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August 21, 17
To the Editor,
As a Salem State Social Work graduate student, I’ve been blessed to work alongside a staff and group of partner organizations dedicated to the diverse community of Lynn at the New Lynn Coalition. New Lynn Coalition is an alliance of labor and community organizations who have come together to work toward making Lynn a better city for all who live and work here. Coalition partner organizations are: 1199SEIU, Essex County Community Organization, Haitian Senior Action Council, Highlands Coalition, IUE/CWA Local 201, Lynn Health Task Force, Lynn United for Change, Lynn Worker’s Center, Neighbor to Neighbor, North Shore Labor Council, Mass Senior Action, and MataHari.
We are living in an era filled with social unrest and instability, which has seemingly radiated into the community of Lynn. Many changes are on the horizon for the city, including: waterfront open park space, waterfront development, housing development, downtown revitalization, and mayoral/city councilor elections. New Lynn Coalition is dedicated to ensuring that changes remain transparent to the public and decisions are made based on community input. Our goal is to unify residents of Lynn across linguistic, racial, and socioeconomic status, to become the catalyst that drives change in the community.
New Lynn Coalition has developed a five-point platform to guide us towards this goal. We believe: Lynn residents should have protection from wage theft and misclassification; Lynn renters and homeowners are paying too much for housing costs and should have access to affordable housing. Currently, 56% of renters and 42% of homeowners are cost-burden meaning they pay at least 30% of their income on housing costs; All residents of Lynn should feel safe and protected in their community regardless of documentation status; Developers shouldn’t be able to build new development in Lynn without providing funding for job training; and City Hall employees should reflect the racial diversity of Lynn. How can current elected officials say that they support all Lynn residents when 61% of residents are a person of color, but people of color are only represented in 12.5% of all municipal jobs?
Help us build unity around these issues and share your stories and experiences by joining New Lynn Coalition’s monthly community gatherings. Our first gathering will be on September 18th from 7-8:30PM at 112 Exchange Street, Lynn, Ma. RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Lynn Coalition
Master’s of Social Work Intern