Tagged: legislators

The latest on co-sponsors to end workplace bullying, with one week left to get them

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It’s day 5 of a 10-day window to obtain co-sponsors for the anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill. Here’s who’s co-sponsored the bill so far:

Senator Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover)
Senator Thomas McGee (D-Lynn)
Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen)
Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead)
Rep. Louis Kafka (D-Stoughton)
Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Jr. (D-Springfield)
Rep. John Scibak (D-South Hadley)
Rep. Frank Smizik (D-Brookline)
Rep. RoseLee Vincent (D-Chelsea)

That’s nine sponsors. Last session, we had 58. So keep those calls and emails coming. We want to reach 70 co-sponsors by Friday, February 3.

What you can do

  1. Thank last session’s co-sponsors and ask them to sign on again. Email this list (we already removed current co-sponsors, retired legislators, and those who weren’t re-elected):

    Sonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.gov, Sal.DiDomenico@masenate.gov, James.Eldridge@masenate.gov, Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov, Brian.Ashe@mahouse.gov, Bruce.Ayers@mahouse.gov, Ruth.Balser@mahouse.gov, Christine.Barber@mahouse.gov, Paul.Brodeur@mahouse.gov, Gailanne.Cariddi@mahouse.gov, brendan.crighton@mahouse.gov, Angelo.D’Emilia@mahouse.gov, Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov, Tricia.Farley-Bouvier@mahouse.gov, Ann-Margaret.Ferrante@mahouse.gov, Sean.Garballey@mahouse.gov, Denise.Garlick@mahouse.gov, Carlos.Gonzalez@mahouse.gov, Ken.Gordon@mahouse.gov, Patricia.Haddad@mahouse.gov, Jonathan.Hecht@mahouse.gov, Mary.Keefe@mahouse.gov, Kay.Khan@mahouse.gov, Peter.Kocot@mahouse.gov, Stephen.Kulik@mahouse.gov, Kevin.Kuros@mahouse.gov, John.Mahoney@mahouse.gov, Paul.Mark@mahouse.gov, Mathew.Muratore@mahouse.gov, Harold.Naughton@mahouse.gov, Alice.Peisch@mahouse.gov, Denise.Provost@mahouse.gov, Dave.Rogers@mahouse.gov, Byron.Rushing@mahouse.gov, Alan.Silvia@mahouse.gov, Todd.Smola@mahouse.gov, Aaron.Vega@mahouse.gov, David.Vieira@mahouse.gov, Chris.Walsh@mahouse.gov, Danielle.Gregoire@mahouse.gov, Russell.Holmes@mahouse.gov, Kevin.Honan@mahouse.gov, John.Lawn@mahouse.gov, Paul.McMurtry@mahouse.gov, James.O’Day@mahouse.gov, Theodore.Speliotis@mahouse.gov, Nick.Collins@mahouse.gov

  2. Call your State Rep AND State Senator. Calling is much more effective than emailing. Legislators can’t ignore phone calls but can ignore emails in their inboxes. We’ll make it incredibly easy:

    Text your zip code to (520) 200-2223. Within a few minutes, you’ll get a text back with your legislators’ phone numbers. Call the two bottom numbers and ask the person who answers to request that the Rep or Senator co-sponsor Senate Docket 768. It’s that simple!

    We’re in close contact with Senator Jennifer Flanagan’s office to find out who’s signed on and who we need to nudge, so the sooner you can make these calls, the more co-sponsors we can sign on to end workplace bullying in Massachusetts. Email this post onto your contacts so we can flood our legislators with phone calls.

  3. Email your State Rep AND State Senator. If you absolutely can’t call because you can’t get away from work during business hours or if you want to back up your phone call, email both of your legislators. We’ve made that process simple, too:

    Visit our easy tool to find your legislators and a form letter or write your own. The message will come from your email box.


If you don’t see both a Rep and a Senator in your text or you get a return email saying your message couldn’t go through, go to the Massachusetts Legislature website, find your State Rep’s and State Senator’s email addresses, and email them the old-fashioned way.

We have until Friday, February 3 to make urge our legislators to end workplace bullying, but the sooner you call or email, the more legislators we can ultimately reach.

