Happening Today

SJC hearing, Governor’s Counci

Supreme Judicial Court meets to hear oral arguments for five cases including an appeal from Benjamin Martinez, who was convicted of first-degree murder in 2017, to dismiss his conviction, reverse the trial court’s judgment, or reduce the verdict, 9 a.m.

Governor’s Council interviews Judge Daniel O’Shea, who is the presiding judge of the Attleboro District Court, for a seat on the Superior Court, 10 a.m.

Boston City Council meets virtually, 12 p.m.


For the most comprehensive listing of calendar items, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available), as well as MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

The presidential race: A nail-biter – again

Another presidential election, another wild night. In a race many once thought Democrat Joe Biden might win handily, Republican Donald Trump got another unexpected red-wave boost yesterday, as he did in 2016, and the electoral-college contest was too close to call as of early this morning, as votes continued to be counted in the key battleground states of Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan and Georgia, CNN reports. Biden did win in Massachusetts and NH, as expected, as WCVB reports.

It’s all leading to what some had feared if it came down to a close election, with Trump falsely claiming victory last night (NYT) while Biden expressed confidence and asked for calm (NYT). Meanwhile, from MassLive: “Joe Biden says he’s ‘on track to win’ as race too tight to call; Donald Trump claims without evidence ‘they are trying to steal the election.’”

The Washington Post takes a look at the key swing states that will decide the presidential outcome. The Herald’s Howie Carr is practically doing a jig over the preliminary results showing the GOP doing better than expected. WBUR has a great town-by-town vote map of the presidential election in Massachusetts. Just click on your town.

Mass. Ballot Questions: ‘Right to Repair’ cruises to victory, ‘Ranked choice voting’ rejected

In yesterday’s ballot questions voting in Massachusetts, there was one sort-of surprise and one genuine surprise. The “Right to Repair” (Question 1) initiative was approved, as expected, but unofficial results show it prevailing with 75 percent of the vote, a much higher figure than projected in pre-election polls. WBUR’s Callum Borchers has more on the most expensive referendum contest in the state’s history.

The genuine surprise was the defeat of “Ranked Choice Voting” (Question 2), which had appeared headed for victory in pre-election polls. Unofficial results show voters opposing a change in the state’s voting system by a solid 55-45 percent margin, according to early counts. Question 2 backers conceded defeat last night. GBH’s Saraya Wintersmith, the Globe’s Matt Stout and the Herald’s Erin Tiernan have more on the Question 2 vote, as well as on the Question 1 contest.

Mass. Legislature: Blue wave doesn’t swamp local Republicans

It appears – repeat: appears – Mass. Republicans lost a state Senate seat yesterday, with Democrat John Cronin claiming victory over embattled Republican Sen. Dean Tran, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine. 

But Republicans appeared to be holding their own in other legislative races, fending off challenges here and tipping a district there, and it could mean little significant change on Beacon Hill. Or at least Dems’ dreams of creating super-duper supermajorities at the State House don’t seem to be materializing. We’ll see. Some returns were still coming in as of early this morning. SHNS’s Colin A. Young and Chris Lisinski and CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt have more on legislative races in general.

Meanwhile, here are results from individual legislative contests. From the Cape Cod Times: “Kip Diggs unseats Crocker in 2nd Barnstable District.” … From MassLive: “Adam Gomez becomes first Puerto Rican elected to the Mass. Senate.” … From MassLive: “Tight race in Massachusetts House’s 7th Hampden District has both candidates claiming lead; AP results show James ‘Chip’ Harrington ahead.” … From the Cape Cod Times: “Xiarhos edges Dever in 5th Barnstable District.” … From the Daily Hampshire Gazette: “Velis wins rematch to keep Senate seat.” … From the Eagle Tribune: “Nguyen keeps seat in 18th Essex race.” … And from MassLive: “Meghan Kilcoyne becomes 1st woman elected to Massachusetts’ 12th Worcester District.”

Bay State Blue: U.S. Senate, Congressional races all go to Democrats

Amid national chaos and behind Joe Biden’s strong performance locally, the Bay State’s Congressional delegation remained solidly blue yesterday, as expected. U.S. Sen. Edward Markey secured a second full term after easily dispatching Republican Kevin O’Connor by a wide enough margin that the AP called the race almost immediately after polls closed, report Benjamin Kail at MassLive and Victoria McGrane at the Globe report. 

