Showing posts with label equal rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label equal rights. Show all posts

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Senate President Spilka & Senator Rausch Respond Roe vs. Wade decision

Please find a statement from Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland):


"Today is an extremely dark day for America, as we face what can only be called a ‘nightmare scenario’ for women and those who can get pregnant across this nation. It is important to stress that abortion remains and will remain legal in Massachusetts. This fundamental right to health care is here to stay in the Commonwealth, and I will fight every day to strengthen and protect it.


In its Fiscal Year 2023 budget, the Senate included language protecting access to reproductive health care, and today, Governor Baker issued an Executive Order which aligns very closely with this language. There is increased urgency to codify these provisions so that we can ensure the safety and continued protections of our residents. I remain grateful that the Commonwealth stands united to safeguard these protections."



"The Dobbs v. Jackson decision is a disaster of epic proportions that deeply stains our nation's history and jurisprudence. It erases decades of progress on reproductive justice and paves a clear path for dismantling droves of basic civil rights interpreted into the Constitution, including contraception, marriage equality, consensual private sex, forced sterilization, and more, and destroying access to massive swaths of reproductive health care, including not only abortion but also birth control, assisted reproductive technology, and miscarriage treatment. State legislatures, including Massachusetts, must act immediately to enact laws that preserve these rights. Absent robust state action, families will be torn apart, and pregnant and birthing people will die in numbers not seen in half a century.

Abortion is still legal in Massachusetts because of actions my colleagues and I took, together with organizational and grassroots advocates, in anticipation of this solemn day. But the work is far from over. We must ensure abortions are accessible to all who seek them in Massachusetts by vesting reproductive rights in people whose bodies and lives are on the line, ensuring reproductive care is provided regardless of who might be on call in an emergency room, and clearing away restrictions and roadblocks with no basis in medicine like excessive costs and provider deserts. Further, we must do everything we can within the confines of the Constitution, even as the Court tosses its language and precedent aside, to protect people from other states' egregious anti-abortion laws, both civil and criminal.

The Court today engages in drastic, unprecedented judicial activism that moves this country decades back in time. State governments are our last line of defense, and I will forever and always be a champion in this critical fight for our fundamental rights."

MA Legislators statements
MA Legislators statements

Thursday, June 9, 2022

A Living History of the LGBT Movement Since The 1800s (video)

In collaboration with AARP, we present "A #LivingHistory of the LGBT Movement" powered by AARP - a storytelling series honoring past, present and future heroes of the LGBT movement.  
We know that the history of the LGBT movement is still being written. By understanding our history, we can create a better future for everyone, especially for our aging LGBT older adults. Learn More at

To Learn More about the challenges facing older LGBT Americans, please visit AARP's National Survey on Maintaining Dignity here:

Monday, January 24, 2022

Introduction to the Franklin Freedom Team - 01/20/22 (audio)

FM #708 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 708 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares the introduction of the Franklin Freedom Team. We recorded this via the Zoom conference bridge Jan 20, 2022. 

You’ll hear this subset of the full Freedom Team as we talk about what the Freedom Team is and what it is meant to do here in Franklin.

The recording runs about 22 minutes, so let’s listen to this introduction of the Franklin Freedom Team. Audio file ->


The Franklin Freedom Team web page can be found -> 

The “About” page lists the membership and the growing network of other communities with Freedom Teams ->

The #LoveFranklin Open Mic event mentioned during the recording can be found here -> 


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.  

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.


How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit or

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"


Introduction to the Franklin Freedom Team - 01/20/22 (audio)
Introduction to the Franklin Freedom Team - 01/20/22 (audio)

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

We Did It For You! Women's Journey Through History = Dec 14, 7 PM

 There was a time when women couldn’t have jobs and had no voting rights. Women were property passed from father to husband. High-school student Melanie must learn how things changed.

We Did It For You! Women's Journey Through History is the story of how women got their rights in America, told by the women who were there. It is an entertaining and quick tour through the journey, starting with the struggle women had in the 17th century Puritan Revolution through to our 21st century empowered women politicians.

This presentation is a brand new filmed version of We Did It For You! It has many surprises in it for those who have seen the staged version. Stay around afterwards for a Q&A with the filmmakers.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Franklin Local Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. 

