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


Investing in the power of Gateway City CDCs


Thanks to a new tax credit announced by the Patrick administration in Worcester last week, 12 community development corporations (CDCs) working in 11 Gateway Cities across the Commonwealth are poised to receive over $2 million in new private philanthropic investment to help revitalize neighborhoods and expand economic opportunities for residents.


The Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC), signed into law in 2012 and taking effect for the first time in 2014, enables individuals, corporations and non-profit institutions to receive a 50 percent refundable state tax credit for making qualified investments in selected CDCs across the state.  Last week, the state Department of Housing and Community Development allocated $3 million in credits to 38 organizations across the state, including $1,020,000 to the 12 CDCs serving Gateway Cities. These CDCs include Oak Hill CDC and Main South CDC in Worcester, Lawrence Community Works, the Community Economic Development Center for Southeastern Mass (New Bedford), and many others (click here for the full list).


The goal is for these tax credit allocations to encourage both current and new donors to step forward with larger investments, helping to fuel deep community engagement, new physical development, resident services, business development, and job creation. The flexible and long term funding will help CDCs undertake more ambitious and comprehensive efforts, including the type of transformational redevelopment that Gateway City advocates have long championed. These new resources will position these Cities to utilize the urban investment tools included in the proposed H.311, An Act to Promote Transformative Development in Gateway Cities.


The CITC has been authorized for six years, with the program doubling in size in 2015. Donors who are interested in participating can contact individual CDCs or make donations to the statewide Community Partnership Fund being established by the United Way. The Fund will aggregate contributions and redistribute those funds to participating CDCs.


-          Joe Kriesberg, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations





The Sentinel & Enterprise captures the conversation at the Fitchburg Gateway Cities Education Vision Forum, the second stop on our six region tour.


A new study in the American Educational Research Journal shows the benefit of social and emotional learning for students across a range of socioeconomic backgrounds. The "gold standard" randomized controlled trial shows that when teachers receive adequate training, using practices that support social and emotional growth boosts student achievement. These programs are a central component of the Gateway Cities Education Vision.


Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki calls for increased training and workforce development programs throughout Massachusetts while visiting Taconic High School in Pittsfield.


The turnaround plan for the underperforming Parker School in New Bedford includes a new form of teacher compensation based on certain performance measures. Under the new turnaround plan for New Bedford High School, 60 percent of administrators and teachers will keep their jobs.


US Senator Elizabeth Warren visits Fitchburg State University to discuss the economic impact of student debt with students, faculty, and state and local officials.


Salem considers handing over a failing elementary school to a private firm that specializes in turning around low-achieving urban schools. 


Lawrence school teachers worry that state receivership is leading many mid-level teachers to leave the system, the Eagle-Tribune reports.




NPR's Marketplace features Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren talking about the Working Cities Challenge competition.


City officials in Brockton see Lowell's success as a blueprint and model for their own economic future.


The city of Malden received a Gold BioReady Rating from the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, indicating that the community is a supportive environment for the biotech industry.


In his state of the city address, Mayor James Fiorentini highlighted a number of development projects coming to downtown Haverhill.


Worcester city planners are taking a second look at their plan to abandon off-street parking requirements for new development.  


Creative businesses in Holyoke will receive a boost from a new partnership between Massachusetts' Creative Economy Network and the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council.


Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies announces plans to hold a half-day event entitled Opening the Gates of Opportunity: Realizing the Potential of Gateway Cities The forum will bring together community leaders, public officials, policymakers, faculty and students to exchange ideas and information about workable solutions for cities and local economies.




In addition to more than $2 billion for South Coast rail, the transportation bond bill, approved by the Senate this week, earmarks $15 million dollars for transportation projects in Pittsfield and Berkshire County, and $10 million dollars to convert Union Station in Springfield into an intermodal transportation and rail center.


The annual Bikeway Summit highlighting Fall River and New Bedford's planned bike paths, will be taking place March 27th in New Bedford.


Worcester officials praise the opening of the new Yawkey commuter rail station near Fenway Park in Boston. The ribbon cutting marks the beginning of expanded commuter rail service between Boston and Worcester.




Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy hopes to see recycling increase significantly as a result of the new automatic trash pick-up system that is being developed in the city.


The Haverhill City Council weighs the environmental benefits of two clean-up projects against the cost for taxpayers. 


Lowell is set to receive $200,000 from the Department of Conservation and Recreation to improve three popular community parks.


The state's highest court hears arguments in the fight by some Brockton residents and environmental activists to block a new gas-fired power plant in the city.


State environmental officials have ruled that the soon-to-be-closed landfill in Fall River does not pose a public health threat from contamination but that the site and some abutting land must be capped.




The new capital spending bond bill includes $1.5 million dollars for a new family health center in Fitchburg.


The owners of a proposed New Bedford marijuana dispensary that was rejected by the state file suit to block all 20 license recipients because of what they say is a flawed selection system.




Lawrence will be featured at a panel hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation on March 31. Mayor Daniel Rivera will be delivering the opening remarks, and the discussion will focus on Lawrence's experience with documented and undocumented immigrants.


Springfield launches a campaign to raise $20 million to restore a historic downtown bell tower.


Holyoke has invited gay marchers to participate in their Saint Patrick's Day Parade instead of the South Boston parade.




Gubernatorial candidate Juliette Kayyem visits Worcester and Springfield on her tour touting her Reinvigorating Gateway Cities plan.




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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