Happening Today

Baker on GBH, Family Matters Boston standout, and more

11 a.m. | Family Matters Boston holds a standout outside the Department of Children and Families, then marches to the State House. Organizers say the pandemic has created “even more consistency” in the child and family welfare system, and that participants will share stories of their experiences with the system.

11 a.m. | Secretary of State William Galvin and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno celebrate a complete count of Springfield’s residents in the 2020 Census. Galvin will discuss efforts that led to a Census count that exceeded recent population estimates, as well as the population decline in other cities and towns in the area and potential impacts.

11 a.m. | Cannabis Certification Council hosts a virtual symposium on the environmental challenges and best management practices in the cannabis industry, including issues like energy efficiency, water and waste, climate change, community engagement, and diversity.

11 a.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker talks with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on GHB’s “Boston Public Radio.”

6:30 p.m. | The women of color who are running for mayor of Boston — Kim Janey, Andrea Campbell, Annissa Essaibi George and Michelle Wu — will participate in a virtual candidate forum hosted by We, Ceremony.

Today’s Stories

Who’s With Whom?

There’s a decent endorsement opening in the Boston mayoral race that seems to have been glossed over in recent weeks.

With Rep. Jon Santiago out of the race, the Beacon Hill lawmakers who previously supported him are potentially up for grabs. While one of those legislators, House Assistant Majority Leader Mike Moran, threw his support behind City Councilor Michelle Wu on Tuesday, endorsements from State House leaders like House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz could help shift the tide.

Michlewitz endorsed his House colleague in early March and after Santiago dropped out, told reporters that he was in conversation with the other candidates.

“I’ve been talking to the candidates one by one and I’m certainly paying attention to the race. My district is entirely the city of Boston,” Michlewitz said in early August. “Who the next mayor is going to be is going to be a very important point to how we come back from this, recover from COVID, and also how we continue to let the city grow in a positive and fruitful manner. So I think certainly I’m taking a look at it, but I haven’t made a … decision at the moment.”

An endorsement from the House Ways and Means chair is a powerful one among Beacon Hill political types considering the influence the committee has in the legislative process but it remains to be seen how much influence it would have among residents.

Other legislators whose endorsement could carry some weight? How about newly-minted Boston Delegation Chair Rep. David Biele. The South Boston Democrat has not made an endorsement in the Boston mayoral contest though his predecessor, Rep. Chynah Tyler, did back City Councilor Andrea Campbell. (Biele’s office did not respond to a MassterList request for comment.)

Travel a bit outside of Boston and there’s the question of whether House Speaker Ronald Mariano will throw his hat into the ring again. The Quincy Democrat endorsed Santiago – a fellow member of the Legislature – at an event best remembered for an inside joke the speaker made about getting his car stolen in the South End. That drew swift backlash, including from candidate John Barros.

House Majority Leader Claire Cronin of Easton backed Santiago at the same event, but has not jumped back into the fray and at this point she might be more focused on her nomination to become the next ambassador to Ireland in the Biden administration.

And among the gubernatorial candidates from Boston, Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz has not endorsed a candidate, a spokesperson confirmed to MassterList.

Other Boston Democrats to keep an eye on who previously endorsed Santiago: Rep. Edward Coppinger, chair of the Community Development and Small Business Committee, and Rep. Kevin Honan, chair of the Steering, Policy, and Scheduling Committee.

Baker: ‘Mismanagement’ in Afghanistan endangered allies

A day after Massachusetts lawmakers at multiple levels called on federal officials to ensure a safe evacuation of Afghan allies, Gov. Charlie weighed in on the news, saying the “mismanagement” that led to collapse of the country’s Western-backed government “needlessly endangered Americans and our allies,” reports State House News Service’s Chris Lisinski. The governor also said the state is “ready to assist Afghan refugees seeking safety and peace in America,” reports Boston Globe’s Amanda Kaufman.

On board: Teachers’ union backs mandatory vaccinations

Go right ahead. The Massachusetts Teachers Association says its board has voted to support mandatory vaccinations for all eligible teachers and students, though it is leaving the door open for collectively bargained exemptions, Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth reports. Union President Merrie Najimy called mandates a “reasonable measure to take for the common good.”


Seize the cash: Investigation sheds light on Worcester DA’s forfeiture tactics

The office of Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early regularly seizes cash and other assets and then takes years — and sometimes decades — to commence formal asset forfeiture proceedings or begin the process of returning them to their rightful owners, Saurabh Datar and Shannon Dooling of WBUR report. Early says his office follows state law, but advocates say the practice raises Constitutional due process questions.


