Keller at Large
Reading the early tea leaves in the Boston mayoral race
In his latest Keller at Large on MassterList, Jon Keller says it’s never too soon for wild speculation in a Boston mayoral race – and the oh-so-early, easy-to-dismiss poll numbers suggest a certain acting mayor who calls herself mayor is in a good, though not great, position at this point.
Education funding, Lottery Commission and more
— Joint Committee on Health Care Financing holds a hearing on a constitutional amendment from Winchester resident Vincent Dixon that would give all residents ‘a right to health care,’, 10:30 a.m.
— Municipal Finance Oversight Board meets to hear requests from the City of Brockton and the Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical School District, with Auditor Suzanne Bump chairing, 11 a.m.
— Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance hosts a virtual press conference with public-college students and parents and educators from Boston, Worcester and Framingham to call for ‘full funding of public schools and colleges during the upcoming school year,’ 11 a.m.
— Lottery Commission meets with Treasurer Deb Goldberg chairing, 11 a.m.
— EdVestors hosts its 18th annual Education Showcase over Zoom, with opening remarks from Boston Public Schools superintendent Brenda Cassellius and EdVestors President and CEO Marinell Rousmaniere, 4 p.m.
For the most comprehensive list 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.
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The coronavirus numbers: 12 new deaths, 17,211 total deaths, 812 new cases
NBC Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.
Let the redistricting games and jockeying begin
The good news is that Massachusetts will keep all nine of its congressional seats in the coming decade as a result of the somewhat impressive increase in the state’s population to more than 7 million people, according to new U.S. Census numbers, as the AP’s Steve LeBlanc at CBS Boston and Benjaimin Kail at MassLive report.
But the new state numbers are expected to lead to possibly major changes in how congressional districts are drawn in Massachusetts, according to Secretary of State Bill Galvin, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy. Assistant House Majority Michael Moran and Senate President Pro Tempore William Brownsberger, who are leading the legislature’s redistricting effort this year, can expect lot of friendly calls from delegation members over coming months.
Btw: All New England states will keep their congressional seats, according to a report at WBUR.
Nationally, red states’ gains are blue states’ loss
It’s not a big shift, but it’s a big enough shift for the GOP to possibly wrestle control of the House away from Democrats next year. The Globe’s James Pindell reports on the new U.S. Census population numbers that would slightly shift the congressional balance of power in favor of Republican-dominated states. The NYT has more on the power shift.
New road rules and rage
Citing the high number of roadway deaths even during the pandemic, Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday unveiled a package of proposed new traffic-safety measures, including more surveillance cameras at red lights, stricter enforcement of seat belt laws and tougher penalties for driving with a suspended license, as SHNS’s Chris Lisinski and MassLive’s Steph Solis report.
But the Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports that some are experiencing a form of road rage at the mere thought of tougher roadway rules in Massachusetts.
Making the state’s film tax credit permanent: The sequel
Well, the Massachusetts House clearly disagrees with the Tax Expenditure Review Commission’s recent finding that the state’s film tax credit is a very inefficient and expensive way to create jobs. Instead of letting the credit expire next year, the House yesterday unanimously approved an amendment that would make it permanent. So there. MassLive’s Steph Solisand CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohlhave more. And the House yesterday was padding other tax credits too, as SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports.
Is Biden stealing Baker’s outdoor-mask thunder?
Damn that Biden. The president is expected to announce today a fed relaxation of outdoor-mask guidance rules (CNBC), a move Gov. Charlie Baker hinted last week he might take this week. And now … it’s pure thievery. NBC Boston’s Mary Markos has more on Baker’s planned ‘stay tuned’ announcement later this week on various mandate changes.
Hesitancy wall? What hesitancy wall?
Gov. Charlie Baker doesn’t sound like he’s a believer in the hesitancy-wall theory that we’ll soon be at the point in Massachusetts where the only people not vaccinated are those who refuse to be vaccinated. The governor says the state actually has one of the lowest hesitancy rates in the nation. CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg has more.
Anchors away: MBTA restores ferry service after pandemic cuts
Perhaps we should have just said ‘shove off.’ In any event, Joe Difazio at the Patriot Ledger reports that MBTA, starting next month, is bringing back commuter ferry services it cut last year due to the pandemic.
