Episode 195: The crises at Mass. and Cass

37 minutes

12/23/21--On the last episode of 2021, Steve and Lisa discuss their holiday plans that have largely been rearranged thanks to the brutal arrival of the Omicron variant. It's a reality confronting people across Massachusetts, and as folks plan to safely convene with friends and family, the lack of available COVID testing is making that near impossible.

With case numbers rising across the country and here in Massachusetts, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu this week announced an indoor mask mandate. Meanwhile, Governor Charlie Baker unveiled a mask advisory, a move that, through the eyes of several public health advocates and political figures in the state, falls short.

Joining Lisa to talk about the escalating public health crisis at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard (or Mass. and Cass.) are two reporters who have been following the situation for a while now. Tori Bedford is a reporter for GBH News, Sean Cotter for the Boston Herald. They explain the genesis of the tent city and open air drug market, which all began after the shutdown of the Long Island Bridge in 2014.

Now, as the substance abuse, homelessness, and violence increase, and as the months get colder, the demand for adequate housing and resources becomes more dire. In the span of a little over a year, three Boston mayors have tried to adequately rectify the situation-- former Mayor Marty Walsh, acting Mayor Kim Janey, and current Mayor Michelle Wu. Tori and Sean break down each leader's approach and impact, and look ahead to Mayor Wu's plan not just for the immediate future, but for the long-term health and safety of the people who live there.

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