8 a.m. | Wentworth Institute of Technology hosts a forum to discuss water and transportation infrastructure challenges, featuring remarks from former Gov. Michael Dukakis and Transportation Committee Co-chair Sen. Brendan Crighton.
9:30 a.m. | Cannabis Control Commission meets.
10 a.m. | Secretary of State William Galvin hosts a media availability before Election Day to discuss ballots cast by mail and during in-person early voting hours, voter turnout expectations, and other election-related topics.
10:30 a.m. | Democratic candidate for governor Maura Healey and her running-mate Kim Driscoll visit Meridian Food Market, Eagle Hill Cafe, and Maverick T Station in East Boston.
12:15 p.m. | U.S. Sen. Ed Markey canvasses with students on the University of New Hampshire campus.
6 p.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker is among the guest presenters at the New England Council's New Englander of the Year award ceremony at the Omni Boston Hotel in Boston.
Today is the last day for candidates seeking offices at all levels of state government to connect with voters and make sure they turn out to vote on Tuesday, if they haven’t already. Most spent the weekend travelling around Massachusetts for rallies and meet-and-greets, making one final sales pitch before the polls open.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has been among those busy on the trail, but not for herself. Wu is nearly one year into her first term in office as mayor, but she told WCVB’s Ed Harding on Sunday it feels more like 10 years.
Wu, who hopes to forge a strong partner with the next governor to tackle a range of issues, touched on two of the biggest crises facing the city in recent months: the reliability of the city’s public transit system and the homelessness and substance use problems concentrated at Mass. and Cass.
Wu said the origin of the MBTA’s problems dates back “decades and decades,” declining to lay all the blame at the feet of outgoing MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak or say that she thought Poftak stayed too long.
While it will be up to the next governor to choose a new general manager for the T, Wu has a vision for who that next leader should be.
“My dream leader for the MBTA would know the organization internally well because there are lots of issues that are actually around vacancies that need to be filled, staffing and management related, and would have a clear vision about where we need to go, understand how to be in that leadership role and then be familiar with Boston and the general political landscape,” Wu said.
Anyone that fits that bill come to mind?
Wu also commented on the spat between City Hall and Gov. Charlie Baker over whether the state has done enough to help Boston provide supports and transitional housing to those living on the streets in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard.
The administration recently said it’s time for the city to step up and do more, but Wu said she has a “difference in approach and a difference in whether to be proactive or reactive.” She wants Baker and the state to support the development of more transitional housing outside of Boston, and hopes the next governor will share her view.
“We can only do so much within just one city,” Wu said.
— Candidates are out there, but voters show signs of lethargy
The last 24 hours of any campaign is typically a frantic sprint for candidates to meet as many people and visit as many places as possible before the polls close. No candidate wants to lose thinking they could’ve done more, and this year is no different. But with many of the state’s most high-profile races feeling like foregone conclusions for months, the Globe’s Matt Stout and Samantha J. Gross report after a weekend on the trail that voter activity is a bit more sluggish than usual, with activists and volunteers not displaying the same type of urgency that you might find in closer contests, or in other states like neighboring New Hampshire.
— Uncovered welfare fraud spiked over last year, auditor reports
Auditor Suzanne Bump’s office uncovered an alarming spike in welfare fraud during the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to the Eagle-Tribune’s Christian Wade. Bump’s office reported $13.5 million in fraud uncovered by investigators, a 120 percent jump in dollar value from the previous year. The auditor, who is not seeking reelection, attributed the sharp increase to “stepped-up efforts by law enforcement agencies to crack down,” according to Wade.
— Shootings have Boston’s Black community leaders on edge
After another fatal shooting on the edge of Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood Friday, Black clergy members are calling for a curfew to be put in place for children under 13. The Herald’s Lance Reynolds reports that Rev. Kevin Peterson called the uptick in street violence a state of emergency in the Black community. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, in an interview that aired over the weekend, called the increase in shootings and other violent crimes “scary” for community members, but she said Boston is a “safe city” and overall crime rates remain at “all time lows” compared with the last five years.