To view the program, please register at . 

For more information, please visit .

We Did It For You! Women's Journey Through History = Dec 14, 7 PM
We Did It For You! Women's Journey Through History = Dec 14, 7 PM

Monday, June 14, 2021

Boston Globe: "Harvard professor Danielle Allen to launch historic bid for governor"

"Harvard professor Danielle Allen will launch a historic campaign for governor on Tuesday, entering the Democratic field as the first Black woman to run for the executive office as part of a major party in Massachusetts at a time when women and people of color are breaking barriers in city and state government.

Allen, 49, joins what’s likely to be a crowded primary with a hefty academic resume but no experience holding elected office.

A MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient and the head of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics since 2015, Allen says she is running to bring the lessons of her career as a political philosopher — that government must meet a high bar, serving all people — to Beacon Hill.

And her bid solidifies a family legacy steeped in fights for racial justice: a grandfather who helped found the first NAACP chapter in his North Florida community, where doing so meant risking one’s life, and a grandmother, working as a nurse in the segregated South, who dreamed that one day her offspring would study at Harvard."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

You can listen to Danielle on an episode of  "Toward a More Perfect Union"

I have read her book on the Declaration of Independence "Our Declaration." She provides a slow reading of the text with insights and perspectives you don't get elsewhere. Well worth the time to read.

"Our Declaration"
"Our Declaration"

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Pantherbook: Girl Up club leads “A Discussion on Gender Equality" ; FHS switches to 'in person' learning Apr 12

"On Thursday, March 25, students met through the Girl Up club for “A Discussion on Gender Equality.” The meeting was led by Girl Up Teen Advisor Angelina Perez.

The meeting drew local participants as well as Girl Up members from LA, the British Virgin Islands, Syracuse, and Washington D.C.

The discussion started with the simple question, “How have you been impacted by sexism or misogyny?”
High Schoolers from Franklin and around the country met over Zoom to discuss gender equality. Photo used with permission from Angelina Perez

Quickly, the floodgates opened and girls shared deeply personal stories."

Continue reading the article online
April 12th is the finalized date for when Franklin High will be having nearly eighty percent of their students back in school. The CDC recently approved that it is safe for students to now be three feet apart in classrooms.

When talking to Mr. Hanna he explains how there are many different safety measures put in at FHS for not only the students, but the staff as well. There will be a maximum of twenty four desks per classroom all measured to be at least 3 feet apart, there will also always be six feet between a teacher and a student.
Continue reading the article online
FHS switches to 'in person' learning Apr 12
FHS switches to 'in person' learning Apr 12

Monday, March 29, 2021

Equal access to sports

"The last time Republicans in South Dakota made a serious push to bar transgender girls from school sports, in 2019, their bill was known only by its nondescript numerical title, Senate Bill 49. Its two main sponsors were men. And it died without ever getting out of committee, just 10 days after it was introduced.

But when Republicans decided to try again in January, they were far more strategic in their approach. The sponsors this time were two women who modeled their bill after a template provided by a conservative legal organization. They gave the bill a name that suggested noble intent: the “act to promote continued fairness in women’s sports.” Supporters from Minnesota and Idaho traveled to the Capitol in Pierre to testify that a new law was urgently needed to keep anyone with male biological characteristics out of female competitions, even though they acknowledged only a handful of examples of that happening in South Dakota."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required) 

"Megan Rapinoe: Bills to ban transgender kids from sports try to solve a problem that doesn’t exist"
"I remember how I felt when I played soccer for the first time. Long before I was winning World Cup matches, I was trying to keep up with my brother. Soccer has been a part of my life since I was 4 years old. I spent hours outside working to perfect that next move — I wanted to be the best.

Being able to play sports as a child shaped my life’s path. It taught me so much more than is seen on the field and brought me so much joy. Every child deserves to have that experience. That’s why I believe that all kids, including transgender youth, should be able to participate in sports they love."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required) 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

On National Pay Day women in sports highlight inequality


Megan Rapinoe has taken her fight for equal pay to Congress as she testified on Wednesday in front of a committee examining “the economic harm caused by longstanding gender inequalities, particularly for women of color”.

