Thursday, April 16, 2009

EVENT: Ballets Russes 2009

Ballets Russes 2009

The Ballets Russes Cultural Partnership Presents a Weeklong Festival to

Celebrate International Collaboration in the Arts

BOSTON, Massachusetts – April 15, 2009 – This May, Boston will observe the centenary of the first performances of the Ballets Russes, a revolutionary Russian ballet and opera troupe that captivated European and American audiences for twenty years in the early 20th Century. The Ballets Russes 2009 festival, presented by the Ballets Russes Cultural Partnership, will feature performances, an exhibition, an academic conference, and a procession and street fair that will celebrate the impact and enduring legacy of this world-renowned performing company. With this festival the Ballets Russes Cultural Partnership will commence a permanent artistic and intellectual exchange initiative between Boston, Moscow, and St. Petersburg.

About the Ballets Russes

The legendary impresario Serge Diaghilev launched the Ballets Russes at the Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris in May 1909. For the next twenty years, this revolutionary performing company electrified Western audiences with a potent fusion of music, choreography, theatrical design and dance, all of equal brilliance. The content was a revelation; it was sensual, innovative, provocative, and yet it drew on artistic traditions. Although it grew out of the Imperial Theaters, this profoundly Russian performing company flowered in Europe, contributing to and joining forces with Western modernism. Painters, composers and choreographers of the avant-garde were central to the achievements of the Ballets Russes.

Vaslav Nijinsky, Leon Bakst, Igor Stravinsky, George Balanchine, Pablo Picasso were among the creative geniuses made famous by the Ballets Russes.

Ballets Russes Cultural Partnership will celebrate Diaghilev’s progressive artistic and cultural legacy, which encouraged international cooperation and established lasting global bonds between Russia and America. The May festival will serve as the kick-off to a renewed cultural partnership between the two countries.

About the Ballets Russes Cultural Partnership

Ballets Russes Cultural Partnership is the only organization of its kind to promote lasting global bonds between Russia and America based on cultural awareness and mutual appreciation for the arts.

This renewed international partnership between the two countries will be anchored by a week-long centennial celebration of Ballets Russes – the legendary dance and opera company created by Serge Diaghilev one hundred years ago. In the spirit of multi-cultural cooperation that Diaghilev pioneered, performers and artists from Russia, Europe, and America will congregate in Boston to honor and commemorate the lasting cultural impact of Ballets Russes.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

EVENT: Mon., April 13---Health Information Technology Council Holds Public Hearing on Health IT Provisions

The Health Information Technology Council holds a public hearing to receive public comments on health IT provisions off the recently approved economic recovery and stimulus law. Secretary of Health and Human Service JudyAnn Bigby chairs the hearing.

When/Where: 6:00 PM at Mass. Medical Society, 860 Winter St., Waltham.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

EVENT: Sat., April 18---First Wave Hip Hop Theater Ensemble!

The SED Alumni Speaker Series presents: First Wave Hip Hop Theater Ensemble!

When/Where: 4:00 PM SED AUDITORIUM on Saturday, April 18, 2009

First Wave Performace at SED: First Wave Hip Hope Theater Ensemble, featuring Sofio Snow, voted best Spoken Word Artist in Boston in 2007, will be performing at SED on Saturday, April 18 at 4:00 PM – Don’t miss this amazing performance!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

EVENT: Sunday May 3---Walk for Hunger

In the midst of the steepest economic downturn in fifty years, Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger on Sunday, May 3, takes on urgent meaning for those struggling to put food on the table. “We have never needed it more,” says Ellen Parker, the executive director of Project Bread, the state’s leading antihunger organization. “This year, we’re asking everyone to do something to help. Every dollar, every mile, and every volunteer hour counts.”

Project Bread estimates more than 522,000 people in the state are food insecure. With foreclosures and layoffs, many more people find themselves hungry and hurting for the first time. Calls to Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline, the only comprehensive hunger resource in Massachusetts, have surged from month to month. Inquiries to the Hotline were up 34 percent in January from the same period of time a year ago, 67 percent in February, and 88 percent in March. The FoodSource Hotline — 1-800-645-8333 — is a toll-free information and referral service that immediately connects a hungry person to soup kitchens, food stamps, and groceries at food pantries. “We are getting more of every kind of caller, including those from college-educated professionals who say ‘they never thought they’d have ask for help,’” said Diane Dickerson, Director of Emergency Food Resources.

Despite these historically hard times, Walk registrations are edging up from last year and Project Bread is encouraged that Walkers, donors, and dollars are responding to the increased demand. In 2008, 40,000 Walkers and 2,000 Volunteers participated in the 20-mile trek that wends its way through Boston, Brookline, Newton, Watertown, and Cambridge. Last year, they raised an unprecedented $4 million to fund 400 emergency programs in 128 Massachusetts communities — money that is being used to buy food to feed hungry people right now.

As the nation’s oldest continual pledge walk, The Walk for Hunger has raised over $70 million since 1969 with an estimated 952,000 participants walking 19 million miles to nourish those in need. The Walk involves many families, school, religious, and work organizations that make the fundraiser a celebrated rite of spring. This year, the tradition is more crucial than any since the Walk began as “Feet for Wheat” in Quincy, Mass., founded by activist Patrick Hughes of Boston’s Paulist Center.

To register for the Walk for Hunger, visit or call 617-723-5000.

