Archive for August, 2013

Arroyo Candidate Podcast

Felix ArroyoFelix Arroyo discussed his detailed platform and his strategy for beating the other 11 trying to become Boston’s mayor. He didn’t have the time to describe all his planks, available on the vision area of his campaign site.

We spent a lot of time on education, which he couples to so much — jobs, crime, housing and more. He comes from a family that believes in the public schools, and several members, including his mother and wife taught or teach in the BPS. He comes in without blinders but thinks every neighborhood can have high-quality schools. He also believes that the $1 billion-plus a year the city spends on schools needs new budgeting and priorities. Listen in as he suggests how the city can afford pre-K for everyone and longer schools days for enrichment. A key there is financing from the classroom level and tightening as you go up to the admin offices instead of the reverse.

He also has reasoning why expanding the school day won’t break the bank. For example, staggered teacher starting times can mean coverage for enrichment with the same number of teacher hours. He doesn’t see himself as having to slug it out with the teacher’s union or schools administration to get his approach in the works.

We did get around to the points the pundits are big on — no one candidate of the dozen dominates the field, but there is a top tier of the best funded already running TV ads with a month to go before the preliminary. Arroyo is not daunted in his effort to be one of the two who emerge for the November final.

As his father before him, Arroyo was an organizer before becoming a City Councilor. In this case, he organized for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). He spoke of giving janitors higher profile as a group, as well as an elevation to $16 an hour. He said he uses these same skills campaigning, door-to-door, person-to-person.

Arroyo is not surprised the polling shows no single dominant candidate. While he’d likely rather be higher in various polls, he figures he has the time, energy and people power to canvass and get out the vote. Moreover, as this is the first time in 20 years Bostonians will definitely elect a new Mayor, he says voters “are thinking; they’re really processing.”

He figures to win by convincing one voter at a time. He says that is a valuable lesson he learned from Mayor Tom Menino — “Every minute in the neighborhood is a minute well spent.”


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News Noise Now Podcast

Two big deals suddenly promise to bring newspapers back to life, not as zombies, but as viable media…maybe

We talked a lot about billionaires buying big name papers — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos the WaPo and John Henry (trading magnet, and Red Sox/Liverpool Football owner) the Boston Globe. We speculated a bit on the why for each and what they would expect from their well-worn toys.

We lamented and specified the stupidity of publishers that got papers into such sad shape and so unprepared to thrive and prosper in the online age. We also have, slightly differing, optimism that either or both of these big shots might be able to apply some management and marketing smarts. If either or both succeed, that would help a lot of struggle mid- and large-market papers see what’s possible.

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Immigration After DOMA Podcast

Immigration attorney Marisa DeFranco joined us today on how the court overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) affects gay couples. She noted up front that civil rights are generally a long, hard slog, but this is one instance in which things changed dramatically for the better immediately.

For the 17 years DOMA was in effect, immigration attorneys could not help same-sex couples seeking immigration into the US. Even when SSM became legal in 15 countries and over a dozen US states, she said she’d have to tell people, “I can’t help you.”

Listen in as she describes how in the large part, the overturning of DOMA in the U.S. v. Windsor decision leveled the field. She also explains how some aspects are not yet equal, such as the arduous waiver process and often a 10-year ban same-sex couples face if the non-US-citizen became discouraged or overstayed a visa and returned overseas. Moreover, she points to the innate unfairness of how workers of H-1B visas could file to bring in their same-sex partner or spouse, while a US citizen was forbidden from doing so.

She could only give us 20 minutes, but we learned quite a bit. She also concluded with a warning for vigilance, for those who think this struggle is over.

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Post-DOMA Immigration

Marisa DeFrancoMarisa DeFranco joins us to talk about the impact of the demise of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has on gay couples seeking to immigrate. If you can join us live, click here at 2:30 PM Tuesday, August 13th.

Afterward, her show will be available to hear or download at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.

She is an immigration attorney and as a progressive has taken strong stands on LGBT issues. We’ll discuss whether homosexual couples, married or otherwise, can get the same chance for the non-citizen half to enter the U.S. We’ll discuss what’s changed, what hasn’t and what to expect.

If her name is familiar, it’s likely because she was in the Dem primary for the U.S. Senate race against fill-in Scott Brown. You can catch her visit with her during that contest here.