Grassroots Organizing Wins at the Massachusetts Ballot Box

Workers throughout Massachusetts had something to celebrate after the November 4 elections: voters overwhelmingly passed an Earned Sick Time bill!

Eight years of grassroots organizing, perseverance and hard work provided a million workers in Massachusetts the right to earn sick time.

The Yes on 4 MA Coalition wrote in their victory message:


We are so proud of the role that JOIN played in this social justice campaign. Many Jewish Organizing Fellows and alumni worked on this bill over the years.

One JOIN alumna organizing for earned sick time was Erica Rothschild. Today Erica continues her work with JALSA, the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, after finishing her Jewish Organizing Fellowship there earlier this year.

Photo of JOIN alumni Bess and Erica

Jewish Organizing alumni Bess Beller-Levesque and Erica Rothschild smile after voting, knowing that in just hours earned sick time will finally be a reality for Massachusetts workers.

“This was important to me because everyone gets sick,” said Erica, reflecting on her work on the campaign. “It might be once in ten years, it might be once every two months, but we are all human with only so much control. Pretty much every fight in the social justice world is about recognizing people’s humanity. This effort moved us a little bit closer to the world as it should be, one that treats people with dignity, compassion, and rights.”

Many congratulations to all the JOIN alumni and organizers across the state who made this ballot measure a reality — and who made a difference for hundreds of thousands of low and middle income workers and their families!

Check out earned sick time coverage from the Boston Globe and WBUR.


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