The Topline

Amazon, but for Amazon HQ

With its radically open bidding process for its second headquarters, Amazon is doing to economic development what it did to retail. Amazon, the company that disrupted bookselling and then the selling of most everything else, has thrown economic development agencies for a loop with the bidding to host their second headquarters. From the start, Amazon’s

Inequality, criminal justice reform are linked

Incarceration approach is hollowing out the middle class

FOR ALL THE TALK about inequality these days, it’s rare to see policy proposals that could actually make a difference. Politicians of all persuasions rail against the disappearing middle class, and then do very little to find common ground on viable solutions to the problem. The criminal justice reform legislation introduced in the Senate last week is an

Gateway City leadership on criminal justice reform

The Gateway Cities Journal

Watching Gateway City leaders over the years, I’ve come to admire their work ethic. Whether it’s putting together complex redevelopment projects, fighting for school improvement, or closing holes in municipal budgets, they have a penchant for stepping up and solving difficult problems. As our latest research report shows, corrections reform is yet another issue calling

Connecting rail riders from the station to jobs in the suburbs

Can shuttle services give Gateway City residents access to more jobs?

As we described in a previous post, job growth outside of the Boston core has overwhelmingly occurred at highway interchanges with limited access to public transportation. This phenomenon is partially attributable to the MBTA commuter rail’s hub-and-spoke model. By design, the system operates with one-directional aim—funneling suburban residents to jobs in Boston and Cambridge. Increasingly,

Senate goes big on criminal justice bill

Sweeping proposal would touch most parts of system

THE SENATE IS poised to consider a wide-ranging criminal justice bill that would reform everything from the bail system to mandatory minimum sentences and fees and penalties that weigh heavily on low-income defendants. The bill aims not only to reduce incarceration rates, but to eliminate various ways people get tripped up by a system that sometimes

The Topline

We've got a podcast!

We’re pleased to announce the launch of “The Horse Race”, a new podcast hosted by MPG President Steve Koczela and Politico’s Lauren Dezenski. As the name suggests, we’ll be focusing on campaigns and elections, particularly here in Massachusetts. We’ll also look at how developments in Washington could impact politics in the Bay State. We’re two

House, Senate poised to go separate ways on criminal justice bills

Branches would need to reach agreement afterwards to move reforms forward

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE   THE HOUSE AND SENATE appear poised to go their separate ways on the major issue of criminal justice reform, perhaps meeting in the middle at some point in the future after what one senator predicted will be a “fairly lengthy evolutionary process.” The Judiciary Committee on Thursday opened voting on two

Looking to Colorado for a True Model of Justice Reinvestment

The MassCJRC Journal

Colorado’s novel approach to justice reinvestment offered new perspective for leaders gathered for a MassINC forum at the State House last week. The event featured Christie Donner, Executive Director of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, who joined via Skype to detail the process of creating a fund that moves savings produced by parole reforms

Increasing access to economic opportunity with affordable transit

A growing number of transit agencies discount fares for low-income riders

Rising rents are pushing low-income transit-dependent households awy from strong public transit and out to Gateway Cities, where service is less frequent. These residents have just two costly options to get to back to better paying jobs in Boston: driving or taking the commuter rail. Compared to the subway, with its flat fare of $2.25

Policymaking by presumption

The Gateway Cities Journal

In 2002, Massachusetts voters went to the ballot box and passed an initiative requiring schools to deliver all instruction in English. While there wasn’t much evidence that this would improve learning, voters were still sold on the idea that professional educators didn’t know how to do their job; allowing students to learn math and other

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