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The Coalition for Social Justice is dedicated to building a grassroots movement for progressive social change, rooted in low-income communities and communities of color that have been excluded from the economic benefits of the current system.
We have a dual focus: to recruit and develop our own leaders from low income backgrounds; and to organize effective campaigns to address the economic survival issues that we face. Our member-driven agenda includes: funding essential community services through progressive taxes, workers’ rights, housing, health care, education, welfare, criminal justice reform, immigrant rights and environmental justice.
We create grassroots power by building a political force of low income families and by bringing together welfare recipients, seniors, low income workers, and unions to hold elected officials accountable.
Our work is based on the following principles:
UNITY. We are committed to building an organization that can bring together activists from varied segments of the community. We seek to unite welfare mothers, senior citizen activists, rank and file union leaders, and community activists in one organization. We recognize that this can be done only on the basis of mutual solidarity and respect. The principle guiding our efforts at building unity is "an injury to one is an injury to all."
MULTI-ISSUE. We also recognize the need to build a multi-issue organization that can add strength and support to the efforts of organizations that focus primarily on single issues based on the immediate needs of their particular constituency. Working in collaboration with progressive legislators and other social action groups around the state, we have developed a multi-issue agenda we call the "Campaign for Working Families" which offers a vision of social change that addresses such issues as revenue, tax reform, jobs, wages, child care, health care, housing, education, and the safety net. On a yearly basis, our particular issue focus varies, depending on shifting political opportunities.
- POWER AT THE GRASSROOTS. Finally, we recognize the need to build a powerful, grassroots peoples’ movement for social change. In all of our work - whether it be building support for the initiatives of our constituent organizations or developing our own independent campaigns - we seek to build the capacity of ordinary people to have an impact on the social policies that affect their lives. Our organizing approach focuses both on developing the commitment and leadership of people new to social activism and on working with existing activists and organizations to enhance their strength and effectiveness. We recognize that the key factor determining our ability to make a difference in the community is the size and community base of our network of grassroots activists.
- Joseph Lazzerini
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