From Ancient Egypt to Mesoamerica to medieval Europe, our ancestors relied on the commons to ensure that everyone had what they needed. The commons are resources which we collectively own– a park, for instance– and from which each of us benefits uniquely. If you sell ice cream in the park and your children do their homework there, the public does not own the money you make or make any claim to the grades your children get. The commons exist today in the form of our public education system, our roads and bridges, our water. We collectively own and share these resources, and yet each of us benefits uniquely from them.
In Massachusetts, we are facing a crisis of the commons: the people and institutions who benefit most from the commons — the factories that use our water; the companies whose trucks deliver goods on our roads and bridges; the corporations whose employees earn so little they need food stamps and housing vouchers to survive — are not contributing to the commons. With dozens of tax cuts on wealthy residents and corporations over the last 3 decades, the state currently faces an annual deficit of over $1 billion, making us unable to care for our most basic infrastructure. We have already entered an era of overcrowded classrooms, unaffordable universities, dilapidated bridges, and an undependable public transit system. We are careening toward a future with no commons from which any of us can benefit.
That’s why we raising our voices to prevent the erosion of the commons. With our partners in Raise Up MA, we are launching a campaign to raise crucial state revenue through a Fair Share constitutional amendment that will tax millionaires.
Our amendment will increase the income tax rate by 4% on any income over one million dollars, allowing us to raise over $1 billion in new state revenue. We will make our public schools the best the country, our state universities affordable, and transportation reliable year round. This campaign will restore the commons for generations to come.