The Gateway Cities Journal
News and information for leaders who care about Gateway Cities


A proud achievement


Gateway City leaders should be proud of what they accomplished together this week. The comprehensive economic development bill passed late Wednesday night by the Massachusetts House of Representatives includes a new Transformative Development Fund and several other provisions that closely mirror House Bill 311, which was filed by the Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus at the beginning of the session.


The true achievement is not simply the $67 million this package will invest to revitalize our Gateway Cities, but the progress this legislation makes toward ensuring that our economic development resources are deployed as effectively as possible. Rather than investing in a one-size-fits-all manner, the Transformative Development Fund gives communities flexibility to pursue their most compelling opportunities for growth. In return for this flexibility, projects must be backed up by rigorous and transparent analysis.


Speaker DeLeo, along with Economic Development committee chair Joe Wagner and Ways and Means committee chair Brian Dempsey, deserve recognition for working with the Patrick administration to take a bold concept and translate it into actual policy. Leaders in the Senate will now have their chance to build upon the package. With their creativity, we can ensure that this legislation is a true game-changer, providing the full toolset needed to position Gateway Cities to serve as powerful engines of regional economic growth.


- Jay Ash, Chelsea City Manager & Co-Chair of the Gateway Cities Innovation Institute





Writing for the Worcester Business Journal, Craig Blais calls for a package that provides strong tools to support Gateway City growth in the economic development bill.


ICIC puts out a new report outlining the challenge of collecting inner city business data and potential solutions.


Gateway City leaders share ideas for successful economic development strategies in the Telegram.


Leaders from across the Gateway Cities gather in Lowell for the 2014 Sandbox Summit.


Lawrence is adding jobs at a faster pace than the rest of the state, but its unemployment rate remains twice the statewide average, WBUR reports.




Blogging for Strategies for Children, Alyssa Haywoode reports on a new Vermont law that makes at least 10 hours a week of high-quality early education available to every 3- and 4-year-old in the state.


The Worcester Municipal Research Bureau releases a report outlining a roadmap for implementing the Common Core. The Rennie Center puts out a new study examining innovation in alternative education.


President Obama delivers the commencement address at graduation ceremonies for Worcester Vocational Technical High School.


Community members in Holyoke worry about local control over the city's public schools.


In Leominster, doubts are expressed as the city continues to fund the school system budget close to the state's minimum.


Attleboro High School receives a $25,000 grant from the Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation.


Quincy school officials will use a $2.9 million budget increase to hire 16 new employees, including 12 new teachers, and expand programs.




Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter offers a plan to impose higher health inspection fees to pay for increased code enforcement.


Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse is traveling to the White House to participate in the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.


A state report paints a scathing picture of the Quincy Housing Authority after an inspection uncovered dozens of health and safety violations including missing smoke detectors, heavy mold, exposed electrical wires, and leaking pipes in more than 100 public housing units. Meanwhile, the head of the authority admitted that his lack of experience when he took over the job a year ago has contributed to the agency's failure to repair two elevators in high rises housing the elderly that have been out of commission since February.


Worcester is one of the few metropolitan areas in the United States that did not see gains in housing prices in the past year.




MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council announce $14 million in Cultural Facilities Grant awards, including funding to advance the campaign to restore the Victory Theater in Holyoke.


Salem resident Deborah Greel was selected by Mayor Kim Driscoll as the city's first ever public art planner.




MassDOT unveils plans to install protected bike lanes along a segment of McGrath Boulevard in Worcester.




The federal Environmental Protection Agency has committed to a clean up of the Merrimac Paper millin Lawrence.


Holyoke's Mt. Tom power plant officially closes. The coal-fired plant had been sputtering for years; CommonWealth previously reported that electric generation at the plant dropped by 90 percent between 2007 and 2011.




The Taunton Opiate Task Force hosted a public forum on Monday to stimulate a community conversation on the issue. The main message of the form is hopeful, the Taunton Daily reports.




In Pittsfield, the City Council rejects a third of the budget for the Mayor's capital plan.




The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has set the review of the MGM Springfield Casino. Concerned that strong proposals have yet to emerge, the Commission's also considers delaying action on the Southeast region again.



For a full list of Massachusetts Gateway Cities, click here. The Gateway Cities Journal is a weekly news publication of MassINC. If you would like to unsubscribe to The Journal but would still like to hear from MassINC, please let us know. If you are not yet on our list and would like to sign up, click here. To contribute news or comments, please email MassINC.



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MassINC's Gateway Cities Innovation Institute
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