Campaign List

GBIO

In 2005 GBIO launched Moving from Debt to Assets, a powerful financial education program that has helped more than 800 families to build strong financial futures.  More Details Here.

Accomplishments of Moving from Debt to Assets

  • Since October 2005, 875 participants (97% low-income), representing 40 institutions, have graduated from 43 classes.  The institutions are located in Dorchester, Roxbury, South Boston, Mattapan, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline, Newton, and Everett.
  • 90% of the graduates have been People of Color; 70% have been members of immigrant ethnic groups.
  • More than half of the groups have been conducted in languages other than English:  Haitian Creole, Spanish, Cape Verdean Creole, Brazilian Portuguese, and Somali.
  • It is one of only two programs in the entire United States delivering financial education to adults in the Haitian communities in Haitian Creole on a regular basis.
  • 124 peer leaders of the support groups have been trained in group facilitation skills.
  • Moving from Debt to Assets has been designated a Pioneer of Collaborative Outcomes Assessment by the Massachusetts Financial Education Collaborative in 2012

 

 

Labor

In 2003, GBIO organized house meetings in several Haitian congregations that had recently joined the organization. Many Haitian (and other immigrant) nursing home workers, mostly women who work in Greater Boston nursing homes as certified nursing assistants (CNA’s), were required to work under conditions that were unsafe for them and their patients.

Workers described painful details of a culture of disrespect that they experienced in the workplace.  At the same time, GBIO leaders from other congregations were sharing concerns about the quality of care their parents and loved ones were receiving in area nursing homes. 

These stories led us into the Nursing Home Campaign, a Joint effort of nursing home workers and residents family members to improve living and working conditions in area nursing homes. 

Our organizing led to then-Attorney General Thomas Reilly issuing an unprecedented Advisory to the Nursing Home Industry (see link below) clarifying the civil rights of nursing home workers.  It also led to mandatory training sessions for industry leaders regarding how to properly protect these rights on a daily basis.

Health Care

In 2012, GBIO successfully secured follow-up legislation to the landmark 2006 state healthcare bill that granted 430,000 residents of the state of Massachusetts access to healthcare.

Read more here: Health Care Cort Containment

Attorney General Martha Coakley has asked GBIO leader Dr. Paul Hattis to serve as Commissioner on the newly-created Health Policy Commission (HPC), which is a new body created by the recently passed health care cost containment legislation. As the co-chair of the GBIO healthcare team and member of Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, Paul has been an invaluable leader and resource to GBIO’s work on health care access and cost containment since 2005.

On Thursday, December 6, 2012, GBIO leaders and Paul’s colleagues met at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center to celebrate Dr. Paul Hattis’ appointment. We honored Paul with speakers from the organization and some surprise guests, including his long-time mentor Bob Sigmond and Paul’s family.

This is a milestone for consumers as Paul’s appointment signifies a recognition of the role of consumers in containing costs.

We cannot think of anyone better for the job. We thank the Attorney General for her recognition of Paul’s hard work with GBIO to provide affordable health insurance to the people of the Commonwealth. Paul’s experience in the health care policy field and his passion for health care consumer advocacy will help us achieve Massachusetts’ spending targets that GBIO leaders worked so hard over the past year to set.

We congratulate Paul and look forward to working with him and the HPC on implementation of health care cost containment legislation.

In 2005, GBIO joined with the “ACT!! Coalition” to expand access to quality, affordable health care to roughly half a million people across the State of Massachusetts.

To generate political will inside the legislature in favor of the adoption of an expansive healthcare bill, GBIO and its allies gathered 130,000 signatures that threatened to put a version of state healthcare reform up for popular referendum. 

In April 2006, the Massachusetts state legislature passed their own bill that closely resembled the measure being put forth by GBIO and the broader ACT!! Coalition.

Today, nearly half a million Massachusetts residents have access to quality, affordable health care thanks in part to the leadership of GBIO and its partners.

Education

In the fall of 2009, GBIO began organizing at Dearborn Middle School in partnership with Roxbury Presbyterian Church (RPC) and Trinity Church Boston (TCB). The historic Dearborn school was in a state of physical disrepair – bathroom mirrors broken, asbestos risks in a school playroom, mold growing in classrooms – and on the verge of shutdown for its poor academic performance.

Leveraging relationships with public power-holders, in 2010 GBIO was able to help the Dearborn’s students, teachers, parents, and administration secure a commitment from public officials both to transform the Dearborn from a normal middle school to a grade 6-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) school, and to invest public money in a prompt rebuilding of the facility.

In 2013, a 9th grade was added for the 2013-2014 school year. In October, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) approved the preliminary building design and GBIO secured the promise of Boston Mayor Elect Martin Walsh to "unequivocally support the Dearborn project through to completion." Then in November, architects unveiled the first architectural model for the new school building, which will be the first in the country designed from the ground up to support STEM education. 

Finally, in March 2014, the MSBA approved its contribution of $36.6 million to an overall $70.7 million rebuild of the Dearborn grade 6-12 STEM Academy. Read more about this victory in coverage from the Boston Globe: here.

$2 million secured to ensure that Boston Public School students are able to bring textbooks home after school.

Elder care

In 2006 GBIO joined with others to help enact “Equal Choice” legislation, which provided that low income frail elders and disabled persons now had the choice of remaining, and receiving appropriate care at home rather than being forced into a nursing home. 

We also educated our members on a series of documents needed in advanced age (e.g. health care proxies, living wills, and powers of attorney) and distributed thousands of copies of the Family Caregiver Handbook through a collaboration with M.I.T.  

We also successfully advocated for expanding access to home care for low- and moderate-income elders and supported the successful efforts in 2006 to enact the Personal Care Attendant Quality Home Care Workforce Law giving personal care attendants the right to form a union.

In 2007, GBIO leaders convened to discuss a common problem: When facing the crisis of taking care of an aging parent who suddenly can’t live alone, or trying to enable them to stay in their home with support, Massachusetts residents have often run into a brick wall – state resources rendered unavailable because it is impossible to discern what they are and how they can be accessed.

In 2008, GBIO’s Aging with Dignity campaign negotiated an agreement with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs to revamp its Information and Referral (I&R) systems. The State committed to:

  1. A re-design of the MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs website www.800ageinfo.com,
  2. Adoption of standards for the I & R workers fielding phone calls, an 
  3. A vigorous marketing and public education campaign as soon as the website and phone referral systems are established.

The new website was put into place in 2009 and I&R processes have been improved since.

Youth

During the Spring of 2006, a precipitous rise in violence in the City of Boston compelled GBIO, the Black Ministerial Alliance, the Boston Ten Point Coalition, the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Dorchester Youth Collaborative and the Massachusetts Communities Action Network to work together on a short term emergency strategy to maximize funding to assist agencies that serve at-risk and high risk youth in the City of Boston.

Our collaborative efforts, combined with the leadership of Mayor Thomas Menino, resulted in $700,000 being made available in state funds by Governor Mitt Romney. These funds provided critical resources to support existing community and faith based organizations in positive gang prevention and diversion activities for the summer and fall of 2006. This new funding was awarded on a competitive basis through the State Executive Office of Public Safety and helped increase the capacity of twenty nine organizations to serve our city’s youth.

Pages