8:00 | Gov. Healey attends Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association annual meeting and gives remarks at about 8:45 a.m | Westin Copley Place Hotel (Essex Ballroom, 3rd floor), 10 Huntington Ave, Boston
12:00 | Gov. Healey delivers remarks at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce's Pinnacle Awards event | Ensemble Ballroom (2nd Floor), Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport, 450 Summer Street, Boston
9:30 | New England Council hosts an in-person breakfast with U.S. Labor Secretary Martin Walsh. Media are asked to RSVP by email to email@example.com | Seaport Hotel, Plaza Ballroom, 1 Seaport Lane, Boston
11:00 | Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network hosts 2023 Pinnacle Awards, honoring nine female professionals for outstanding achievement in business, government, and management." — Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport
11:30 | Bristol County Sheriff Paul Heroux hosts legislators and local political officials for a tour of the Ash Street Jail, the former ICE detention facility, and discussion of his plan to close the old jail and retrofit the ICE building | Former ICE building, 400 Faunce Corner Road,Dartmouth
1:00 | Mass. Gaming Commission meets with an agenda that calls for votes on sports betting operators' house rules and the certificates of operation that the sportsbooks will need in order to open as planned on Tuesday | Access Info
Maura Healey’s compete level seems high. It served her well in the campaign — although many onlookers rolled their eyes at the endless basketball allusions. And yet the aura seemed to go over well in front of the hundreds of ever-competitive business leaders who jammed the ballroom at the Newton Marriott to hear the state’s new CEO yesterday.
“We are the greatest state,” she told them, and then said it again, and then said it AGAIN. It was a little odd, but quite authentic, and one can see how she might continue to develop that Massachusetts pride/cockiness into her form of “People are policy” or “Together we can.” New governors do this — morph their campaign style into their leadership style, a little awkwardly at first.
The AIM event was pretty thin on specifics and news value but offered an important insight or two. The businesspeople are worried about taxes and not super-stoked about where Michelle Wu wants to take Boston development. And they seemed really impressed by the quality of Healey’s cabinet choices so far — no grumbling, and raves for Kate Walsh as Health and Human Services Secretary.
The governor gathered most of the cabinet secretaries she’s named so far in the front row, as if it were a State of the State, introduced them one by one, and basically told her influential audience, “this is my team, and they’ll all stick around to talk to you after I leave.” And that’s exactly what happened. By the dozens, the business and civic leaders joined an impromptu receiving line, and perhaps a few new relationships got off on the right foot.
Team is another valuable sports concept portable to public leadership, but there’s an enormous hole in her team right now, with time racing by before people start saying, “Where’s the new T GM and their leadership team?” Along with the AIM speech and a renewed push to make free meals more available to hungry school kids, problems on the T take a high position in today’s news roundup. The first MBTA board meeting of Healey’s tenure abounded with (the standard) godawful news. Everyone knows the state can’t compete at its best without a T leadership capable of engineering a public-transit worst-to-first.
AIMing to win
Benjamin Kail of the Boston Business Journal keys in on the competitiveness issue in the AIM speech, while Katie Lannan of WGBH focuses on another major theme, and one of the Big Three pain points today for Mass. business, along with inflation and transportation: a workforce that’s transformed and remains in flux, with workers exhausted and hard to find after the pandemic, especially in the crisis-wracked health care industry. Healey speaks to just that issue, health care workforce woes, at the Mass. Health and Hospitals annual meeting today.
The governor reiterated her vow to conduct an equity audit of state government, and that kind of follow though is what matters if all the ribbons and social marketing in which corporate America AIM invested after Geroge Floyd is to bear any fruit. The reaction at the AIM event was okay – ‘we know we we’re expected to applaud, so we will’ – but Shirley Leung explores a Black-led, granual effort to do some real change-making by getting money in the heads of Black real estate investors. “A lot of this is democratizing an industry that has been somewhat insular, has its own vocabulary, and people think automatically, ‘That’s too big for my level. I can’t participate,” says Richard Taylor.
Maybe she was waiting for the Orange Line?
The T board of directors meeting, as mentioned, was quite appalling. The big news: new Red and Orange line cars aren’t being delivered anywhere near on time, and that they’ll go into service months behind the already-adjusted deadlines. Taylor Dolven of the Globe noted no one from the Healey administration attended; Bruce Mohl of Commonwealth notes that none of the board members had any questions. Healey’s transportation secretary, Gina Fiandaca will be sworn in Monday.
Meanwhile, municipals worried they’ll be waiting too long
The members of the MBTA Advisory Board WERE willing to ask some questions yesterday, and they asked for some evidence the T’s plan to supply new drivers and equipment for the bus system makeover the T’s leaders announced last year. Interim T GM told the advisory board in so many words, “it’ll be a while…”
Take a Walk on the Green Side….