About Project Bread

As the state’s leading antihunger organization, Project Bread is dedicated to alleviating, preventing, and ultimately ending hunger in Massachusetts. Through The Walk for Hunger, Project Bread provides millions of dollars each year in privately donated funds to emergency food programs statewide. Project Bread also advocates systematic solutions that prevent hunger in children and provide food to families in natural, everyday settings. With the support of the Governor and state Legislature, the organization has invested millions in grants to community organizations that feed children where they live, learn, and play. For more information, visit

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Monday, April 6: Screening/Discussion of HBO's “The Alzheimer’s Project”

After screening a new HBO documentary called “The Alzheimer’s Project,” a panel of Alzheimer’s experts discusses the latest in research on the disease. Panelists include Harvard University psychology professor Randy Buckner, Boston University School of Medicine Alzheimer researcher Robert Green, Brigham and Women’s Hospital neurologic diseases expert Dennis Selko, Harvard Medical School neurology professor Reisa Sperling and Boston University neurology professor Philip Wolf. The panel, which also includes a Boston-area patient with early-stage, younger onset Alzheimer’s, will be moderated by Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts Chapter President James Wessler.

When/Where: 6 PM, Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston

Monday, April 6: Organ Donor Week Kicks Off

Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury) hosts a press conference kicking off Organ Donor Week. He will be joined by Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian, Rep. Katherine Clark, New England Organ Donor Bank official Sean Fitzpatrick, and Ann Lineham, mother of the late Laura Lineham, who used her struggle with a genetic disease to bring attention to organ donations.

WHEN/WHERE: 11:00 AM, Grand Staircase, State House

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

EVENT: Wed., April 1---Boston's Charter vs. Public Schools

A panel of experts dives into the contentious debate over the value of Boston’s charter, pilot and traditional public schools. The panel features Chris Gabrieli, chairman of Massachusetts 2020 and a former gubernatorial candidate; Thomas Payzant, former superintendent of the Boston Public Schools; Mike Goldstein, CEO of Match Charter High School; Ellen Guiney, executive director of the Boston Plan for Excellence; and Kay Merseth, Harvard lecturer on education. The panel will be moderated by Tom Kane, professor of education and economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

When/Where: 7 PM at Askwith Auditorium, Longfellow Hall, Harvard Graduate School of Education



CCIA Hosts Press Conference with Guest Speaker to Promote Free Tax Help for MA Taxpayers

What: The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) will host a press conference on Friday, April 3, in coordination with DotWell and One Economy, to announce the availability of a public-private partnership aimed at helping lower and moderate income Massachusetts taxpayers – including those eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, active-duty military, students, and seniors – electronically prepare and e-file their federal tax return for FREE.

Free File is a partnership between the IRS (, 21 state tax agencies (including Massachusetts -, choose the e-filing information link, and then click on the Massachusetts Free File Alliance link) and the nation’s electronic tax software manufacturers, including Intuit, the maker of TurboTax Freedom Edition (

Following the 10:00 a.m. press conference, community-based organization representatives will participate in an hour-long tax training workshop to learn how easy it is to use these programs. The training will take place in the same location.

From April 2 until April 15, taxpayers can come to the Codman Square Tech Center (450 Washington Street in Dorchester) to try this service with the help of a trained VITA volunteer or on their own; OR they can go to or the MA Department of Revenue website ( and click on the e-filing information link and use it on their own.
Taxpayers can also receive from tax help at

This service is available Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

** Media outlets are strongly encouraged to attend. **

** Please post in your community events calendar and/or daybook. **

Who: Stephen Murphy, City Councilor at Large

Doreen Treacy, DotWell

Lee Davenport, Program Director, National Financial Partnerships, One Economy Corporation

Jim Ruda, Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation

David Macklin, Computer & Communications Industry Association

When: Thursday, April 2

10:00 a.m. - press conference

Hour-long TurboTax Freedom Edition training workshop immediately following the press conference - media is strongly encouraged to stay for the training)

Where: Codman Square Tech Center

450 Washington Street

Dorchester, MA

Contact: Elana Stein, (202) 777-3517

Monday, March 30, 2009

EVENT: Friday, April 3---Martin Luther King Jr.'s Sister Speaks at BU

The Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center invites you to attend the inaugural
Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Lecture given by Dr. King’s sister, our first Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellow Christine King Farris who will speak about her work and personal memories of the King Family.

When/Where: Friday, April 3, 2009 ~ 7:00 p.m.

Metcalf Hall, Second Floor ~ George Sherman Union
775 Commonwealth Avenue

Mrs. Farris will sign copies of her new book which will be available at the event.

RSVP by March 31st 617-353-3697 or email

Sunday, March 29, 2009

EVENT: Monday, Mar. 30---Last Stop: Hardship Listening Tour

Republican lawmakers make the seventh and final stop on their “Hardship Listening Tour,” a series of statewide forums on citizen concerns over potential tax and fee increases. The final stop is hosted by Reps. Robert Hargraves, Bradley Jones and George Peterson.

When/Where: 7 pm at North Middlesex Regional High School, Townsend.

EVENT: Monday, Mar. 30---Making budget choices during a fiscal crisis

House budget chief Rep. Charley Murphy joins Administration and Finance Secretary Leslie Kirwan for a discussion of making budget choices during a fiscal crisis. Peter Zimmerman, senior associate dean and lecturer at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, will also participate.

When/Where: 6 pm at Bell Hall, 5th floor, Belfer Building, 79 JFK St., Cambridge.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

EVENT: Wed, April 1---“Negotiating with North Korea: Process and Practice”

Who: Stephen W. Bosworth
Special Representative for North Korea Policy
and Dean of The Fletcher School

“Negotiating with North Korea: Process and Practice”

When/Where: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 12:15pm
ASEAN Auditorium
Cabot Intercultural Center, The Fletcher School

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

EVENT: Mar. 26---US Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant for 2008

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission holds meeting to discuss its assessment of the safety performance of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant for 2008 and the role of the agency in ensuring safe operations at the plant, which is licensed to Entergy Nuclear Operations Inc.

When/Where: 6PM at Hilton Garden Inn, 4 Home Depot Drive, Plymouth

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Interviews Available -- Geithner's Plan: "Pure Plunder"

Rule by "Hedge Fund Democrats", Interviews Available

NOMI PRINS, [in NYC] (646) 483-5639,,,

Prins just wrote the piece "Geithner's Plan: Pure Plunder" for Mother Jones magazine. Prins is a senior fellow at Demos and is the author of two books: "Other People's Money: The Corporate Mugging of America" and "Jacked: How Conservatives Are Picking Your Pocket." She is a former investment banker turned journalist. She used to run the European analytics group at Bear Stearns and has also worked at Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs.

