In only its third full session in the State House and one of thousands of bills introduced in the session, the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill has made it to an historic level: the Third Reading in the House of Representatives. This level is no small achievement. And with half a year left in the legislative session, we have more hope now than ever.
While we’re so thankful about the level the bill has reached, we’re just as thankful about how we got there. Let’s reflect:
Your support. More than 5,000 of you (according to our contact lists) are spreading the word. And you’re not holding back. You’ve created a buzz in the State House from emailing and calling your state legislators. You’ve shared these images hundreds of times to spread the word (look at how many shares they each have):
What is workplace bullying? #1
What is workplace bullying? #2
Your leadership. What’s more: many of you are stepping up as leaders to pass this bill. You’re taking initiative, making connections, building your tribes, and getting creative about how to educate workers on what workplace bullying is and how to pass the Healthy Workplace Bill. What you’re doing to move this bill forward.
Official State House support. We beat our goal every session in the number of bill co-sponsors. Today, nearly 1/3 of the entire State Legislature co-sponsors the Healthy Workplace Bill. Here’s how the numbers of legislative sponsors have grown since we first introduced the bill:
1 in the 2009-10 session
13 in the 2011-12 session
39 in the 2013-14 session
58 in the 2015-16 session
Organizational support. We have 16 organizational supporters, from the Massachusetts Teachers Association to longtime supporter SEIU NAGE Local 282, whose lobbyists have been instrumental in moving the bill forward. We’re currently working on a mailing to get Democratic and Republican Town Committees on board and spreading the word.
When we first introduced the Healthy Workplace Bill back in 2009, we knew it would take multiple sessions to pass the bill. But the pace of progress has exceeded our expectations. With every viral infographic on Facebook, every new initiative from an advocate, every major increase in the number of co-sponsors, and every new endorser, we get excited because we know we’re that much closer to a law.
And we have you to thank for that.