Where we’re at in getting co-sponsors to end workplace bullying

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Here’s where we’re at so far with co-sponsors to the anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill, now in its pre-bill stage as Senate Docket 768:
Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen)
Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Jr. (D-Springfield)
Rep. John Scibak (D-South Hadley)
Rep. Frank Smizik (D-Brookline)
Rep. RoseLee Vincent (D-Chelsea)

Our goal: to surpass 58 co-sponsors

What this information means

With eight days left in the window to gather co-sponsors and only two days into the window, this list simply means if your State Rep has co-sponsored already, you don’t have to nudge them anymore (though still nudge your State Senator next week if your State Rep is already on the list and you’ve already called both).

Most co-sponsors won’t have signed on yet, but we encourage you to call them again next week if you’ve already called them this week.

The great news

Compared to last session, we have signs of major progress:

We’re encouraging calls more than emails, and we have an easy tool to make calls. Calls are more effective than emails, since emails tend to just sit in an inbox, but calls are live voices forcing someone to stop what they’re doing and see a more obvious pattern. Though we have easy tools for both phone (see below) and email, we’ve made calling simpler and easier to understand. (We had a glitch with email earlier this week, so if you tried it before and ran into problems, try it again — it’s fixed now. Ideally, calling AND emailing is the way to go. But email if you’re not able to call.)

Many more likes and shares. Off the heels of thousands of people marching, people are now looking for what they can do to change this bully culture. They want to stop abuse of power. In addition to the work we’ve done to build our masses since the last session, our social media graphics are simply getting much more traction — and we still have eight days left in the window to get co-sponsors. Last session, our most popular graphic had 127 likes and 74 shares on Facebook. So far on this post alone, we’ve trounced those numbers: we’ve had 407 likes and 194 shares. Click on the graphic below to share and like to get others to spread the word.

Keep spreading the word

We’ll post more graphics on social media. Share them again in case other people missed them last time. In the meantime, we’ll continue to update you with the list of co-sponsors so you can call your state legislators again in the final days to get them to sign on to support this bill.

Thank you for calling and emailing. Every call and email is the equivalent of 15 constituents to them. So know you’re making a difference in the lives of employees across Massachusetts by advocating for them.

Find out exactly when to contact your state legislators about anti-workplace bullying legislation right in your inbox

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In January and throughout the two-year legislative process, we’ll look to reach you to let you know when it’s go-time to contact your legislators. And in some cases, we’ll only need to let some of you know because we’ll need to urge just your rep or senator. Or you might miss our Facebook posts and miss out on a crucial timeframe for emailing or calling your legislators.

So we ask you to sign up for our email legislative alert system. That way you won’t have to be on the lookout on Facebook to know when it’s time to contact your legislators. The message will show up in your inbox.

And we need as many contacts as possible so we can contact our legislators at key times and get this bill passed this session. So share this message.

Sign up now.

How we made waves this legislative session and what our next steps are

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Advocate Torii Bottomley speaks with another advocate at the “Massachusetts: Face Workplace Bullying” display at the State House.

Legislation usually takes multiple sessions to pass. As the 2015-16 legislative session closes, let’s take some time to reflect on how we progressed the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill this session:

  • Third Reading. The bill made it to a Third Reading in the House – a major accomplishment given the thousands of bills introduced each session. The Third Reading is a major milestone in the process. Once the bill reaches a favorable vote in the House Third Reading in future sessions, we have a great shot at getting the bill passed.
  • Legislative sponsors. We gained a record 58 sponsors this session, up from 39 in the previous session and 13 in the prior session thanks to your calls, emails, and visits to legislators.
  • Advocacy. The State House debut of Torii Bottomley’s “Massachusetts: Face Workplace Bullying” jumpstarted a flurry of activity. Advocates protested in Ashburton Place, Harvard Square, and Davis Square. They also flyered several commuter lots, including at Worcester’s Union Station, the second display of “Massachusetts: Face Workplace Bullying.”
  • Supporters. We’re up to 20 official organizational supporters, including the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the National Association of Government Employees, whose lobbyists push the bill in the State House.
  • Media. While “workplace bullying” gets more and more attention in such outlets as Alternet and Fast Company, WGBH reporter Craig LeMoult covered the Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Bill and the “Massachusetts: Face Workplace Bullying” display this spring.
  • Opposition. “The Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) — a powerful corporate lobbying presence — and a small group of ultra-conservative state legislators opposed the HWB. You know you’re making progress when the opposition comes out of hiding,” said professor and bill author David Yamada last session. An AIM executive weighed in on the bill in WGBH’s piece this session.

