Presented by Uber Driver Stories
GOOD MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS. Hello and happy Monday!
Im Lisa Kashinsky, the new author of Massachusetts Playbook. Some of you may recognize my byline from the Boston Herald, The Eagle-Tribune, Wicked Local and the Patriot Ledger. You also may have seen me on Beacon Hill or on the campaign trail in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
For those unfamiliar, Im an upstate New Yorker who came to Boston University for college and never left. My Massachusetts bona fides, you ask? Ive been a Patriots fan since I was a little kid, and Ive got no love for the Yankees. Plus I remember what Boston was like before the Big Dig.
Im thrilled to be taking over the Playbook reins from the indomitable Stephanie Murray, whos delivered scoop after scoop to your inbox for the past two-plus years. Ive got some big shoes to fill, so please send your tips, scoops, birthdays, transitions and press releases (yes, you read that right) to [email protected].
Now lets get started.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: STATE HOUSE STAFFERS MOBILIZING FOR FAIR PAY, BETTER WORK CONDITIONS State House staffers who say they’re increasingly demoralized by working conditions amid the pandemic are taking action.
A group of primarily Senate staffers including members of Beacon BLOC, a collective of Black State House staffers created a survey they plan to send out today to take the temperature of their colleagues on everything from pay to food insecurity.
Do you feel you are paid fairly for the skills and experience you bring to your employer? Are you able to support yourself and your dependents on your current salary? Do you feel that your boss genuinely cares about your well being? the staffers ask in the survey, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO.
For a very long time, the culture really has very much been too bad, be quiet, work for the right person or you know, translate this into a lobbying job, Mark Martinez, legal counsel and budget director for Sen. Pat Jehlen, told me. It seems like that culture is slowly slipping away and more and more staffers are finding a voice.
The survey is being sent out by Sen. Diana DiZoglio, a Methuen Democrat whos long pushed for more transparency on Beacon Hill.
Staffers have indicated feelings of being undervalued, disposable, and like theyve been discriminated against based on politics and a host of other reasons that have nothing to do with their performance, but rather with whether or not their boss has curried enough favor with leadership, DiZoglio told me, saying its beyond past time that Beacon Hill held up a mirror to check out its own culture of systemic power biases.
Along with longstanding pay equity issues, staffers told me theyve struggled to get access to basics like laptops and printers as weeks of pandemic-induced working from home turned to months and now more than a year and have in some cases been paying out of their own pockets to help keep their offices running.
The staffers want to be clear there are legislators who are going to bat for their employees, and none of us got into this work to be rich. But they say lower pay for some jobs is also a barrier to entry, particularly for people of color.
Surveys have been taken before, and talk of unionizing in the past didnt pan out. But the group behind this new questionnaire hopes a survey by staffers for staffers will help them more clearly read the room and advocate for the change they believe is necessary.
BAKER TO TALK VAX: Gov. Charlie Baker plans to discuss the next phase of the state’s vaccination clinics, which will pivot to smaller-scale operations focusing on more specific populations, later this morning, according to his office. Coronavirus vaccines have only been open to the general public for two weeks, but municipal leaders and medical professionals are already expressing concerns about drop-offs in demand and are revamping their outreach efforts.
TODAY Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Health and Human Services Sec. Marylou Sudders andMassachusetts General Hospital Center for Disaster Medicine Director Dr. Paul Biddinger will discuss the state’s vaccination efforts at 10 a.m. Acting Mayor Kim Janey will be a guest on WBUR’s Radio Boston. U.S. Sen. Edward Markey will visit Roxbury Community College to introduce legislation to establish a Civilian Climate Corps, followed by visits to Quincy and Hull. U.S. Rep. Richard Neal will be in Springfield to highlight the opening day for Restaurant Revitalization Funds through the SBA.
A message from Uber Driver Stories:
Meet Jesus. A US Army veteran and single father, Jesuss number one priority will always be his 14-year-old daughter. Having the flexibility to work his own hours allows Jesus to be the dad he wants to be. Watch his story in his own words below.
SUBSCRIBE TO “THE RECAST” TODAY: Power is shifting in Washington and in communities across the country. More people are demanding a seat at the table, insisting that politics is personal and not all policy is equitable. The Recast is a twice-weekly newsletter that explores the changing power dynamics in Washington and breaks down how race and identity are recasting politics and policy in America. Get fresh insights, scoops and dispatches on this crucial intersection from across the country and hear critical new voices that challenge business as usual. Don’t miss out, SUBSCRIBE. Thank you to our sponsor, Intel.
THE LATEST NUMBERS
Massachusetts coronavirus vaccine rollout: 2.6 million people fully vaccinated, lowest single-day case count since November, by Rick Sobey, Boston Herald: More than 37,000 coronavirus vaccine doses were administered in Massachusetts during the most recent day of vaccination data, as more than 2.6 million people in the state are now fully vaccinated.
