Happening Today

Mass Black Expo, AGs on election, Cannabis Control

— Gov. Charlie Baker was scheduled as the early morning featured guest at an Associated Industries of Massachusetts executive forum.

— Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides participates in a panel discussion about the future of energy transformations as part of the New England-Canada Business Council’s 28th annual U.S.-Canada Executive Energy Conference, 9 a.m.

Mass. Black Expo, a virtual weekend event hosted by the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, holds a panel discussion ‘Ensuring an Equitable Economic Recovery,’ featuring Rep. Liz Miranda, Mayor Marty Walsh and others, with the conference starting at 10 a.m. and panel at 2 p.m.

Cannabis Control Commission holds a public hearing on its recently approved marijuana delivery license structure, 10 a.m.

Democratic Attorneys General Association, including Mass. AG Maura Healey, holds a press briefing via conference call to discuss the role state AGs play in ‘protecting the integrity of the election and ensuring the will of the people is upheld,’ 10:30 a.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

Reminder to readers: SHNS Coronavirus Tracker available for free

A reminder to our readers as the coronavirus crisis unfolds: The paywalled State House News Service, which produces MASSterList, is making its full Coronavirus Tracker available to the community for free on a daily basis each morning via ML. SHNS Coronavirus Tracker.

The coronavirus numbers: 21 new deaths, more than 10,000 total deaths, 2.482 new cases

MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

As Bickford overwhelmingly wins re-election as state Dem party chair …

That was a quick civil war. SHNS’s Matt Murphy reports that Democratic Party Chairman Gus Bickford yesterday easily won re-election as head of the state party, fending off a challenge from two rivals. The Globe’s Kevin Cullen is mystified about how state and national Democrats, even when they win and should be celebrating, always find a way to lose by fighting amongst themselves. But at least the state Dem fight, for now, is over.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

… State GOP chair Jim Lyons says Biden is ‘falsely posing as winner’ of election

The state party that really needs to be engaging in some soul searching doesn’t seem ready for some soul searching. The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports that Massachusetts GOP Chairman Jim Lyons is sticking to the voter-fraud/whatever line of most national Republicans, asserting that Democat Joe Biden is “falsely posing as the winner” of the presidential election.

His tune may be changing soon, as he gains some political cover to finally say what he knows to be true. From the Washington Post: “Biden finds support among Republicans as Trump scrambles to salvage his strategy to contest the election.”  

Boston Herald

Dems nix Warren-vacancy ploy after Baker vows to veto measure

Cause and effect? Hours after Gov. Charlie Baker said he would veto any bill/amendment that changed the rules for how a vacancy in Congress gets filled in Massacusetts, House Democrats yesterday rejected a measure that would have stripped the Republican governor of the authority to temporarily fill a congressional vacancy, i.e. Democrat Elizabeth Warren’s U.S. Senate seat, if she were to land a new job in the new Biden administration.

SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) and the Herald’s Erin Tiernan have the details on House Democrats’ nixing of the vacancy gambit. The Globe’s Danny McDonald and Matt Stout have more on Baker’s veto threat.

Still dreamin’ Part II: Is Kennedy the only one not dreamin’?

Speaking of Elizabeth Warren possibly landing a Biden administration gig, the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky has the latest on who might be offered jobs by the new Biden-Harris team – and the various local elected offices that may open up in Massachusetts as a result. But here’s what we found interesting: A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy says “Joe does not plan to run for Senate next year if a seat opens up.”

‘One of the most important political operatives you’ve never heard of’

The Globe’s Zoe Greenberg and Victoria McGrane have the latest piece on Massachusetts native and Tufts grad Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Joe Biden’s campaign manager and the first woman ever to run a winning Democratic presidential campaign. She deserves all the accolades she gets, considering the seemingly hopeless and hapless state of Biden’s campaign operations when she first took over earlier this year.

Boston Globe

House passes abortion-access amendment; Senate expected to follow suit

Until the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the proposed ROE Act appeared like it was going nowhere on Beacon Hill. But now with a conservative majority firmly in place on the post-Ginsburg U.S. Supreme Court, the political dynamics have changed – and yesterday the Massachusetts House passed the controversial abortion-access measure, via a budget amendment, and now the Senate is poised to follow suit in coming weeks. 

SHNS’s Chris Van Buskirk (pay wall) and the Herald’s Erin Tiernan have more on the House action yesterday. And there’s this, also via SHNS (pay wall): “Spilka Expects ROE Act Amendment to Senate Budget.”

As for the overall Senate fiscal 2021 budget unveiled yesterday, from CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg: “Senate spending plan hews close to House version/Lawmakers hoping to wrap up budget around Thanksgiving.”