The Olympic and World Cup champion testified at a hearing by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. In her opening statement, the soccer star told the committee that: “I am here today because I know firsthand that this is true. We are told in this country that if you just work hard and continue to achieve - you will be rewarded, fairly. It’s the promise of the American dream. But that promise has not been for everyone.

“The United States women’s national team has won four World Cup championships and four Olympic gold medals on behalf of our country. We have filled stadiums, broken viewing records, and sold out jerseys, all popular metrics by which we are judged.

“Yet despite all of this, we are still paid less than men – for each trophy, of which there are many, each win, each tie, each time we play. Less.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"The NCAA’s handling of the women’s basketball tournament is either malpractice or malfeasance. It’s one or the other. The issue is not just petty skimping on food, the withholding of the March Madness brand, the willful lack of promotion. Something much bigger is going on here, a kind of larceny. And Congress should make the NCAA crack open the books on it.

Short of stifling Geno Auriemma with a pillow while stealing his diamond championship rings, the NCAA could not work harder to smother the potential of the women’s tournament and rob it of revenue. This week, in response to a query about its financials, the NCAA insisted again that the women don’t turn a profit. This is patently unjustifiable. You know how much revenue NCAA Division I women’s basketball generated collectively in 2018-2019? Almost a billion dollars. "
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

FHS Girl Up Club schedules virtual discussion on women's rights - Mar 25, 6:00 PM

From Angelina Perez:
I wanted to let you know about an event that my Girl Up Club is hosting this Thursday (3/25/21) at 6:00 PM. The event will take place via zoom and it is going to be a discussion on gender equality. 
This event will also be a place where people can discuss their experiences with sexism and misogyny and also discuss intersectional feminism and gender based violence. The event will be recorded for people to watch. 
Anyone is allowed to attend, they don't have to be a member of Girl Up as many FHS students will be in attendance. There will also be Girl Up global leaders/youth activists at the event. 
I've attached a pdf flyer that also has the Zoom link attached to it.

Zoom link =>

FHS Girl Up Club schedules virtual discussion on women's rights
FHS Girl Up Club schedules virtual discussion on women's rights

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Angelina Perez, co-emcee for International Women's Day event (video)

Angelina Perez, FHS Senior, and Teen Advisor for “Girl Up” a International program sponsored by the United Nations Foundation, was a Co-Emcee and a Panelist for #EqualEverywhere: Champions for Change - International Women’s day event.

Video link to #EqualEverywhere = 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Student first amendment case coming to Supreme Court

In one of the first cases the Supreme Court will hear after the holiday break:
It was a Saturday in the spring of 2017, and a ninth-grade student in Pennsylvania was having a bad day. She had just learned that she had failed to make the varsity cheerleading squad and would remain on junior varsity.

The student expressed her frustration on social media, sending a message on Snapchat to about 250 friends. The message included an image of the student and a friend with their middle fingers raised, along with text expressing a similar sentiment. Using a curse word four times, the student expressed her dissatisfaction with “school,” “softball,” “cheer” and “everything.”

Though Snapchat messages are ephemeral by design, another student took a screenshot of this one and showed it to her mother, a coach. The school suspended the student from cheerleading for a year, saying the punishment was needed to “avoid chaos” and maintain a “teamlike environment.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

"Everyone has a stake in ensuring that the workers we all depend on are secure and healthy"

From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin: 

"It’s simple. If the workers who make our economy run aren’t healthy and secure, then our economy isn’t healthy and secure. Especially in the absence of any leadership or plan from the Trump administration, we need Massachusetts leaders to walk the walk when it comes to our workers, and not just talk the talk.

Essential workers need a bill of rights. They deserve hazard pay for the dangerous and critical work they are performing for the public. Everyone agrees on the importance of people with symptoms staying home from work and school, but that should come with the guarantee that nobody will lose their job or the ability to feed their families should they need to stay home.

Essential workers here in Massachusetts, like many of their counterparts in other states, deserve a presumption that if they contract COVID-19 they did so in the line of duty so they are covered by workers compensation. Workers need a reliable place to turn to if they think their workplaces are unsafe, and they need protection from employer retaliation for whistleblowing.