JOHN SAKOWICZ, cell: (415) 310-6710,,

Sakowicz is a 30-year veteran of Wall Street. He is currently a general partner at Templar Advisors, an offshore investment advisory group. Sakowicz also hosts "The Truth About Money" at KZYX in Northern California and he writes for alternative weeklies as a contributing editor at the North Bay Bohemian.

He said today: "Bank stocks have soared, but their bonds haven't budged. In some cases, they've actually fallen. When that happens, the market is telling us something. It's telling us to come back to reality. It's telling us these toxic assets may be more toxic than we think. ... In Geithner's plan, the leverage is about five or six federal dollars to every one dollar invested by the private sector. That's like saying, 'Let's drive a truck full of money directly at a freight train full of money to prevent a train wreck.'"

TIMOTHY CANOVA, [call after 8 a.m. PT] (714) 628-2640, cell: (714) 401-8818,,

Canova is a professor of international economic law at the Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters forewarning of financial crisis, in addition to such short essays as "Greenspan's Grip" and "Legacy of the Clinton Bubble."

Canova said today: "The latest Treasury plan by Timothy Geithner is befitting an administration run by 'hedge fund Democrats.' Such is the nature of bankster capitalism, the zombie banks are propped up by public subsidies and their losses are socialized. Under the plan, the Federal Reserve and Treasury as the 'public partners' would provide enormous subsidies to the 'private partners,' the unregulated and unregistered hedge funds that have been overleveraged and facing mounting losses of their own. The subsidies would go to hedge funds for taking near worthless assets off the books of the ailing banks.

"There's been much criticism of the American Insurance Group for paying out $165 million in excessive bonuses to executives in its financial products division, the now notorious AIG unit that sold more credit default swaps than the firm could cover. Lost in the outrage was news that AIG had paid out $40 billion in taxpayer bailout money to some of the world's largest banks and hedge funds. Most of that went to ten U.S. and foreign banks, with Goldman Sachs leading the list. This is the same Goldman Sachs that has owned the Treasury Department for two decades. Its former CEOs, Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson, became Treasury secretary. Its chief lobbyist, Mark Patterson, recently became chief of staff to Geithner, one of the few vacancies filled in the department, and one that required an immediate waiver to Obama's supposedly tough ethics rules.

"Within the academy, there's a recognition that the sanctity of private contract requires striking down sham contracts. Bert Ely, a Cato Institute banking analyst, now argues that credit default swaps should be considered unenforceable contracts since the counterparties lack any insurable interest in the underlying assets. Lucian Bebchuk, a Harvard Law professor and centrist, now proposes Chapter 11 bankruptcy for AIG to stop the bleeding on its $1.2 trillion in credit default swaps. Paul Krugman, Nobel economist, argues for nationalizing the zombie banks to get them to shed their toxic assets and jump-start their lending activities for productive investment in real economic activity.

"The subsidies to Wall Street hedge funds and banks are not without enormous costs. Last week the Federal Reserve announced that it would double the size of its balance sheet to $3 trillion by doubling its purchases of asset-backed securities from its favored clientele, which now includes foreign banks and central banks. Three trillion dollars that could be spent on real needs, like jobs and education, the kinds of large public spending programs that raised the economy out of the Great Depression, created the last great middle class boom for the Greatest Generation, and left future generations with tangible assets instead of worthless paper."

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

EVENT---Clean Technologies: How Things work

Oil shale conversion technologies continue to advance at a rapid pace, providing a more economically viable, environmentally responsible way to develop this abundant domestic energy resource. Join us this Friday, March 20, at 10 a.m. Mountain, and hear from two companies now operating on the leading edge of oil shale development.

This one-hour technology briefing will be conducted live via internet "webinar," so you can listen from the comfort of your own office via computer and phone line. Topics and presenters include:

"Shell's In Situ Process"
James Thurman, Manager, Regulatory Policy, Shell Unconventional Resources

"Environmental Alternative Fuels"
Dr. Laura Nelson, Vice President, Energy and Environment, Red Leaf Resources/EcoShale
How to Participate
This webinar is offered at no charge by the Western Business Roundtable, but you must register to participate. Go here to register. Information on how to participate will be e-mailed to you upon your successful registration. Please contact Michelle Hindmarch at if you have questions.

More Information
All of the Roundtable's webinars in the "Clean Technologies: How Things Work" series will be recorded and made available on the Roundtable's website ( If you would like to have the recorded link to the webinar sent to you automatically, please e-mail Michelle Hindmarch at

Monday, March 16, 2009

EVENT: Monday, Mar. 16---"Hardship Listening Tour."

Republicans host a stop on their "hardship listening tour." Hosts include Elizabeth Poirier, Richard Ross, Jay Barrows and Sen. Scott Brown.

When/Where: Attleboro City Hall at 7:00 PM

EVENT: Monday, Mar. 16---“Correcting the Approach: Managing Prisons Effectively in Challenging Times.”

Department of Correction Commissioner Harold Clarke headlines a Harvard University forum called “Correcting the Approach: Managing Prisons Effectively in Challenging Times.” The forum will include conversation on reducing recidivism through drug treatment, housing and reentry programs, and the difficulty of implementing such programs during challenging economic times.

When/Where: Starr Auditorium, Belfer Building, 2nd Floor, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge at 6:00 PM

EVENT: Monday, Mar. 16---Foreign Policy Experts Discuss What US is Up Against Under Obama Administration

A trio of foreign policy experts discusses what the U.S. is up against abroad under the Obama administration. The experts include Nicholas Burns, former Undersecretary of State and a professor of International Politics at Harvard University, Andrew Bacevich, professor of International Relations at Boston University, and Martha Raddatz, chief foreign correspondent for ABC News.

