Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO)

The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) is an organization of faith and civic-based institutions working for social justice. Click on name to learn more. If you are interested in this ministry, please contact Andrew Rohm at agrohm@gmail.com

Social Justice Ministry at St. James’s  - 2011

St . James’s has been a full member of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) since January of 2008 after ten years of participation as an ally . For those of you who have never heard of GBIO, the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) is a broad-based organization that works to coalesce, train, and organize the communities of Greater Boston across all religious, racial, ethnic, class and neighborhood lines for the public good . For an extended mission statement, a history of accomplishments and present projects see www.gbio.org . 

 

Building on the strong base of power GBIO has established over the last ten years, GBIO continued to be active in 2011 sustaining achievements in health care, public education, and financial literacy. As the year began GBIO shifted its focus from anti-usury actions to the urgent issues of health care cost containment in Massachusetts and restoring community involvement in public education particularly in Boston. Both issues, but particularly health care cost containment, a key economic inequality issue, would require a lot of exploration and research to determine what actions might help create positive change. St. James’s participated in the health care cost containment issue through the excellent and dedicated leadership of Gwen Crevensten, who joined the GBIO Health Care Team and attended many of its numerous exploratory meetings with public officials and health care professionals . These meetings examined the issues of cost and quality through the perspective of the consumer and resulted in a statement of five key reform principles that GBIO wishes to see in legislation which the Massachusetts State Legislature is about to consider . This legislation will transform the way the State pays for health care . It will affect each of us as we access and pay for health care, and also will influence national health care reform . 

 

The five key reform principles (in draft form) are: 

1 .  Hear Our Voice: Include Consumers in Payment Reform Decisions . 

2 .  Health Care, Not Just Sick Care: Restructure Payments to Promote Value . 

3 .  Protect Everyone’s Health: Comprehensive Care For All: 

4 .  Public Health Pays Off: Invest in Community Prevention and Public Health . 

5 .  Fair Payment: Effective Public Oversight of Health Care Costs .  

 

As a member of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization our focus and task in 2012 will be to join with our brothers and sisters in the 55 other member organizations, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and civic, of GBIO to mobilize ourselves to influence the outcome of the pending legislation and shape our health insurance options for the future. Social Justice team members participated in numerous training sessions, team meetings, briefings, actions and delegate assemblies throughout the year . Many thanks to all the people from St . James’s whose participation helped make those events successful including: the Rev . Holly Antolini, Nick Bruce, Lynne Campbell, Mary Caulfield, Mable Chan, Hong Chin, Gwen Crevensten, the Rev . Edwin Johnson, Cynthia Joseph, Reed Loy, Jeanne Luc, Linda Luikel, Nancy McArdle, Clayton McClintock, Julia Nieto, Susan Rice, Susan Robinson, Marietta Sbraccia, Tami Stanton, Thomas Tufts, Yvette Verdieu, Sylvia Weston, Jeff Zinsmeyer and others. 

 

Please let me know if I forgot to include your name! Thanks also to the Vestry for their support of our parish membership in GBIO . If you would like more information or to get involved in social justice action for systemic change based on shared values across faith communities in 2012, please contact Andrew Rohm at agrohm@gmail.com