Passing an economic development bill with provisions to stimulate Gateway City TOD

The Gateway Cities Journal

Over 20,000 people came out on Father’s Day weekend to ride the long-awaited Springfield-to-New Haven commuter rail service. This outpouring of support demonstrates just how much western Massachusetts hungers for vital rail connections (a yearning that Boston-centric leaders on Beacon Hill have been somewhat hesitant to affirm). But now that Springfield’s rail infrastructure is in

A look at the Gov’s FY 2019 Budget from the Gateway City Perspective

The Gateway Cities Journal

Governor Baker’s FY 2019 budget makes no direct reference to Gateway Cities, but it nonetheless reflects a series of policies and priorities with respect to these vital urban communities. The most significant piece is the proposed increase in the earned income tax credit (EIC). Governor Baker’s first budget proposal called for doubling the EIC and

Taking matters into their own hands

The Gateway Cities Journal

In 2013, Gateway City leaders developed an education vision. Their strategy was rooted in a belief that these inclusive urban communities could create exceptional learning environments by building on their core strengths, including their diversity, strong cultural institutions, sophisticated early learning providers, and local higher ed partners. At the time, educators described pressure to perform

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

Locally accountable for education-led renewal

The Gateway Cities Journal

The fate of our Gateway Cities lies in their schools. From growing a skilled workforce to maintaining healthy neighborhoods, public education will be the deciding factor. Significant progress has been made, but a lot more needs to happen to put these school systems in a stronger position to drive economic growth and renewal. Some of

Beacon Hill takes another look at regional transportation funding

The Gateway Cities Journal

Gateway City leaders testified at a State House hearing this week in favor of legislation to give voters the option to raise funds for local transportation projects through dedicated taxes. The bill, which is sponsored by Gateway Cities caucus co-chair Senator Eric Lesser, mirrors legislation championed by former caucus co-chair Senator Ben Downing. Senator Downing’s

Seeking out the educational accountability muse

The Gateway Cities Journal

“Sometimes we live no particular way but our own” goes the Grateful Dead lyric which, in a nut shell, describes the educational accountability vibe in Massachusetts’s plan for implementing the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA invites states to hold schools accountable for delivering a wider range of learning. In contrast to a host of states that

Increasing access to high-quality summer learning

The Gateway Cities Journal

Next week, Rep. Alice Peisch will host a briefing on her new bill, An Act to Increase Access to High-Quality Summer Learning Opportunities. This legislation will give more students the chance to participate in high-quality summer learning programs all across our Commonwealth. Mayors and school leaders from Worcester, New Bedford, and Salem supported an earlier

Talking workforce development innovation at the State House

The Gateway Cities Journal

The topic was workforce development at the Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus last week. MassINC shared recent research findings showing one in five Gateway City residents is struggling in the labor market, working in very low-wage employment, unemployed, or no longer actively seeking a job. A slightly larger share of the young adult Gateway City population,

Celebrating Gateway Cities

The Gateway Cities Journal

Gathering the links below has become one of my favorite parts of the job. It’s a window into the collective work of Gateway City leaders—whether they’re finding solutions to the Commonwealth’s most pressing problems or advancing bold, ambitious visions that reflect optimism for their communities and unwillingness to settle for projects that sell their cities

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