Archive for March, 2011

R.I. Marriage Equality Special Show

A second show in the week, this one at an unusual time and day features the campaign director for Marriage Equality Rhode Island. It’s been a long struggle there, previously against hostile governor, legislative leaders and local bishop. The good guys are within striking distance.

Ray Sullivan joins us on Friday, April 8th at 6 p.m. Eastern to talk about the chances for passing same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. If you can join the live stream then, do that here. Afterward the show will be available to hear or download at that location, back here at Left Ahead or on iTunes.


Musical House Seats Podcast

MA grew since the previous census, but not fast enough to keep all 10 U.S. House seats. We’ll lose one and the whining, pleading, dickering and posturing are on.

Listen in as we talk about all the considerations in this decision. We have our own predictions. We also figure after a dozen or so public hearings by the joint legislative redistricting committee finishes, this will be far less painful than in some other states with their big Dem/GOP fights.

We talk about the slowest growing areas (Berkshires in the West and Cape Cod) and the fastest, as well as the growing Latino population in a state with no one in the house of color and only one woman.

Ryan also noted that you can hop in yourself with a redraw-it-yourself app, like this one. He’s also pretty confident that at least one Rep will step aside to run for Senate or that one of the two District 1 Reps will retire if they have to run against each other.

icon for podpress  Musical House Seats [27:46m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Horace Small Joins Us

Exec. Dir. Horace Small of the Union of Minority Neighborhoods comes on our show next week, Tuesday, April 5th at 2:30 PM Eastern. His group attacks the big problems of people of color in Boston and Massachusetts.

If you can join us for the live stream, go here 4/5 at 2:30 PM. Afterward, you can go to that URL, return to Left Ahead or go to iTunes to hear or download the show.

The UMN goes right to the crucial issues for black and Latino residents:

  • High incarceration rates
  • Low representation in the MA House and Senate — none in Congress from here
  • Low HS graduation rates
  • High unemployment, particularly for black men

Listen in as Small describes training and other organizing, coalition building, and going at these issues from many angles.


Cops of the World Podcast

How delightful when friends surprise you. Ryan and Mike called into today’s show not sure how the other came down on the U.S. involvement in military action in Libya.

Yet with all of President Obama’s dithering and as Mike would have it holding up false hopes to the Libyan rebels, the true coalition effort seems necessary to both of us. The Congressional posturing of joining the UN Security Council effort (providing the bulk of the firepower if being clear on not leading) will wait. They’re off on a 10-day recess being self-important.

Listen in to hear our take on what this will mean short term and beyond. We can even hope of a re-evaluation for our outsized, outrageous defense budget in this horrific recession period.

icon for podpress  Cops of the World [29:46m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Consalvo on Boston Housing Podcast

Boston City Councilor Rob Consalvo joined us to talk status and future of housing in the Hub. He chairs the Council’s Housing Committee and is the trustee for the Neighborhood Housing Trust that collected and distributes millions in linkage funds for affordable housing.

He has his hand on the throttle of the complex machinery of keeping and expanding affordable housing, policing banks and other agents of foreclosure, and trying to balance mixed use housing throughout Boston. Listen in as he speaks with great enthusiasm and hope of the housing stock here.

Disclaimer: Mike is in Rob’s District 5 and knows him.

Rob describes current efforts, including:

  • Maintaining affordable housing as expiring use allows landlords to convert units to market rates from subsidized ones (reducing Section 8 housing)
  • Augmenting the three successful Hope VI public-housing rehab projects here.
  • Ensuring financial institutions maintain the structures and appearance of foreclosed properties to avoid the broken-window syndrome.
  • Sharing lessons learned and best practices with other MA cities and towns.
  • Using all public available means and methods to maintain tenant/owner respect and pride of place.

The complex housing challenges look like nearly intractable issues and problems from the outside. Hear the head of the committee describe why he’s optimistic about the future of Boston Housing.

icon for podpress  Rob Consalvo [30:04m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


NH SSM Fight Podcast

NH is oddly back in a manufactured fight over same-sex marriage. Guest John Hosty-Grinnell, LGBT activist, KnowThyNeighbor principal and blogger, joined us to report and comment.

Note: Our host service messed with us today and cut off the show exactly at the 30 minute mark. There were no thanks, good-byes or conclusions. I apologize.

He is also a NH resident, one of many with the question of after a thorough series of hearings, a non-binding plebiscite, and considerable protracted debate in the legislature, the state passed SSM just over a year ago. Why, then if this is settled and there are no problems, would the new Republican supermajority in both houses try to pass a law taking away a groups established right? Why pass a needless law?

Listen in as he speaks of his testimony before the recent hearing on the matter. He also recounts his exchanges with the governor and legislators one-on-one, and his attempted contact with his own state rep. From those perspectives, plus being a gay man with a husband, he sees this issue with great clarity.


icon for podpress  NH SSM Fight [29:48m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download