When/Where: Stephen Smith Hall, JFK Presidential Library, Dorchester at 5:30

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Boston, Cambridge, Quincy Residents See 21 Percent Increase in ID Theft

The FTC collects identity theft complaints from consumers throughout the year and reports them the following year. According to this year's report, the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy metropolitan area saw an increase in the number of complaints its residents filed with the FTC of about 21%.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

EVENT: Thurs. March 11---New E-Prescription Initiative

Doctors currently e-prescribing or interested in beginning are invited to a conference of the eRx Collaborative, a partnership between Blue Cross Blue Shield, Neighborhood Health Plan and Tufts Health plan. Topics of discussion will include state incentive plans in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The program will include panel discussions on physicians’ experiences with e-prescribing and electronic medical records, and participants will get to test e-prescribing systems in the conference’s exhibit hall.

When/Where: 7 PM at Massachusetts Medical Society Headquarters, Waltham Woods, 860 Winter St, Waltham

EVENT: Thurs. March 11---Forum on Mass.Having the Lowest Rate of Contested Legislative Elections in Nation

Health care executive and potential GOP candidate for governor Charlie Baker joins a pair of elected officials and a UMass-Boston professor at a forum on Massachusetts having the lowest rate of contested legislative elections in the nation. The elected officials include Boston City Councilor At-Large Sam Yoon, a Dorchester Democrat who is one of three candidates challenging incumbent Mayor Thomas Menino, and Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Jamaica Plain), who beat former Sen. Dianne Wilkerson on her second try last year. Maurice Cunningham, a political science professor at UMass-Boston, will also be on the panel.

When/Where: 6 PM at UMass Club, 225 Franklin St., 33rd floor, Boston

EVENT: Thurs. March 11---Former NFL Wide Receiver Speaks Out for Adult Literacy

Massachusetts Alliance for Adult Literacy holds an annual awareness event to highlight adult learners and the challenges they face in today’s economy. Former GED instructor and NFL wide receiver Eddie Jenkins will give the keynote address.

When/Where: 11 AM at Gardner Auditorium

EVENT: Thurs. March 11---National Patient Safety Awareness Week

Health Care for All and the Consumer Health Quality Council observe National Patient Safety Awareness Week by screening four videos to illustrate health care needs around Massachusetts. Lawmakers will attend and discuss bills aimed at improving health care. Attendees include Sen. Richard Moore (D-Uxbridge), Rep. Denise Provost (D-Somerville), Rep. Kay Khan (D-Newton), and Paul Griswold, executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors.

WHEN/WHERE: 10 AM in Room B-1

Monday, March 9, 2009

EVENT: Tuesday, Mar. 10---Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

Northeast Sustainable Energy Association hosts a forum on the efficiency of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The founder of Gifford Fuel Savings Inc., Henry Gifford, will hold a discussion on the system, energy modeling, real-time measurement, construction management, and validated performance. The panel includes USGBC's LEED Technical VP Brendan Owens, Steven Winter Associates' Maureen Mahle, Integrated Building and Construction Solutions' Duncan Prahl, and energy modeler Maria Karpman of Karpman Consulting.

When/Where: 6:00 at Seaport World Trade Center Amphitheater, BostonSeaport World Trade Center Amphitheater, Boston

EVENT: Tuesday, Mar. 10---Forum Featuring CEOs of the Commonwealth Institute's Top 100 Woman-Led Business List

Foley Hoag sponsors a forum featuring CEOs of two of the Commonwealth Institute’s top 100 woman-led businesses list. Dancing Deer Banking Company CEO Trish Karter and Circles CEO Kathy Sherbrooke join Foley Hoag partner Barbara Hamelburg to discuss lessons from previous economic downturns, how to be part of a team and keeping a workplace team inspired.

When/Where: 5:45 at Foley Hoag LLP, Seaport World Trade Center West, 155 Seaport Boulevard, Boston

EVENT: Tuesday, Mar. 10---Hearing On An Advanced Energy Code

State Board of Building Regulations holds a hearing on an “advanced energy code” for buildings, which Massachusetts residents could face if the municipalities where they live agree to adopt the code. The proposal would require newly constructed homes to use at least 40 percent less energy than homes built under the traditional code.

When/Where: 1:00 at One Ashburton Place, Ashburton Café Conference Room, Boston

EVENT: Tuesday, Mar. 10---Meeting on Transportation/Environment

Secretary of Transportation James Aloisi meets with members of the Democratic Study Group. That group is partnering with Rep. Will Brownsberger’s environmental transportation working group to host Aloisi and talk about Gov. Patrick’s transportation reform bill and its impact on the environment. Environmental advocates and staff have also been invited to the meeting.

When/Where: Noon in Room 350

Sunday, March 1, 2009


The New York Times’ media and culture columnist, David Carr, drops in for a brown bag lunch, courtesy of Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center. Carr covered the Oscars this year and has also published a 2008 memoir, “Night of the Gun,” which details his cocaine addiction.

(Tuesday, noon, Kalb Seminar Room, Taubman Building, Harvard University, Cambridge)

EVENT: Tuesday, Mar. 3---DeLEO LUNCHEON

House Speaker Robert DeLeo talks at Denterlein Worldwide Public Affairs’ “In the News” luncheon. The talk will be moderated by Denterlein senior adviser John Henning. The luncheon is scheduled for Locke-Ober, the 134-year-old downtown restaurant, which the Boston Globe recently reported has suspended its mid-day lunches on account of the recession.