Grim milestone: Confirmed COVID deaths pass 10,000 mark in Massachusetts

It’s a statistical milestone, but it’s a statistical milestone made up of 10,000 real human beings who have perished. The Globe’s Dugan Arnett and CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl have more on the state yesterday hitting and exceeding the confirmed 10,000-deaths mark during the pandemic. And it’s far from over, folks.

New England states ban interstate travel for youth hockey, Ivy League cancels winter sports

It would have been better if grown-up sports-league supervisors had taken action on their own to eliminate cross-border travel for youth-hockey competitions in the middle of a deadly pandemic. But they didn’t take decisive action, so the governors of all six New England states, including Massachusetts, made the decision for them, as Khari Thompson reports at WBUR.

Meanwhile, the grown-ups running elite colleges didn’t need prodding for this decision, via MassLive: “Ivy League cancels winter sports season, spring sports postoned until at least end of February due to pandemic.”


Harvard discrimination case now likely headed to Supreme Court

Harvard University has won another round in a high-profile discrimination case brought against its admissions policies, after a federal appeals court confirmed yesterday that the university’s admissions process didn’t violate civil rights law. But now the plaintiffs are vowing to take the case to the conservative U.S. Supreme Court – which is what the anti-affirmative-action backers of the suit have always wanted, the NYT reports.


From Hill to Hall: Outgoing Rep. Vega lands on feet in Morse administration

Leap and the net will appear. Outgoing state Rep. Aaron Vega now has a post-Beacon Hill gig lined up, saying he’ll join the team of Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse as director of the city’s economic development and planning department, Michael Connors at the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports. Vega said he was not aware the position would become available when he announced he would not seek a fifth term representing the 5th Hampden District. 

Daily Hampshire Gazette

State employees targeted with gift card scam

The scammers are relentless. From SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall): “The Baker administration’s secretary of technology services and security warned Thursday that state employees are being targeted by an email phishing and text message ‘smishing’ campaign in which the scammer tries to pass themselves off as a Massachusetts government leader.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

DPU’s audit of National Grid — with ex-National Grid employees doing the auditing — raises more than a few eyebrows

WBUR’s Saurabh Datar and Beth Healey report on a controversial contract the state’s Department of Utilities has secured with a consulting company to audit National Grid. The problem, as AG Maura Healey and others see it: The audit would be led by former National Grid employees. There are other concerns about the contract, including its highest-bid cost.


The thrill is gone: Dueling Swampscott protests running out of steam

It’s almost like something happened. After months of political intensity, weekly rallies by supporters of President Trump and the Black Lives Matter movement seem to have lost considerable momentum since Election Day in Swampscott. Guthrie Scrimgeour at the Lynn Item reports just a handful of supporters turned out for the start of this week’s rallies. 

Lynn Item

Bob Oakes stepping down as ‘Morning Edition’ host at WBUR

The familiar and soothing voice of Bob Oakes on WBUR’s ‘Morning Edition’ will soon be gone, or at least his familiar and soothing voice as long-time host of the show. WBUR’s Callum Borhcers reports that Oakes, 65, plans to soon retire as daily announcer, but plans to stay on as a senior correspondent. Meaning: We’ll still fortunately get to hear his distinctive “double-hew-bee-you-are” pronunciation of WBUR.


Sunday public affairs TV: Charlie Baker, Marty Walsh and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Gov. Charlie Baker, who talks with host Jon Keller about pandemic policies, including the shifting standards of the local-risk levels, school attendance policies and the role of teacher unions, the ban on interstate youth hockey, and the prospect of another shutdown.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care president and CEO Michael Carson on the ACA SCOTUS hearing and COVID vaccine; Tameka Moss of the Foundation for Business Equity and Betty Francisco of Latinx on the hopes for a Biden/Harris administration; and the Globe’s Shirley Leung on rising COVID cases, local ties to the Biden coronavirus advisory board and other local business stories.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a roundtable political discussion with analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: Education Matters Moving Forward, featuring Maria Fenwick of the Teacher Collaborative.

Policymakers Live: Virtual Briefing with Representative Hannah Kane, Ranking Minority, Joint Committee on Public Health

MassBio is launching “Policymakers Live”, a series of virtual briefings with a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Massachusetts Senate, or a member of the Governor’s Alliance. Policymakers will outline initiatives they are working on and attendees will have the chance to ask questions.

MassBio (Massachusetts Biotechnology Council)

8th Annual 2020 Startup of the Year Summit

For the first time in its eight year history, the Startup of the Year Summit will be held online, allowing a global audience to participate from afar in the annual conference and have a behind-the-scenes experience for the 2020 competition. Date: November 16-18,2020. We are waiving all fees this year. We want you to join us.


