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Common Wealth: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in Mass Politics?

Friday, October 26, 2012

 

Every Friday, GoLocalWorcester takes a look at who's rising and falling in the world of Massachusetts politics.

Hot

Elizabeth Warren: The Democratic hopeful took a 5-point lead over Republican Scott Brown among likely voters in the latest poll in the highly-contested Massachusetts Senate Race. Crowds of more than 1,000 turned out for rallies in Worcester and Northampton and a James Taylor concert in Boston on Wednesday night made for a week of energizing the Democratic base with Election Day just around the corner.

Scott Brown: The incumbent Senator had a strong week as well, despite falling behind in the polls. Brown picked up endorsements from Massachusetts media outlets and campaigned with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Wednesday, who lauded the Bay State Republican as a problem-solver able to work both sides of the aisle.

Barack Obama: The President gave a strong performance in his third and final debate with Republican candidate Mitt Romney. The foreign policy subject matter afforded him an incumbent's advantage, and he wound up getting Romney to agree with him on a lot of the issues that came up. A Gallup poll found that 56 percent of Americans who watched the debate said Obama did a better job compared to just 33 percent for Romney.

James O'Day: The 14th Worcester District State Representative was honored this week by the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless and the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance for his work on Beacon Hill on behalf of families and children battling homelessness. O’Day was lead sponsor of “An Act Providing Housing and Support Services for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth," which focuses on connecting homeless individuals 22 years of age or younger with housing and needed services.

Main South: A ribbon-cutting was held on Wednesday at the newly rehabilitated property at 834 Main Street, where the City’s Façade Program enabled developers to leverage additional private investment to make the former A-1 Building's makeover a reality. On Thursday, Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray joined the Main South CDC to celebrate the completion of the Kilby-Gardner-Hammond housing development project, and it seems that development in the neighborhood is moving in the right direction.

Not

Mitt Romney: The former Massachusetts Governor was less aggressive in his final debate with President Obama than in their previous meetings. His positions on key foreign policy issues such as Libya, support for Israel and Iran's nuclear program failed to distinguish him from his opponent, and his efforts to turn the conversation back to the economy and other domestic issues did little to undermine the strong position Obama staked out.

Public Employee Unions: A Worcester Regional Research Bureau forum this week outlined how the growth of public employee unions over the past 40 years has substantially increased the cost of government on the local and state level, while not providing substantially better returns than their private sector counterparts. With municipalities facing ever-increasing liabilities for healthcare and benefits for current as well as retired employees, the ballooning costs present a sizable hurdle in these tough economic times.

Worcester Affordable Housing: A new report found that the city's affordable housing stock is heavily concentrated in high-poverty neighborhoods and areas with high minority populations. The uneven distribution severely limits the options for low- and moderate-income families who want to move to other parts of Worcester. The city's Executive Office of Economic Development has outlined a housing strategy that would promote more mixed-income and diverse neighborhoods that will hopefully alleviate the inequities facing Worcester residents in search of a new home.

Canal District Parking: Area business owners are incensed over what they see as the overzealous enforcement of parking regulations in the district. While the Canal District's parking meters were originally installed at the request of businesses to promote turnover in the heavily commercial district, the area's parking regulations may need to be changed to meet the needs of the evolving economic landscape.
 

 

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