(Tuesday, noon, Locke-Ober, 3 Winter Place, Boston)


House and Senate members have had relatively little to say to date about Gov. Deval Patrick’s plans to balance the fiscal 2009 budget, a proposal that Patrick has described as an emergency plan, as well as his fiscal 2010 budget. Starting Tuesday, members will start checking in publicly on spending and tax issues as they begin a series of hearings on Patrick’s fiscal 2010 budget. The joint Ways and Means Committee hearings begin with testimony from the Executive Office of Administration and Finance, and the state’s constitutional offices, which are occupied by Attorney General Martha Coakley, Secretary of State William Galvin, Auditor Joseph DeNucci and Treasurers Tim Cahill, who oversees an agency that’s of great interest to lawmakers, the Lottery, since it’s responsible for delivering vast amounts of local aid to cities and towns. The hearing will be co-chaired by Rep. Charley Murphy (D-Burlington) and Sen. Steven Panagiotakos (D-Lowell). Administration and Finance will be represented at the hearing by Undersecretary Jay Gonzalez, Assistant Secretary for Budget Matt Gorzkowicz and general counsel David Sullivan. Secretary Leslie Kirwan is recovering from a minor medical procedures, according to aides. Aides confirmed Friday that Cahill and Galvin will testify Tuesday. Either DeNucci or First Deputy Auditor Ken Marchurs will testify.

(Tuesday, 11 am, Gardner Auditorium)


U.S. Reps. Jim Ramstad (R-Minnesota) and Patrick Kennedy (D-Rhode Island) host a conversation titled “The Road to Recovery: A Personal Quest, A Political Struggle – Congressmen Get Real About Drugs, Addiction and Recovery.”

(Monday, 6pm, John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, Cambridge)


The MBTA holds a meeting of its citizens’ working group for the transit agency’s second busiest bus route. The agency is planning improvements for Route 39, a five-mile corridor between Forest Hills and Back Bay. According to the MBTA, the improvements, which range between traffic signal adjustments, bus stop consolidation and sidewalk improvements, are meant to heighten accessibility, reduce bus trip times, and increase reliability and convenience.

(Monday, 6:30 pm, Connolly Branch Library, 433 Center St., Jamaica Plain)


Returning Peace Corps volunteers from Cape Cod are expected to share their stories in an effort to recruit new members to join the independent federal agency that promotes peace abroad. The agency was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy.

(Monday, 7 pm, Cape Cod Community College, Studio Theater, 2240 Iyannough Rd., West Barnstable)


House and Senate Republicans host a State House press conference Monday to announce the activation of an email address they’re calling the “government waste hotline.” Sen. Michael Knapik and Rep. Viriato “Vinny” deMacedo, who both serve on legislative budget committees as well as a temporary committee on federal stimulus fund oversight, will send the message that they believe taxpayers and local citizens are government’s best fiscal watchdogs. “While state stimulus spending information will be available at, the site will be maintained and decisions made by members of Governor Patrick’s inner circle,” according to a press advisory circulated by Knapik in Friday. Republican lawmakers on the Hill have made spending and taxation issues a focus early in the new session.

(Monday, 1 pm, outside Room 124)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

EVENT: Wed. Feb. 25---Annual Recognition/Support Event for People With Disabilities

Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby keynotes the Barry Price Rehabilitation Center's annual recognition event. The center provides support for people with developmental and physical disabilities.

Where/When: Barry Price Rehabilitation Center, 206 Waltham St., West Newton at 7:00 PM

Friday, February 20, 2009

EVENT: Sat., Feb. 21---Equinox's Cycling for a Cause

Equinox Fitness Club in Boston is set to cycle for a cause. The Back Bay fitness Mecca is joining with Boston Medical Center to promote patient support and funding.

Spinners and teams will “purchase” a bike for four hours for a fundraising minimum of $200. Each team can decide how they would like to split the time on the bike, but the entire event will be led by a certified Equinox Instructor.

WHEN/WHERE: Saturday, February 21, 2009, 11 AM - 3 PM
Equinox Fitness Clubs in Back Bay
131 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA 02116


State rules requiring schools to calculate the boddy mass index of students and relay the findings to the student’s parent or guardian are up for a public hearing on Friday in Boston. The Department of Public Health has proposed the rules as modifications to current requirements that schools annually assess the height and weight, and screen the hearing and vision, of all students. A second public hearing on the regulations is planned for March 2 in Marlborough.

(Friday, 2 pm, 250 Washington St., Boston)


UMass trustees are expected to vote on a $1,500 fee increase for in-state undergraduate students. With the five-campus university system facing a $100 million shortfall in state funding in the coming fiscal year, trustees on the finance committee have advanced a proposal to raise average fees to $11,048 from $9,548. UMass President Jack Wilson said students could receive a rebate if the state funding is replaced with federal stimulus aid. “This increase is designed to preserve academic quality and to ensure stability, but if federal dollars can be substituted for student dollars, we will eagerly rebate some or all of this increase,” Wilson said in a statement. The stimulus carries a $2,500 tuition tax credit. The 15 percent increase in fees comes after a five-year policy to keep fee hikes below or at the rate of inflation that was tied to stable funding from the state. The trustees’ agenda also includes a Master’s and PhD in mathematics at UMass-Dartmouth and appointments of tenure at the Amherst, Boston and Worcester campuses.

(Friday, 9 am, Woodland Commons Center, 285 Westport Rd., North Dartmouth)


Dr. Henry White, clinical director of the Brookline Resilient Youth Team Program, is the guest at a briefing Thursday on an initiative to aid adolescents when they re-enter school after receiving psychiatric care. Event organizers include Rep. Kay Khan, the new co-chair of the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee, and Rep. Ellen Story, as well as the Brookline Community Mental Health Center.

(Thursday, 11 am, Room A-2)


In addition to the potential Senate formal session, there also may be a formal session in the House on Thursday. No concrete plans were available on Friday. The Senate on Thursday may take up legislation reinstating state financing backing behind risky financing agreements at the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority.


The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women hosts a regional hearing on women’s issues. Organizers expect discussion of equal pay for equal work for women, stopping domestic violence and teen pregnancy prevention, as well as other issues.

