Historically, Massachusetts has aspired to be a leader in advancing the causes of equality and economic justice. However, in many ways we have been falling short. The growing geographic isolation of rich and poor communities, policies that favor those at the top of the economic ladder rather than working families, and divisive politics have spawned an impending crisis in our country and here at home. Today, Boston has the highest income inequality among major cities in the United States. In Massachusetts, 1 in 6 children are growing up in poverty, and nearly 40% of children (almost 60% of low-income children) enter the 3rd grade unable to read proficiently. For those fortunate enough to pursue higher education, student debt is paralyzing post graduate mobility. 66% of our students graduate with almost $30,000 or more in debt, an average per student that is one of the highest in the country. 87% of the workforce in New England does not have access to paid family and medical leave, and the middle class in Massachusetts has shrunk consistently over the past 30 years, overall by 16% in that time period, which translates to roughly 1 million people.
These statistics are shocking, but it does not have to be this way. Rather than as an impending crises, we see these circumstances as a call to action, so let’s do something about it! Fair Shot is building a movement to elevate the discourse on these issues and activate collaboration and innovation to find solutions that will make the Commonwealth a community of opportunity and inclusion: an economy and culture, in which everyone who works hard can thrive. Young, old, rich, poor, communities of color, businesses, organized labor, parents, teachers, we all have a voice and something to contribute to this effort. Our mission is to organize and activate these voices towards comprehensive discourse and policies that will make our economy healthier and more prosperous and make Massachusetts a Commonwealth that works for everyone.
We believe that our Commonwealth’s greatest strength is its people. That is why we are inspired to build this movement and mobilize our communities towards inclusion and equality. Together, through incorporating more voices into collective action, we can make Massachusetts the leader in combatting our nation’s growing inequality and a shining example of its highest ideals. We invite you to join us through volunteerism, social media, programming, and organizing your friends and families to engage with these issues. We don’t have to agree on everything to do something, so let’s come together in a shared vision: a Commonwealth of economic equality and inclusion, where all voices have a seat at the table and the opportunity to succeed.