Energy Policy Seminar: Brenda Mallory on “Clean Energy Priorities in the Southeast”

Join us for an Energy Policy Seminar featuring Brenda Mallory, Director of Regulatory Policy at the Southern Environmental Law Center. Ms. Mallory will speak on “Clean Energy Priorities in the Southeast”. The seminar will be hosted by HKS Professor Joe Aldy.

Harvard Kennedy School and Belfer Center for Science and International Afffairs

The State of the State Department & Transatlantic Diplomacy

WorldBoston’s annual State of the State Department is a high-level speaking event, serving as an annual occasion to assess the strength of a critical instrument in the pursuit of U.S. national interest within a policy context. In addition to critically evaluating the current of the State Department, we will also look at the U.S diplomacy through the lens of the transatlantic relationship.

Harvard Kennedy School and Belfer Center for Science and International Afffairs

Make Shift Happen with EDIE

Join MassBio’s Edie Stringfellow for a bi-weekly conversation on equity, diversity, inclusion, and engagement (EDIE). For the month of November, MassBio is dedicating Make Shift Happen to support and salute our life sciences colleagues who are service members in observation of November National Veterans & Military Families Month.

MassBio (Massachusetts Biotechnology Council)

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

Israel and Palestine on Screen

James S. Snyder, HKS/MEI Senior Fellow, in conversation with Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers Joseph Cedar and Tawfik Abu Wael. This is part of the fall 2020 MEI series, James Snyder in Conversation: A series of dialogues on art, culture, politics, and the possibilities for transcending conflict through cultural connections in the modern Middle East.

Harvard Kennedy School and Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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

Interrupting Hatred Can Save Someone’s Life

This presentation, part of the Town of Lexington’s No Hate November series, will focus on lessons learned after the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Vincent Chen. The event is co-sponsored by the Lexington Human Rights Committee, Association of Black Citizens of Lexington, Chinese American Association of Lexington.

Town of Lexington

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

AARP Innovation Labs’ Innovation Challenges

AARP Innovation Labs and Mass Challenge HealthTech are excited to offer themed innovation challenges. Do you have an innovative entertainment solution that curates the fun in life for older adults? We are highly encouraging our 50+ entrepreneurs and founders to apply to this challenge.

AARP Innovation Labs and Mass Challenge HealthTech

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

Policymakers Live: Virtual Briefing with Senator Joan Lovely, Assistant Majority Leader, Massachusetts State Senate

MassBio is launching “Policymakers Live”, a series of virtual briefings with a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Massachusetts Senate or a member of the Governor’s Administrations. MassBio will host these one hour virtual briefings in the upcoming months. Policymakers will outline initiatives they are working on and attendees will have the chance to ask questions.

MassBio (Massachusetts Biotechnology Council)

17th Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Awards: Celebrating 2020’s Massachusetts Corporate Heroes

With our Corporate Heroes Award, MassEcon will honor a sampling of employers, large and small, in every region of the state, that reflect the spirit of Massachusetts businesses to solve problems, serve their communities and provide for the livelihoods of their workers. Register: https://massecon.z2systems.com/np/clients/massecon/eventRegistration.jsp?event=61&


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

WBJ Central MA Health Care Forum

Healthcare Post Pandemic: The Covid-19 pandemic has not only claimed over 200,000 lives in our country, but has been a disruptive force to many industries, including healthcare. Join us for this timely and informative webcast where our panel of experts will discuss what has changed since the beginning of the pandemic and what lies ahead.

Worcester 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

Kay Ulanday Barrett Performing and Answering Questions at the Intersections of Disability, Trans and Racial Justice

LexPride is thrilled to welcome the one-and-only Kay Ulanday Barrett (they/them) to Lexington. Kay is a poet, performer, and educator, navigating life as a disabled pilipinx-amerikan transgender queer in the U.S. with struggle, resistance, and laughter. They are the author of When the Chant Comes and More Than Organs. Kay will perform and answer questions from the audience.

LexPride. Co-sponsored by Boston Pride, Cary Memorial Library, and the Network for Social Justice.

Today’s Headlines


Walsh orders up reforms to BPD oversight – Dorchester Reporter

Woman tries to deliver heroin-filled sandwich to boyfriend at Lynn police station – Lynn Item


Natick to study town seal; concern about how Native Americans are depicted – MetroWest Daily News

Faculty union at Salem State challenges furloughs – Salem News


Biden transition signals Wall Street crackdown – Politico

Trump retreats from public eye in post-election fight – The Hill

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