People, Power, and Politics


Above, Healey-Driscoll and Biden-Harris Administrations team up to assist more than 1,000 migrants in one week at Work Authorization Clinic held somewhere "in Middlesex County."


Mon. Nov. 20

Planning Board Meeting


Tues. Nov 21

OPEB Meeting


COA Meeting


Town Council Meeting - Tax Hearing



.The Legislature on Wednesday night put formal sessions for the year in the rearview mirror with little to show for their final-day marathon meetings. Lawmakers are now on a seven-week holiday break, but still need to take action to address the state's emergency shelter crisis and other pressing issues, and they've left the work of finding consensus to six of their colleagues who sit on a conference committee. In the meantime, families who are eligible for shelter supports but find that no space is available for them will continue to be placed on a waitlist and struggle to figure out where they'll sleep during a week where many other Bay Staters will be gathering for Thanksgiving celebrations. "With winter rapidly approaching, we call upon our state leaders to act quickly so that no child has to sleep out in the cold," organizers of a Monday afternoon vigil said. Informal talks between Ways and Means Committee Chairs Aaron Michlewitz and Michael Rodrigues failed to produce an accord on the $2.8 billion spending bill that contains $250 million for the shelter system, and legislative leaders turned to the more formal setting of a conference committee to unjam the process, but there's still no sign of movement nor even a first meeting scheduled for the negotiating panel. Even if they can agree to a deal, top Democrats will now need to get every single Republican on board -- all of whom opposed the underlying bill -- because the Legislature is in a stretch of informal-only sessions, when a single objection can stall action. Rep. Peter Durant, a Spencer Republican who will join the Senate at the end of this month, said blocking the bill is "certainly on the table." "Clearly, if you don't come up with that stuff tonight and you think you're gonna pass it in an informal, there might be a few people including myself who might have different thoughts about that," he said Wednesday evening while the ultimately unsuccessful negotiations were still taking place.

While the wait continues for a conference committee breakthrough that could come at any time, the short week leading into Thanksgiving will bring one of the most significant deadlines on the electoral calendar. Campaigns hoping to put ballot questions before voters in 2024 need to submit signatures from at least 74,574 registered voters with local elections officials by Wednesday to remain in the running. The difficult-to-clear hurdle regularly culls the field of potential ballot questions, sometimes from dozens to just a handful. Eyes will be on Auditor Diana DiZoglio, who has not yet said if she and her backers will clear the threshold on a proposal that would explicitly empower her office to audit the Legislature, which has rejected DiZoglio's audit plans. Supporters of a measure that would have revived local-option rent control have already acknowledged they failed to collect nearly enough signatures, while other campaigns working on proposals to allow app-based drivers to unionize, end MCAS graduation requirements and eliminate a lower minimum wage for tipped workers have claimed signature success.

Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023

LOCAL JOURNALISM: Northeastern University professor Dan Kennedy talks with Jon Keller about recent examples of local government obstructing the free flow of public information, and the state of local community journalism. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV Ch. 4)

SHABBAT TABLE INSTALLATION: A Shabbat table installation on Boston Common will symbolize the nearly 240 Israeli children and adults who are being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. Those individuals have not been able to have Shabbat dinner with their families for five weeks following Hamas's invasion of southern Israel on Oct. 7, organizers say. The installation is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a ceremony slated for 12:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by Israeli American Council New England, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, ADL New England, and Hostages and Missing Families Forum. (Sunday, 10 a.m., Boston Common near steps to State House)

ENG ON 5: MBTA General Manager Phil Eng is the guest on "On The Record." (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB-TV Ch. 5)

HEALEY ON 10: Gov. Healey talks with Sue O'Connell and Cory Smith on "@Issue" about the migrant crisis, the administration's tax and housing initiatives, and her decision to stop disclosing when she travels out of state and is not the acting governor. (Sunday, 11:30 a.m., WBTS-TV Ch. 10)