In other T news, from SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “Green Line, Safety Hires Featured In MBTA Budget Plan.” And from CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl: “T lays out bus electrification plan/Rollout dependent on build out of new bus garages.” And, sadly, from NBC Boston: “Person Dies After Being Hit by Orange Line MBTA Train.”
The state’s other public universities: They’re going full-vax too …
UMass-Amherst has already said it’s going full vax this fall. And now other state universities in Framingham, Worcester, Bridgewater, Fitchburg etc. will also be requiring students and staff to be fully vaccinated in order to attend in-person classes this fall, reports Zane Razzaq at MetroWest Daily News.
Très bien: Moderna teams up with France’s Sanofi to manufacture 200 million doses
The arrangement is not so odd, considering that Moderna is based in Cambridge and its new vaccine partner, France’s Sanofi, has a major presence in Cambridge. Still, it’s a big deal the two are teaming up to manufacture huge quantities of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine right here in the U.S. MassLive’s Jackson Cote has more.
Boston’s Most Powerful People: There’s a power shift under way
Boston Magazine has come out with its annual list of the most powerful people in Boston (or really Greater Boston) – and it shows a power shift under way towards a more diverse cast of characters, including new addition Ibram X. Kendi, director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. Boston.com’s Kevin Slane has more, including a prominent plug for the Globe’s new ‘Emancipator’ project that involves Kendi.
Backing off a pledge: Somerville wants a pass on its $50M Green Line promise
The project is on track, so they want off the hook. The city of Somerville is hoping to hear soon that it will be absolved of paying up on a $50 million promise to backstop part of the MBTA’s Green Line Extension made when the project was at risk of being canceled, Marc Levy atCambridge Day reports. If Somerville is successful, look for Cambridge to ask out of its own $25 million pledge.
In the race for funds, standardbreds are outpacing the thoroughbreds
Here’s more bad news for those hoping to revive thoroughbred horse racing in Massachusetts. SHNS’s Colin Young reports on the Gaming Commission’s move yesterday to shift a greater share of gaming revenues to standardbred horse racing – and away from future hoped-for thoroughbred racing in Massachusetts.
Battle for affordable child care: The two-front strategy
The Herald’s Erin Tiernan and Lisa Kashinsky report on the dual push in Washington (by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark) and on Beacon Hill (by Senate President Karen Spilka) regarding a major investment in, and expansion of, child care across the country and commonwealth.
Danielle Allen: ‘Scholar of democracy’
CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas has a mini-profile of Harvard’s Danielle Allen, a Democrat who’s considering a long-shot run for governor next year. Her political background – and political evolution – is quite interesting and involves a past gig at the conservative National Review and being raised by a conservative Black father. And don’t get into an argument with her about Socrates and democracy unless you’re prepared to lose.
‘Unequivocally false’: Kerry denies he ratted out Israel to Iran
Republicans are going all-out against Climate Czar and former U.S. Sen. John Kerry, who is categorically denying allegations that he once leaked information to the Iranians about Israeli military operations. The Herald’s Joe Dwinell has more on the controversy that was sparked by a story in The Hill about secret audio recordings involving Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The proposed millionaires tax: A startup killer?
The Pioneer Institute has released a new study that says the proposed millionaires tax could “devastate” that state’s startup tech culture that relies heavily on big financial bets for potentially big financial rewards. The Herald’s Rick Sobey has more on the latest study blasting the proposed 4 percent surtax on annual income above $1 million.
In related news, Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune reports the Massachusetts Taxpayers Federatin is calling for a delay on a vote on the millionaires tax vote.
‘Shakedowns’ street: Prosecutors lay out case against Correia as trial kicks off
“Lying, cheating, stealing, and shakedowns.” That’s the story federal prosecutors say will unfold in coming weeks as the corruption trial of former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II kicked off yesterday, Jo C. Goode at the Herald-News and Shelley Murphy at the Globe report.
Rejected: Striking nurses reject Tenet’s latest offer
It was back to the picket line for striking nurses at St. Vincent’s Hospital after they rejected a fresh contract offer from Tenet Healthcare that came during a mediation session, Kim Ring of the Telegram reports.