(Wednesday, 6 pm – 8 pm, Framingham State College, College Center, Alumni Room 309, 100 State St., Framingham)


Several experts in health care gather for a forum on the renewal of the state’s Medicaid waiver, which sends billions of dollars to Bay State healthcare programs. The waiver was renewed at $21.2 billion over three years, bringing an additional $4.3 billion over the previous waiver. Philip Johnston, former chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party and the current chairman of the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum, moderates a panel that includes Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby, Stacey Sachs from US Sen. Edward Kennedy’s office, Senate Health Care Financing Chair Richard Moore, and Medicaid Director Thomas Dehner.

(Wednesday, 8:30 am, Radisson Hotel, 200 Stuart St., Boston)


Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby keynotes the Barry Price Rehabilitation Center’s annual recognition event. The center provides support for people with developmental and physical disabilities.

(Wednesday, 7 pm, Barry Price Rehabilitation Center, 206 Waltham St., West Newton)


Lawmakers will meet next Wednesday to hold a formal public hearing on Gov. Deval Patrick's plan to reorganize several state agencies, including his effort to combine emergency shelter and related services under the Department of Housing and Community Development. Patrick's bill, which was filed under constitutional provisions and may not be amended, also rolls the State Racing Commission into the Division of Professional Licensure, moves the wage reporting program from the Department of Revenue to the Division of Unemployment Assistance, and shifts the home improvement contractor program from the Department of Public Safety to the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. The Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight, newly helmed by Rep. Steven Walsh and Sen. Brian Joyce, meets at 11 am Wednesday in Room B-2.

(Wednesday, 11 am, Room B-2)


Mass. Life Sciences Center President Susan Windham-Bannister participates in a panel discussion outlining regional and national workforce development needs and local education workforce resources for life sciences companies. The event is sponsored by the Chief Academic Officers committee of the Colleges of Worcester Consortium.

(Tuesday, 3 pm, Gnosh Science and Technology Center, Worcester State College, 486 Chandler St., Worcester)


A public hearing is planned for Tuesday on state Department of Public Health regulations requiring menu labeling of food calorie content at chain restaurants.

(Tuesday, 2 pm, Worcester Senior Center, 128 Providence Street, Worcester)


The pro-life lobby heads to Beacon Hill Tuesday to push its agenda, which includes educating lawmakers about what Massachusetts Citizens for Life calls the “dangers” of proposed health curriculum frameworks. Group members will promote legislation they call the Woman’s Right to Know Bill. MCFL’s Marie Sturgis describes the legislation as a “pro-women bill” that requires the state Department of Public Health to provide more information to women prior to considering abortions and requires health care providers to allow women, upon request, to see ultrasound pictures and hear the heartbeat of a developing fetus. Sturgis said the parents of Laura Hope Smith, who died in September 2007 while undergoing an abortion in Hyannis, asked that the legislation be called Laura’s Law. Rapin Asathanondh has been indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with Smith’s death. Sturgis said the bill has 19 sponsors and she expected Rep. Viriato deMacedo (R-Plymouth) to attend Tuesday, along with Dan Avela of the Mass. Catholic Conference. Sturgis said 40 states have laws on the books similar to Laura’s Law.

(Tuesday, 10 am, Room B-1)


The Patrick administration hosts a hearing on Boston Tuesday on regulations increasing licensing fees. The Executive Office of Administration and Finance is hosting the hearing and the fee information is available at the Division of Professional Licensure’s website:

(Tuesday, 10 am, 239 Causeway St., 5th floor, Boston)


The Democratic Study Group hosts a meeting on proposed restrictions on family shelter access, on the Department of Transitional Assistance agenda in the form of emergency regulations. Libby Hayes, a legal services advocate with Homes for Families, will brief lawmakers on the policy.

(Tuesday, 10 am, House Members Lounge)


Toll hikes, now hinging on the fate of a gas tax hike, top the agenda of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority’s board of directors. The authority is slated for elimination under Gov. Patrick’s transportation reform proposal. Patrick said the vote Tuesday on a package of toll hikes would be “conditional,” and the toll increase would be rolled back if lawmakers approved his transportation reform proposal, which includes a 19-cent hike in the gas tax. How much the proposal will total was unclear on Friday. The agenda released by aides to the Executive Office of Transportation has “Toll Increase” in the top slot. Board members advanced in November a proposal expected to generate $100 million for the debt-saddled agency. Commuters coming into downtown Boston would see tolls in Allston rise to $2 from $1.25, with Weston tolls also rising by 75 cents. Tolls at the Sumner and Ted Williams tunnels would rise by $3.50, to $7. Commuters with the Fast Lane electronic toll transponders would see a $3 increase at the tunnels and a 50-cent increase at all other tolls. Board members are also expected to discuss federal stimulus funds, according to the agenda.

(Tuesday, 2 pm, 10 Park Plaza, 4th floor, Boston)


Chaired by Sen. Susan Fargo and Rep. Byron Rushing, the Health Disparities Council meets. The agenda includes an update on the council’s website, a presentation on a National Institutes of Health summit on the “science of eliminating health disparities,” and the introduction of Dr. Michele David as Boston Medical Center’s representative on the council.

(Monday, 2 pm, 100 Cambridge St., Boston)


Former clients of Greater Boston Legal Services on Monday will lobby lawmakers to keep funding for the civil legal aid group steady. Gov. Patrick’s budget slashes funding for the services’ line item by nearly $700,100 to $10.4 million. The clients will be joined by community advocacy groups, including the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence; Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee; Centro Presente; Chelsea Collaborative; Chinese Progressive Association; Jobs with Justice; Reaching Out Against Depression; and the Somerville Homeless Coalition.