No shocks in the Congressional races either. After a bruising and crowded primary race, Jake Auchincloss secured the 4th Congressional District seat vacated by Joe Kennedy III, defeating Republican Julie Hall, Jackson Ripley at the Sun-Chronicle reports. The Telegram and MassLive and Lynn Item and Cape Cod Times report on Dem blowouts in other congressional races across the state.

Election security and turnout in Mass.: Not bad and impressive

It was a rather calm day at the polls across the state yesterday, amid a massive voter turnout that’s expected to set a state record (Globe). But there were some problems, including early-day complaints of suspicious robocalls warning people to stay home yesterday (Universal Hub).

Meanwhile, from the Enterprise: “Hanson woman not allowed to vote in election while wearing Black LIves Matter mask.” From the Herald: “Mail-in ballot confusion, voter ID laws toplist of complaints on Mass. voter hotline.” From the Gloucester Times: “Corrupt memory card causes delay in voting results in Gloucester.”

National congressional battles: Dems falling short; Republican Collins clinging to lead in Maine

Besides President Trump’s surprisingly strong showing across the nation yesterday, Democrats’ hopes of taking control of the U.S. Senate appeared to be faltering yesterday, as the Globe’s Victoria McGrane and CNN report, and Dems’ hopes of significantly expanding their U.S. House majority also appeared to be falling short, reports the Washington Post.

A potential major surprise in the making: Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, who many thought was a goner in Maine, was clinging to a lead over Democrat Sara Gideon, according to the Portland Press Herald. As of early this morning, Collins, considered a moderate Republican, had enough votes to avoid a ranked-choice runoff, the Press Herald reports.

Baker’s presidential vote? ‘I blanked it’

Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, yesterday once again refused to vote for Donald Trump for president, a repeat of his 2016 anti-Trump stance. But he once again also refused to vote for the Democratic nominee. “I blanked it,” he said yesterday when asked if he voted for Joe Biden.


Give this guy a medal: He drove 2,000 miles roundtrip from Boston to Georgia so he could vote

Joe LaMuraglia views voting as an obligation – and he means it. The Globe’s Steve Annear has the amazing story of LaMuraglia’s decision to drive all the way to Georgia to vote after his absentee ballot didn’t arrive in West Roxbury.

Boston Globe

Another historic choice: Baker nominates first Latina to SJC — Dalila Argaez Wendlandt

Switching to non-election news: Less than a week after nominating Kimberly Budd to become the first Black female chief of the state’s Supreme Judicial Court, Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday made another historic move yesterday, nominating Appeals Court Associate Justice Dalila Argaez Wendlandt to the SJC. If confirmed by the Governor’s Council, Wendlandt would become the high court’s first Latina justice, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan and MassLive’s Melissa Hanson.

The selection of Wendlandt — who’s the daughter of Columbian immigrants and who earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at MIT before attending Stanford University Law School – fills one of two open seats on the SJC.

Baker defends new pandemic restrictions amid criticism from business owners

Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday defended his new pandemic restrictions, which include new 9:30 p.m. curfews on some businesses and limits on public gatherings, as reasonable and necessary steps to try to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Globe’s Travis Andersen reports. Baker also said wearing protective masks in public is now key to combating the virus, reports CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl.

But some business owners, particularly restaurateurs and entertainment-venue operators, say some of the restrictions make no sense and will only further harm their businesses, reports the BBJ. Then again, some business owners are expressing relief that Baker didn’t opt for a more draconian lockdown measures, reports the Globe’s Janelle Nanos.

Polar bear: Some classrooms may go through winter with open windows

Brr. State education officials are advising school districts that classroom windows in some facilities may have to be kept open this winter to ensure proper air circulation. Melissa Hanson of MassLive has the chilly details.


Ben Franklin Institute hopes to remain independent but …

It’s confirmed: Boston’s Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology has been exploring all its future options, including a possible merger or partnership with another school. But Aisha Francis, the new CEO of the small private college in the South End, says the school hopes to remain independent, reports the BBJ’s Hilary Burns.


Whitey Bulger’s family files wrongful-death suit against federal prison system

They may win this one. From the AP at NBC Boston: “Family members of Boston crime boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger Jr. have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Prisons and 30 unnamed employees of the prison system for failing to protect Bulger, who was beaten to death at a West Virginia prison. The family filed the lawsuit against the prison system last week, two years after Bulger, 89, was killed at United States Penitentiary, Hazelton, a federal prison in West Virginia’s Preston County.”

