Action Alert

For months now, you’ve worked alongside us to pass meaningful legislation that will be a serious blow to the school-to-prison pipeline.

And now we’re almost there. 

Right now, a Conference Committee of six legislators is meeting to reconcile two versions of the omnibus criminal justice reform bill. The version that passed the Senate (S.2200) included the necessary provisions we support from H.328/S.876, An Act decriminalizing non-violent and verbal student misconduct.

These provisions include:

  1. decriminalizing non-violent misconduct in schools by eliminating the crime of disturbing school assembly; and
  2. requiring that MOUs between schools and police departments include certain provisions clarifying that SROs should not be involved in routine disciplinary actions for non-violent school infractions; and
  3. outlining data collection methods and responsibilities.


We need these important provisions to be included in the final bill.

Research shows that arrests of students for non-violent behavior disproportionately affect students of color and students with disabilities, and the impact can be devastating. A student who is arrested in school is three times more likely to drop out and is subsequently more likely to go to prison, earn less income, and rely more on public benefits. And as of right now, there is no check on this practice or accountability. 

Representative Aaron Vega is sending  a joint letter with Senator Patricia Jehlen to the Conference Committee in support of at-risk students. 

Please call or email your legislators NOW and ask them to sign on to the Vega/Jehlen letter!

These are common-sense reforms that would prevent unnecessary arrests and ensure school resource officers are trained in child development, de-escalation techniques, and implicit bias. With your help, this will be a major step in keeping kids in class and out of the school-to-prison pipeline. 

The DEADLINE for having representatives and senators to sign on in support is TODAY, January 9th at 5 p.m.

Click here to find your legislators’ contact information and call TODAY!

You can find the text of the letter on our website here. Thank you for your continued support.

Want to stay informed on the latest issues Massachusetts Appleseed is working on?
Sign up for future action alerts.

Senator William "Mo" Cowan, Good Apple Award Recipient

Senator William “Mo” Cowan, Good Apple Award Recipient

Save the Date!

March 29, 2018
6:00 pm Reception
7:00 pm Award Ceremony
Boston Harbor Hotel, Wharf Room

11th Anniversary Good Apple Award

On Thursday, March 29th 2018 Massachusetts Appleseed will host its 11th annual Good Apple reception at the Boston Harbor Hotel. We are pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Good Apple Award will be Senator William “Mo” Cowan, Vice President of Litigation and Legal Policy of General Electric Company.

The Good Apple Award is presented annually to one member of our Massachusetts legal community who exemplifies MA Appleseed’s commitment to public service, fairness, and social justice. Throughout his career, Mo has demonstrated his dedication to serving the public. He is a civic leader, a mentor to many, and an inspiration to all, acting with optimism and an inclusive vision at a time when inclusivity is under threat.

Senator William “Mo” Cowan is Vice President, Litigation and Legal Policy at the General Electric Company, responsible for litigation, enforcement proceedings, investigations and compliance globally. Mo joined GE after serving Of Counsel to Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, PC (“Mintz Levin”) and as President and Chief Executive Officer of ML Strategies. In 2013, Mo represented the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as interim United States Senator, filling the vacancy created when John F. Kerry was appointed United States Secretary of State, and served as Chief Legal Counsel, Chief of Staff, and Senior Advisor to the Governor in the administration of former Governor Deval L. Patrick. Mo also served as a Fellow at the Harvard University Institute of Politics (Fall 2013). Mo is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and Duke University.

Active in numerous civic, educational and charitable pursuits, Mo is a Director of Eastern Bank Corporation, Partners Healthcare, and Co-Chair of the Greater Boston YMCA Board of Overseers. He serves as a Trustee of Northeastern University and the Massachusetts General Hospital, and is a member of the Boston Club Corporate Advisory Board, Cambridge College President’s Council, Duke University Trinity Board of Visitors, and U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress. Mo is a “Good Apple” in the truest sense.

For sponsorship opportunities or tickets, please contact Madeline Poage at

2018 Good Apple-Save the Date
Save the Date (PDF)
2018 Good Apple Award Recipient (PDF)
2018 Good Apple Invitation (PDF)