(Monday, 10 am, Great Hall)


Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) and its AmeriCorps Ambassadors of Mentoring join the Massachusetts Service Alliance Monday to host Youth Mentoring Day, While it’s a celebration of youth mentoring in Massachusetts, Mass Mentoring sees funding for mentor programs “potentially eliminated” in next year’s state budget. Honorees include Rep. Marie St. Fleur (D-Boston), Rep. Cheryl Coakley-Rivera (D-Springfield), Rep. Patricia Haddad (D-Somerset), Sen. Thomas McGee (D-Lynn), Sen. Joan Menard (D-Somerset), Sen. Stanley Rosenberg (D-Northampton) and Natalie Wadzinski from the state Department of Human Resources. Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral delivers a keynote address.

(Monday, 11 am, Nurses Hall)


The head of a women’s rights group breakfasts with a nonprofit and its members on the Obama administration and its approach to women’s health and human rights. Adrienne Germain, president of the International Women’s Health Coalition, will present an agenda on how the administration can “restore the nation’s leadership in the face of deadly threats to girls and women around the world,” according to WorldBoston, a private nonprofit. The event costs $20 for WorldBoston members and $40 for non-members.

(Monday, 8 am, McCarter & English, LLP, 265 Franklin St., 14th floor, Boston)


The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Richard Fisher, weighs in on the financial crisis. He will deliver the 2009 Albert Gordon Lecture at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. The event will be streamed live on the web:

(Monday, 6 pm, JFK Jr. Forum, 79 JFK St., Cambridge)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

EVENT: Friday, Feb. 20--- Interagency Council on Homelessness

Lieutenant Governor Murray chairs a meeting of the Interagency Council on Homelessness.

(Closed Press)

When/Where: Governor's Council Chambers, Room 360, State House at 4:00


Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office holds a hearing on regulations aimed at modernizing and streamlining the state’s retail ad regulations. The regulations have remained unchanged since 1990 as retail advertising has taken to the internet. The proposed changes expand the regulations’ scope to include internet advertising and simplify price comparison analysis for print, radio and television advertising. References to catalog price comparisons are deleted.

(Friday, 11 am, 1350 Main St., Springfield)


The Harvard Women’s Law Association holds a conference on female lawyers navigating the political arena. A panel discussion includes Attorney General Martha Coakley, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, Maralee Schwartz, the former national political editor for the Washington Post, and Jennifer Cannistra, Pennsylvania policy director for the Obama presidential campaign. The panel is titled “Constituents and Constituencies: Confronting Challenges in the World of Elected Office.” Minner gives a keynote speech later in the day.

(Friday, 9:45 am, Harvard Law School, Cambridge)


The Harvard Women’s Law Association holds a conference on female lawyers navigating the political arena. A panel discussion includes Attorney General Martha Coakley, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, Maralee Schwartz, the former national political editor for the Washington Post, and Jennifer Cannistra, Pennsylvania policy director for the Obama presidential campaign. The panel is titled “Constituents and Constituencies: Confronting Challenges in the World of Elected Office.” Minner gives a keynote speech later in the day.

(Friday, 9:45 am, Harvard Law School, Cambridge)


The Group Insurance Commission has extended its public comment period on regulations aimed at bringing state rules in line with new health care, municipal partnership and cost containment and transparency laws. The proposed changes also provide for “greater readability” and the commission’s use of administrative bulletins, according to the GIC.

The comment period, which previously closed Jan. 13, will extend until Friday, Feb. 20.


UMass trustees are expected to again take up an average $1,500-per-student fee increase, having delayed a vote last week because of uncertainty over the federal stimulus package. The trustees’ administration and finance committee is eyeing a plan to push average fees for in-state undergraduates to $11,048 from $9,548. Faced with over $100 million in cuts, the university is departing from its five-year practice of fee increases at or below the rate of inflation. The practice was tied to corresponding increases in state aid, according to UMass officials. The university pulled in $28.9 million last year from increased tuition, fees and enrollment, when trustees signed off on a 3.1 percent fee increase, or $288 per student. “Obviously, we’re seeing anything but a stable increase from the state going from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal 2010,” said UMass spokesman Robert Connolly. If approved, the $1,500 fee increase, which represents a 15 percent surge, would then go before the full board at its Feb. 27 meeting at UMass-Dartmouth. Some of the revenue from the fees would be directed towards the university’s financial aid accounts for students.

(Friday, 8 am, UMass President’s office, 225 Franklin St., Boston)

EVENT: Thursday, Feb. 19---Lt. Governor Meets with Western Mass. Regional Housing Council

Lieutenant Governor meets with the Western Massachusetts Regional Housing Leadership Council

Where/When: Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street, Northampton at 2:00

EVENT: Thursday, Feb. 19---Barney Frank Hosts Town Hall Meeting

Congressman Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, host town hall-format meeting to speak to South Shore citizens and answer their questions. The topic is national economic issues and the banking crisis. (Sponsored by the South Shore Democratic Caucus)

Where/When: Scituate High School, 606 Chief Justice Cushing Highway (Route 3A); 7:00 PM

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

EVENTS: Fri. Feb. 12---House Meets/Senate Meets/ Dem & Repub Caucus

House meets in a full formal session at 11:00

Senate meets in a full formal session without a calendar at 12:00, which is preceded by a Democratic caucus at 11 am in the Senate President's office and a Republican caucus at 11 am in the Senate Minority Leader's office.

EVENT: Fri., Feb 13---House and Senate Meet

1:00.....House and Senate meet in a joint session to commemorate the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial

EVENT: Thurs. Feb. 12---The Department of Conservation and Recreation Public Meeting

The Department of Conservation and Recreation holds a public meeting to discuss bridge projects that are part of the governor's Accelerated Bridge Program

6:00 PM at Worcester State College, Science & Technology Building, 486 Chandler St., Worcester

EVENT: Thurs. Feb. 12---Managing the Bailout Discussion

Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk Law School hosts panel discussion "Managing the Bailout: Execution and Oversight of the Federal Response to the Financial Crisis"

4:00 in Room 285, Suffolk Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston

Saturday, February 7, 2009

EVENT: Looking for Students to Cover the American Bar Association 2009 Midyear Meeting


Each student would target ONE session of interest and plan to cover that one.
They would want them to do routine background research into the speakers
and the issue being discussed or presented. Each student would attend
for a couple of hours at most, and just target a single session.

