights. Call your State Senator today and help us make this critical bill a reality. Thank you for standing with us.

    The #WageAction Coalition is fighting against wage inequality and is part of the growing Fight for $15 movement. For more events, please visit our calendar at

    Difficult Dialogs with Sybrina Fulton, Mother of Trayvon Martin

    We Are All Trayvon
    Thursday, March 24, 2016
    Bunker Hill Community College Building A Room 300
    Program begins at 1 p.m.

    Sybrina Fulton is dedicating her life to transforming family tragedy into social change. Since the death of her 17 year old son, Trayvon Martin, during the violent confrontation in 2012, Fulton has become an inspiring spokesperson for parents and concerned citizens across the country.

    The publicity surrounding Trayvon’s death and the ensuing trial catapulted the country into national debate. Despite the intense struggle of losing a child, Fulton has become a role model to many by turning her grief into advocacy. Remaining strong throughout the trial and ensuing months, she lends her voice to speak against violence towards children and the need to build better, safer communities for all.

    Her message not only appeals to people’s hearts as it relates to children, but is also one of hope and change, exemplified by her personal experiences and endeavors. As a mother, she inspires audiences to continuously educate their children about civil rights and to help them feel accepted as part of an ever changing society. An honest and relatable speaker, Fulton always looks forward sharing her powerful message with everyone from colleges and legal professionals to community and family organizations, and all other proponents of social justice.

    A Miami native, Fulton graduated from Florida Memorial University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. A proud mother, Fulton worked for the Miami-Dade County Housing Development Agency for over 25 years, and is a member of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Miami Gardens.

    Free and Open to the Public – Online registration is required.

    Bunker Hill Community College Building A Room 300
    Building A is the closest to the Orange Line T Stop

    ROTTEN REPORTAGE on March 9 at Cambridge Forum

    March 9 ROTTEN REPORTAGE: Do We Have the Media We Deserve?

    The bulk of mainstream media in the U.S. is now owned by six corporations that continue to gobble up smaller outlets and independent presses. Some say that we have created a perfect echo chamber, that the plurality of a free press is just a sad joke. Turning on the TV or scrolling through the headlines offers only the illusion of choice.

    So is the media monopoly that we all feared, almost complete? Is there any cause for optimism in the new journalistic market place and in its pre-election coverage, is the national press corps revealing its true colors?

    Cambridge Forum has invited a panel of journalists and experts drawn from the Internet, academia, and NPR to discuss the state of journalism in America today.

    Come join the discussion on March 9 at 7:00pm, 3 Church Street in Cambridge. The event is free and all are welcome!

    For more details contact Mary Stack, director (AT)

    Join the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless at the State House Next Thursday, March 3rd!

    Speak Out for Housing, Homelessness Prevention, and Solutions: Join the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless at the State House Next Thursday, March 3rd!

    Please join the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless for our annual Legislative Action Day on Thursday, March 3rd from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Great Hall at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

    The Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless has been working for over thirty years as a key voice in the public policy and social services arenas for families, youth, and adults in Massachusetts who are at-risk or experiencing homelessness. Each year, the Coalition holds a Legislative Action Day at the State House to engage our members and allies in educating state legislators about the needs of the Commonwealth’s residents who are experiencing homelessness, housing crises, and poverty.

    This year, we are mobilizing our members and supporters to advocate on a number of priorities, including efforts to expand eligibility for the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) homelessness prevention programs to include elders, people with disabilities, unaccompanied youth, and others; fund housing and support services for unaccompanied youth who are experiencing homelessness; ensure that families with children no longer have to first stay in places not meant for human habitation before qualifying for Emergency Assistance shelter; and expand funding for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) and the Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP). We also are working to move forward several bills that would improve quality of life for people living in poverty and those experiencing homelessness, including legislation to create a Homeless Bill of Rights and to improve benefits under the state’s Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children program (EAEDC).

    As part of Legislative Action Day, the Coalition will host a series of speakers who will share their call to action and personal testimonies on the importance of increasing access to housing, shelter, homelessness prevention resources, and support services. Legislative speakers will include Representative James O’Day (West Boylston), the event sponsor and lead sponsor of House Bill 529, An Act Relative to Assisting Elders and People with Disabilities in the Commonwealth; State Senator Harriette Chandler (Worcester), Senate Majority Leader and member of the Special Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth; Senator Linda Dorcena Forry (Boston), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing; Representative Marjorie Decker (Cambridge), Member, Joint Committees on Ways and Means and Housing; Representative Kevin Honan (Allston), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing; Senator Jamie Eldridge (Acton), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Financial Services, State Representative William Smitty Pignatelli (Lenox), lead sponsor of House Bill 1129, An Act Providing a Homeless Bill of Rights; and State Representative Denise Provost (Somerville), lead sponsor of House Bill 119, An Act to End Child Homelessness.

    Most importantly, there will be time in the afternoon to meet with State Representatives, Senators, and their staff to advocate for improved access to affordable housing, services, and programs for youth, families, and individual adults who are at-risk or experiencing homelessness in Massachusetts.

    We hope you will be able to raise your voice and join us for this exciting day!

    For more information and to register for this free event, please go to

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