Episode 108: Deval's Well That Ends Well

34 minutes

11/20/19-- If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times. Traffic in Boston is bad. As we've mentioned on the show before, it's so bad, it makes commuters consider quitting their jobs or moving elsewhere. This week, the Boston Globe's Spotlight team published the first two installments of its three-part series on traffic in Massachusetts. Regular host and this-time guest Steve Koczela joins Stephanie and Jennifer to talk about the Globe's findings. Notably, the team of writers and researchers surveyed all 206 state elected officials. A little over half responded, and only 5 reported having transit passes. Presumably, the rest of them are driving. Steve pointed out that in the MassINC Polling Group's years asking folks about transportation, the Globe series reflects what his team's been hearing from surveys and focus groups - sense of alarm and frustration. In MPG's most recent poll, participants were asked whether they believed improvements should be made to the agencies that manage transportation before money is spent, or money should be spent immediately to improve transportation. By a 25-point margin, people prioritize the latter - in Steve's words, "People are done waiting."

Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell's two-year term is coming to an end, and she makes an appearance on The Horse Race to reflect on how the Council has changed under her tenure, and what work still lies ahead. Campbell says the most exciting thing she's been able to do as City Council President was to bring the council as an institution through racial equity training. In recent years, she says, the body has proven it can get stuff done and should be taken seriously. "I think people are seeing that this body has incredible power, even if it doesn't formally on paper have a lot of defined power." City Council members have exhibited their powers through the use of ordinances, and currently, Campbell is working on creating an office of Inspector General for the City of Boston through an ordinance.

As we mentioned in last week's show, former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is running for President. The former executive director of Governor Patrick’s political committee, Alex Goldstein, says it'll be an uphill battle for the candidate, given the pre-existing narratives built by the rest of the field. But, Goldstein says, given the current tumultuous political landscape, "I think people are ready to feel good for like ten minutes and to feel like there’s a reason to be empathetic and care about your neighbors again. And I don’t think there’s anybody who I’ve seen in politics who does a better job of capturing that than Deval Patrick.”

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Start listening to Episode 213: The Deal on the Bus
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