— Wu to retire from WCVB at end of year after legendary career
Legendary Boston political reporter Janet Wu announced that she plans to retire at the end of the year from WCVB after nearly 40 years at the station. Wu has covered 12 gubernatorial administrations, striking fear in the hearts of press secretaries and elected leaders alike with her incisive and dogged questions. Though she has stepped back in recent years from daily reporting, Wu has continued to host the station’s Sunday talk show “On the Record” and anchor some of its most high profile political coverage. From one Wu to another, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu issued a proclamation during her appearance on OTR this weekend declaring Sunday, Nov. 6 Janet Wu Day and admitting that when she first arrived in Boston she quickly learned there could only be one “Wu.”
— ER’s at capacity and winter isn’t even here yet
Don’t let the weather fool you. New England is heading toward winter and a move indoors, and with that comes concerns about a resurgence in COVID-19, not to mention other seasonal viruses like the flu. But can the state’s hospitals handle what’s to come? The Globe’s Kay Lazar reports that emergency rooms are already at the brink, filled to capacity with patients waiting hours in hallways and on floors to be seen by doctors. Staff shortages are exacerbating the problems.
— Walsh looks to Congress if rail workers can’t settle contract talks
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh was in the thick of the contract negotiations at the end of the summer to avert what could have been an economy-crippling strike of the nation’s rail workers. But after union members rejected the deals Walsh helped hash out, the former mayor and Massachusetts union leader says Congress must step in and impose new contracts if new deals cannot be negotiated to avoid strikes, CNN reports. The position puts Walsh at odds with the labor community, which values collective bargaining rights above all else.
— The atypical sheriff’s race in Bristol County
The Sun Chronicle’s Tom Reilly is right. Races for county sheriff in Massachusetts usually fly under the radar, with debates over policing and prosecutorial strategies confined to elections for town officials, legislators and district attorneys. But this year’s race in Bristol County between incumbent Republican Thomas Hodgson and Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux has been different, in part because of Hodgson’s profile as a hardline conservative who has injected himself at times into national debates over immigration and sided with polarizing politicians like Donald Trump. With the election to be settled tomorrow, Reilly catches us up with this helpful analysis.
— Barre museum returns ancestral artifacts to Lakota tribes
The Barre Museum Association says it has returned all of the 131 items from its collection connected to the Wounded Knee Massacre to representatives of the Oglala, Standing Rock and Cheyenne River tribes, ending a 30-year effort to repatriate the artifacts. The Telegram’s Veer Mudambi reports the final items were handed over in a ceremony on Saturday.
— Winner, winner: Pittsfield raffling off affordable home
Who needs PowerBall anyway? Pittsfield residents with qualifying incomes will be given the chance to buy a recently renovated single-family home for $200,000, well below both its assessed value and the average home price in the area, Scott Stafford of the Berkshire Eagle reports. The city used Community Development Block Grant funds to renovate the home after a tax taking in 2018 and at least 90 people have already applied for the right to make the purchase.
— Rethinking the state’s approach to energy efficiency rebates
The next governor will have a lot on her or his plate, but meeting the state’s climate goals of net-zero emissions by 2050 will be chief among them. Improving the efficiency of homes and businesses throughout Massachusetts will be a major component of any plan to ween the state off fossil fuels, but increasingly climate advocates and lawmakers are questioning the structure of the state’s once trailblazing MassSave program, operated by utilities and designed to help homeowners afford the cost of converting to cleaner fuels. The Globe’s Sabrina Shankman has more on the debate.
— Next up: WPI graduate workers overwhelmingly vote to unionize
Graduate student workers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute have voted overwhelmingly in favor of unionizing under the United Auto Workers umbrella, Timothy Doyle of the Worcester Business Journal reports. The UAW said the vote was 364 to 15 in favor of unionizing and that the newly formed bargaining unit will approach the school about negotiating a contract that boosts pay and benefits for grad student workers.
— Count ‘em: Erroneous mail-in ballots in Dennis can be tallied
Ballots sent to voters in Dennis that incorrectly list the Democratic candidate as the incumbent can be counted on Tuesday after an appeals court declined to overturn a lower court ruling and the GOP candidate who brought the action said she would not pursue any further litigation. Republican Tracy Post had asked a court to halt counting of ballots that incorrectly listed Democrat Christopher Flanagan as the candidate for reelection, saying he was “getting credit” for the legislative work done by outgoing Rep. Tim Whelan.
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