Monday, Nov. 20, 2023

McGOVERN WALKS FOR FOOD BANK: Congressman Jim McGovern will walk 43 miles over two days from Springfield to Greenfield to raise money for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts as a part of the annual March for the Food Bank, formerly known as Monte's March. McGovern has participated in the walk every year. The goal this year is to raise $500,000, which the food bank said is the equivalent of 1,500,000 meals. (Monday, 6:30 a.m., MLK Family Services, 106 Wilbraham Road, Springfield)

GAMING AGENDA-SETTING: Mass. Gaming Commission meets to select the topics it will go more in-depth on at future business meetings. Through the end of the year, the commission is eyeing general public meetings on Nov. 30 and Dec. 14, and meetings to discuss online sports betting reports on Nov. 27 and Dec. 7. (Monday, 10 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

SURVIVORS OF HOMICIDE VICTIMS: Louis D. Brown Peace Institute hosts the kickoff of Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month, which began in 2000 as "a month-long effort to inform, influence and impact how society views and responds to murder victims and their families." In addition to being a forum on the effect that murder has on families and communities, organizers said the event serves as an important holiday-season gathering for survivor families to gather and jointly honor their loved ones. (Monday, 10 a.m., Great Hall)

CHELSEA FOOD AND CLOTHING DRIVE: Students, teachers and others associated with Phoenix Charter Academy, an alternative high school in Chelsea, will pack items collected as part of a food and clothing drive for distribution to Phoenix community families in need. The donated food and clothing will be given to more than 100 families and students who rely on meals from the school. There is a particular emphasis this year on collecting winter clothes because the school serves a growing population of students and families who are recent immigrants, many of whom have never experienced a New England winter before. (Monday, 10:30 a.m., 175 Hawthorne St., Chelsea)

TIBBITS-NUTT IN PALMER: Transportation Secretary tours the Palmer rail station, including the Steaming Tender restaurant, with Sen. Oliveira and Rep. Smola to discuss East-West commuter rail. (Monday, 10:30 a.m., 28 Depot St., Palmer)

NEW BALANCE GROUNDBREAKING IN N.H.: New Balance hosts a groundbreaking ceremony for a facility in New Hampshire, which the athletic footwear company says will be its sixth site in the United States. The $70 million facility will add more than 150 jobs at the manufacturing site, which is expected to begin production in 2025. Gov. Sununu joins. (Monday, 10:30 a.m., 12 Innovation Way, Londonderry, New Hampshire | Press RSVP to, or

HATE CRIMES PREVENTION: Gov. Healey, Lt. Gov. Driscoll, Attorney General Campbell and other officials host a press conference "to announce new efforts to address and prevent hate-based incidents and hate crimes in Massachusetts," according to Healey's office. Public Safety and Security Secretary Reidy and Mass. State Police Interim Colonel John Mawn join. (Monday, 10:30 a.m., Room 157)

SENATE: Senate meets without a calendar. (Monday, 11 a.m., Senate Chamber | Livestream)

HOUSE: House holds an informal session. (Monday, 11 a.m., House Chamber | Livestream)

MMA WEBINAR: Massachusetts Municipal Association holds webinar to provide updates on the legislative session, including the fiscal 2024 budget, zoning guidance for MBTA communities and cannabis regulations. (Monday, 12 p.m. | Registration)

STATE EMPLOYEE RAISES: Public employee unions hold a rally and press conference to bring attention to collective bargaining agreement funding that's hung up in supplemental budget negotiations on other disputed matters, which would now require action in an informal session. Union members plan to attend the Legislature's informal sessions at 11 a.m. before staging their rally outside the building. Involved unions include AFSCME Council 93, SEIU 509, NAGE, and the Mass. Teachers Association. "The state employee contracts were not controversial in any way and should have been funded in June when most of them were signed, ratified, and delivered to the Legislature," MTA said in a statement. "This inaction comes at the worst possible time – when working families are gearing up for heating expenses and the winter holidays," the Mass. AFL-CIO wrote. David Holway, national president of the National Association of Government Employees, said: "It's a total disgrace that the legislature has gone on a 6-week vacation while tens of thousands of public employees are awaiting their pay raises!" (Monday, 12 p.m., State House steps)

TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Transportation holds hybrid public hearing on bills dealing with local road funding, transit electrification and veterans plates, among other topics. Proposals deal with adjusting the distribution of Chapter 90 municipal road funding, setting a 2035 deadline for fully electrifying MBTA commuter rail and regional transit authorities, and boosting boater safety. As Boston city officials look toward rebuilding the Long Island Bridge as part of their strategy to reopen a recovery campus in Boston Harbor, a Rep. Ayers proposal (H 3260) would create a special commission to examine the cost of operating ferry services to Long Island. (Monday, 1 p.m., Room A-1 | Agenda and Livestream)

CHILD CARE CENTER OPENING: Anne Osula, a Black entrepreneur and member of SEIU 509, hosts a ceremony to open a new child care center named Kiddie's Corner. Boston Mayor Wu, City Councilors Louijeune and Mejia, and Greater Boston Labor Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Darlene Lombos join. (Monday, 2:30 p.m., 858 Morton St., Mattapan)

HOMELESSNESS VIGIL: Anti-homelessness advocates host a candlelight vigil to call on lawmakers and the Healey administration to support families and children experiencing homelessness. Organizers including the Mass. Law Reform Institute and Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless say families are sleeping in "places not meant for human habitation, such as Logan Airport and hospital emergency rooms," now that the Healey administration has implemented a capacity limit on the state's emergency shelter system and lawmakers failed to agree on any actions that might require creation of overflow sites to support waitlisted families. "With winter rapidly approaching, we call upon our state leaders to act quickly so that no child has to sleep out in the cold," organizers said in an advisory. (Monday, 4 p.m., State House front steps)

TIPPED WORKERS BALLOT QUESTION: The One Fair Wage Campaign holds press conference to mark the collection of more than 108,000 signatures as part of its ballot question initiative for tipped workers. The proposal looks to remove the minimum hourly wage of $6.75 for tipped workers, instead paying them the full minimum wage plus tips. Congresswoman Pressley, Kerry Kennedy of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and Joe Kennedy III participate alongside local restaurant owners. Also at 11 a.m., advocates and organizers will bring ballot boxes with the signatures to the State House steps. (Monday, 4:30 p.m., 100 High Street, Boston)

AUGUSTUS ON HOUSING CHALLENGES: Sen. Lewis holds a virtual community conversation on housing challenges and solutions, featuring a keynote address from Housing and Livable Communities Secretary Augustus. Lewis will moderate a panel discussion with Laura Rosi of Housing Families, Matt Noyes of the Citizens' Housing and Planning Association, and Alex Pratt of the City of Malden. (Monday, 6:30 p.m. | Livestream)

Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023

NEW MIDDLESEX ADA CLASS: Middlesex DA Ryan swears in the newest class of assistant district attorneys. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, 15 Commonwealth Ave., Woburn)

FIREFIGHTER AWARDS: Firefighters will be honored for acts of heroism and service during the 34th Annual Firefighter of the Year Heroic Awards. Gov. Healey and State Fire Marshal Jon Davine plan to attend. Firefighters will be represented from departments in Ashland, Brockton, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Everett, Hingham, Holbrook, Hopkinton, Lawrence, Longmeadow, Lynn, Nantucket, New Bedford, Rockland, Somerville, Stoneham, Sunderland, West Springfield, Weymouth, and Whitman. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St., Worcester)

JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on the Judiciary holds hybrid public hearing on about 40 bills dealing with privacy issues, including updating wiretap statutes; installing protections around doxing, the disclosure of personal information without an individual's consent that can lead to stalking, physical harm or safety threats; and protecting journalists from being compelled to disclose certain sourcing information. Other proposals look to regulate law enforcement's use of facial recognition technology. Also on the agenda are bills focused on abortions, including expanding access to care and regulating the procedure after the second trimester. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Room A-2 | Agenda and Livestream)