NBC Boston

High times: State’s pot dispensaries pass $1 billion in sales

That was quick. The Cannabis Control Commission says Bay State marijuana dispensaries have sold more than $1 billion worth of product since pot became legal in Massachusetts, Monica Busch at the Worcester Business Journal reports. The milestone was crossed less than two years after the first recreational shops opened for business.  

Worcester Business Journal

Virtual 2020 Power 50: Extraordinary Year, Extraordinary People

We often look from a different lens each year as issues as circumstances shift. 2020 is truly an outlier and a year like none other in recent memory. This year’s Power 50 will take on a different title and goal, as we look to recognize those people whose influence, innovation, commitment, and courage are making a difference in the community during an extraordinary time.

Boston Business Journal and Webster Bank

Challenges and Opportunities of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy Over the Next Decade

Please join Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government for a Regulatory Policy Program seminar featuring Michael Fitzpatrick, Head of Global Regulatory Affairs at Google. Registration is required.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business and Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government

The Buchanan Channel: How the Pro-Apartheid Movement Undercut the Reagan Administration’s Anti-Sanctions Effort, 1985-1987

International Security Brown Bag Seminar Series: This seminar examines how the institutional failure of the Reagan White House to invigorate a sterile sanctions debate created a window of opportunity for pro-South Africa conservatives. Augusta Dell’Omo, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program, speaker.

Harvard Kennedy School and Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Philanthropy and Inequality

Please join the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy for its signature weekly series this fall, The Fierce Urgency of Now, featuring Black, Indigenous, People of Color scholars, activists, and community leaders, and experts from the Global South.

Harvard Kennedy School

Tamara Payne on The Dead are Rising: The Life of Malcolm X – Central Library Author Talk Series

Join the Boston Public Library together with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Museum of African American History, and the GBH Forum Network for another virtual event in the American Stories, Inspiration Today author series. Learn about the epic biography produced from 30 years of research by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Les Payne.

Boston Public Library

Interpreting the 2020 Elections

Award-winning author Evan Thomas moderates a panel discussion on interpreting the results of the 2020 elections. Register for this free Kennedy Library Forum to receive an email reminder with a viewing link before the event. Reservations are strongly recommended.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Veterans Day Virtual Job Fair

Statewide MassHire Veterans Day Virtual Job Fair: Exclusive access for veterans 9AM – 10AM; open to the general public and veterans, 10AM – 2PM.

MassHire Department of Career Services Veterans Program & MassHire Career Center System

ICP – Breaking the crime-poverty cycle

Panel Debate – The event will feature an overview by Professor Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, Director, Center for Crime, Justice and Policing, University of Birmingham, a quick historical recap of antiquated laws and contributions by the panelists.

ESRC IAA – University of Birmingham

Critical Conversations: Racial Justice and the Immigrant Rights Movement

The Binger Annual Immigration Law Forum brings together lawyers, students, advocates and community members to learn from each other and develop tools to continue the struggle to protect human rights, basic dignity, and the rule of law.

James H. Binger Center Annual Immigration Law Forum

Building a Better Business Through Diversity and Inclusion

In this panel discussion we’ll explore steps large and small organizations can make to further promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. How are companies going about building a more diverse and inclusive work environment, and what have been the major challenges, as well as best practices that assure a strong program.

Worcester Business Journal

Virtual Discussion – Women Who Lead: Navigating the Challenges of 2020 and Beyond

Join us for a virtual live-streamed panel discussion with four female business leaders moderated by Carolyn Jones, publisher of the Boston Business Journal. Women have unique perspectives to offer on leading through these current turbulent times from how to build organizational resilience to how to advocate for themselves in a politically charged environment to maintaining a work/life balance.

Boston Business Journal and Santander Commercial Banking

Baxter Lecture with author Nathaniel Philbrick: Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Join for an online talk with Nathaniel Philbrick about his book Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War as part of the BPL’s Baxter Lecture Series. Ryan J. Woods from NEHGS will be the moderator and a representative of the State Library will be a co-host. BPL President David Leonard will introduce this program. Registration is encouraged.

Boston Public Library, American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society, the State Library of Massachusetts, and the GBH Forum Network

Local Voices Network Conversation: Civic Engagement (Honan-Allston)

Join the Boston Public Library and Local Voices Network for an online discussion about civic engagement. LVN conversations are focused on sharing our lived experience, rather than beginning the conversation with our positions on issues. We are doing this in order to help build connections and to foster conversations that improve our understanding of one another.

