When: Wednesday, April 8 at 11 a.m.
Where: Office of Congressman Richard Neal
300 State St. Springfield, MA 01105
On April 4 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis Tennessee. Just prior to his death, he had turned his attention to issues of poverty and income inequality, an effort he called the Poor People’s Campaign. It is in remembrance of Dr. King’s work on this issue, that members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United and allies from Western MA Jobs with Justice, the Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts, and the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, will gather in Springfield this Wednesday April 8. The event is one of 25 similar vigils being held outside Congressional offices in 25 U.S. cities.
In addition to honoring Dr. King’s legacy, the group will encourage Congressman Richard Neal to sign on to a bill, recently filled in the House of Representatives, which would generate $300 Billion. The Inclusive Prosperity Act, sponsored by Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), which is also known as the Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street, would place a small tax on Wall Street, which would generate funding for things like: infrastructure, education, ending student debt, healthcare, housing and retirement security, and go a long way to reducing the obscene income and wealth inequality in our nation. By co-sponsoring this legislation, Congressman Neal will be honoring the struggle that Dr. King gave his life for 47 years ago this week.
Economists estimate that a tiny surcharge of no more than a nickel on every $10 in trades of stocks, bonds, and derivatives —a tax that is proportionally smaller than what most Americans pay for a pair of shoes – could increase revenues collected by the Treasury Department by as much as $350 billion annually. That revenue, in turn, can be re-directed from wealthy investors who have surplus income, to poor and working-class Americans who don’t have nearly enough income.
“Inequality in health, still rampant hunger, homelessness and poverty continue to devastate far too many families. The climate crisis puts our planet at risk and is rapidly accelerating extreme weather events, droughts, and epidemics that threaten public health. We need the Robin Hood Tax, best embodied in Rep. Ellison’s bill, to raise the revenues we desperately need to protect our health, our families, our communities, and our nation,” said Patricia Healey, RN, chair of MNA Regional Council 1, and a member of National Nurses United, the largest U.S. organization of nurses that is organizing similar events across the nation.
The Robin Hood Tax campaign is endorsed by 172 national organizations and prominent economists. HR 1464 is patterned after a similar measure being implemented by 11 countries in the European Union, and already in place in every major financial world market except the United States.
“America¹s working families need their country to invest in them again,” Rep. Ellison said. “The money raised from a wafer-thin tax on Wall Street’s high-frequency trades could raise hundreds of billions of dollars to invest in our families, protect our environment, and increase opportunity for all Americans. If the United States joins the dozens of other nations already benefitting from a financial transaction tax, we can create millions of jobs, while also reducing dangerous market volatility.”
For more information on the Robin Hood Tax campaign, visit: http://www.robinhoodtax.org/media/vigils-legislative-offices-25-cities