Celebrating relentless Gateway City leadership…

Gateway Cities Journal

Congratulations to the Holyoke SSYI Program for demonstrating an effective new model to reduce violent crime by supporting proven-risk young men! We’re excited to recognize their inspiring work with a 2015 Gateway Cities Innovation Award.SSYI cover

The Holyoke SSYI Program is a powerful example of how successful Gateway City initiatives fuse leaders and leadership styles together to overcome stubborn challenges. SSYI is a carefully coordinated effort to reach the community’s most difficult to reach young men – those who are “proven-risk” for violence.

Making the most of a new state grant program, Holyoke leaders developed a strategy for embracing these young men with relentless outreach and a safe space to deliver comprehensive education and training, transitional employment, and case management and counseling services.

Please join us in Worcester on November 17th to hear from these leaders directly, learn more about how they put together this impressive model, and help us recognize their collective achievements.

We hope to see you there!

Ben Forman 


Housing & Economic Development

UMass Memorial Health Care announces a $70 million redevelopment in downtown Worcester to house 500 workers.

Governor Charlie Baker announces that Springfield, Holyoke, and Chicopee will receive more than $9 million through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program. The money will go towards redeveloping Chicopee’s West End Mill District, preserving Holyoke’s Lyman Terrace, and improving safety at Springfield’s Six Corners intersection.

A crackdown on landlords not in compliance with building codes and other regulations is paying dividends in Lowell.

A new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia shows gentrification tends to push out the most economically vulnerable residents.

Writing for Governing, Dane Stangeler says all economic development can’t be about promoting tech startups. 


Strategies for Children blogs about how housing authorities are key partners in early education.

The Obama administration calls for limiting the time students spend taking standardized tests.

Salem State University makes the SAT and ACT exams optional.

Massachusetts schools score top marks on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam for the sixth time. CommonWealth looks at studies to adjust state-by-state results for socioeconomic variation and finds Massachusetts still places ahead of the pack.


The Boston Globe calls the special election taking place to fill the state senate seat of the late Thomas P. Kennedy of Brockton a “high-stakes showdown” between state Representatives Michael D. Brady (D) and Geoffrey G. Diehl (R).

The New York Times focuses on the struggles for Lawrence and the recall effort aimed at Mayor Daniel Rivera, the fifth mayor to be targeted for recall in the city in 25 years, though none have yet made the ballot.

Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter and former longtime city councilor Chris MacMillan square off in a “fiery” debate that included a lively audience at Massasoit Community College.

Candidates for City Council and School Committee debate a residency requirement in Lowell, where less than half of public safety workers and teachers live in the city.

Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella and challenger John Roberge debate the state of the city’s schools in their final meeting before this week’s elections. 

Communities & People Copy of Copy of Getting to Know Gateway City Leaders

Boston Globe columnist Thomas Farragher writes a warm profile of Rady Mom, the Cambodian-American freshman rep. from Lowell.

The Herald News covers Jay Wong’s return to her native Fall River as an Americorps member. Her main goal? To make sure young people’s voices are heard in the city.


Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack, and Congressman James McGovern gather to celebrate the new Kenneth F. Burns Bridge, which carries Route 9 over Lake Quinsigamond between Worcester and Shrewsbury. The project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

Sun editorial praises former UMass Lowell chancellor Marty Meehan and City Manager Kevin Murphy for helping the city land a $13.4 million grant to repair eight bridges.


Springfield city officials send MGM Springfield’s casino design back to the company marked “incomplete” and accompanied by additional questions about its plans to make significant architectural changes to the planned gaming facility.


Holyoke Medical Center breaks ground on its expanded emergency department and medical offices.

Lowell Community Health Center, the city’s 10th largest employer, starts the search for a new chief executive officer after current CEO Dorcas Grigg-Saito announces plans to retire.


Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini signs an agreement with Northampton-based Hampshire Power offering residents a steep cut in their rates.

Worcester-area lawmakers want Eversource, the former owner of a polluted parcel now controlled by the Worcester Regional Transit Authority, to clean it up.

Salem negotiates a contract with ConEdison Solutions that will provide residents with electricity at a lower rate than they would normally pay.

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