On March 16, the 50+ member institutions of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) rallied outside the State House. It was a pivotal moment as Governor Healy’s first budget takes shape and tens of thousands in the Commonwealth are housing insecure. Leaders in GBIO spoke about the need to battle racist zoning histories in the suburbs, the huge potential in Real Estate Transfer Fees, the impossible barriers to housing faced by people leaving incarceration, and the horrible conditions in much of the state’s public housing.
Despite the dire needs, it was a fun and hopeful day! Ten First Church members joined the crowd of 300 (thanks Nancy, Kate, Lexi, Ellen, Don, Anne, Dave, Alice, Phil, and Sarah!), and the Governor herself let GBIO know she could hear the tuba. See this GBH News piece for video! Afterwards, the faithful went into the State House to start meeting with our representatives to bring their attention to GBIO’s campaign asks. Moving forward, First Church will keep showing up in greater numbers, along with all of GBIO, to pass a housing justice budget this spring.
In fact, GBIO members gathered at the State House once again on March 27, this time to testify in support of H23, a bill calling for the creation of a new Cabinet position, Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities. Our coalition is making its presence felt in the halls of government.
To get involved with GBIO’s work, which also includes a mental health campaign and continuing work for returning citizens, reach out to Will Erickson, Phil Jones, Kate Layzer, Casey Marsh, Adam Weiss, or Kathy Williams. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org and read about the campaign at gbio.org.