Next phase of child-care crisis

It’s the next phase of the child-care crisis. A center may have space for your kid but it might not have a teacher to care for them. Boston Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert dives into what one child-care center executive described as “not a financial crisis. This is not an enrollment crisis. This a staffing crisis.” A staffing crisis that has led some centers to up their hourly rates and offer signing bonuses.

More from Ebbert: “Despite loosened pandemic restrictions and heightened demand from parents eager to return to the workplace, child-care directors say they can’t find enough certified employees to fully staff their centers, part of a hiring shortage felt across the US economy.”

Boston Globe

Back and forth on the app-based worker ballot question

One thing is clear: Both opponents and supporters of a ballot question redefining workers status for app-based drivers want state agencies to intervene in some form or fashion. 

State House News Service’s Chris Lisinski reports on the recent back and forth between the Coalition to Protect Workers’ Rights (opponents) want Attorney General Maura Healey to declare the proposal unconstitutional. The Coalition for Independent Work (supporters) asked the Office of Campaign and Political Finance to investigate some of the other side’s contributions and expenditures.

State House News Service

A guide to Boston’s municipal election

Still not caught up on the details of Boston’s mayoral election? No worries, WBUR’s Lisa Creamer put together a comprehensive guide that details each candidate’s policy positions, key dates, and information on how to vote. So no sweat if you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or have just tuned out politics. And if you’re not from Boston, the guide also includes other key municipal elections to watch.


It’s the Charles River Regional Chamber now

Don’t call it the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber anymore. After 106 years, the local business organization is changing its name to the Charles River Regional Chamber after recent expansions led it into Wellesley and Watertown. The chamber says the rebranding is an effort to better represent itself as the “voice for business and nonprofits in Greater Boston’s western inner suburbs.”

“We wanted an inclusive name that reflects our mission, our identity, our history, and our future,” said chamber President and CEO Greg Reibman. “We selected the Charles River because the river flows directly through each of the communities we represent: Newton, Needham, Watertown, and Wellesley.”

Secret no more: Internal records reveal how Tisbury police enabled a heinous crime

A full decade after it happened, public records have finally revealed the details of how police bungled an investigation into a domestic assault and left a rape victim vulnerable to the same suspect. Rich Salzberg of the Martha’s Vineyard Times has the details of a 14-month-long investigation that required multiple appeals to pry loose public records.

Martha’s Vineyard Times

Right direction: Berkshire officials encouraged by latest Census data

Not great, but definitely ‘encouraging.’ Officials in the Berkshires are cheering 2020 Census data that show efforts are working to stem the long-term trend of people leaving Berkshire County and to encourage diversity in what remains the whitest part of the state, Francesca Paris of the Berkshire Eagle reports.

Berkshire Eagle

You could be the winner of $500,000

You better start looking around if you bought a lottery ticket in the past year. A winning ticket for $500,000 is about to be forfeited, reports Boston Herald’s Joe Dwinell, who notes that the state’s lottery commission sent out an alert Tuesday advising the public of the upcoming expiration date. It was bought in South Dennis and if it’s not claimed, the cash heads back to the state.

Boston Herald

Fall River officials update plans for ARPA dollars

While there wasn’t as many people as the last meeting, a hearing in Fall River to discuss how the city should spend federal COVID aid dollars did update residents on plans on how officials plan to use money from the American Rescue Plan Act, reports Fall River Herald News’ Jo C. Goode. The feds have so far released half the funds to the city.

Herald News

Campaign concerns in Blandford

There’s a concern that Blandford Town Administrator Joshua Garcia violated state ethics laws by filming a small portion of a campaign video for the Holyoke mayoral race in his public office, reports MassLive’s Dennis Hohenberger. A local resident sent out an email to several media outlets saying they were going to contact state ethics officials about the video. 

Public employees are not allowed to use public resources in connection with campaign or political activity and Hohenberger reports that Garcia reached out to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance for guidance.


Today’s Headlines


Quincy Mayor Tom Koch tapped for new MBTA board – Patriot Ledger

Boston office building, once WeWork’s largest US site, could become lab space – Boston Globe


Berkshire Community College adopts indoor masking rule starting Wednesday – Berkshire Eagle

Here’s what you need to know about Taunton charter reform before you vote on it – Taunton Gazette

Advertising Restrictions Lead Cannabis Companies to Get Creative – State House News Service

Jury to resume deliberations in Thomas Latanowich trial for fatal officer shooting – Cape Cod Times


Democrats stunned by prospect of losing 2 biggest governors within weeks – Politico

Florida officials vote to penalize 2 school districts over mask mandates – The Hill

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