Happening Today:

10:30 | Lt. Gov. Driscoll and Seaport Economic Council are scheduled to attend a presentation with the Legislature's Coastal Caucus, co-chaired by Rep. Cutler of Duxbury and Sen. Tarr of Gloucester. Discussion centers around grant programs to support economic growth and climate resiliency

11 a.m. | Mayor Wu makes her monthly appearance on WBUR’s Radio Boston — wbur.org or 90.9 FM

2:45 | Gov. Healey participates in the Premiers and Governors’ Press Conference as part of the 44th annual New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Conference. Media RSVP to alice.bergeron@mce.gouv.qc.ca

4:00 | Cannabis Social Equity Advisory Board meets virtually. Agenda includes an update on Gov. Healey's proposed closeout supplemental budget and an overview of draft trust fund regulations, which aim to boost participation in the state's legal marijuana industry.

Is Diana DiZoglio walkin’ on sunshine? 

After entering the stage of the MassDems Convention to that Katrina and the Waves pop anthem — and eliciting a standing ovation from the crowd — one elected official named the new auditor a “Robin Hood figure” who is “beloved by the voters & regular people.” 

DiZoglio took her campaign to audit the Legislature to Bay State Democrats on Saturday, appealing to the liberal party’s “values of transparency, equity and access for all.”

“Now I know this topic makes many Beacon Hill insiders uncomfortable, and that’s why I’m coming directly to you, Massachusetts Democrats. We are supposed to be the party of accessibility,” the former state representative and senator said in her speech at the convention. 

DiZoglio is known for having chafed against the weight of House Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka’s top-down leadership style during her time in the chambers. 

But on Saturday, in the role she has cast for herself as light-bringer and swamp-cleaner, DiZoglio had the crowd’s full attention. 

Halfway through her speech the Methuen Democrat broke out into the song she wrote about opaque processes on Beacon Hill, premiered on GBH last week. 

 “Some people think that holding onto power makes them strong, but it’s in our neighborhoods to which that power should belong,” the auditor sang. “We have a chance to change the crazy ways people have been oppressed. So we can’t miss this moment, we won’t miss this chance, going to give it our best. This is the time for the people to be heard, this is the time for our faith to be restored. This is the time for us to rise up in unity, to say we won’t back down, we’re going to stand our ground until we see the victory.”

After the unexpected mini-concert, DiZoglio pitched convention attendees to sign their names on her potential ballot petition that would allow her office to audit the Legislature. 

“Should we care so deeply about access to voting for our elected officials but then resign our right to access information about how they voted, how our money is being spent? How process and procedures can allow for 120 legislators to co-sponsor a bill that’s never brought up for a vote? Empowering two or three people in positions of power to block its passage?” the auditor said, to boos from the crowd at mention of the votes that lawmakers take behind closed doors.

With her escalating effort to audit the Legislature now including a ballot question campaign, possible legal action and a cappella performances, all of Beacon Hills’ eyes are certainly on DiZoglio.

Wu to name environmentalist to MBTA board…

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu plans to nominate professional environmentalist Mary Skelton Roberts to the MBTA Oversight Board, the Boston Globe reports. “I think it’s really important to highlight if we get this right, what does the system look like? What does it deliver for people in terms of equity and access, for climate change?” the Globe quotes Skelton as having said. “I think it is not losing faith.”

Boston Globe

…While MBTA head shuffles top managers

MBTA General Manager Phillip Eng, a civil engineer by training, on Friday announced a re-working of the transit system’s management structures. The MBTA will operate through four “major divisions,” according to an internal memo. They are operations, safety, capital and administration. Also, he assigned a number of high-level managers  to new roles, in some cases positions they previously held. 

State House News Service

State to help fill local public housing units, estimated at 2,300

The state will help local housing authorities begin to fill vacant publicly-owned apartments, officials said Friday in the wake of a joint investigation by WBUR and the investigative news website ProPublica found some 2,300 units are empty. The state will immediately launch a “90-day push” to fill units, WBUR reported.


State eyes charter school expansion

State education officials are looking to increase the number of charter schools and charter school slots as a waiting list stands at 21,000 students, the Boston Globe reports. According to the paper, the state has 76 charter schools and officials are especially interested in creating new ones in areas where students are struggling to perform well and where students are at high risk of dropping out. The Globe notes that teachers’ unions are likely to put up a fight.

Boston Globe

Young conservatives trying to launch a revival in Massachusetts

A group calling itself the New England Young Conservatives held its first meeting Saturday. “We want to build a strong, robust party in Massachusetts,” Jaclyn Corriveau, a leader of the group, was quoted as having said by the Boston Herald. “We want to build a robust network of conservative thinkers to rival the other side. Obviously, we’re a minority now, and we want our generation to be the one who really brings balance to the Commonwealth.”

Boston Herald

Nantucket group appeals approval of under-construction Vineyard Wind 

A group of Nantucket residents is asking an appeal court to reinstate its lawsuit seeking to halt Vineyard Wind, saying regulators failed to properly weigh the project’s impact on North Atlantic right whales–an endangered species. The long-shot action comes as construction work on Vineyard Wind is well underway.

Nantucket Current

Leominster birth center closes as scheduled 

UMass Memorial Health closed the doors of its birthing center at its Leominster hospital as scheduled on Saturday after Gov. Healey declined to intervene to stop it and despite a last-minute lawsuit filed by the city. 

Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Leominster birth center closes as scheduled 

UMass Memorial Health closed the doors of its birthing center at its Leominster hospital as scheduled on Saturday after Gov. Healey declined to intervene to stop it and despite a last-minute lawsuit filed by the city. 

Worcester Telegram & Gazette

To save money, Bellingham will skip special election for select board vacancy 

The Bellingham Select Board has decided to roll with just four members until the next regularly scheduled election in the spring rather than pony up the $13,000 it would take to run a special election to fill the seat left open by resignation, Tom Benoit of the MetroWest Daily News reports. 

MetroWest Daily News

Milford police say convenience store hid illegal dental practice 

Two people in Milford are facing charges after local police and the board of health found an unlicensed dental practice operating from the back room of a downtown convenience store.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Insult to injury: DoorDash driver faces charges after following GPS into water 

A DoorDash delivery driver who said his GPS led him to drive his car into a body of water in Middleton is facing motor vehicle charges and the possible loss of his license after the police and fire department responded to fish his car out of the drink. MassLive’s David Cifarelli has the details.


Rain can’t stop Somerville’s Fluff Fest

Among Somerville’s many claims to fame is the invention of Marshmallow Fluff, the inspiration behind the city’s annual What the Fluff? Festival, a celebration that included music, vendors, and a variety of Fluff-related games and food.

Boston Globe

More Headlines

WGA and the studios reach tentative deal to end writers’ strike

Massport picks developers for 15-story affordable housing in Seaport

Federal regulators rip MBTA after finding agency violated safety order

Massachusetts sees uptick in births during pandemic

Solicitor rules Christian flag can be flown outside Attleboro City Hall

NBC’s Steve Kornacki analyzes 2024 election, shares predictions at UMass Lowell

Zeiterion CEO worries City Council action could sink $32 million renovation

Keith Regan is a freelance writer and local news junkie who has been on the MASSterList morning beat since the newsletter’s earliest days. A graduate of Northeastern University and Emerson College, Regan lives in Hopkinton with his wife, Lisa.

Sam Drysdale is a reporter with the State House News Service and a graduate of Boston University. Drysdale has written for newspapers on Cape Cod, the South Coast and greater Boston. She lives in Brookline with her cat, Nubbs.