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


Strong, Thriving Gateway Cities


Massachusetts is a great state with limitless potential, but there are too many communities, including Gateway Cities, that haven't seen the same economic prosperity as other parts of Massachusetts. The very first visit of my campaign for governor was to the Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center at UMass Lowell because it's a public-private partnership in a Gateway City, outside of Greater Boston.  I'm running for governor because I want every community in Massachusetts to be a strong, thriving one with good jobs for everyone and great schools for all our kids.


As a former selectman, I know how important it is that state government work with and for communities, rather than just imposing mandates - frequently unfunded ones.  In a Baker administration, state government will be a partner to our cities and towns and help them leverage their individual strengths to ensure we are a great Massachusetts everywhere.


Economic success everywhere in Massachusetts: First of all, we need to stop cutting local aid and increase aid if state revenue increases. As governor, I will develop contracts with every Gateway City to establish clear expectations for what my administration will deliver and establish clear priorities for state-local collaboration. The state can also encourage and facilitate greater coordination and collaboration among Gateway City leaders. The state should work with MassEcon on their effort to identify land ready to be developed, with a focus on Gateway Cities.  We also need to increase the availability of affordable and market-rate housing, by providing a range of tools, such as tax credits, to communities, and by making state-owned land available for development.


A business-friendly Massachusetts: Massachusetts is a national leader in so many areas, but we frequently fall at the bottom of the list when it comes to rating states on their affordability and the cost of doing business here. To remain competitive, Massachusetts must play to our strengths while addressing these weaknesses. We must get serious about making Massachusetts more business-friendly by keeping the tax burden low, reviewing and reforming regulations, and removing barriers to the formation and growth of small businesses.


Every school a great school and connecting education to work: Every child in Massachusetts deserves a great education. Great schools also attract people and jobs to communities. The state needs to replicate what works in successful schools to improve underperforming schools and lift the cap on charter schools, especially in struggling districts. We also need to better connect school with work and employers to ensure all our children are prepared for economic success. We should leverage our career-technical schools and community colleges and make sure they are aligned with the needs of employers in their region. We can also help bring down the cost of higher education by encouraging more co-op programs, using online learning and exploring the possibility of three-year degrees. 


-- Charlie Baker

   Republican Candidate for Governor



Gateway Cities Innovation Awards and Summit 2014


Come celebrate the innovative spirit of the Commonwealth's Gateway Cities on November 13th at UMass Boston. This year's luncheon fundraiser will honor Gateway City innovators in public education. New for 2014, the lunch will be accompanied by a full day Gateway Cities Summit that is free and open to the public. The Summit will include a morning session hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, followed by two concurrent afternoon panels. RSVP here and follow the event on twitter at #GCAwards2014.


Primary Elections


Here is a run down of the results of the primary election for the Gateway Cities. Thank you to all candidates who fought hard to make the Commonwealth's Gateway Cities better places to live, work, and play this primary season.


How did the primary election results in the Gateway Cities compare to those in the rest of the Commonwealth? MassINC's blog, INCSpot, looks at the numbers.


WBUR and The MassINC Polling Group's data-driven campaign blog Poll Vault live-blogged the action on primary day. Writing for Poll Vault, CommonWealth magazine's Paul McMorrow breaks down the results by town, with an interactive map.  


Sen. Jennifer Flanagan of Leominster makes it on to the Election Day ballot by securing 300 write-in votes on primary day. Her signatures to appear on the primary ballot were ruled invalid because of a clerical error, the Lowell Sun reports.


Housing & Economic Development


Reflecting a new expanded mission, the Merrimack Valley Sandbox changes its name to Entrepreneurship for All. The growth of this grassroots entrepreneurship program could be a watershed moment for Gateway City renewal.


Lowell appoints Allison Lamey, a planner with the city since 2004, to head up its economic development efforts.


Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella files a state grant application that would allow the city to begin their downtown upgrade project. The city is looking to address paving issues as well as water and sewage systems.


Worcester's Executive Office of Economic Development, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Worcester Business Resource Alliance will co-sponsor the second annual Retail Business Enhancement Program.


Writing in the Globe, Paul McMorrow pans a move by a group of small Massachusetts banks to challenge a Springfield ordinance providing some protection to homeowners facing foreclosure.




Mayor Lisa Wong of Fitchburg highlighted Fitchburg State University as a hub for biotech growth in the city.


Friends Academy's Center for Education Innovation will give New Bedford's Carlos Pacheco and Ellen R. Hathaway elementary schools a technology upgrade.


In Worcester, 23 schools serving grades 3 through 8 will take the new PARCC test; the rest will stick with MCAS this coming year, the Telegram & Gazette reports.


A growing influx of homeless families into Chicopee creates stress on the school system to accommodate the growing student population.


Municipal Governance


A Worcester business group, after interviewing the three candidates for city manager, urges the City Council to start the search over again, the Telegram & Gazette reports.


Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan has asked Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter to investigate charges against him by City Councilor Jasiel Correia that the mayor brandished a gun in an effort to intimidate Correia after he signed a recall petition against Flanagan. Meanwhile the City Council will vote to rescind an ordinance that Flanagan claims gives him power to set fees and regulations for the city's private trash haulers.


A Brockton city councilor is pushing an effort to review how raises are handed out for non-union city employees, proposing that salary increases be merit-based rather than awarded for tenure.


Pittsfield restarts its Youth Commission.


Health/Public Safety


Pittsfield cuts down on smoking, starting with a ban on smoking in Pittsfield's parks. Other changes will include "reducing the number of vendor permits, stopping new vendors from opening near schools, and implementing bans on certain packaging and prices," reports.


In the wake of increased gun violence this summer in Lowell, the city's Police Department will create a new unit of 10 officers on late-night shifts, the Lowell Sun reports.


Police in Worcester fear a surge of driving under the influence of marijuana, the Telegram & Gazette reports.




Cape Wind will sign a lease with the state today to use the newly renovated South Terminal in New Bedford for staging and construction for the planned offshore wind farm, a boost to the city's efforts to place itself on the forefront of the wind power industry.


New Bedford is extending its Solarize initiative, an ongoing effort by the city to encourage residents to install solar panels on their homes to reduce costs and save on energy consumption. 


Quincy developer Jay Cashman has upped his share of a controversial power plant project in Brockton and has vowed to change the minds of residents and city officials who oppose it or go forward with a $68 million lawsuit to get it built.



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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