CommonWealth’s Summer 2017 issue is out!

Our Summer 2017 issue is out today, and the cover story is a great read about the reelection bid of Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera. Rivera has made it through most of his term without any major scandals and the city has made progress on a number of fronts. Yet the mayor is facing a serious challenge from seven potential rivals. Reporter Ted Siefer says support for Rivera is tepid, partly because of growing concerns about crime and partly because he’s not as connected to the Hispanic culture of the city as well as some of the other candidates. “You know, I’m not as Dominican as everyone is,” says the mayor, who was raised in Lawrence by a single mother who emigrated from the Dominican Republic.

As the editor’s note says, we’ve also got several features in this issue that deal with state government intervention in the economy. One focuses on the state’s $50 million investment in the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams. As Linda Enerson reports, MASS MoCA’s success has put North Adams on the map, but the museum has yet to boost the town’s economy in a major way.

A second story by Jack Sullivan focuses on brewing casino wars between Connecticut and Massachusetts, a zero-sum game that has some worried that the gambling saturation that swamped Atlantic City could someday be coming to this part of the country.

And finally there’s a feature on the struggling thoroughbred horse racing industry in Massachusetts, which is seeking even more casino tax money for the construction of a new track. The big question facing the Legislature right now is how far the state should go in subsidizing what is known as the sport of kings.

Here’s a breakdown of what else is in the magazine:

PEOPLE: Michael Jonas has a Conversation with Heather Gerken, the dean of Yale Law School and a self-described high-functioning introvert who writes vampire stories for her daughter, zombie stories for her son, and research papers illuminating the concept of progressive federalism, which is rapidly gaining adherents in the age of Donald Trump.

The One-on-One is with Jessica Tang, the new president of the Boston Teachers Union.

POLITICS: US Rep. Katherine Clark is challenging the marketing practices of Purdue Pharma, trying to shame the company into doing more to warn doctors and patients about the risks of opioids.

Steve Koczela and Hannah Chanatry of the MassINC Polling Group examine the rise of unenrolled voters in an era when party labels hold less sway with Massachusetts voters.

Secretary of State William Galvin’s office has been reluctant to give cities and towns “harassment” relief from public records requests.

HEALTH CARE: Edward M. Murphy examines the GOP view that a deregulated health care market will create competition and lower prices. By examining for-profit companies involved in health care, he  concludes deregulation works well for the firms – not so well for patients.

BUSINESS: The city of Boston leased out Faneuil Hall Marketplace in 1975, when Quincy Market and its two allied buildings were struggling to survive. Today, with the marketplace humming along and 57 years left to run on the lease, the deal doesn’t look so good. Mayor Marty Walsh is trying to play hardball to change that.

ETC -We may be No. 1 on a recent US News & World Report ranking of states, but it’s a very different story when it comes to economic security for Massachusetts senior citizens. Also, why are prison inmate phone calls so costly?


Bruce Mohl, Editor of CommonWealth

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