Lawrence S. DiCara

Guest Contributor

Stories by Lawrence S. DiCara

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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Market signal: Roche Bros. arrival a welcome sign

Market signal: Roche Bros. arrival a welcome sign

Downtown Boston is morphing into a full-fledged city neighborhood

THE RECENT OPENING of Roche Bros. supermarket in what most of us still refer to as the “Filene’s building” was not only a great day for downtown Boston, but also for the entire city.  If ever there were a moment that brought people together from every corner of Boston and the Greater Boston region, it(...)

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End downtown Boston’s busmageddon

End downtown Boston’s busmageddon

Add reworking bus routes to the MBTA’s to-do list

THIS WINTER’S PUBLIC transportation crisis offers our elected and appointed leaders a unique opportunity to undo decades of questionable decisions.  Others can opine regarding commuter rail and other segments of the system.  Here are a few thoughts, based upon decades of study, observation and utilization of the MBTA system, specifically concerning its impact on downtown(...)

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Kid-free Boston

Kid-free Boston

A sharp decline in children is dramatically reshaping the city

IN A 2011 Boston Globe op-ed, columnist Scot Lehigh asked: “Where are the snow shovelers of yesteryear?” He suggested that the once-eager entrepreneurs must be more consumed by Facebook, texting, and video games than by making a few quick dollars trudging through the snow and slush. This winter’s snowfall has many Bostonians echoing Lehigh’s question. We crunched some numbers and now we have(...)

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On Fairmount Line, opportunity knocks

On Fairmount Line, opportunity knocks

Let’s get serious about transit-oriented development

THE BLIZZARD OF 1888 left Boston gridlocked, and over 1,000 people died in its wake. Tragic as the storm was, there was a substantial silver lining. This catastrophe is often cited as the impetus for the construction of the nation’s first underground subway system, a transportation network that would be shielded from the elements of our occasionally harsh New England(...)

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Looking for the man or woman on a horse

Looking for the man or woman on a horse

Can the 2016 presidential race produce a transforming leader?

A RECENT BOOK by Aaron David Miller argues that the United States should be satisfied with the great presidents we have already had – George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt – and that we should stop seeking greatness in our current day leaders. Although we approach politics from different political parties and are of(...)

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What’s the matter with Blackstone?

The steady move to the right of Worcester County’s small working-class towns

Ten years ago, journalist and historian Thomas Frank published What’s the Matter With Kansas? The book was an exploration of the political transformation of his home state, which had gone from hotbed of left-wing populism in the late 1800s to heartland of rock-ribbed conservative Republicanism. The title refers to the argument put forward by Frank,(...)

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Are state campaign finance laws irrelevant?

Are state campaign finance laws irrelevant?

It’s time to overhaul reporting, contribution laws

Over the past 40 years, legislative changes have placed stringent restrictions on individual campaign contributions in Massachusetts. The maximum amount one can contribute to any candidacy in the course of a calendar year is $500; there is also a limitation of $200 if one is a registered lobbyist, as I have been from time to(...)

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A tale of two cities

A tale of two cities

Boston mayoral vote shows big split based on education and income

Throughout this municipal election season, we have highlighted – here, here, and here – the bifurcated nature of Boston’s electorate. On November 5, Boston selected its first new mayor in more than 20 years. After the field had been narrowed from 12 candidates in September, voters were left with a choice between two well-qualified yet(...)

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