Friday, September 24, 2010

Vote NO on Question 3!!

Hello Everyone,

There has been much discussion lately about the upcoming ballot questions.  NASW-MA has taken a position AGAINST ALL proposed questions.  However, this week I want to highlight Question 3 which would cut state sales tax from 6.25% to 3% creating a $2.5 billion revenue hole on top of a projected $2 billion dollar budget deficit for next year.  As a social worker, this drastic proposal is particularly distressing to me.  If Question 3 passes, local aid and human services programs would need to be slashed and in some cases eliminated altogether.

We simply can't let that happen to our communities.

Toby McGrath, Chair of the VoteNoQuestion3 Campaign said this in response to one of the Boston Globe articles published this week:  (See link )

 “In a matter of hours there were over 500 comments on an on-line story about Question 3 in the Boston Globe. Maybe four comments tops were folks saying vote no.  The on-line poll on the article had us losing 62-38 with all most 2,800 votes...”

NASW-MA Chapter has joined the Massachusetts Coalition for Our Communities to oppose Question 3.  It is imperative we build a strong campaign AGAINST the passage of Question 3. 

Please join us in defeating Question 3!!

Carol Trust

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Proceeding with Caution

There has been a lot written in the news lately about the potential sale of the Boston based Caritas Christi Health Care System to a New York for profit firm called Cerberus Capital Management.  One major concern voiced by health care advocates centers on the impact of this sale on the provision of services to the clients that Caritas has traditionally served.  These services, provided at affordable rates included free health screenings, and substance abuse workshops to dozens of communities.  There are numerous proponents supporting the sale and others oppose the sale for a variety of reasons.

NASW as a member of a coalition of health care advocates will be asking the Attorney General and the Department of Public Health, to scrutinize all aspects of the proposed sale with an eye for protecting services that have been traditionally provided to some of the poorest people in the area. In particular, the advocates are urging a thoughtful and comprehensive examination of the merits and problems associated with a sale of this nature. As professional social workers who always have an eye out for fairness in the arena of providing access to services for all, we are glad to join our colleagues in requesting Attorney General Martha Coakley and Commissioner of Public Health John Auerbach to 'proceed with caution and deliberation.

Carol  Trust

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I recently came back from a vacation in Mexico, where I was paying close attention to the way other peoples relate to each other.  This is a fascination of mine: watching other people: how they talk to each other; their eye contact; the use of their hand gestures and their body language; observing their eye contact; viewing their physical connections or lack of connectedness..

I want to share three short observances with you and relate them to the world of social work. I was wandering around in Merida, the Capital of the state of Yucatan, studying the architecture of the residential and commercial buildings and working up an appetite. I saw a sign that indicated I was heading in the direction of what looked like a great supermarket.

The first thing I noticed as I walked through the parking lot to reaching the front door of the market was the signs indicating reserved parking spots.  There was the usual sign of a wheel chair which was similar to the sign we have in the states that indicates these spaces are reserved for handicapped folks.  Then right next to the wheel chair sign was a sign indicating “Reservado  Futuros Mamas” featuring a lady with a very big belly. I thought that was really neat.  How thoughtful!  Then just inside the front door was a nice lady wearing an apron and hair net who walked right up to me to inquire,”Puedo ayudarle?”—even before I asked for help.  Lastly, there were all the ‘empleados” in the bakery section who were  wearing hair nets and what looked like surgical masks over their mouths and noses who also stopped what they were doing  to, again ask, “Puedo ayudale?”

Now, you may say, ‘What is so special about all this?  There are folks at Walmart who welcome customers and Home Depot.’

Well, perhaps it is not so distinctive, but rather a reminder to me and the entire NASW staff at the chapter office of our priorities.  First, as a membership organization we are here to serve you, our members. No other organization has the interests of social workers as its primary focus.  At the same time, we are here to advocate for just social and economic programs and policies for all. The Social Work profession has this dual focus. As the Executive Director of  the 4th largest NASW Chapter in the country, I am reaffirming our Chapter’s commitment to serve you, our members. Please be assured that when you call the Chapter office, you will receive our undivided attention to your issue.  And please call.  Call often. Tell us what you need, what you like, what we could do better, what you would like us to do that we are not now doing.  We take every call seriously.