ECCO has been working on Boston’s North Shore since 1981 to put human dignity at the center of public life. Since that time, we have brought people of all faiths together to build relationships, develop strong leaders, and improve the quality of life in our communities. ECCO is made of a diverse setup of 27 congregations and institutions stretching from Lynn to Gloucester.
- Passed 3 Sanctuary City Ordinances in Salem, Ipswich, and Rockport
- Conducted 10 Know Your Rights trainings
- Established Rapid Response Networks in Lynn and Gloucester to defend Immigrants
- Trained 3518 people on strategies to protect immigrants & criminal justice reform
- Mobilized hundreds of people to march from Zion Baptist Church in Lynn to First Church Swampscott to protest in front of Gov. Baker’s home for criminal justice reform
- Advocated for successful passage of the Fair Share Amendment in the State Legislature
- Organized hundreds of people to participate in legislative forums and meetings with elected officials to advocate for comprehensive criminal justice reform, which is now a legislative priority in both the State House and Senate.
In 2016, ECCO:
- Trained the entire Command Staff of the Lynn Police Department and community leaders in the science of implicit bias. 175 people participated in the training.
- Mobilized 35 organizations to prevent the Essex County Sheriff from signing an agreement with ICE.
- Organized three forums for candidates for Essex County Sheriff, and got all major candidates to commit to ECCO’s agenda of criminal justice reform.
- Met every month in small groups for potluck dinners including people across race, class, congregation, and faith, focused on building relationships and developing analytic tools to dissect race, racism, and white privilege.
- Hosted a 3-day racial justice retreat conducted by PICO to synthesize and build upon leaders’ knowledge and capacity developed through the inter-racial inter-class dialogues. 87 people participated.
- Organized 15 organizations to protest at the headquarters of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Burlington. Five mothers and their children did non-violent symbolic action at the steps of ICE. Over 200 people attended.
- Protested Gov. Baker’s Executive Order to deputizing the Massachusetts State Police to enforce immigration policy, by holding a prayer vigil in front of his home. 75 people attended.
- Met with the head of the Massachusetts State Police, Colonel Richard McKeon, to secure a commitment that the State Police would not target undocumented immigrants. ECCO was the only community-based group invited.
- Visited people in immigration detention at the Suffolk County House of Corrections in Boston to offer them comfort and send a message to the President-Elect that the undocumented are not alone.
- Helped pass a statewide bill repealing RMV sanctions, making it possible for 15,000 ex-prisoners to obtain drivers’ licenses.
- Advanced a moral economy, by getting the support of ¾ of the state legislature (including almost all those in Essex County) to pass the Fair Share Amendment and getting one step closer to getting this millionaires’ tax on the 2018 ballot.
- Screened over 400 immigrants for DAPA eligibility
- Collected over 5,000 signatures for the Fair Share Amendment
- Helped pass a ballot initiative for Earned Sick Time, by engaging and educating 30,000 Essex County voters. This improved the lives of 1 million MA workers.
- Helped raise the minimum wage from $8/hour to $11/hour, the highest in the country, by getting a minimum wage increase on the ballot and then convincing the State Legislature to pass a minimum wage increase themselves. This improved the lives of 600,000 MA workers.
In 2013, ECCO:
- Collected 23,516 signatures to get minimum wage and earned sick time on the MA ballot, after the State Legislature failed to take independent action to advance a minimum wage increase or earned sick time legislation. By taking the legislative process into our own hands, we were eventually able to pass both a minimum wage increase and earned sick time.
In our earlier history, ECCO has won campaigns to:
- Create street outreach worker programs
- Increase Shannon Grant funding for youth violence prevention
- Create more affordable housing for seniors, mentally-ill people, veterans, and low-income families.
- Founded the E-Team Machinist Training Program in partnership with the Boston Tooling and Machining Association (BTMA), the Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership, and CWA/IUE Local 201.
- Increase funding for both new jobs and job training programs across the North Shore.