Tuesday, January 12, 2021

CommonWealth Magazine: T cuts likely to remain; voter turnout numbers highlight wealth, racial disparities

From CommonWealth Magazine we share two articles of interest for Franklin:

"Most T cuts will stand even with new fed money"

"THE MBTA will receive at least $250 million in federal funding under the latest COVID-19 stimulus package, but agency officials plan to move forward with most of their planned service cuts and direct most of the new money toward the capital budget.

MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said Monday that the T expects to get somewhere roughly between $250 million and $300 million in additional support, up to $17 million of which will go toward bumping service back up on high-ridership bus routes and maintaining evening commuter rail service.

Despite calls from activists and lawmakers to change course with the federal aid — plus a $52 million upgrade in the T’s state sales tax revenue outlook — the agency plans otherwise to “proceed with a majority of service changes” that the Fiscal and Management Control Board approved in December, Poftak said."
Continue reading the article online
"Turnout numbers highlight wealth, racial disparities"
"IN THE WEALTHY towns of Dover, Sudbury, and Carlisle, more than 90 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the November election.  

In the poorer cities of Springfield, Lawrence, and New Bedford, 55 percent of voters or fewer turned out.  

While the presidential election drew record turnout in Massachusetts, voter turnout statistics highlight yet another measure of a tale of two commonwealths, according to a report released Monday by MassVOTE, a nonprofit that seeks to increase voter participation.   

Communities that were educated, white, and wealthy saw the largest voter turnout. Communities that were poor, minority, and less educated saw the lowest number of voters. Initiatives like no-excuse voting by mail that were meant to make it easier to vote did not help those disparities, and may have even exacerbated them, since state statistics show that voters in wealthier communities were more likely to take advantage of mail-in voting. "
Continue reading the article online
MassVOTE is a Non-Partisan Voting Rights & Issue Advocacy Organization
MassVOTE is a Non-Partisan Voting Rights & Issue Advocacy Organization


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