At Rosie’s Place, we don’t just educate our guests in the democratic process. We strive to engage and empower them through it.
The Public Policy department works to further the Rosie's Place mission by representing the interests of poor and homeless women at the State House. We accomplish this through direct lobbying, coalition building and empowering guests and Rosie's Place supporters to become actively involved in advocacy.
Rosie’s Place’s 2014 Campaign
The 2014 campaign is focused on improving the customer service experience of low-income women and men.
The Problem - The lack of living wage jobs is the greatest contributor to poverty in our state; almost 20% of families with at least one working family member is low income. To support low-wage workers and others living in poverty, the federal and state governments administer programs to alleviate hunger, homelessness, ill-health and the profound impacts on children’s development. Unlike most businesses, Massachusetts government agencies rely on outdated practices and procedures to administer these critical work support programs. As a result, these programs are administered in ways that lack transparency, efficiency, accountability and are prone to error and waste. And although the target population for these programs is similar, there is little coordination to assist consumers in navigating those systems.
Campaign Goals -
- Transparency: Create a universal multi-benefit application. The Commonwealth operates numerous public benefit programs that are administered by different agencies, each with a different set of procedures to apply and to renew. As a result, the state routinely duplicates the processing, investigation and tracking of the same household for each program. Our initiative is the creation of a multi-benefit application, by which the state would be able to process an application and investigate a family’s circumstances without repetition.
- Accountability and efficiency: Increase reliance on real-time data for determining eligibility and renewals. In our antiquated eligibility process individuals are required to produce paper records to verify every eligibility and renewal requirement, while real-time data is available. Reliance on a paper chase for information the state already has creates delays and increases the risk of errors. The state either already possesses this information or has access to databases with these verification documents.
- Our initiative would shift the reliance on producing verification documents from the eligible individuals to the state. Individuals would only required to produce documents that changed, were questionable or conflict with the state’s information. States that have implemented similar changes have dramatically reduced their administrative costs, reduced their processing error rates, and in a few states moved to a same-day service model with these initiatives.
- Guest Voter Education and Empowerment - We engage guests during local and national election seasons through voter education and mobilization activities. We host candidate forums so guests can meet local candidates in person. We offer voter registration year round at Rosie’s Place and other area shelters. We publish a non-partisan election guide for each election. We also recruit volunteers to offer free rides to the polls on election day.
- Public Policy Council Trainings - Graduates of this 10-session training on basic advocacy skills have testified at hearings, met with their legislators, and became active members of other community organizations such as the T Riders Union and M-Power.
- Public Policy Series - This monthly forum, open to everyone in the Rosie’s Place community, hosts speakers who present an advocacy campaign on issues that affect our guests. Past speakers have presented on CORI reform, affordable housing advocacy, immigrant rights, and many more topics.
Take Action for Rosie's Place!
- Join the Rosie’s Place Public Policy Network to receive Action Alerts and occasional emails outlining Rosie’s Place’s legislative priorities.
- View our calendar for upcoming events of interest.
- Find your elected officials and your voting information.