What’s next?
So how do we make the next session better than this one to get this bill passed?

  • Share suicide stories. School bullying didn’t become legislated in Massachusetts until tragedy struck. If you’re aware of a suicide due to workplace bullying in Massachusetts, email us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com. We’ll check in with families of targets, and with their approval, let legislators know their stories and how urgent the need is for legislation.
  • Get a group of people to visit the State House to speak with legislators. Get your co-workers or former colleagues to visit legislators to ask them to support the Healthy Workplace Bill.
  • Make advocacy happen. Have an idea for advocacy? A skill? An audience? An event? A contact? Rather than question why we haven’t done an idea, realize your own power. Make it happen. We’re all volunteers using the skills we have to further the cause and make change. We need your skills and time to further change. Email us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com with how you can help.

“So many social movements leading to legal reforms — the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the LGBT movement, to name a few — have been fueled by people who have experienced injustice and abuse,” said Yamada. If you’re ready, speak out about your workplace bullying experience to heal and help prevent others from experiencing workplace bullying if enough people stand up and legislators pass the bill. If enough of us say ENOUGH, we’ll make history and move the needle on workplace cultures just like sexual harassment law did.

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Advocates protest in Harvard Square with targets, scars, and bruises on them.

We’re flyering commuter rail lots — and we need your help

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In the last two weeks alone, we’ve flyered cars in the Grafton, Westboro, and Worcester commuter lots to urge workers to contact Chairman of the House Third Reading Committee Speliotis to bring the anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill to a floor vote.

With about one month left in the two-year legislative session, we need your help to flyer more commuter lots.

Make copies of this flyer, cut them in half, and put them on cars in commuter lots, parking lots where you know workplace bullying happens, and hospital employee lots. You can also pass them out at T stations. (Use this flyer if you don’t have a paper cutter.)

Introducing a brand new, ridiculously easy way to email your State Rep about anti-workplace bullying legislation

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Gone are the days of researching your legislators’ email addresses, copying and pasting a template into your email, and modifying the template to reach out to your legislators.

Now you can take all of those steps in one screen. Here’s how it works:

  1. Type in your address, then click on “Find out who your State Rep is.”
  2. Choose a template or write your own letter.
  3. Type in your name, email address, and any empty fields in the letter.
  4. Select your legislator in the salutation dropdown.
  5. Sign your name.
  6. Hit “Send Letter.”

It’s that simple. Send the link to colleagues, friends, and family.

Remember that we have until July 31 in this two-year legislative session to get the anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill passed before we have to start over again in the next two-year session in January. Act today.

Try it now.

Why 80 days is so important to holding workplace bullies accountable

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Our voices are getting louder and stronger, and it’s more important now than ever to keep the momentum going with only 80 days left in the two-year legislative session.

Anti-workplace bullying advocates aren’t stopping.

Anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill author David Yamada points to three reasons for building our momentum:

  • We’ve put a label on it. We’re using the same language – “workplace bullying” – to describe the abuse at work.
  • There’s more media coverage. Reporters cover more stories, and targets make more comments, validating others and creating a ripple effect for more targets to feel safe speaking out.
  • The Healthy Workplace Bill campaign has brought attention to workplace bullying. The opportunity for targets to speak with their legislators brings even more focus on workplace bullying and its harm to targets and businesses.

Where we’re going
It’s taken only ten years to go from almost zero discussion of workplace bullying to where we are today. We have a lot to celebrate. But we’re not stopping. With 80 days remaining in the legislative session, we’re focusing on two main courses of action:

 

While we need your help, remember that you can help in any way you see fit (or in any of the ways we’ve listed on your website). You can choose to not go public with your story or otherwise attach your name to the cause but anonymously post comments on online articles. You might also decide that you’re not ready to help at all, and that’s perfectly ok.

But if you’re ready and able, we need all hands on deck in the next 80 days to pass this bill in Massachusetts. Not a single person trying to pass this bill is getting paid for their efforts, meaning that each and every advocate is working out of their sense of personal responsibility for passing the bill. We’re taking initiative to bring our strengths to a greater cause in this newer, growing public topic. Email us with what skills you can bring to the table.

Let’s make 2016 a year for the history books. We’re in a position to be the first state in the nation to have workplace bullying protections for ALL employees – not just public ones. Let’s make it happen.