March 19: Cannabis Society of Massachusetts, “The High Ground”

marijuana leafJoin the Cannabis Society of Massachusetts at the Boston Ethical Community to discuss the ethics of marijuana legalization and its implications on racial justice, personal freedom, government oversight, and the ballot question process. We will focus on the current statute as written, changes proposed by the legislature, and the ethics of altering a ballot question passed by the citizenry without due process or public hearing.

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.

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.”