Winter 2014

Winter 2014

Clearing the cops

Clearing the cops

Do district attorneys rubber-stamp police use of deadly force?

FROM THE TINY TOWN of Colrain at the Vermont border to the siren-pierced streets of Boston, state and local police have shot and killed 73 people across Massachusetts over the last 12 years. The deadliest year was 2013, when 12 people were killed. Every completed killing investigation found the police were justified in using deadly(...)

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Resetting the bar

Resetting the bar

New education vision needed to guide Massachusetts schools in the 21st century

With headlines routinely proclaiming that Massachusetts “tops the nation” on national or international comparisons of student performance, it might come as a shock that over 40 percent of all students and nearly two-thirds of high-needs students are not proficient readers by the end of third grade. And these numbers have remained largely unchanged for the(...)

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It’s time to dredge

It’s time to dredge

A deeper harbor is crucial to preserving a diverse waterfront

Boston has some big decisions to make in the next few years that will impact one of the city’s greatest strengths, which is the diversity of its workforce and the opportunities it has been able to provide to white collar and blue collar workers alike who are able to make a living and raise a(...)

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The blue-red color divide in Massachusetts

The blue-red color divide in Massachusetts

Politically, Massachusetts is now 3 regions

On a national political map, Massachusetts is reliably blue, a Democratic stronghold. The congressional delegation is all Democrat, the State House is overwhelmingly Democrat, and every constitutional officer is a Democrat. While Republicans occasionally break through (Scott Brown’s US Senate victory in 2010 or the string of Republican governors elected from 1990 through 2002), the(...)

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Winter 2014 Editor’s note

Winter 2014 Editor’s note

For the discriminating wonk

Public policy at times can be very theoretical and dry, but this issue isn’t like that at all. It draws you in with great writing and photography that helps you understand some of the biggest challenges facing our society today and the people who are trying to address them. Our cover story, for example, focuses(...)

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Leading the fight against e-cigarettes

Leading the fight against e-cigarettes

For Susan Liss, the former top lobbyist for Massachusetts in the capital, the battle is personal

When Susan Liss became the top lobbyist for Massachusetts in Washington in 2006, she had a million things to juggle, from the rollout of the state’s new health care law to the search for federal funds. But it was a tough personal time for such a big assignment: Her husband, Jeffrey Liss, a partner with(...)

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Winter 2014 correspondence and updates

Why no Olympian effort on racial diversity? Just after I read your Fall 2013 cover story, “No seat at the table,” an article appeared in the Boston Globe about an effort by business chieftains to explore bringing the Summer Olympics to Boston. We learned that the team has already recruited Mitt Romney as an advisor(...)

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Dark money rising

Dark money rising

Outside money, lots of it hard to trace, is flooding political races in the US, dramatically altering the campaign playing field. Wendy Kaminer, iconoclastic lawyer, civil libertarian, and political observer, and Liam Kerr, who heads a group that’s part of the spending spree but nonetheless worries about its impact, consider what it’s doing to campaigns and what, if anything, should be done ab

Citizens United upended electoral politics across the country. The 2010 Supreme Court decision, and the court rulings and regulatory decisions that have followed, held that corporations and unions could spend unlimited amounts of money on political efforts. The case recast the role of already weakened political parties, shifting money and power further outside the party(...)

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Sex at the cellular level

Sex at the cellular level

Dr. Paula Johnson is trying to convince the nation’s medical and research establishment that men and women really are different

What do you mean when you say every cell has a sex? Men and women are different down to the cellular and molecular levels. You either have two X chromosomes, making you a female, or you have an X and a Y, making you a male. That is a fundamental biologic difference that makes men(...)

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