Labor

Marvin Miller

Submitted by Marvin Miller

May Day, May 1, International Workers’ Day, which originated in the U.S. but is celebrated mostly elsewhere, is an appropriate time to think about labor.

Throughout human history until very recently, the acquisition of subsistence has depended on the effort of muscle, both human muscle and that of their domesticated animals. This dependence began to change with the industrial revolution when people learned how to use non-muscular energy — wind, water, steam, and electricity. Now, most of the energy that people use is not muscular.

Grantmaking 2.0

hewettSubmitted by Fred Hewett

The second year of grantmaking at Boston Ethical Community is now underway, following on our success in 2016. In our first year, we made grants to five deserving nonprofits, all of which, by the end of this program season, will have made presentations at our Sunday meetings. Seeing the full cycle, from the grant proposals through to the actual implementations, gives us confidence and encouragement to continue our philanthropic work

May 21: Alexandra Piñeros Shields, Essex County Community Organization

pineros-shieldsAlexandra Piñeros Shields is the Executive Director of the Essex County Community Organization.

BEC was proud to award a grant to the Essex County Community Organization last year to aid in their ongoing efforts to foster community relations on the North Shore.

From their website: “ECCO is a diverse network of congregations and organizations across the North Shore building relationships and power to put human dignity at the center of public life. We work together across race, class, and faith lines to ensure that all people on the North Shore can thrive, grow, and dream.”

May 7: Erica Mattison, “How to enhance your effectiveness as an advocate for conservation and healthy communities”

erica mattison 2Erica Mattison is the Legislative Director for the Environmental League of Massachusetts.

You care about having a clean, healthy environment for your community (and beyond), as well as future generations.  So, what are some ways you can make sure you are an effective advocate for the issues you care about?  How can you influence your elected officials?  This interactive advocacy training, led by the Environmental League of Massachusetts, will cover the following:

  • Strategies for building relationships with influencers, elected officials, and other key decision makers
  • How to hone your message for maximum effectiveness
  • How to become a go-to resource on the issues you care about
  • The importance of going beyond the expected parties and building power through working collaboratively with a broad range of stakeholders.

The session will be lead by Environmental League Legislative Director Erica Mattison, MPA, JD. In addition to working as an environmental protection lobbyist on statewide issues, Erica is a community activist. In her neighborhood in Dorchester, she serves on the board of Greater Ashmont Main Street. She is actively involved in advocating for safer streets and vibrant, sustainable communities.  Erica obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Commonwealth College and her Masters in Public Administration and Juris Doctor from Suffolk University.

Resistance in the Age of Trump

Submitted by Andrea Perrault

As the Trump administration continues its march to Make America Great Again, it seems that on each day we are shocked by a new tweet, press release, or news item promoted by Sean Spicer, the Trump Press Secretary. There are so many issues that deeply concern us, as budget cuts or severe decimation seem likely: the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, National Public Radio, the Public Broadcasting System, public education, the National Science Foundation, and, of course, Obamacare. While we may be disillusioned or downright depressed, we need to focus on the types of actions that will bring about collective action to save the things we hold dear. Consider the following:

Efficiency

Marvin MillerSubmitted by Marvin Miller

Religions and governments are involved in ethics: they tell people, by commandments, laws, etc., what they want people to regard as the right thing to do.

Our society is the most inefficient in the world.

In physics, efficiency is defined as the ratio of useful work done to total energy used. Americans use more energy per capita than the people of any other country. But we don’t live better than people do in other technologically advanced countries. Those of us who have jobs work longer than people do elsewhere. We don’t spend less time getting to and from work than others do. We don’t have more time for lunch breaks, vacations, leave for family care, or holidays than others do.