Posted inEducation, Government, Opinion

Strengthening democracy takes compromise, consensus, and learning

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY is being tested every day. Now more than ever we need Americans to understand that democracy takes work. To strengthen our democracy we need every generation to develop their democratic muscles. By increasing the presence of civic education in school-aged children’s lives while providing people of all ages models of the hard work […]

Posted inEconomy

We should use remaining ARPA funds to combat racial inequity

CONFRONTING INEQUITY BY race in housing, education, wealth and business investment is the smartest use of the state’s remaining $2.3 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. It is not only just; doing so contributes to a strong economic recovery. Such an investment reduces vulnerabilities when health crises and economic downturns ravage communities with […]

Posted inEconomy

Moderna, Massachusetts, and durable US foreign policy 

PRESIDENT TRUMP PULLED America from the global stage in pursuit of isolationist foreign policy. The fight against the pandemic provides an opening for President Biden to not only restore alliances but to establish durable US engagement in international organizations. What’s more, Moderna and Massachusetts are at the center of the fight against the pandemic, and they might provide […]

Posted inOpinion

A Massachusetts model for reaching neglected America

THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION has started and voters in neglected parts of the country will likely determine the outcome. Both parties will plan how to win voters in the Rust Belt and rural America with proposals to address their needs, and Massachusetts stands as a model. That may seem like a jarring claim. But only […]

Posted inOpinion

A new social contract on public safety

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 […]

Posted inEconomy, Opinion, Politics

Western Mass. needs regional economic development plan

THE MASSACHUSETTS BUDGET process demonstrates economic progress does not always create revenue for the Commonwealth. Total employment is eclipsing previous highs, unemployment rates are below four percent, and per capita state GDP is strong. Yet the state’s budget is difficult to balance and news stories about revenue shortfalls feel like waking up in Groundhog Day. […]