Imagine a high speed train racing from US House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal's house in Springfield to Congressman Jake Auchincloss' place in Newtonville (and, sure, we'll let it continue onto Boston).
Wellesley, Newton eligible for infrastructure grants
The state just added Wellesley to its list of 78 communities designated as a Housing Choice community
, a designation that makes the town eligible for grants including for transportation, streets and other capital needs.
In addition, Newton’s designation as a housing choice community was extended.
The designation recognizes communities that have made substantial progress toward housing development goals and the implementation of housing best practices to encourage sustainable development.
“We are grateful to the 78 communities that have earned Housing Choice Community designations and their ongoing commitment to building new housing and their promotion of best practices,” Gov. Charlie Baker said yesterday.
Wellesley group forms to address hate and bias
A group of volunteers in Wellesley have developed a non-partisan, community-based initiative to support residents, employees and employers who feel victimized by racism and bias.
The Wellesley Freedom Team was established in response to alleged incidents of racism and bias that are not defined as hate crimes, and therefore, cannot be addressed under the law. The Freedom Team aims to provide a confidential and respectful space to air concerns and to help develop actionable next steps.
The team plans to respond with urgency whenever members become aware of individuals who experience threats, harassment, or violence related to race, color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, or class.
The program was inspired by a similar one in Natick.
Chamber joins group to advocate for aid job creation
Our chamber is joining chambers and business associations across the state to advocate for policies that develop workforce skills.
There are two sides to the skills gap. Both can drag job and economic growth.
On the employer side, it is difficult to find qualified talent: A 2019 survey by coalition member Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education found that 73 percent of Massachusetts employers found it “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult” to find people with the right skills to fill open positions. For workers, new skills are the springboard to job opportunities and growth.
We’re grateful to Jim Rooney and the Boston Chamber for taking the lead in this initiative. Fellow members include Mass. Taxpayers Foundation, Amplify Latinx, the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts and Kendall Square Association.
Group also forms to advocate for fintech
The state’s financial services technology industry will also soon have a nonprofit advocating on its behalf, similar to how the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council boosts the state’s life sciences sector, reports Greg Ryan at the BBJ.
Newton dad gets an earful
Some feel it was sexist for me to identify CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky as a “mom” in my headline, noting that I’d never do that to a man.
Others, felt it was entirely appropriate for Walensky’s home town chamber to call attention to a role she no doubt cherishes, in spite of her prestigious career
More than one thing can be true at the same time.
But isn’t the real problem that men don’t typically self-identify as dads when talking about public policy?
Walensky did. She's said
in her video statement she was speaking as a wife, mother and daughter.
The more I think about it, the more I think the bigger problem is with us men for not framing policy as parents, not calling attention to the women who do.
Swampscott dad to open vaccines to 55-plus
All residents over 16 will be eligible on Patriots Day, April 19.
Many front-line workers
– including in the food, retail and transportation sectors – are currently eligible.
If you have workers, especially those who struggle with English or have uncertain status, MA Covid Vaccination Help
is a volunteer-led, nonprofit group focused on increasing vaccine access equity by helping underserved populations.
They have over 400 volunteers who speak 15 different languages, and work to schedule appointments specific to each requestor’s location, timing and accessibility needs. They've scheduled almost 10,000 vaccination appointments since launching less than a month ago. Their services can be requested through their online form
or: 1 (888)-4321-VAX. To volunteer sign up here
In addition, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts recently pledged $1 million
to fund Lyft rides to and from vaccine clinics for underserved communities.
That’s a lot of ticky tacky
Here’s a stat that shouldn’t surprise anyone: Americans consumed more corrugated cardboard boxes than ever last year.
US producers in 2020 churned out nearly 407 billion square feet of corrugated product, enough to cover Massachusetts, Rhode Island and then some.
Stay-at-home orders and stimulus checks, of course, fueled a banner year for e-commerce and subsequently a run on shipping boxes, notes the Wall Street Journal
Ok, enjoy the game...or a burrito. Or both. See you tomorrow.
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber
P.S. Yesterday we announced we're moving our golf tournament to Wellesley Country Club. Within a few hours, we filled half the field! If you want in, click here