Lawrence S. DiCara

Guest Contributor

Stories by Lawrence S. DiCara

For marijuana law, now the ‘Grown-Up’s Hour’

For marijuana law, now the ‘Grown-Up’s Hour’

State has long history of applying legislative fixes to ballot questions

MANY OF US have listened to Longfellow’s poem that reminds us that there “Comes a pause in the day’s occupations, that is known as the Children’s Hour.” Now that democracy has worked its magic in Massachusetts with the legalization of recreational use of marijuana, I suggest it is time for the Grown-Up’s Hour when it(...)

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Bridging the urban-rural divide in Mass.

Bridging the urban-rural divide in Mass.

Three suggestions for linking Boston and rest of state

EVAN HOROWITZ AND JAMES PINDELL of the Boston Globe remarked in a November 14 article that “the Trump effect” occurred in Massachusetts as well: while Greater Boston voted more Democratic in 2016 than 2012, outside of I-495 trended more Republican—often significantly. A map accompanying the story depicted a growing divide between Greater Boston and the(...)

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Let’s boost transit-oriented development

Let’s boost transit-oriented development

Developing housing near transportation is a smart move for all

I WAS RECENTLY honored to accept an award on behalf of the Commonwealth Housing Task Force for our work with respect to transit-oriented development.  Anyone who has seen all the changes which have occurred in Boston in the past few decades understands that there is a direct relationship between property values and proximity to public(...)

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Civics education needed now more than ever

Civics education needed now more than ever

Time to reverse apathy of young Americans

ACCORDING TO THE Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, a nonpartisan research organization at Tufts University, only about half of registered voters aged 18-29 voted in the 2016 presidential election. The fact that half of young people who registered to vote — and a majority of young people of voting age(...)

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Boston’s presidential election numbers

Boston’s presidential election numbers

Huge Clinton margins - but lower turnout - in minority precincts mirror her problems nationally

NATIONWIDE, THE STORY over the past couple of weeks has been how Donald Trump outmaneuvered Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Back here in Boston the converse was true: Hillary Clinton trounced Donald Trump. Clinton did slightly better in Boston than President Obama did in both 2008 and 2012. Even further, Clinton did not(...)

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Taking on the gun lobby

Taking on the gun lobby

History offers no easy road map

IN TRYING TO understand the power of today’s gun lobby, I’ve found myself looking for answers in earlier issues in US history. More than 100 years ago, the Anti-Saloon League was successful in ushering in Prohibition because they were able to mobilize small numbers of loyal voters and use them to tip the balance in favor of dry candidates and(...)

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No transforming option for president

No transforming option for president

Voters face imperfect choices, including one far outside mainstream

IN JANUARY 2015, the two of us took pen in hand and collaborated on an article for CommonWealth titled “Looking for the Man or Woman on a Horse: Can the 2016 presidential race produce a transforming leader?” Among other things we wrote, “After what appears to be a decade or more of drift and questionable decisions, especially(...)

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A last look at Boston’s 2015 city election

A last look at Boston’s 2015 city election

The whys and hows of City Council exits and entrances

FOR DECADES, AMERICANS who thought they could predict elections have been reminded of the famous photograph of Harry Truman holding up the early-edition headline from the Chicago Tribune in 1948: “Dewey defeats Truman.” Now that a new Boston City Council has been inaugurated, and remembering that Monday morning quarterbacking is as welcome in city politics(...)

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The downsides of Prop. 2½ and Community Preservation Act

The downsides of Prop. 2½ and Community Preservation Act

Well-intentioned policies are exacerbating inequality in Massachusetts

IN HIS RECENT book, Our Kids, Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam argues that the American dream of obtaining a good education, joining the workforce, owning property, and being a prosperous citizen has become increasingly skewed during the past half century. A nation that was built upon the concepts of opportunity and social mobility has been(...)

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The incredibly vanishing Boston voter

The incredibly vanishing Boston voter

City residents turn out for presidential races, but have become increasingly scarce in municipal elections

WE HAVE LOOKED at voter turnout in each off-year Boston City Council election beginning in 1985 – the first off-year election after the change in the structure of government brought about by a referendum four years prior.  There has been a decline in participation in off-year city elections, even as the population has increased and(...)

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