Opinion

Somerville’s turn to ‘sewer socialism’

Somerville’s turn to ‘sewer socialism’

City election dominated by a left-leaning wave

FOR MUCH OF the first half of the 20th century, the municipal heart of New Deal politics was in cities like Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This growing industrial hub was home to a long succession of Socialist Party mayors and city council members who gained a reputation for transparent administration and for getting the fundamentals of local(...)

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Shift to women on Boston City Council is astounding

Shift to women on Boston City Council is astounding

Lots of lessons can be learned from electoral victories

THERE’S BEEN MUCH BUZZ around Boston since last week’s election which resulted in the historic victories of two additional women of color to the Boston City Council. Councilors-elect Lydia Edwards and Kim Janey will join four incumbent women of color councilors in January, marking the first time in the city’s history that nearly half (48(...)

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What Level 3 schools need from the state

What Level 3 schools need from the state

The right approach could help struggling schools gain traction

THIS MONTH, families across Massachusetts got their children’s MCAS 2.0 scores in their mailboxes. According to Secretary of Education James Peyser this new, more difficult test was necessary because nearly one third of Massachusetts students need remedial classes once they enter college. In our state, all public schools are rated and assigned a level based(...)

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Massachusetts House should act on climate change

Massachusetts House should act on climate change

States must step up after US leaves Paris accord 

LESS THAN TWO DAYS after Syria signed the Paris Agreement, leaving the United States in the unenviable position of being the only country in the world to refuse the climate deal, the Massachusetts state Senate took a critical first step toward preparing the Commonwealth for the ravages of climate change. The Senate passed the Comprehensive(...)

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A new social contract on public safety

A new social contract on public safety

Criminal justice reform can strike the right balance

THE MASSACHUSETTS SENATE recently passed a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill. It aims to improve public safety while reducing the size and cost of the prison system. More importantly, the bill is an opportunity for a new social contract related to public safety. In 2014, I started a program in Pittsfield working with youth at(...)

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Mass. needs to put a price on carbon

Mass. needs to put a price on carbon

Actions must back words if we want to be a climate leader

SINCE THE TRUMP administration stands alone as the only national government in the world rejecting the Paris Climate Agreement, states across the U.S. are standing up, saying “We Are still in” when it comes to climate action. Massachusetts is among them, but we need to back words with action. Under the Global Warming Solutions Act,(...)

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Debating immigration policy on Beacon Hill

Debating immigration policy on Beacon Hill

Lawmakers should reverse course on Republican amendment to criminal justice bill

IMMIGRATION REFORM isn’t part of the criminal justice reform bill House members will begin debating today, but Republican lawmakers want it to be. Maybe they’re right and it should be — but the Legislature should instead move in the opposite direction of the harmful plan that Republican amendments are proposing. Last week, Siham Byah, a(...)

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A Rikers view of criminal justice reform

A Rikers view of criminal justice reform

Race, economics, and politics played key roles in incarceration policies

I LEFT MY HOMETOWN of Boston three years ago to find myself inside Rikers Island. What I witnessed inside that most infamous jail complex would become my education on the system of incarceration and the staining effects it has on people caught between crime and justice. In 2014, I was appointed a deputy commissioner at(...)

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It’s now Massachusetts’ turn

It’s now Massachusetts’ turn

After wins elsewhere, transgender rights faces key test in Bay State

FOR MANY, ELECTION NIGHT 2017 was a glimmer of hope after a downright dark political year. Races all over the country made history. One of the most significant was the election of Danica Roem in Virginia, one of the first openly transgender people elected to a state legislature in the United States. History was recorded,(...)

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Dear Gov. Raimondo: Express trains wrong ask

Dear Gov. Raimondo: Express trains wrong ask

Let’s improve existing service and help all passengers

DEAR GOVERNOR GINA RAIMONDO: We read with interest your call for express rail service from Providence to Boston. You are spot-on in thinking that improved rail connections regionally will be beneficial to the people, the economies, and the environments of our respective states. But rather than single express trains serving a few commuters, we respectfully(...)

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