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


Pump up the volume


Last week the Joint Committee on Economic Development held a public hearing on an Act to Promote Growth and Opportunity -- Governor Patrick's comprehensive economic development legislation. Speaker Deleo is carefully crafting his own economic development package, which he has said will be aimed at pushing the state's economic recovery out to Gateway Cities. The unbalanced testimony foreshadows the challenge we will face ensuring that the focus remains squarely on our key regional cities.


Boston-based interest packed the hearing room for a bruising battle over a small provision in the bill eliminating the state's "non-compete" law. Without a doubt, the question of employment agreements that prevent workers from taking jobs at rival firms is an important issue to settle for the state's economy, but the manner in which that issue dominated the room illustrates how even a minor matter for the Boston economy overwhelms an opportunity to draw attention to Transformative Development, a game-changing approach to Gateway City renewal. (Of course, it didn't help that Gov. Patrick only included $11 million for the Transformative Development Fund in his bill, far less than Gateway City leaders had been seeking in their legislation to create a transformative development fund).


Beyond Beacon Hill, the chorus of leaders calling for investments that make our Gateway Cities engines of growth for their regional economies has been growing louder, as we've seen from recent coverage in the Eagle-Tribune, the Enterprise, the Standard Times, and the Sun. In the coming weeks, it will be critical that Gateway Cities pump up the volume.


The moment has come for the network of Gateway City leaders we have built together over the past several years. Together we can ensure that the attention our regional cities are receiving translates into a meaningful state commitment to Gateway City growth and renewal.


Winthrop Roosevelt





The Lowell Sun's Chelsea Diana writes officials in Fitchburg and Lowell are urging the House to build a larger fund for transformative development than Gov. Patrick has proposed.


Providing a great contrast to last week's GCJ lede lamenting the media's tendency to overlook success in urban education, the Boston Globe's Kevin Cullen reveals the innovative spirit at Revere High School.




Writing for the Sun, Lowell Plan Executive Director James Cook urges the House to support Gateway City revitalization efforts in Speaker DeLeo's jobs bill.


The Boston Globe covers the State House Hearing on transformative development provisions in Gov. Patrick's economic development bill.  Springfield's WWLP Channel 22 provides coverage as well.


In Brockton, city officials are hoping a property tax freeze could be the first step toward encouraging economic development by attracting new businesses to downtown.


The state grants the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority $9.7 million to construct a Life Sciences Center.


Fall River is selected to participate in a federal pilot program, "311 for Cities," aimed at boosting economic development. The Boston Globe also reports on the program, which provides outside experts to help craft revitalization plans.


MassDevelopment issues a $4.2 million tax-exempt bond to help the manufacturing company Dennison Lubricants expand in Worcester.


The Holyoke City Council voted to extend the contract of Creative Economy Coordinator Daniel Bianchine, a role created by Mayor Alex Morse two years ago to bring together the arts and economic development.




The Patrick Administration awards $9.15 million in grants to fund turnaround programs in six underperforming schools, four of which are in New Bedford, Fall River, and Springfield.


Holyoke Community College is now offering classes for those interested in becoming restaurant and hospitality workers.


The recent Senate budget proposal includes a budget increase of $100 million for the UMass system, reversing a trend of cuts dating back to 2001.


Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse receives a Mass Mentoring Partnership award in recognition of his outstanding efforts to promote adult mentors for youth in his community.


The national Reclaim Our Schools coalition launches a chapter in Lynn, expressing concerns about standardized testing and inadequate funding.


New Bedford will be the latest community to offer free breakfast and lunches to all students, including those in five local private and parochial schools.




In Fall River, bus riders rally to protest SRTA ending late night bus service after a federally-funded pilot program comes to an end.




The Boston Globe profiles Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera and his work to revitalize the city.


Former Fall River Mayor Robert Correia receives Heritage Day of Portugal first ever Founders Award.


Salem is hosting two ambassadors from Pakistan as a part of a Partnership Program for Public Administration.


Attleboro's city council approves a local meals tax and increases in municipal fees.


During a Democratic gubernatorial debate, the candidates all emphasize the importance of investing in Massachusetts' Gateway Cities.




The Western Massachusetts Casino License is expected to be announced on June 13, with MGM Springfield the only applicant in the works.


Everett is close to inking a surrounding community agreement with Mohegan Sun regarding its proposed casino at Suffolk Downs.



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