Boston Public Library

Modern Mobility Aloft: Elevated Highways, Architecture and Urban Change in Pre-Interstate America

Join the Boston Public Library and the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library for an online talk with Amy D. Finstein, author of Modern Mobility Aloft: Elevated Highways, Architecture and Urban Change in Pre-Interstate America.

Boston Public Library

Managing Change to Grow Business – Part II: Growing Your Business in a Virtual World

Please join Middlesex Savings Bank and the Boston Business Journal for this conversation about managing business change in our new normal.

Boston Business Journal and Middlesex Savings Bank

Data + AI Summit Europe 2020

Data and AI are converging. The Success of Apache Spark has accelerated the evolution of data teams to include data analytics, science, engineering, and AI. Date + AI Summit brings together thousands of data teams to learn from practitioners, leaders, innovators, and the original creators of Spark. Delta Lake, MLflow and Koalas.


Climate Change, Survival, and Deepening Our Humanity

City of Boston’s Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola leads a panelist discussion on how the belief systems that define and maintain our societies impact the planet and influence our survival. Register for this free virtual Kennedy Library Forum to receive an email reminder with a viewing link before the event.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

MIT: AI and the Work of the Future Congress

Join MIT’s Task Force on WOTF, MIT CSAIL, and MIT Digital for this year’s Congress which will be a virtual event highlighting research findings from the MIT Task Force on WOTF’s final report that will be released in November. Given the rapidly changing environment brought on by Covid-19, this topic is more important and relevant that ever.

MIT Work of the Future Task Force; MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab; MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy

Disinformation and Digital Citizenship: Disinformation and Election Psychology

Disinformation and Digital Citizenship is a Learning Circle that meets weekly to discuss disinformation and its effect on civic institutions and society during an election year. Learning circles are small groups of individuals who explore and area of shared interest through discussion in a collaborative, friendly and mutually supportive environment.

Boston Public Library

Managing Climate Risk in the US Financial System

This webinar will be given by Robert Litterman, Chairman of the Risk Committee and Founding Partner, Kepos Capital, and Stephen Moch, MBA and MPP candidate at HBS and HKS. It is part of M-RCBG”s weekly Business and Government Seminar series. Registration is required.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business/Mossavar-Rahmani center for Business and Government

The Future of Higher Education

As schools around the country plan, react, and adapt during the Covid-19 pandemic, the presidents of Greater Washington’s top universities will gather virtually to discuss health and safety, diversity and inclusion, and budgeting and development of the future of higher education. Join the Washington Business Journal for a look behind the scenes with the decision makers.

Washington Business Journal

Virtual Job Fair: MassHire Central Region Honors Our Veterans

Virtual Job Fair featuring 45 employers from diverse industries throughout Central Massachusetts. Free and open to the public and veterans!

MassHire Central Region Career Centers

Inno on Fire

The Inno on Fire Awards is our annual celebration of innovators, big and small, people, and organizations in Boston. What makes a company or individual on fire? We are looking at startups that have had a banner year, people and companies with hew funding, recent product launches, hot hires, innovative approaches to solving problems, and creative leaders who think out of the box.

Boston Business Journal

The State of Innovation: Electrification presented by Analog Devices

Across the network, Innos State of Innovations meetups focus on a specific industry, category, theme or individual and will feature a keynote, fireside chat, panel, pitch, demo or a combination of the five. Join us for a conversation with local innovators and experts.

The Boston Business Journals

2020 Women Who Mean Business

Join us as we celebrate outstanding women at our fourth Women Who Mean Business awards program. These women represent the scale of business in Greater Boston and have demonstrated significant growth in their companies.

Boston Business Journal and Webster Bank

Today’s Headlines


No strong actions promised against Covid risk in Cambridge despite party bus, crowds in Harvard Square – Cambridge Day

Toast sues San Francisco rival, alleging it’s been ‘raiding’ employees – Boston Business Journal


Natick town administrator announces her resignation – MetroWest Daily News

UMass Memorial again restricting visitors; not allowing any for most Covid patients – Worcester Business Journal

Lee voters easily adopt preservation act, despite tax bite – Berkshire Eagle


Phill Scott, Vermont’s GOP governor, says he voted for Joe Biden – Seven Days Vermont

Hickenlooper ousts Gardner in Colorado, handing Democrats vital pickup – The Hill

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