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

Riley’s collaborative ways

The Codcast

Jeff Riley won the backing last week of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to be the next state education commissioner based in large part on his work over the last six years as the state-appointed receiver for the Lawrence schools. If somebody can show real gains in what was arguably the lowest-performing,

Commissioner pick will signal direction for education policy

3 finalists each bring a different profile

WHEN THE STATE education board convenes next Monday to vote on a new Massachusetts education commissioner, its members won’t just be sizing up the three finalists for the job. They will be making a statement about the direction of state education policy going forward. The decision will come at a time when Washington is stepping back from the

CommonWealth’s Winter 2018 issue is out!

Politics, Ideas, and Civic Life in Massachusetts

Apps are wild in CommonWealth’s winter issue, which is in the mail and up on our website today. The apps we’re writing about are Airbnb, Uber, and Lyft – all of them popular with the public but creating headaches for policymakers who are slowly – and warily – grappling with their fallout. Jack Sullivan writes about Airbnb, an

A year of opportunity and impact

A Recap of 2017

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! 2017 was a year of opportunity and impact for the MassINC family, which includes our Policy Center, CommonWealth magazine and the MassINC Polling Group. Please take a moment to look through our top highlights of the year and consider making a year-end donation that will help us continue our efforts to improve the quality of life in

T notes: Bus lanes do save time

Big changes may be coming on the Green Line

MBTA OFFICIALS ON MONDAY said initial results from two experiments in Boston and Somerville showed dedicated bus lanes could dramatically cut route times. Jeffrey Gonneville, the T’s deputy general manager, said a one-day test on December 12 of a dedicated bus lane on Washington Street between Roslindale Square and the Forest Hills T station showed travel

Editor’s note: Tang vs. Kerr

How much editorial license should opinion writers be given?

HERE AT COMMONWEALTH we are great believers in open debate; that’s why we run so many opinion pieces. But sometimes the debate becomes so spirited that people want us to step in and become referees. One such instance was the recent back and forth between Jessica Tang, the president of the Boston Teachers Union, and Liam Kerr,

Oversight of Lawrence schools shifting to state-appointed board

Riley leaving after six years, may seek state education commissioner’s post

  EDUCATION OFFICIALS UNVEILED the next chapter in state oversight of the Lawrence schools on Wednesday with the announcement that the state receiver, Jeff Riley, will be stepping down at the end of the school year in June and new state-appointed board will oversee the district. The state took control of the city’s struggling school system

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

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

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