City Council Meeting ~ Give Public Comment

Registration is Closed
City Council Meeting ~ Give Public Comment

Time & Location

Mar 08, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
cambridgema.zoom.us/j/97895847144

About the Event

1. Register for Public Comment!

Sign up for public comment on Monday, March 8 for the 5:30pm City Council Meeting:

Register Here: www.cambridgema.gov/publiccomment

For the Agenda Item, you can write: “Charter Right 3 - Shelter Wages"

If you haven't testified at a city council hearing before, no worries. There's a first time for everything! Prepare a statement that takes 2 minutes to read. Share your name, your address, and your personal story about why all shelter workers in Cambridge deserve a living wage. Here are some talking points to help get you started!

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2. PUBLIC COMMENT TALKING POINTS

Hi, my name is _____ and I live at ______.

[ You can state your relationship to Cambridge and your experiences or expertise on the topic if relevant. E.g. I have lived here for 7 years, I was unhoused, I attend X university, I work in Cambridge, I grew up in Cambridge, I work on housing policy, I was a shelter worker].

I’m here today to urge the City of Cambridge to support Charter Right 3 to ensure that all shelter workers in Cambridge are paid a minimum living wage of $16.65/hour.

  • Cambridge needs to take responsibility for the working conditions of shelter workers. They are frontline workers, who are risking their lives to provide an essential service to this city and its unhoused community.
  • Shelter workers at 240 Albany Street Shelter, Warming Center, and Spaulding are all employees of the same nonprofit organization Bay Cove. Yet, they are being paid different rates because the city currently does not specifically fund the Albany street shelter. Shelter workers at Warming Center and Spaulding are paid 16.65/hour in accordance with the city’s Living Wage Ordinance because those shelters are funded through a city contract. Workers at the Albany Street shelter, the only facility that is a wet shelter, don’t take home enough to live because Bay Cove relies on state funding and charity (developers of Kendall Square) instead of city funding, so workers at that shelter are not subject to the Living Wage Ordinance. The city’s current model of outsourcing essential services creates unequal working conditions for workers doing the same job, and that is not acceptable.
  • The city should not only be providing funding to the Albany St. shelter, but also ensure that its shelter workers are paid a living wage. The current situation is a result of the city not fully committing itself financially to address homelessness.
  • While temporary shelters like the ones at Albany St. are a necessary safety net for now, in the long term Cambridge must commit to building and staffing permanent supportive housing. Investing in shelter staff’s wages now is a good first step towards cementing a Housing First Model into the city budget and would positively impact the culture around homelessness.
  • I support this Policy Order as is and don’t believe that councillors should make any changes. The responsibility of shelter conditions should not be displaced onto the state of Massachusetts, they are the city’s responsibility. The council should leave the door open to all options that would ensure  shelter workers are paid a living wage.
  • Add your personal story here.

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