Happening today:

11:00 | Known as "Washington's Birthday" under federal law, Monday marks the holiday popularly known as Presidents Day. At Columbia Point, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum hosts a Presidents Day Festival featuring reenactors who portray Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln, and First Lady Abigail Adams. After listening to the historical figures, attendees can ask them in-character questions. And because 2023 will mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Kennedy administration, the museum will showcase performances of Kennedy campaign songs and host tours that highlight the Bay Stater's 1961-1963 time in the White House.

Hello MASSterList readers! You might have noticed a new byline atop your favorite morning state politics newsletter. That would be me: Erin Tiernan. 

My goal is to greet your inbox with the biggest headlines from across Beacon Hill every morning. I’m no stranger under the Golden Dome. While the world shut down at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, I was in the State House every day holding then-Gov. Charlie Baker and legislative leaders accountable as they pivoted to govern a changing world. 

I’ve covered local and state politics at newspapers around Massachusetts and Rhode Island for over a decade, including the Boston Herald, The Patriot Ledger, MassLive and Wicked Local. My award-winning reporting earned me the title of New England Newspaper and Press Association’s Reporter of the Year in 2019. 

A Somerville resident for eight years, I can be found writing at Diesel Cafe in Davis Square or munching one of Lyndell’s Bakery’s famous black-and-white cookies at Nathan Tufts Park in the warmer weather. 

You can reach me via email at etiernan@MASSterList.com. Please reach out to introduce yourself! Looking to hearing all your tips, tricks and juicy scoops,

—Erin Tiernan, MASSterList editor

Fun facts: Massachusetts’ honorary presidents

Four former presidents claim the Bay State as their home: Milton-born George H.W. Bush, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, founding father John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams. But when Massachusetts gives special honors to its former commanders-in-chief on President’s Day today, two others get an honorary residential recognition — as far as Massachusetts is concerned, anyway. 

George Washington, another founding father who would go on to become the first president of the United States of America, called the Longfellow House in Cambridge his home as he commanded the Continental Army during the Siege of Boston from 1775-1776. 

Calvin Coolidge may not have been Bay State-born, but served as a local mayor, state senator, and governor of the Commonwealth. Northampton is home to his presidential library and museum.

People are leaving: Mass has lost 110,000 since the beginning of the pandemic

The Boston Globe’s Janelle Nanos interviews some of those who has left the Bay State for more affordable regions and those considering it. Political leaders like freshly minted Gov. Maura Healey are scrambling to make Massachusetts “more affordable” in a post-pandemic climate that seen the Bay State shed more than 110,000 residents in a region that boasts some of the highest housing prices and worst traffic.

The Boston Globe

Ayanna Pressley calls on Congress to ‘do its job’

Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley challenged her colleagues in Congress to “do its job” and stand up to the conservative-stacked Supreme Court in her weekend appearance on WCVB’s “On the Record.” Her appearance came amid Black history month and she shared a list of positive policies initiatives she called “the best way to celebrate Black history.”


Legendary WBZ TV reporter Bill Shields dies 

Longtime WBZ-TV reporter Bill Shields died Friday night at the age of 70 after a battle with cancer. Shields reported for WBZ for more than 41 years before retiring in September of 2021. 

Remembered as one of a kind, he leaves behind his wife and their three sons.


Faster on foot than aboard the T

Sometimes it’s faster to run than ride the Green Line, a Boston Globe public records request has revealed after “months of obfuscation” by MBTA officials. It’s the latest black mark on a transit system marred by fatal accidents and technical failures. The Boston Herald dug into one of those failures — a slow delivery on a contract with a Chinese company for more than a billion dollars in new Orange and Red line cars.

The Boston Globe The Boston Herald

New AG outlines gun enforcement approach

The attorney general’s office will be adding a gun enforcement unit and government accountability working group, the newly elected Andrea Campbell said on GBH’s “Basic Black” Friday night. The former Boston city councilor said “it’s critical other states look to Massachusetts” when establishing laws and best practices on issues such as criminal law reform and police accountability.

State House News Service | GBH

Pittsfield’s Tyer will not seek reelection as mayor 

Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer says she won’t seek another term in office, a decision that opens the mayor’s seat for the first time in four years and ends Tyer’s nearly two decades in elected office in the Berkshire County city, Meg Britton-Mehlisch of the Eagle reports.

Berkshire Eagle

Northampton council sets reparations process in motion 

The Northampton City Council has voted to create a commission to study the possibility of paying reparations to Black residents and for the city to take responsibility for zoning and other local rules that have exacerbated racial divides. Alexander MacDougall of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has the details on what happens next and how the push fits with other reparations initiatives across the state and nationally.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Mitchell tones down pay raises approved by New Bedford City Council

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell says the city council went too far when it approved a slate of pay raises for city workers of as much as 25 percent and is taking steps to tone the increases down to the 5 to 10 percent level he sought back in the fall. The New Bedford Light’s Arthur Hirsch reports on the latest salvo in the months-long battle over whether pay rates need to be revised to make the city more competitive in the labor market.

New Bedford Light

Healey names interim police colonel

Lt. Col. John Mawn Jr., a 30-year veteran of the Massachusetts State Police, will serve as interim colonel of the department as Gov. Maura Healey looks both inside and outside its current ranks for someone to assume the role on a permanent basis, the governor announced last Friday.

State House News Service

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MASSterList editor Erin Tiernan is an award-winning reporter who brings a decade's worth of experience covering state and local politics from the halls of the State House to city streets. Her work can be found in The Boston Herald, The Patriot Ledger, MassLive and Wicked Local. She was the New England Newspaper and Press Association's 2019 Reporter of the Year.