Nov. 19, 2013
The Senate voted 32-7 on Tuesday to increase the state's minimum wage by $3 over the next three years to $11 an hour, approving legislation that would give Massachusetts the highest minimum wage in the country and give the state's lowest-wage workers their first raise in six years.
The bill (S 1925) would also tie future increases in the minimum wage to inflation and guarantee that no matter what happens to the federal minimum wage - currently set at $7.25 - the minimum in Massachusetts would remain 50 cents higher. Read more
With the municipal races behind them, city councillors and their new incoming colleagues are turning to another election: City Council president. Read more
Tom Olson holds up a pale blue cord in front of the class. Outlets and wires hang from the ceiling over the heads of 15 men and women, many of whom are wearing green hard-hats. “FiOS,” Olson says, holding the blue cord a little higher. “Anybody know what that stands for?”
The answer comes cautiously, in unison, from the class: “Fiber integrated optical solutions.” Says Olson, “Now, when you see the commercials with Comcast and FiOS and Verizon, you’ll be able to say ‘I know what FiOS is.’ Fiber integrated optical solutions, right? High-end communications, guys and girls. It doesn’t get any faster than that. That’s transmission through glass.” Read more
The confetti had barely left the cannon on election night by the time speculation was underway about the next race.
The elevation of Dorchester’s Marty Walsh to the mayor’s seat in City Hall means there will be a House seat vacancy within the 13th Suffolk District next year. Inside the Park Plaza Hotel’s ballroom that night, there was already talk about who might be interested in replacing Walsh, a Democrat and labor leader in union-rich Dorchester. Walsh has served in the House for 16 years, winning the job in 1997 in a special election after Jim Brett, another Dorchester guy who ran for mayor but received different results, decided to take a job with the New England Council. Read more
Nov. 13, 2013
If sea level rise projections become reality and high tides a century from now resemble what today are major floods, the Aquarium Blue Line Station would likely be underwater while across the harbor the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital will be better prepared to weather frequent incursions of harbor water, according to Boston Harbor Association Executive Director Julie Wormser.
“By mid-century, every year the T’s going to have to deal with a foot and a half of seawater. By the end of the century it’s dealing more with five feet of seawater,” said Wormser, who said the Aquarium Station would need to be moved. Read more
Nov. 12, 2013
When it comes to beer, wine and liquor licenses, the Legislature is being asked to step aside and relinquish some control.
Lawmakers on Tuesday heard from craft beer brewers who want changes to a law they say "handcuffs" them in their ability to compete because of unbreakable ties to wholesalers. Municipal officials appealed to remove control of liquor licenses from the state and give it to local officials. And wine drinkers want to lift a ban on direct wine sale shipments to consumers. Read more
Marty Walsh arrived at the Park Plaza Hotel around 6 p.m. on Election Night and headed up to the 15th floor. For the first time during that day, he was nervous. West Roxbury, Beacon Hill and Back Bay, friendly turf for his opponent, John Connolly, had seen a high number of voters turn out.
Inside the hotel room, he was joined by his mother Mary, his brother John, his longtime partner Lorrie Higgins and her daughter Lauren, and his campaign manager Meg Costello. Walsh kept in touch with his campaign workers, who were crunching numbers inside the "boiler room" and keeping him updated.
Walsh showered and focused on writing his victory speech. He didn't write a concession speech, believing that if he had to deliver one, he would speak from the "heart and head," he said. "At 7:30, I just got a feeling, a feeling came over me, that we were going to be okay," the state representative and labor leader from Dorchester recounted 48 hours later, inside his campaign office at 11 Beacon Street, steps from the State House. "And the nervousness went away." Read more
Nov. 7, 2013
While men make up the vast majority of the City Council, it was two women –Dorchester’s Ayanna Pressley and newcomer Michelle Wu– who topped the ticket in the at-large race.
Another Dorchester woman, Annissa Essaibi-George, finished fifth. That’s not enough to earn a seat, but it does mean she will fill the shoes of any at-large councilor who decides against finishing his or her term.
Pressley was one of two incumbents running – the other was Stephen Murphy – and both were elected. Former City Councillor At-Large Michael Flaherty of South Boston won the other seat— about 10,000 votes ahead of Murphy, who finished fourth.
“The benefit of being an incumbent is to have a record to run on and I’m damn proud of mine,” Pressley said. Read more
Nov. 6, 2013
It’s been a long time coming. Many skeptics thought it would never happen. And, yes, it could prove fleeting. But for one day in November 2013, residents of the city’s largest neighborhood put aside long-standing differences to elect one of their own to the most powerful job in Boston and, arguably, the state.
Marty Walsh didn’t win white Dorchester. He didn’t win black Dorchester. He won Dorchester. Period. And he did it in convincing fashion, carrying more than 60 percent of the vote in his home neighborhood.
Yes, he did better in “white” neighborhoods than he did in “majority-minority” precincts. His seaside House district was always going to be his Fort Knox. But who would have guessed that Marty Walsh – who until six weeks ago had never appeared on a ballot west of Washington Street – would score decisive wins in Four Corners, Grove Hall, Lower Mills, and Mattapan Square. Read more