Winter 2005

Winter 2005

The courage of their convictions

The courage of their convictions

Eight years ago, Donnell Johnson’s fate seemed to be sealed. He was convicted for the Halloween 1994 murder of a 9-year-old boy, then the youngest shooting victim in the history of Boston. Only 16 years old at the time, Johnson had been arrested the day after the shooting, and he remained in jail until his(...)

Read More »

Meeting him halfway

Meeting him halfway

Recently, as I contemplated Massachusetts politics, my mind turned to physics. Since science was never my strong suit, this is by no means a common occurrence. But it crossed my mind that one way to think about the lack of staying power among the Republicans who have occupied the State House corner office continuously since(...)

Read More »

Great expectations

Great expectations

Just over two years ago, soon after he secured the votes to become the new president of the Massachusetts state Senate, Robert Travaglini began talking to colleagues about what roles they hoped to play under his leadership. Jack Hart, an affable South Boston lawmaker who spent five years as a House backbencher before winning a(...)

Read More »

Two and a half decades of Prop. 2 1/2

Two and a half decades of Prop. 2 1/2

Souce: Massachusetts Municipal Association (www.mma.org); state Department of Revenue, Division of Local Services (www.dls.state.ma.us) This year marks the silver anniversary of Proposition 2½, the property tax cap passed by voters in 1980. Prop. 2½ essentially limits municipal governments to a 2.5 percent increase in assessed property taxes each year, but officials can bust this cap(...)

Read More »

Legislative careers and friendships begin in the curious Beacon Hill tradition known as the freshman bullpen

Legislative careers and friendships begin in the curious Beacon Hill tradition known as the freshman bullpen

Legislative careers and friendships begin in the freshman bullpen The first day as a state representative in Massachusetts is memorable. Freshmen are surrounded by family and friends in the House chamber as the governor administers the oath of office. Afterward, the Speaker hosts a lavish reception in honor of the newcomers. Veteran legislators then file(...)

Read More »

Connecting the dots

Connecting the dots

Every once in a while, I come across people who know about CommonWealth, but have no idea it is published by MassINC. Others know full well that CommonWealth is a MassINC publication, but wonder why the magazine doesn’t focus on our research findings. Both sorts of confusion can be explained by the way MassINC does(...)

Read More »

Sarahs Long Walk chronicles the first fight for school integration in Boston  more than 150 years ago

Sarahs Long Walk chronicles the first fight for school integration in Boston more than 150 years ago

Sarah’s Long Walk: The Free Blacks of Boston and How Their Struggle for Equality Changed America By Stephen Kendrick & Paul Kendrick Boston, Beacon Press, 291 pages. In 1850, 46 years before the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that separate but equal facilities did not violate the United States(...)

Read More »