CTV Updates: Safe Elections Law

On July 6, Secretary of State Bill Gavin announced that Gov. Charlie Baker had signed an H.4820 into law. The new legislation extends the early voting period and grants all Massachusetts residents the option to vote by mail in the 2020 state primary and general elections.

Create the Vote Steering Committee partner MassVOTE has put together this helpful FAQ to help you understand the bill and how it affects voting in the age of COVID-19.

 

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July 24 MASSCreative Virtual Policy & Action Update

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Tell Lawmakers Arts and Culture Need Protection Now

On Wednesday July 15, State Senators Hinds, Kennedy and DiZoglio held a listening session on the Commonwealth's reopening for Arts, Culture and Small Businesses. MASSCreative joined the Hanover Theater, the Mass Cultural Council, MASS MoCA and the New England Aquarium to share the impact that COVID-19 and the subsequent economic crisis has had on the creative community. 

As the Governor, House and Senate work to develop relief funds and economic stimulus packages, we need our state leaders to know that art and culture are vital to the economic and communal recovery of the Commonwealth. 

We have temporarily paused this action alert.

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CTV Updates: Census 101

The 2020 Census is happening now! Every ten years, the nonpartisan U.S. Census Bureau counts the population of the United States and the data impacts government decisions for the next ten years! Take the Census today and encourage your loved ones to get counted at https://2020census.gov/en.html. The response deadline (previously extended due to COVID-19) has been shortened to September 30th. 

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Action Alert: Protect Education Funding

Right now, the Commonwealth and its cities and towns are facing hard decisions given the economic devastation caused by COVID-19. Yet, we know many advocates and elected officials alike still hold the value that every MA child, regardless of zip code, should have access to a quality education, including arts education.

The COVID-19 public health emergency has exposed many of the structural weaknesses and inequities in our society, from our health systems to our economic systems; from our education systems to our public and social safety net. And the most vulnerable are hit the hardest. State revenue loss and looming budget cuts mean these inequities could seep even further into our education system.

Send an email to your State Legislators

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July 13 Policy & Action Review

As Massachusetts moves into Phase 3 of Reopening, many arts and cultural groups will be able to reopen, welcoming back staff, artists, and patrons. However, the economic toll of the COVID-19 mandated closures and slow reopening plan means many of us in the creative sector are struggling.  MASSCreative is committed to connecting you with resources to support reopening and actions you can take to advocate for the survival of our arts and culture community. This week’s Policy & Action Review includes our weekly webinar featuring peers sharing their reopening strategies, updates on Federal and state policy, and ways you can advocate for a vibrant and supported creative sector in Massachusetts.

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Virtual Policy & Action Updates

Thank you to the hundreds of advocates that have joined the MASSCreative team for our weekly Virtual Policy & Action Updates on Fridays from 9:45-10:00am.

Check out MASSCreative’s July 10 Policy & Action Update

Register for MASSCreative’s July 24 Policy & Action Update

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Policy Update

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MASSCreative continues to monitor and report on state and federal policy that supports equitable communities and a stronger, more inclusive creative sector. 

Learn more in MASSCreative's Policy Update, including:

  • Boston Reopening
  • Aid for Nonprofit Unemployment Costs
  • Recovery Committee Hearing
  • Arts Education

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Top Actions

 

Right now federal and state decision makers are working on the annual state budget, COVID-19 relief packages and economic stimulus policies.  We know how important the arts and cultural community is to the economic and communal recovery of the Commonwealth. Right now it is essential we reach out for our members of Congress and state legislators to ensure we are included in relief programs and aid.

 

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Create the Vote 2020 brings the arts and culture community together to play our part for a more , inclusive representative democracy for all. Will you pledge to #CreateTheVote?

 

Both the Commonwealth and its cities and towns are grappling with major losses in tax revenue and increased sanitation costs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are tracking which schools and districts are considering cuts to arts education programs so we can connect students, parents and arts education supporters to advocacy tools and actions. If you know of an arts program that is at-risk of cuts, help us track arts education programs by filling out this survey

Advocate to Protect State Funding for Education by reaching out to your MA legislators to advocate for the protection of necessary state funding for education.

 

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Spotlight

Every four years, the national conversation around elections takes on an added intensity. 2020 is no different, and in the midst of discussions about voter suppression, the census count, and a presidential election, the twin crises caused by COVID-19 and police violence against Black lives bring an increased sense of urgency and importance to this year’s vote. That’s why every community in the Commonwealth, especially the arts & cultural sector, must do their part to advocate for civic engagement.

Read more in our Spotlight: Mass Humanities Talks About The Vote 2020


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If you’re looking for more COVID-19 resources, you can check out MASSCreative’s COVID-19 pages, including updates, resources, advocacy, policy recommendations, and policy & action updates.

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July 13 Policy Update

Boston Phase 3 Reopening
On July 10, Mayor Marty Walsh announced that Boston would begin Phase 3 of the Gov. Baker’s reopening plan on July 13. Boston’s step forward follows the rest of the state’s advancement to Phase 3 on July 6. The City of Boston has released industry-specific guidelines for Step One of Phase 3, most of which are largely in line with statewide guidelines.

Federal Nonprofit Unemployment Aid
On July 8, the US Senate unanimously passed the Protecting Nonprofits from Catastrophic Cash Flow Strain Act. The legislation helps alleviate the financial burden of unemployment costs on nonprofits. The CARES Act states that the federal government will cover 50% of nonprofits’ unemployment coasts; however, guidance from the Department of Labor in April stated that nonprofits had to pay 100% of unemployment costs before being reimbursed later. The full upfront cost would be overwhelming for many nonprofits, especially after drastic losses in revenue due to the pandemic. This act allows nonprofits to pay 50% of unemployment costs upfront instead of incurring 100% of costs then waiting to be reimbursed by the federal government. 

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Spotlight: Mass Humanities Talks About The Vote 2020

Every four years, the national conversation around elections takes on an added intensity. 2020 is no different, and in the midst of discussions about voter suppression, the census count, and a presidential election, the twin crises caused by COVID-19 and police violence against Black lives bring an increased sense of urgency and importance to this year’s vote. That’s why every community in the Commonwealth, especially the arts & cultural sector, must do their part to advocate for civic engagement.

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July 10 MASSCreative Virtual Policy & Action Update

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Action Alert: Support the Creative Community during COVID-19

Right now, the MA Legislature is drafting emergency legislation in response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Please share your story and encourage your State Senator and Representative to include arts and cultural organizations, artists, and independent contractors in all government stimulus, emergency funding, and economic recovery efforts.

Send a quick email to your State Legislators today

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