DATELINE BEACON HILL
More than 23,500 reports of suspected child abuse filed with DCF in past 3 months, by Alexi Cohan, Boston Herald: More than 23,500 reports of suspected child abuse ranging from sex trafficking to neglect were filed with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families in the past three months … slightly above the 22,891 reports filed during the same time period last year, and are expected to rise as kids return to school, child advocates have said.
Tarr seeks cap on state’s income tax rate, by Christian M. Wade, CNHI: As a proposed tax on top earners inches toward the 2022 ballot, some lawmakers want to build a dam to hold back future increases.
FROM THE HUB
What will Acting Mayor Kim Janey do about Boston police? by Danny McDonald, Boston Globe: Scandal has engulfed Boston police, presenting Acting Mayor Kim Janey with one of the first major tests of her crisis management skills as city executive.
OTR: Mayor Kim Janey will take time to find new Boston police commissioner, by Ed Harding and Janet Wu, WCVB: Boston Mayor Kim Janey says there was a rush to replace the outgoing William Gross with Dennis White, who was placed on administrative leave shortly after being sworn in as commissioner.
NAACP probes allegations of financial misconduct by regional official, by Shira Schoenberg, CommonWealth Magazine: The National NAACP is investigating allegations of financial impropriety involving the president of the New England Area Conference of the NAACP. Michael Curry, a member of the national NAACP board of directors, revealed the investigation of Juan Cofield, a longtime Boston activist, in an email he sent Thursday to the Boston Teachers Union and the education advocacy group Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA) seeking information from them.
“Campbell Calls Boston Police Union Attacks ‘Racist’ And ‘Sexist’,”by Saraya Wintersmith, GBH: “City Councilor and mayoral candidate Andrea Campbell said Sunday that the recent personal attack against her on social media by the Boston Police Patrolmens Association is part of a larger trend of racial and gender hostility that goes ‘beyond unprofessional.'”
Boston elected officials decry police union for personal tweet directed at Andrea Campbell, by Nik DeCosta-Klipa, Boston.com: Local elected officials of color are speaking out in force against the Boston Police Patrolmens Association, after a dispute between the police union and City Councilor Andrea Campbell took a personal turn this week.
West Roxbury residents protest development proposal, fearing loss of business district, by Sean Philip Cotter, Boston Herald: A crowd of frustrated West Roxbury residents came out to protest a new development that they say is the latest front in the war on Boston neighborhoods town centers.”
THE RACE FOR CITY HALL
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Boston City Council at-large candidate David Halbert picks up an endorsement from state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz. “David is the kind of progressive leader we need in City Hall to bring transformative and lasting change to Boston, Chang-Díaz said in a statement. I know David will be a strong advocate and committed ally in his pursuit of educational equity, housing justice, and economic opportunity for all. In his years of service to our city and Commonwealth, hes shown himself to be a dedicated, innovative, and values-led public servant time and time again.
A recent dip in demand for COVID-19 vaccines in Mass. has spurred efforts to reach the wary, by Robert Weisman, Boston Globe: After months of Massachusetts residents enthusiastically rushing to get their COVID-19 shots, a stark reality is taking hold in the states vaccine program: Most of the people who were eager to roll up their sleeves have already done so.
1,798 fully vaccinated people in Massachusetts have tested positive for COVID, state data shows, by Tanner Stening, MassLive.com: As of April 27, there were 1,798 cases of people testing positive in Massachusetts after being fully vaccinated, officials said. That figure represents 0.1% of all fully vaccinated people in the state.
Elizabeth Warren Grapples With Presidential Loss in New Book, by Lisa Lerer, New York Times: Again and again, Ms. Warren suggests that Democratic voters were wary of nominating a second woman, fearing another defeat to Donald J. Trump. She had to run against the shadows of Martha and Hillary, she writes, a reference to Martha Coakley, who lost two statewide campaigns in Massachusetts, and Hillary Clinton.
Former Boston Celtic Enes Kanter, targeted by Turkish government, joins Sen. Ed Markey to condemn human rights abuses under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, by Benjamin Kail, MassLive.com: Former Boston Celtic Enes Kanter, who along with his family has been targeted by the Turkish government, joined Sen. Ed Markey on Sunday to condemn human rights abuses in his home country.
Biden stocks his White House with Ivy Leaguers, by Daniel Lippman, POLITICO: Joe Biden, a proud graduate of the University of Delaware and Syracuse Law School who has bragged about going to a state school, has stocked his top White House staff with nearly twice as many Ivy League graduates as the first iteration of the Trump White House, according to a POLITICO analysis. The most popular Ivy League institution among both the Biden and Trump White Houses is Harvard University.
