Michael Jonas Executive Editor, CommonWealth

Michael Jonas has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since the early 1980s. Before joining the CommonWealth staff in early 2001, he was a contributing writer for the magazine for two years. His cover story in CommonWealth’s Fall 1999 issue on Boston youth outreach workers was selected for a PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Michael got his start in journalism at the Dorchester Community News, a community newspaper serving Boston’s largest neighborhood, where he covered a range of urban issues. Since the late 1980s, he has been a regular contributor to the Boston Globe. For 15 years he wrote a weekly column on local politics for the Boston Sunday Globe’s City Weekly section.

Michael has also worked in broadcast journalism. In 1989, he was a co-producer for “The AIDS Quarterly,” a national PBS series produced by WGBH-TV in Boston, and in the early 1990s, he worked as a producer for “Our Times,” a weekly magazine program on WHDH-TV (Ch. 7) in Boston.

Michael lives in Dorchester with his wife and their two daughters.

ARTICLES By Michael Jonas

Rollins rolls to big win in Suffolk DA race

Outsider Harrington topples Berkshire DA, Ryan reelected in MIddlesex

AGAINST THE BACKDROP of a national rethinking of criminal justice policies, Suffolk County residents voted for big change in the district attorney’s office as Rachael Rollins, a former federal prosecutor running on strong reform platform, topped a five-way Democratic primary field in the contest to replace incumbent Dan Conley, who did not seek reelection. Change

In Middlesex DA’s race, a progressive face-off

Ryan facing spirited challenge with calls for reform in the air

DONNA PATALANO, who is challenging incumbent Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, looks like exactly the right candidate at the right time. The Winchester attorney is pushing a strong reform platform focused on addressing racial disparities in the criminal justice system and the need to rethink policies of the tough-on-crime era of the 1980s and 90s.

In Suffolk DA’s race, calls to coalesce

Groups urge blacks, progressives not to split their vote

WHAT HAD BEEN a strong undercurrent in the Suffolk County district attorney’s race is now becoming an open topic of conversation – and consternation: The fact that candidates with similar profiles in the five-way Democratic primary could split the vote and hand the election to a candidate who wins far less than majority support. That’s

SJC knocks millionaires tax off November ballot

Court rules provisions of question not sufficiently related

THE SUPREME JUDICIAL ruled that a proposal to raise taxes on high earners in Massachusetts cannot appear on the November ballot because it violates a constitutional provision requiring that all the elements of such a question be “related” or “mutually dependent.” The eagerly-awaiting ruling is a huge blow to public sector unions and other liberal

Devin McCourty tackles criminal justice reform

New England Patriots co-captain sits down with CommonWealth magazine to discuss his platform for change

When New England Patriots co-captain Devin McCourty joined the protests first set off by Colin Kaepernick and “took a knee” during the National Anthem last season, he was making a statement about racial justice issues in the country and the treatment of blacks by law enforcement officials. President Trump quickly “hijacked” the issue, McCourty says

Report rips Boston record with ‘off-track’ high school students

1 in 5 students not on course to graduate

A DECADE AFTER a report found that one of every five students in Boston Public Schools had fallen “off track” to graduate from high school, a new study finds that the figure has barely budged, with the district showing little progress in getting those students through high school. The report documents an uncomfortable truth about the

Senate calls for ed funding formula revamp

Lawmakers say the state is not making good on promise of 1993 reform law

STATE OFFICIALS ARE marking the 25th anniversary of the landmark 1993 education reform law with a statewide set of events being held under the banner “Leading the Nation,” a reference to the top performance of Massachusetts students on national achievement tests. But the boasts and bows are colliding with an inconvenient truth: The state’s students

50 years of walking for hunger

'Food insecurity' on the rise in Mass. as annual walk approaches

This Sunday marks the 50th annual Walk for Hunger, the massive fundraising event put on by Boston-based Project Bread to support food pantries and other programs. The event draws thousands of people, who gather pledges and then set out on the 20-mile course that steps off from Boston Common and makes its way to Newton

Criminal justice bill reaches finish line

Baker signs comprehensive legislation, while signaling concern with parts of it

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER signed sweeping criminal justice legislation on Friday, capping several years of discussion on Beacon Hill and casting Massachusetts squarely in the national wave of rethinking tough-on-crime laws of the 1980s and 90s. Flanked at the State House by more than a dozen lawmakers from both parties, Baker said, “Viewed as a whole,

McAuliffe says she’ll be the ‘progressive change candidate’ for DA

Boston attorney cites lifetime commitment to social justice

SHANNON MCAULIFFE may have to shift gears from a campaign that was preparing to challenge a 16-year incumbent to what is now a wide-open race for Suffolk County district attorney, but the veteran defense lawyer and youth services manager says there will be no shift in her message. “The gap between what we should be

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