We need comprehensive data collection on the infection rates of workers — by occupation, industry, and employer — which are crucial data points to identify new outbreaks and guide future responses to protect these workers and the public they serve.  And we need science, workers, and occupational safety experts to guide how our workplaces and economy reopens, definitely not CEOs. "

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

In the News: Trump administration blocked by ruling; US House calls Postmaster General to testify

 From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin: 

"A federal judge blocked the Trump administration on Monday from enforcing a new regulation that would roll back health care protections for transgender people.

Finalized days after the Supreme Court barred sex discrimination against LGBT individuals on the job, the regulation from the federal Department of Health and Human Services was to have taken effect Tuesday.

Monday’s preliminary injunction from U.S. District Court Judge Frederic Block in Brooklyn bars the administration from enforcing the regulation until the case can be heard in court and decided. Block indicated he thought the Trump administration’s so-called transgender rule is invalid in light of the Supreme Court ruling in June on a case involving similar issues in the context of job discrimination.

“When the Supreme Court announces a major decision, it seems a sensible thing to pause and reflect on the decision’s impact,” Block wrote in his order, suggesting the agency may want to reconsider. “Since HHS has been unwilling to take that path voluntarily, the court now imposes it.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Facing a public backlash over mail disruptions, the Trump administration scrambled to respond Monday as the House prepared an emergency vote to halt delivery delays and service changes that Democrats warned could imperil the November election.

The Postal Service said it has stopped removing mailboxes and mail-sorting machines amid an outcry from lawmakers. President Donald Trump flatly denied he was asking for the mail to be delayed even as he leveled fresh criticism on universal ballots and mail-in voting.

“Wouldn’t do that,” Trump told reporters Monday at the White House. “I have encouraged everybody: Speed up the mail, not slow the mail.”

Embattled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will testify next Monday before Congress, along with the chairman of the Postal Service board of governors."

 Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

US House calls Postmaster General to testify
US House calls Postmaster General to testify

Monday, August 17, 2020

“As we all know, the movement started in Worcester in 1850”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin: 

When the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1920, giving women the right to vote, it was after 70 years of hard work that started with a convention in Worcester.

There were other discussions held about women’s rights, including the heralded regional convention in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848 organized by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but the first national Women’s Rights Convention held in Worcester in 1850 was a foundation to the cause of women’s rights. The convention was organized by prominent women’s rights activists, including Lucy Stone of West Brookfield and Abby Kelley Foster of Worcester. It proved such a success they followed it up the next year with a second national convention in Worcester.

The women’s movement grew out of efforts to abolish slavery for which both Stone, Foster and Foster’s husband, Stephen Symonds Foster, were all active. Stone gave her first address on women’s rights three years before the convention from the pulpit of the Evangelical Congregational Church in Gardner, where her brother, the Rev. William Stone, was minister.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

COVID-19 Health Equity Advisory Group Recommendations

DPH Commissioner Monica Bharel convened the COVID-19 Health Equity Advisory Group to advise DPH on the needs of communities and populations disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Read the group’s recommendations: #covid19MA

For more info on the Health Equity Advisory Group

Friday, June 1, 2018

"provide a strong legal protection for women’s rights"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"After hours of debate Wednesday night, the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution passed the Illinois House. 
The resolution was approved 72-45, making Illinois the 37th state to ratify the ERA, which outlaws discrimination based on gender nationwide. The Senate approved the measure 43-12 on April 11. 
“I’m glad that the common sense, the recognition that women deserve and are entitled to the same protections as men, won the day,” said Rep. Steve Andersson, R-Geneva. “What we’re going to do is raise the level of all ships. Men, women, everyone does better because of this.” 
Originally brought to the states for ratification in 1972, only 35 state legislatures voted for the amendment before a 1982 deadline set by Congress."
"In 2017, Nevada became the 36th state to ratify ERA. With Illinois’ action Wednesday, only one more state needs to ratify it. But Congress will have to remove the deadline for it to become the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Did MA pass this? 
Yes, as the 19th state to do so in June of 1972. For additional info, the wikipedia page is rich with history, tidbits and links