Windows of Opportunity for Regional Rail: Part I

The Gateway Cities Journal

Earlier this week the Boston Globe featured three op-eds on the promise of regional rail. It’s wonderful that the concept of how we use transportation infrastructure to integrate regional economies and generate more geographically-balanced growth is getting serious attention. And it is timely because a number of near-term policy decisions will have major ramifications for the

WOOHOO, WOOSOX?

The Gateway Cities Journal

After three years of courtship, team owners and city officials announced last Friday that the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox (or, as they are more colloquially called, the “PawSox”) will soon move to Worcester and into a still-to-be-built $90 million stadium, Polar Park. Financed primarily through municipal bond offerings that cover the stadium’s construction, Polar Park

Where there’s a will, is there a way?

The Gateway Cities Journal

There exists a very strong will to rebuild our Gateway Cities. This is evident in all of the creative approaches these communities are taking to sow growth and opportunity. But every will needs a way. Because we make it nearly impossible for local governments to generate revenue to invest in themselves (and the federal government

End-of-session imperatives

The Gateway Cities Journal

It’s plain and simple: Gateway Cities have substantial capacity to absorb more residents and businesses. With the right policies, the Commonwealth can tap into this sorely needed development potential, and make growth in our state more equitable, sustainable, and fiscally responsible. Without the right policies, growth will continue to evade Gateway Cities, and the Massachusetts

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

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

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

You win some, you lose some

The Gateway Cities Journal

In the toughest state budget since the Great Recession, Gateway City leaders coalesced around priorities and eked out a few victories. The workforce development line-items identified by the Gateway Cities legislative caucus early in the year fared particularly well. Connecting Activities, which supports work-based learning experiences for high school students, came out of conference with

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