Bidens universal preschool plan a game-changer for Mass., but final version could look very different, by Naomi Martin, Boston Globe: President Bidens proposal for free, high-quality preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds would create powerful change in Massachusetts, one of the nations most expensive child care markets, educators and parents said.
“The Strange Bipartisan Appeal of Ted Lasso,” by Joanna Weiss, POLITICO: “Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker delivered his annual State of the Commonwealth address at a supremely difficult moment. It was late January; the state was emerging from a surge in Covid-19 cases; the vaccine rollout was hitting early stumbles; the populace was tense. Alone in his office, barred from the usual pomp and circumstance, Baker spoke for 20 minutes about challenges and progress, safety and statistics. Then he wrapped it up by talking about television. Or, rather, one television show, Apple TV+s ‘Ted Lasso.'”
Bid to censure Romney for Trump impeachment votes fails, by the Associated Press: Utah Republicans booed Sen. Mitt Romney but ultimately rejected a motion to censure him Saturday for his votes at President Donald Trumps impeachment trials.
FROM THE 413
Sixth candidate emerges in Holyoke mayors race, by Dusty Christensen, Daily Hampshire Gazette: Another candidate has entered the race to become Holyokes next mayor. Gloria Caballero Roca, a 55-year-old academic and educator, announced her candidacy on Friday.
THE LOCAL ANGLE
Olympia Dukakis, Academy Award-winning actress, dies, by Bryan Marquard, Boston Globe: Ms. Dukakis, who won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Chers Italian-American mother in the 1987 film Moonstruck, was 89 when she died Saturday in her Manhattan home. Her family has not specified a cause, though her health was beginning to fail a bit, said her cousin Michael S. Dukakis, a former Massachusetts governor.
Framingham mayor’s assistant calls councilor ‘schmuck’ and ‘little runt’ on hot mic, by Jeff Malachowski, MetroWest Daily News: The deep discord between Mayor Yvonne Spicers office and members of the City Council was on display again during a listening session on reimagining the citys businesses post-pandemic.
Legal fight deepens between pot shop, Haverhill, by Allison Corneau, Eagle-Tribune: City leaders want cannabis shop owner Caroline Pineau to show Haverhill the money a whole lot of it. As Pineau approaches the first anniversary of her shop, Stem, later this month, city officials say she must pay $31,000 to cover legal fees charged by lawyers representing Haverhill in court cases involving the business. Pineau, however, says the city is not entitled to that money.
Rockin the books: Dropkick Murphys Ken Casey back at UMass Boston to earn his degree, by Joe Dwinell, Boston Herald: The Dropkicks Ken Casey is shipping back to college. Hes vowing to finish what he started decades ago at UMass Boston.
With outdoor mask mandate lifted, South Shore residents can breathe a sigh of relief, by Wheeler Cowperthwaite, Patriot Ledger: When Joe Burbank, of Braintree, took his dog, Hercules, to the park in Quincy on Sunday, he put on a mask, but then put it back in his truck when he realized they were no longer required as of Friday.
TRANSITIONS Daniela Michanie joins U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s political team as organizing director.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Gina McCarthy, the White House national climate adviser, the APs Andrew Miga and Peter Brown of Peter Brown Communications.
Want to make an impact? POLITICO Massachusetts has a variety of solutions available for partners looking to reach and activate the most influential people in the Bay State. Have a petition you want signed? A cause youre promoting? Seeking to increase brand awareness among this key audience? Share your message with our influential readers to foster engagement and drive action. Contact Jesse Shapiro to find out how: [email protected].
A message from Uber Driver Stories:
After 9 years in the Army, and missing the birth of his daughter because he was stationed overseas, Jesus decided to make changes in his life.
Jesus chooses the flexibility of Uber because it lets him be there for his daughterwhich has become even more important now that shes in distance learning due to the pandemic.
Its tough being a single parent, Jesus says. Without Uber, I wouldnt have been able to bond with my daughter because I wasnt able to spend time with her.
Flexibility is important to me because Im able to spend those magical moments with my daughter. Those moments are irreplaceable.
To see more stories like Jesuss, click here.
*Driver earnings may vary depending on location, demand, hours, drivers, and other variables.
JOIN TUESDAY FOR A CONVERSATION ON SMALL BUSINESSES AFTER COVID-19: About one in six small businesses in the U.S. closed their doors since the pandemic began. The ones that remained open are getting by with fewer employees after laying off workers or a hiring freeze. What is ahead for small businesses in 2021 as they try to weather the ongoing economic uncertainty? And how does President Bidens $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package intend to support small-business owners? Join POLITICO for a virtual conversation with White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein and Joyce Beatty, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, on what small businesses need to survive and thrive beyond the Covid economic crisis. REGISTER HERE.