ROUTE 28 IMPROVEMENT: MassDOT holds a public meeting to provide the public with information on the proposed improvements on Route 28 in Yarmouth and Barnstable. The project scope includes approximately 2.9 miles along Route 28 (Iyannough Road/Main Street) and short segments of intersecting streets. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., Town Hall, Select Board Meeting Room, 1146 Route 28, South Yarmouth)

UNITY BASKETBALL: Games get underway for the Unity Basketball League, part of the Massachusetts State Police TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) initiative. Event is held in partnership with the Woburn Boys and Girls Club. Middlesex DA Ryan will welcome the kids playing. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., 1 Charles Gardner Lane, Woburn)

Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023

SENATE: Senate plans to meet without a calendar. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Senate Chamber)

HONORING JFK: Marking the 60th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination, the JFK Presidential Library will hold three musical performances and display the American flag that was draped over his coffin. An exhibit on display from Nov. 20-27 will contain funeral items, including condolence mail sent to Jacqueline Kennedy. Visitors can sign two memorial books to reflect on JFK and his legacy. Entry to the library is free to the public on Tuesday and Wednesday. "For those of us with no living memory of President Kennedy, and those who remember exactly where they were when they heard the news, I hope that the commemorations planned at the JFK Library will give Americans the chance to come together to honor President Kennedy and recommit ourselves to giving back to this country for decades to come," JFK Library Foundation Executive Director Rachel Flor said in a statement. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., JFK Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston)

SIGNATURE DEADLINE: Campaigns for possible 2024 ballot questions must submit 74,574 signatures from voters -- 3 percent of the total votes cast for candidates for governor, excluding blanks, in the most recent election -- to local officials to stay in the running for the Nov. 5, 2024 ballot. Thirty-four proposals (in some cases representing multiple proposed versions of a potential question) were certified by Attorney General Andrea Campbell's office in September. (Wednesday)

Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023

PINE STREET INN THANKSGIVING: Boston Mayor Wu, U.S. Sen. Markey, Boston City Council President Flynn, Rep. John Moran and Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy will carve turkeys and speak with the media as Pine Street Inn prepares to serve close to 2,000 traditional holiday dinners on Thanksgiving. McAvoy is also supposed to bring 50 pies. Pine Street Inn said its Thanksgiving menu includes 120 turkeys, 280 pounds of cranberry sauce, 140 pounds of stuffing, 580 pounds of mixed vegetables, 1,000 pounds of mashed potatoes, 50 gallons of gravy, 500 pounds of fruit salad, 56 gallons of cider, 1,900 dinner rolls, 150 whole pies and 1,200 mini pies. (Thursday, 9:30 a.m., 444 Harrison Ave., Boston)

THANKSGIVING DAY: State government offices are closed in observance of Thanksgiving. Registry of Motor Vehicles customer service centers will be closed, but the RMV said there are more than 40 transactions that can still be conducted online. There will be no MBTA ferry service, all commuter rail lines will operate on a weekend schedule, and all other MBTA lines will operate on a Sunday schedule. (Thursday)

Friday, Nov. 24, 2023

GO GREEN ON BLACK FRIDAY: Department of Conservation and Recreation hosts a series of free, family-friendly guided hikes. Hikes begin at 10 a.m. at the Houghton's Pond Visitor Center in the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, the parking lot (305 Middleton Road) of Harold Parker State Forest in North Andover, and the Martin Road trailhead of the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in East Falmouth. A hike at the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls starts at 1 p.m. DCR said the hikes are "the perfect way to burn off that turkey and enjoy the beauty of nature, something we can all be thankful for." (Friday)

Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023

SMALL BIZ SATURDAY: U.S. Small Business Administration encourages people to shop, dine and seek entertainment at local small businesses in celebration of Small Business Saturday. The day was created in 2010 by American Express and has been officially cosponsored by the SBA since 2011. Shoppers spent a record high $17.9 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on last year's Small Business Saturday. (Saturday, Nov. 25)

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