Episode 164: Charter School

40 minutes

1/13/21--The U.S. House Representatives moves to impeach President Donald Trump today. This comes after last week’s insurrection on the Capitol by rioters who were incited by Trump who has for months been spreading false claims of voter fraud during the presidential election that he lost.

State governments are preparing for the potential of more violent acts upon state capitols as we ramp up to Inauguration Day for President-elect Joe Biden. For Massachusetts’ part, Governor Baker has said there are currently no known threats with respect to any public buildings in the state.

One Massachusetts native headed to join up with Biden’s administration is Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. The announcement ends speculation on whether he would run for another mayoral term and cracks the race wide open.

Stephanie says she’s heard of at least a dozen potential candidates. Thats in addition to the two who’ve already announced their bid - City Councillors Michelle Wu and Andrea Campbell.

One of those on Stephanie’s shortlist of potential contenders is today’s guest, State Rep. and Boston Medical Center emergency room doctor Jon Santiago. The 9th Suffolk district lawmaker was recently vaccinated against COVID-19. He says he’s excited about the potential of the vaccine, and he aims to raise awareness to the public about the safety of the vaccine, especially among communities of color.

He describes the nationwide rollout of the vaccine thus far as “overpromised and underdelivered.”

“We have to get to herd immunity of 70-85 percent. We’re nowhere near that.” He says taking innovative approaches to getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible “is the only way we’re going to get out of this thing.”

New data out today from The MassINC Polling Group illustrates how Massachusetts voters think about state budget priorities and state revenue sources. Steve coordinated the poll and sheds light on its major highlights, perhaps the major one being that voters have a long list of budget priorities for the state legislature.

Voters support funding of emergency services related to COVID, especially testing and vaccinations. This option got the most support with 63% saying they strongly supported it. Emergency paid sick time also received broad support, as did housing assistance, and funding to preserve public transportation.

A striking division splits the priorities of white voters from those of Black and Latino voters in some areas. For example, Black and Latino voters more often placed high priority on increasing opportunities for homeownership for low-income residents, providing aid to cities and towns, access to affordable childcare, and increasing state contracts with women- and minority-owned businesses.

But there are also major areas of agreement. Lowering the cost of healthcare is a priority for both white and non-white voters, as is K-12 education and increasing healthcare access.

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