EdVestors to Host 18th Annual Education Showcase to Highlight Successful Strategies that Emerged During Pandemic
EdVestors, a school improvement organization that combines strategic philanthropy, education expertise, and implementation support to accelerate advancement in Boston schools, will host its 18th annual Education Showcase on Tuesday, April 27th from 4-6 p.m. This year’s event will be live-streamed via Zoom.
Transportation Tech Trends: 3 Perspectives on the Future Direction of Mobility
Between now and 2030, policymakers and regulators will need to guide deployment of new technologies, including connected vehicles, advanced driver assistance systems, and micromobility, to maximize benefits while minimizing harm for all road users. This conversation will feature three fellows working at the intersection of technology and transportation policy.
Monuments and Memory: A Confederate Marker in Boston
In October 2017, Massachusetts officials removed one of the only markers in the state dedicated to the Confederacy from Fort Warren on Georges Island. This program will explore the history of the marker, the organization that erected it, and the broader national dialogue abut how we remember the American Civil War.
Future of Non-profits
Not for profit organizations are critical to our economy and make our community better through the work they do. Join the Boston Business Journal and leaders in the non-profit world as we tackle the Future of Non-Profits.
Balance Sheets and Debt Crisis: Predicting Defaults in the 21st Century
In this seminar, Gon Huertas will present on “Balance Sheets and Debt Crisis: Empirical Regularities for Modern Cases of Sovereign Distress”, a research paper published by the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Challenge or Crisis: Addressing the Immigration Surge at the Border
Speakers and Presenters: Nate Bruggeman, former Counselor at the Department of Homeland Security; Juliette Kayyem, Belfer Senior Lecturer in International Security.
Across the Aisle: New Faces of Congress
The Kennedy Institute will host a bipartisan panel of new Members of Congress to discuss the current state of affairs in Washington as well as opportunities for finding common ground and forging collaboration in the 117th Congress.
The Triumph of Nancy Reagan
Karen Tumulty, political columnist for The Washington Post, discusses her forthcoming book, The Triumph of Nancy Reagan, which draws on archives, letters, memoirs, White House records, and four years of interviews with people close to the Reagans to reveal new details of the multifaceted character of the First Lady. Eileen McNamara, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Boston Globe columnist, moderates.
A Terrible Malady: Disease and Epidemics in New England
Epidemics of smallpox, measles, yellow fever, diphtheria, and other illnesses were common ailments in New England from colonial times up through the 19th century. Learn more about these diseases why they were so greatly feared by your ancestors, and remedies they may have used.
A Virtual Discussion with Special Guest Philip Mangano: Scaling Housing Solutions for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness: Hotel/Motel Conversions
The increasing number of the most vulnerable and disabled individuals living long-term on the streets and languishing in shelters is only likely to grow as we continue to experience the aftershock effects of the pandemic across the nation. But the current housing development system will need new strategies to accelerate the development of safe, supportive housing.
Louis Menand – The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War
Harvard Book Store joins us in welcoming Louis Menand, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of English at Harvard University and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Metaphysical Club, for a discussion of his latest book, The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War. He will be joined in conversation by our president David Leonard. This program is part of our Repairing America series.
The Path Ahead for Climate Change Policy
HPCA Director Robert Stavins will engage Nat Keohane in conversation focusing on what comes next for climate policy both in the United States and abroad.
When the Doughnut Meets the City: Can We Create Regenerative and Distributive Local Economies?
Doughnut Economics starts with the goal of meeting the needs of all people within the means of the living planet. Achieving this calls for economies that are regenerative and distributive by design. What would it look like to put this into practice at the level of the city? Kate Raworth will present the core ideas of Doughnut Economics and share stories of how the idea is being put into action.
Boston’s Radical Working Class History
Join us for an episodic tour of Boston’s radical working class in history, from the movement for the eight-hour day and the epic clashes of 1919 to postwar struggles for jobs, housing, and school equity that continue to inform today’s organizers.
Patriot Call to Action – Massachusetts Grassroots Unity Summit
Speakers include Jim Lyons, MAGOP. Donations accepted at event.
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