Local leadership in the face of Covid-19

The Gateway Cities Journal

Local leadership in the face of Covid-19

From the standpoint of both public health and social and economic well-being, COVID-19 presents an unprecedented challenge for Gateway Cities. We can approach this test with a high degree of confidence, knowing that our communities faced a slew of difficult challenges in the past, and in each and every instance, they powerfully demonstrated that resiliency is a naturally endowed trait.

Civic leaders in Gateway Cities are acutely aware of what residents need and they work together day in and day out to provide it. The trust and relationships they have built allow them to see and respond to issues in real-time, fashioning creative solutions to make the most out of limited resources.

Given the magnitude of this multi-dimensional challenge, it is certain that our local leaders will need new forms of support from state and federal policymakers. Over the years, the Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus has drawn on the collective wisdom of local officials and civic leaders to advance a shared policy agenda. Your insight is particularly crucial now. We are eager to learn more about your needs and how legislation drafted in response to the crisis can be tailored to meet them.

We appreciate that finding time in the day to collect thoughts will be difficult as you work to serve your constituents and make time for family. But sending a short message directly to our offices (or MassINC and other partners who advocate on your behalf) can go a long way.

Together, we will overcome this challenge.

Sen. Eric Lesser

Rep. Antonio F.D. Cabral

Covid-19 News

At a packed homeless shelter in Brockton there are calls for support from the National Guard.
The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune says school closures shed light on the digital divide.
With 160 employees in quarantine, Pittsfield’s Berkshire Medical Center hires 54 temp nurses.

BayState Medical Center in Springfield is constructing a COVID-19 triage center.
Flights out of Worcester regional airport are feeling “surprisingly normal” according to travelers.
Rep. Kevin Honan and Rep. Mike Connolly file legislation (HD.4935) to put a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the Governor’s COVID-19 emergency declaration.
Governor Baker signs a bill  making it easier for individuals to file for unemployment benefits.
The Boston Business Journal catalogs resources for small businesses.

Housing & Economic Development

Community banks launch a new venture fund to help grow small businesses in Brockton. The city looks at a proposal to turn a former nursing home into a luxury apartment building.
With a little office, the TDI program helps Fall River dream big.
Fitchburg planners present ideas to make Main Street and Boulder Drive two way streets in an effort to promote a more business-friendly and pedestrian accessible downtown.
Haverhill city councilors approve a plan to turn a vacant landfill into a solar farm.
New Bedford residents remodel a former downtown hairdressing academy into an inclusive wellness center.
Worcester creates a mini city hall with community space and a business incubator in Main South.


Holyoke Community College unveils a newly renovated campus center.

Lynn partners with YouthHarbors to provide housing and counseling services for homeless students.
STEAM the Streets, a nonprofit initiative in New Bedford, helps children prepare for a future in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

Communities & People

Local restaurants in New Bedford and Fall River offer free lunch to local students during school closures.

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