Archive for September, 2011

MA Casino Bill Podcast

No James Bond or other high-roller types here. We touched on the current 3 casino/1 slot parlor bill in debate on Beacon Hill. It seems certain to pass this time.

Fortuitousness (no gambling pun intended), Mike went to a Suffolk Law Rappaport Center program yesterday on the broader subject. The speaker was William Eadington, University of Nevada at Reno economics professor and director of its Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming.

Mike and Ryan are not casino supporters and would like one of the slim hopes that this bill fails to manifest. Ryan describes some of the outcomes, including lawsuits and ballot initiatives. Even if the bill becomes law this fall, casinos would be several years away.

Listen too as Mike relays some Eadington experiences and judgments, including:

  • If you’re going for casinos, the commission setting up and regulating it needs to be totally transparent and populated with those of absolute integrity (not something we’re famous for here)
  • The process should take four to six year, and ideally will start with proof of concept plans from bidders, before any sites or operators are chosen
  • The jurisdiction needs to be very clear about what it expects from casinos, prioritizing its goals

Eadington was plain that expecting financial miracles from casinos is totally unrealistic. However, mandating investment in resort casino(s) to create vacation areas to elevate the site and bring in tourists is possible.

Listen in as we begrudgingly discuss the likely and possible.

icon for podpress  MA Hearts Casinos [31:35m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


MA on Casino Abyss Brink

It’s highly likely that MA will take the first giant step to casinos. We’ll do an update show today. We’ll talk economic realities, as well as fantasies.

Join us live here at 2:30 PM Eastern today, Tuesday, September 27th.

You can always hear it later at that URL, here at Left Ahead, or on iTunes.


Activist Lee Podcast

Looking first for a preliminary win next week, then to unseat the Boston District 2 Councilor in November, Suzanne Lee spoke about her broad, deep platform. The long-time educator and community activist has a detailed set of goals and ways to get there. See her campaign site’s Issues section for the nine areas.

Lee seems to bring her indefatigable attitude from her years as principal of two Boston schools and her avocation of community activism. She would apply what worked in both those areas, as well as draw on her considerable business, university, non-profit and institutional contacts. Listen in as speaks of getting non-governmental people to couple with the city in jobs, arts, environment, housing and more.

She would involve her district’s diverse neighborhoods (think South End, Chinatown and South Boston) with the whole process from major projects to early planning. She’s huge on transparency of government. She led on three major master plans here, just as a citizen. Likewise, she’d bring the parts of the district together for meetings to discuss common issues — something not common in Boston.

Click below to hear us hurry through many areas of her platform. Be sure to go to her website for the details.

icon for podpress  Suzanne Lee [32:45m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


District 2 Contender Lee

Suzanne Lee joins us Tuesday, September 20th, at 2:30 PM Eastern. She’s running for Boston City Council District 2, looking to unseat two-term incumbent Bill Linehan. The preliminary that determines which two of the three candidates square off in November happens on 9/27.

She comes to the campaign from a long-term career in education and avocation of community activism. She brings a nine-faceted platform of issues/solutions.

This Council district is the city’s most diverse and geographically spread. It covers such very traditional but very different neighborhoods as Chinatown and South Boston.

To hear the show live, go here at 2:30 PM on 9/20. After the show, you can hear it on demand at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on iTunes.


Transgender Rights Podcast

Short-term, there’s a good chance that the transgender rights bill will finally become law this year in MA. Our guests today point to a lot of education of the public and legislators over the years, as well as executive and lawmaker support right now.

Kara Suffredini and Gunner Scott, executive directors respectively of MassEquality and of the MA Transgender Political Coalition, could use even more volunteer help for phonebanks, as well as contributions to counter the opposition’s campaigns. Information on what you can do is on each site.

Longer terms, MA remains as a target for the anti-LGBT world. While we are slow on this transgender-rights piece, our profile in gay rights, same-sex marriage and other equality measures keep us high on their list. Our guests see the effort to defeat transgender rights as only a step toward the ultimate goal of the anti-rights forces — rolling back existing equality broadly.

Listen in as Scott and Suffredini speak to how likely success on this issue was painstakingly forged through lobbying, particularly by having transgender persons tell their stories to lawmakers and the public. They speak of the insidious discrimination and violence. They address the pathetic attempt to pretend that the transgender community is covered under other civil rights and to reduce the long list of missing rights to some scare tactic about public toilets.

They spoke of what’s going on right now and what to expect. Click the player below to listen.

icon for podpress  Transgender Rights Bill: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Humanity of Transgender Civil Rights

The very human face of civil rights is at BMG now in the form of an open letter from parents of their transgender children. They address the real issues underlying the rights bills under consideration on Beacon Hill.

We find it disgraceful that anti-LGBT forces lie about this. With a vast number of basic human rights at stake, trying to divert the discussion into fantasized scare tactics centered on public toilets insults us all. It also puts us far behind over a dozen other states, including all but NH in New England in protecting this group of us.

Read and respond at BMG. Then catch Kara Suffredini and Gunner Scott here next week.



Transgender Rights Bill

It’s the time and we have the key players next week. The Transgender Equal Rights Bill (H.502/S.764) is overdue and coming up for a fight on Beacon Hill.

The executive directors of MassEquality, Kara Suffredini, and of MA Transgender Political Coalition, Gunner Scott, join us. If you can listen here in Wednesday, September 14th, at 2:30 PM Eastern.

If you can’t hear the stream, come back to that URL, here at Left Ahead, or on iTunes later for the show on demand.

For some reason, we have been unable to close the deal for transgender protections. A lot of other states already have.

Here opponents have been using irrational scare tactics. In advertisements and campaigns, they ignore the hundreds of rights and screech that this bill wants to fill women’s restrooms with hordes of men who are sexual predators. Casting this civil rights legislation as “the bathroom bill” is a shameful lie. Listen in at Suffredini and Scott talk about what’s really at take.