On Tuesday, June 23, Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition hosted a Safe Communities Act Virtual Town Hall meeting, and Catholic Charities of Boston's Community Interpreter Services (CIS) team provided a simulataneous interpreter for the Spanish-speaking participants at the virtual event.
The town hall was designed to share stories and make an urgent call to action – to the legislators to pass the Safe Communities Act, and to fellow Massachusetts residents to join in the fight. The Act aims to restore confidence in local public institutions by allowing police and court officials to focus on public safety instead of immigration enforcement.
Speakers included MIRA's three legislative sponsors, Sen. Jamie Eldridge, Rep. Ruth Balser and Rep. Liz Miranda; Damaris Velásquez of Agencia ALPHA; Gladys Vega of Chelsea Collaborative; Rev. Joanna Perez of Harvest Ministries; Rev. Dieufort Fleurissaint of Haitian Americans United; former COVID-19 contact tracer Tibrine Da Fonseca; Gladys Ortiz, of REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, and two impacted members of the immigrant community.
In addition to MIRA's virtual events, CIS has provided interpretation for other virtual town halls and online public hearings hosted by local city governments.