ECCO creates campaigns that allow oppressed people to use their innate power to change the political and economic systems that exploit them. Through our work on immigration, criminal justice reform, and economic justice, we work to dismantle the systems that ensure the incarceration and exploitation of Black, Brown, and poor people.
In addition to policy change, ECCO also works to build relationships and understanding across race, class, faith, and origin, and to understand all our issues and our futures as connected.
Immigrant Rights / Sin Fronteras
Problem: Immigrants in our country are under attack. With the repeal of DACA and an increase in ICE raids, hard working immigrant feelings are living in fear of deportation and separation.
Solution: ECCO is working to protect the human and civil rights of immigrants. We have four lines of defense:
- Pass sanctuary policies such as the Safe Communities, Sheriff’s office non-compliance with ICE detainers at the county level; and pro-sanctuary city and school ordinances, and pro-immigrant police policies.
- Organize Know Your Rights Trainings and Immigrant Support Clinics so immigrants can access immigration lawyers, social workers, health professionals, school representatives in preparation for ICE actions.
- Create Rapid Response and Accompaniment teams, made up of congregations and organizations in regional clusters, that will provide support and advocacy for undocumented families who are going through an ICE detention or deportation process. These teams will engage in advocacy on specific deportation cases to heighten the contradiction between our values and the actions of ICE. We plan to wage public campaigns around specific deportations cases that highlight the moral catastrophe of a mass deportation policy. We are also raising funds to aid DACA students in applying renew their status.
- Establish Sanctuary Congregations that will provide physical refuge for immigrants who are in danger of being deported. Two congregations are exploring this option
Criminal Justice Reform / Beloved Community Campaign for Racial Justice
Problem: For the last 40 years, we have been steadily and rapidly increasing the number and percentage of our people that we incarcerate, both in the United States as a whole and here in Massachusetts. According to a recent report published by MassINC:
- MA’s incarceration rate has TRIPLED since the 1980’s.
- MA has a recidivism rate of over 60%,
- MA has amongst the highest racial disparities in the nation, with Black people eight times more likely to go to jail than white people, and Latinex people five times more likely.
Solution: ECCO is working on the state, county, and local level to end mass incarceration and create a racially just justice system.
- On the state level, ECCO has helped put criminal justice reform at the forefront of MA’s legislative agenda. Now, we are helping lead a final statewide push to pass comprehensive reform, through legislative meetings, media work, and direct action.
- On the county level, we are working to
- Get Essex County Sheriff Coppinger to increase mental health services at the Middleton Jail.
- Get District Attorney Blodgett to advance bail reform so that no one stays in jail because of inability to pay and to increase transparency and accountability around race.
- On the local level in Lynn, we are working to strengthen our relationship with Lynn’s new police chief, and work to increase police accountability, training in implicit racial bias, and diversity within the police force. In 2016, we worked with the police to hold implicit bias training with the Lynn Police Department’s Command Staff.
Problem:Though MA is one of the richest states in the country, many of our brothers and sisters are struggling. MA has the sixth highest level of income inequality, with child poverty rates continuing to rise. Our schools and roads are suffering
Solution: ECCO strives to create equality and opportunity for all MA residents, by passing fairer economic, labor, and tax policies.
Joining with Raise Up MA, ECCO is campaigning to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour and secure paid family leave for all workers, to ensure that people can take the time they need when they or a family member are sick or have a new baby. To do this, ECCO is working to collect 15,000 of the 260,000 signatures needed to get these measures on the 2018 ballot.
In 2018, we will also work to pass the Fair Share Amendment, which we have already advanced through the signature gathering and legislative approval processes. The Fair Share Amendment would collect $1.2 billion/year in revenue for education and transportation by increasing taxes for personal income over $1 million/year.