Stop racial and religious profiling in Massachusetts A federal surveillance program called Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) is targeting Massachusetts, and it endangers Muslims, people of color, and political dissidents. The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) has announced it will work with federal prosecutors to carry out this campaign, and health and social service workers may soon be encouraged to profile their clients for signs of so-called “radicalization” or “extremism.” Similar programs in the United Kingdom didn’t stop violence: they only brought widespread racial and religious profiling. Tell EOHHS that bigoted CVE programs are not welcome in Massachusetts. Tell Congress: Protect my digital security! Join the fight against the Department of Justice’s attempt to force technology companies to create weakened versions of their operating systems. Members of Congress are reportedly drafting legislation that would mandate backdoor access to everyone’s encrypted personal data. Please write your representatives in Congress now and ask them to resist these efforts, which will undermine the security of our technology products. Close the gap on pay in Massachusetts Please ask your state representative to support the Pay Equity Bill, which would do three key things: provide a definition of comparable work and encourage employers to conduct internal reviews of their payroll to ensure equitable compensation within industry standards; prevent employers from asking people their previous salary history in the interview process; protect employees from termination for disclosing their compensation to their co-workers and colleagues. Contact your legislators today. Healthcare confidentiality — Senate vote! Mental health professionals, specialists who treat addiction, advocates for survivors of domestic violence, and family planning providers all agree: confidentiality is critical to ensuring that patients can access the health care they need. Ask your state senator to vote YES on S.2138, An Act to Protect Access to Confidential Healthcare. Ask your legislators to stand for transgender equality Speaker Robert DeLeo and his leadership team are asking every state representative whether or not they support fixing our state’s public accommodation law to prohibit gender identity discrimination. Their answer will determine whether Speaker DeLeo calls this critical civil rights bill to a vote this year. Tell legislators that this matters: When the question is equality, the correct answer is yes. Ask Governor Baker to withdraw his opposition to accepting Syrian refugees Governor Baker’s remarks on Monday in opposition to the settlement of Syrian refugees in Massachusetts were unfounded, dangerous, and against our Commonwealth’s values. The Governor’s remarks ignored the dangerous and heartbreaking conditions from which refugees are fleeing, the rigorous screening process that Syrian refugees face before coming to the U.S., and our elected officials’ own duty to uphold our state and federal constitutions. Ask Governor Baker to send a message that Massachusetts is a welcoming home for refugees. Protect electronic privacy The Electronic Privacy Act would protect the personal electronic records that define our lives in the 21st century. It would require law enforcement to obtain probable cause warrants in order to access: (1) the content of our electronic communication such as emails or chats; (2) information we store online in “the cloud,” such as photos, documents, digital address books and calendars, or internet search terms; and (3) real-time and historical location information. Urge lawmakers to act. Ask your legislators to support government transparency Before their August recess, lawmakers pledged to take up our top priority public records reform legislation when they returned to Beacon Hill. Now, they’re back, and it’s time to hold them to their promise. Contact your legislators today and ask them to pass public records reform without delay and without watering it down. End transgender discrimination in Massachusetts In 2011, Massachusetts passed a law banning gender identity discrimination in many arenas, but not in public accommodations—all the places we go when we’re not at home, work, or school. That means that people across the Commonwealth continue to face legal discrimination in all kinds of everyday places—like movie theaters, parks, public transportation and restaurants. Tell your legislators: Massachusetts can’t settle for less than full LGBTQ legal equality. Repeal mandatory minimum sentences Mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses force judges to put people in prison—sometimes for much longer than necessary—regardless of the person’s need for treatment or lack of a prior criminal record. Ask your legislators to make criminal justice in Massachusetts more just. Photo by Bryan MacCormack.