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

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

Ideas without data are just hallucinations

The Gateway Cities Journal

For a decade now, we’ve been playing up the untapped potential of Gateway Cities. Their tight street grids and existing transportation infrastructure have been one of our frequent talking points. With added emphasis, we always note that this fabric is not just an opportunity for Gateway Cities, but for the entire state. At a time

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

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