There are any number of these to choose from on a given week, and Healey could select a combination of Abraham Lincoln and Tom Brady to run the T, and let’s face it, there would still be some situations like this. But we you know, read the news carefully, and assure you – there’s WAY TOO MANY of them now. Breaking overnight Thursday.
Next step in the fight against hunger is up to the Legislature
We’ll let Uxbridge and the Telegram lead the way in telling how hunger activists passionately backed a bill yesterday to make the state’s emergency free-school meals program permanent. Echoing a major refrain of Wednesday’s MASSterList policy event on hunger, experts pointed out that 1 in 5 Massachusetts school kids faces hunger (!) and noted the painful truth: you can’t learn well when you’re hungry. The Telegram story was picked up by the Gardner News.
Riley joins the questioning over BPS back pay
Education Commissioner Jeff Riley sharply criticized the Wu administration’s apparent failure to resolve a delayed-backpay issue that’s generating an outcry from Boston Teacher’s Union — and that outcry is growing in volume.
Two branches of government ask the third to boost legal aid
Supreme Court Chief Justice Kimberly Budd and the seemingly-ubiquitous Healey were among hundreds at virtual rally supporting a $8 million boost for the state’s Legal Assistance Corporation in this year’s budget, to $49 million. People helped by the program described the difference it made in the course of their lives.
Rollins charges Brockton-area men with defrauding PPP
U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins has announced charges against seven people, including two from the Brockton area, who allegedly operated a conspiracy to defraud the federal Paycheck Protection Program. The Enterprise’s Namu Sampath reports the multi-state, multi-million-dollar plot allegedly involved Wens Herby Mathurin of Brockton and Bill Dessaps of Easton, who allegedly spend ill-gotten gains on $32,000 worth of French Bulldogs and a Rolls Royce.
Southbridge Town Council approves investigation into one of its own
The Southbridge Town Council has hired an outside firm to investigate allegations that a member of the council harassed a town hall employee, even though the council admits it has no power to issue punishment against Councilor Joseph E. Daou. The Telegram’s Marco Cartolano has the details.
Civil service commission recommends charges against former Methuen police chief
The state’s Civil Service Commission says former Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon–perhaps best known for benefitting from a questionable contract change that made him one of the highest paid law enforcement officials in the country–should face criminal or civil charges for a host of “serious misconduct.” The Globe’s Andrea Estes lays out what could be next for Solomon, who retired after being placed on leave late in 2020.
Perfect timing? Northampton reparations panel eyes February resolution
As it formally begins its work, the Northampton Reparations Committee is hoping to convince the City Council to issue a proclamation in support of paying reparations for the nation’s slavery history as soon as February, which is Black History Month. The Daily Hampshire Gazette’s Alexander MacDougall reports Northampton is following the lead of neighbor Amherst, which has already created a fund to make reparation payments.
Boston Public Radio, WGBH Radio, 11 a.m.: Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan will interview Sen. Elizabeth Warren live and in-person at the Boston Public Library at 11 am for 30 minutes. Listen at 89.7 FM locally or at www.gbhnews.org from anywhere.
Talking Politics, WGBH TV, Channel 2, 7 p.m. Adam Reilly and his panel will take up the issue of the embattled chair of the Mass GOP, Jim Lyons, Donald Trump’s upcoming rally in New Hampshire, and what that all means for the future of the Republican party in this state. Plus, the federal government denies infrastructure funding for the massive I-90 Allston Turnpike realignment project that state agencies have been planning since 2013. So, what happens now? Watch Talking Politics on Fridays on GBH 2 at 7 pm or on the GBH News YouTube channel.
Basic Black, WGBH TV, Channel 2, 7:30 p.m.: Friday on Basic Black, Callie Crossley hosts a panel discussion on new political leadership in Massachusetts. State Representative Judith Garcia, 11th Suffolk District; State Rep. Christopher Worrell, 5th Suffolk District; and State Rep. Sam Montaño, 15th Suffolk District, will convene to talk about what they hope to accomplish for their communities. Basic Black airs on GBH 2 on Fridays at 7:30 pm with an extra half-hour conversation on Facebook.
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Ch. 4, 8:30 a.m.: MASSterList columnist and WBZ political analyst Jon Keller talks with Anthony Amore, former GOP nominee for Secretary of State and Auditor, discussing the state and future of the Mass. GOP ahead of the state committee chairmanship election on Tuesday.
On The Record, WCVB-TV Ch. 5, Sunday, 11 a.m.: Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz is the guest. Cruz’s interview will be followed by a political roundtable discussion with Democratic political analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican political analyst Rob Gray.
On The Record, WCVB-TV Ch. 5, Sunday, 11 a.m.: UMass President, former Congressman and all-around player Marty Meehan joins hosts Ed Harding and Sharman Sacchetti.
Subscribe to MASSterList
Start your morning with MASSterList’s chronicle of news and informed analysis about politics, policy, media, and influence in Massachusetts. Plus, get an inside look at Beacon Hill’s hottest new job postings.