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


All American Cities


The National Civic League's annual All-America City competition concluded last month with Chelsea earning one of the 10 coveted designations. The award is given out each year to communities across the country that display outstanding and extraordinary civic accomplishments. Twenty-three communities, including our fellow Gateway City Fitchburg, were finalists for the award, selected from scores more around the country.


This win was Chelsea's second and a continuing recognition of the city's success at collaborative problem solving. It also showed that, with sufficient state support, the Commonwealth's Gateway Cities are becoming true leaders in community and economic development, worthy of national recognition.


The All-America City program isn't a beauty contest; it's more about substance, and Massachusetts Gateway Cities like Chelsea and Fitchburg have plenty to offer. We have been working really hard in Chelsea for quite some time, and the All-America City award is an affirmation of that.


Chelsea's application focused on three particular accomplishments: obesity reduction led by the Healthy Chelsea Coalition; neighborhood engagement and impact through the work of The Neighborhood Developers; and violence reduction promoted by the expanding relationship between the police department and Roca, a non-profit that serves at-risk youth. 


These projects and a dozen others referenced in the application speak to the strong and respectful partnerships that have been developed in Chelsea, the honest dialogue occurring about how to deal with challenges, and the tremendous accomplishments those relationships and communications are producing. Just like with the Boston Fed's Working Cities Challenge initiative, Chelsea's success in the All-America City competition demonstrates that communities that work together can achieve so much more than those that work apart.


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





Fitting with the lead theme this week, the Boston Globe's Marcela Garcia writes a column on efforts at the Chelsea Public Schools to integrate students immigrating from Central America. The piece includes well-earned recognition for Supt. Mary Bourque, an exceptional Gateway City leader.




Brockton appoints Gary Leonard Sr. to be the city's new Main Street Manager. He will coordinate public efforts to attract new business, organize events, inventory vacant properties, and promote the Brockton Business Corridor.


Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse gives a rundown on Phase II of the CanalWalk and several other economic development projects that are getting underway, the Republican reports.


Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan reaches out to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney expressing his desire for Boston to host the Olympic Games in 2024.


Quincy is throwing its doors wide open to high tech and life sciences companies who are looking outside of Boston. Companies like RasLabs and Bluefin are drawn to Quincy because of the cheap office space, tax incentives, and location, the Boston Herald reports.


Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera says the state's Registry of Motor Vehicles will be moving its South Lawrence branch to an undecided location downtown.


The SBA announces new funding for grants to support the growth of regional innovation clusters.




The Lynn City Council accepts a legislative solution that will spare the municipality from paying financial penalties for failing to spend a minimum amount on education, the Item reports.


UMass Lowell is named an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities for its "demonstration of how public research universities extend beyond their campuses to engage their communities in economic development that creates jobs and improves lives".


A new survey finds that New Bedford residents are disappointed by the performance of the city's public schools.


Around 450 New Bedford teachers will be enrolling in an online English Language Learner class to better prepare them to teach these students. The city hopes to make education more comprehensive for the nearly 8% of enrolled students in the public school district who identify themselves as English Language Learners.


Education and Urban Society explores new parent engagement models for immigrant families.




Governing reports on the increasing presence of outdoor art in cities.


Six gubernatorial candidates talk about arts, culture, and creativity at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, the Telegram & Gazette reports.


Massachusetts allocates $144,000 from the state's Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for the completion of the final phase of upgrades to Pittsfield's historic Commons.




According to the MBTA, service on the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line will be suspended (on a portion or all of the line) during the weekends through 2015.


The Atlantic looks at strategies to increase bicycle travel in low-income neighborhoods.




In the days since the deadly fire in Lowell there has been an outpouring of community support for those who lost their lives in the tragedy and the more than 50 survivors who no longer have a home. Follow this link to make a donation to the victims.


Salem, thanks to a coordinated effort led by Mayor Kim Driscoll, scores a 100 on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipality Equality Index. Salem follows Cambridge and Boston who both scored 100 in 2013. Municipalities earn points for having LGBT-inclusive laws, policies, and services.


Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera launches a street cleaning blitz using 25 temporary Department of Public Works employees, the Eagle-Tribune reports.




With an increase in state-aid, Haverhill responds to a recent spike in crime by hiring 10 new police officers.


Holyoke will be getting extra police patrols, graffiti, removal and weekly alley cleanups thanks to an initiative by Olde Holyoke Development, the Safe & Successful Youth Initiative and private donors.



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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