Holmes, Idowu outline reform steps

In the wake of George Floyd’s death, Rep. Russell Holmes of Boston and Segun Idowu of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts talked on the Codcast about practical steps that can be taken to address racial inequities and police misconduct.

Holmes said the focus should be on equity. “Equity means that there are folks who have been left behind, and it does mean that you have to actually give more resources to some folks than you do to others,” Holmes said.

Idowu said racial inequities have been amplified by the coronavirus. “COVID is impacting our communities way more than it is other communities, not just in the health area, with the rates of infection and the rates of death, but also the economic conditions, the fact that we are considered essential workers but don’t have access to adequate health care. Or the fact that, you know, access to unemployment [insurance], to be able to pay bills.”

Holmes, who has seen his own legislation aimed at chipping away at racial inequities and police misconduct shelved repeatedly on Beacon Hill, is now hopeful of success. The Black and Latino Legislative Caucus announced three of Holmes’s bills were part of the group’s 10-point plan legislative plan. One bill would allow for the decertification of police officers for misconduct and abuse, a second would establish diversity guidelines for all state agencies, and a third would create a commission to assess the presence of institutional racism in the criminal justice system.

Idowu joined the Muslim Justice League and Black Lives Matter in pushing for the defunding of police departments. He said he wants to “see the budget of the police department not going up every year, but rather going down,” which would free up funds from law enforcement that could go to community organizations and programming to address “social and economic issues that we just decide not to actually deal with head on.”

In Boston, city councilors withheld approval for an $850,000 state grant for the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, something Idowu mentioned on the Codcast. The law enforcement entity, run out the Boston Police Department Headquarters, has been accused of racially profiling immigrants and black youth in its “gang database.”

SARAH BETANCOURT


BEACON HILL

Two thirds of Beacon Hill incumbents are going to face no primary or general election challenges in this year’s elections. (State House News)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Mayor Marty Walsh vows to reallocate some of the Boston Police Department budget. (Boston Herald) He’s getting lots of pressure from Boston city councilors. (Boston Globe)

There was no full call-up of every available Boston police officer in advance of the protests eight days ago that ended in violence and looting. (Boston Globe) Heavy police presence at a Northampton protest over the weekend is criticized. (Daily Hampshire Gazette) Even smaller municipalities like Easton are seeing continued protests against racial injustice. (The Enterprise) In New Bedford, the community is calling for body cams to be worn by police, something the police chief and union say they will support. (Standard-Times)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

A veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council pledges to defund the city’s police department. (NPR) What does it mean to defund police departments? (Associated Press)

Utah Republican senator and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney joins a Black Lives Matter protest marching to the White House. (MassLive)

ELECTIONS

A former campaign aide to Gov. Charlie Baker has launched a national super PAC aimed at electing Republicans who will side with businesses hurt by what he considers overreaching coronavirus shutdowns — like those imposed by Baker. (Boston Herald)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Another casualty of the coronavirus is students’ summer job prospects. (Telegram & Gazette)

Landlords are getting squeezed from all sides, as tenants can’t pay rent and banks still want mortgage payments. (Telegram & Gazette) The Green Bean restaurant in Northampton, after a decade in business, is closing. (Daily Hampshire Gazette)

Cities and towns — like Springfield and East Longmeadow — speed up their approval process for restaurants to allow outdoor dining. (MassLive)

EDUCATION

UMass Boston will no longer allow the State Police to use its campus as a staging area for protests and other events. (MassLive)

Teachers are mulling how to grade student work during the move to remote learning. (Boston Globe)

TRANSPORTATION

Coming soon: MBTA crowding alerts? (Boston Globe)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

With all the other big problems, now this: the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority is urging bars and breweries not to dump into the sewer system all the stale beer that has been sitting in kegs and containers during the shutdown. (Boston Globe)

The coronavirus pandemic is complicating planning for Cape’s hurricane season, according to state and Barnstable emergency management professionals. (Cape Cod Times)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

Policing experts express skepticism over whether current protests will yield systemic change in law enforcement policies and practices. (Washington Post)

MEDIA

New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet resigned Sunday following the uproar over the paper running an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton calling for military troops to quell unrest in US cities. (Washington Post)

The Boston Sunday Globe Magazine was removed from as many printed copies as possible because the cover art, “bore an unintentional but close resemblance to the way George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis,” the paper said in a note to readers. “We have deemed it insensitive in this moment and not up to our editorial standards,” the paper said, noting the cover was commissioned in May before Floyd’s death. The magazine, with a different cover, was available online. The cover story in the magazine was entitled “Burnout nation” and dealt with America’s “stress epidemic.”

Stan Wischnowski, the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, stepped down over the weekend in the wake of furor over a headline over an architectural critic’s article. The headline said: “Buildings matter, too.”

WGBH’s Callie Crossley wonders if the nation is at a tipping point in acting against racial injustice, or if this is just more hashtag activism.