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Attorney General Approves Hard Hitting Budget Referendum
Jobs, Social Security, Taxes, and a reduction in the Military Budget to appear on the November 6 ballot in Massachusetts
Boston, August 30 - The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has approved the placement of a non-binding public policy question with a strong “anti-austerity” message regarding the budget debate in Washington on the November 6 ballot in House and Senate districts across the Commonwealth.
The “Budget For All” ballot question seeks to send a message to Washington: No cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other vital programs; Invest in useful jobs; End offshore tax havens and tax cuts on the highest incomes; Reduce the military budget and bring all troops home safely from Afghanistan NOW. It will be on the ballot in 24 state representative districts and 8 state senate districts – approximately one third of the entire state – meaning that about one million voters can cast a ballot regarding these critical matters of national policy. Evidently there has never in Massachusetts history been a non-binding referendum with more extensive statewide ballot placement.
The "Budget For All" non-binding referendum was placed on the ballot by a feisty group of people who have heard enough of the one-sided debate. "The federal deficit is almost entirely the result of reckless tax cuts, unfunded wars, and Wall Street speculators," remarked Carolyn Federoff, HUD employee and Vice President of AFGE Local 3258 and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. "But the debate in Washington always puts the burden for solving the problem on the people who neither caused it nor profited from it," Federoff continued. In a massive effort carried out largely by volunteers, well over 25,000 signatures on legal petitions were collected and 17,565 were certified as valid signatures of registered voters in cities and towns across the Commonwealth.
“Here in Massachusetts we believe in democracy,” commented Molly Hannon, a single mother of two from Roslindale who collected many hundreds of signatures in Boston, Belmont and Watertown. “So we decided to take these matters of Social Security, jobs, taxes, public services and military spending directly to the public. Everybody’s voice needs to be heard during this critical election, whether Democrats, Republicans or independents. We need to remind Congress that they work for us.”
The “Budget for All” referendum campaign is sponsored by 43 Massachusetts based community, labor, low income, social justice and peace groups. (See attached list of official sponsors)