March 5: Cheryl Crawford, “Working for Voter Engagement in Massachusetts”


Cheryl Crawford is the Executive Director of MassVOTE.

MassVOTE is a grassroots organization that works to increase voter participation and engagement in civic affairs, especially in traditionally low voter communities. In the presidential election of 2016, Mass VOTE organized voter registration, Get Out the Vote efforts, and voter tracking efforts in key MA communities.  MassVOTE and Nonprofit VOTE collaborated to win a grant from the Boston Ethical Community. Cheryl will discuss the mission of the organization, the work they do (including upcoming municipal elections), and how BEC might contribute. She’ll also reflect on the results of the 2017 election.

A More Humane Society

marvin-headSubmitted by Marvin Miller

The American Ethical Union’s statement of purpose says that the supreme aim of human life is to create a more humane society. This idea is in accord with the recognition that humans are social beings and that every act of a living organism has the purpose of making life better for that organism and its species.

What would a more humane society be like?

February 12: TO BE RESCHEDULED: Alexandra Piñeros Shields, “Building Community in Essex County”



Dr.  Alexandra 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.

Dr. Shields will discuss the collaborative work of her organization to address building a positive dialogue between community members and the Lynn police department.

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.”

February 5: Mary Tittman, “A Progressive Income Tax for the Highest Earners in Massachusetts”

 © 2016 Marilyn Humphries
© 2016 Marilyn Humphries

 Mary Tittman is the Director of Outreach for Mass Budget and Policy Center.

The 2018 ballot in Massachusetts will ask voters to levy a tax on annual incomes over $1 million, with the revenue earmarked for education and transportation. This talk will delve into the social and political questions around the so-called “millionaire’s tax.”


The Information Age Has a Breakdown

trump-line-artSubmitted by Andrea Perrault

During the 2016 presidential campaign, much political discussion revolved around the death of manufacturing in the United States, and its impact on the U.S. economy. The disappearance of manufacturing is not news, but the people who were most affected by it, most notably those in the Midwest, saw the situation as worse than dire and saw Donald Trump as their hero. Their voting patterns determined that it would be the make or break issue for the campaign. With their resolve, Donald Trump won the presidency; Republicans won the Senate and the House, and shock came to many, pundits and citizenry alike.

Many of us on the east and west coasts thought that the Information Age had supplanted the Manufacturing Age, and that the country was adjusting to the new reality in an acceptable fashion. Were we wrong!