**This is a great opportunity to get real experience covering a professional event**

If interested in covering the event, please contact Professor Chris Daly at for press credentials.

Friday, February 6, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Invisible Children Launches World Tour for Their Biggest Event Yet: 'The Rescue'

Invisible Children Launches World Tour for Their Biggest Event Yet: 'The Rescue'

SAN DIEGO--Invisible Children,, an organization dedicated to providing relief for the war-affected region of northern Uganda, is calling on the international community to end the longest running war in Africa. They're going global in a radical bid to rescue child soldiers from rebel leader, Joseph Kony. Their mission will take them to nine countries worldwide, rallying an entire generation to seek justice for one of the most neglected humanitarian emergencies through their World Event on April 25th.

For the 23 years, the region has been consumed by conflict. Despite a ceasefire called between the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and Ugandan government, efforts toward peace were stalled on several occasions by Kony's refusal to sign the final peace agreement. In early 2009, the Ugandan government and surrounding countries launched a military operation intended to defeat the LRA and capture the rebel leader. The LRA retaliated by murdering and displacing thousands of civilians, while abducting hundreds of children to fight amongst its ranks. A war originally contained within Uganda's borders has now evolved into a widespread regional crisis, prompting massive international attention.
"It's frightening that this war has now grown into an international crisis," says Jason Russell, co-founder of Invisible Children. "We need to respond with an international body of activists to increase the visibility of this conflict and end Joseph Kony's reign of terror."

Invisible Children's grassroots movement is expanding by uniting global citizens from the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland with a call to action: be a part of history. The tour will feature a new piece of media that exposes the urgency of the crisis and the need for a collective protest for justice. Participants will be asked to sign up for the TRI Campaign and host a House Party on March 25th to build momentum for "The Rescue" on April 25th. This is Invisible Children's sixth tour- - yet unlike any other, this tour will empower the international community to change the social and political climate of central east Africa on a global scale.

US- 10 National Tours: Feb. 16th- April 24th
UK- 3 Tours: Feb. 14th- April 18th
AUSTRALIA- 1 Tour- Feb. 14th- April 24th
NEW ZEALAND- 1 Tour: Jan. 26th- Feb. 13th
MEXICO- 1 Tour: Mar 9th- April 24th

This is Invisible Children's third Awareness Event, following the Global Night Commute in 2006 and Displace Me in 2007 which included nearly 150, 000 people collectively. The attention generated from these events widely contributed to the start of the peace talks. The political impact of this event is anticipated to be historical not only for northern Uganda and surrounding areas, but for the power of the new generation of activists. Nine countries. 100 cities. One collective voice: arrest Joseph Kony.

About Invisible Children, Inc.
Invisible Children is a social, political and global movement using the transformative power of story to change lives. By inspiring youth culture to value creativity, idealism and sacrifice, the movement fuels the most effective, adaptable and innovative programs in the world. Programs on the ground focus on long-term development through education and economic opportunities, while awareness and advocacy efforts focus on educating and inspiring the Western world to use their unique voice for change. The organization was created after the release of the 2004 film "Invisible Children: Rough Cut," a revealing documentary about the plight of child soldiers in northern Uganda. For more information, visit

Invisible Children is a social, political and global movement using the transformative power of story to change lives. By inspiring youth culture to value creativity, idealism and sacrifice, the movement fuels the most effective, adaptable and innovative programs in the world.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

EVENT: Thurs. Feb 12---A Play About the Lincoln Debates of 1858 at the State House

A play about the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, by Norman Corwin

*Directed by Vincent Dowling

*Endorsed by the Massachusetts Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission

Historians will lead post-performance "talk back" conversations with audience members.

Free and open to the public. Students and school groups are welcome. An open dress rehearsal will be held February 11th at 10:00 am.

Slavery was the main topic of the remarkable debates between Abraham Lincoln (Republican) and Stephen Douglas (Democrat), as they ran for an Illinois seat in the U.S. Senate. After losing the election, Lincoln had the debate texts published in a book. The wide-spread coverage of the debates and the subsequent popularity of the book bolstered Lincoln's nomination for President by the 1860 Republican National Convention in Chicago.

Chester resident Vincent Dowling's new theater company is the latest project in a multifaceted career that has spanned the globe and more than three decades. In his 27 years at The National Theatre of Ireland, he held many titles as a leading company actor and director. He has directed at many of America's finest regional theatres, and performed three times at The White House. Visit The Rivalry Web page:

Called "America's poet laureate of radio," Norman Corwin writes and directs factual film, stage, and television programs about the people and politics of America throughout the twentieth century. Among many other honors of his career, Corwin was commissioned on the 100th Anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas debates to write The Rivalry.

Northampton-based Mass Humanities is affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Mass Humanities conducts and supports projects that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to strengthen and enhance civic life across the Commonwealth. For more information visit:

(Thursday, February 12th, 10:00 am and 2:00 pm
The State House, Gardner Auditorium, Boston)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT: The Supreme Judicial Court meets this week.

(Friday, 9 am, Courtroom One, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square)

EVENT: Sat. Feb 7---ACLU Meets

ACLU CONFERENCE: The ACLU of Massachusetts hosts its annual statewide conference, featuring keynote speaker Glenn Greenwald, a columnist who has written extensively about civil liberties. The conference will focus on what an Obama administration means for civil liberties, and a panel of speakers will include Rep. Byron Rushing, ACLU legislative policy counsel Wes Macleod-Ball, UMass-Amherst political science professor William Strickland and ACLU Massachusetts Education Director Nancy Murray. Workshops at the conference will cover the First Amendment and spying, privacy protections, torture and the law, racial justice, immigrant rights, and gay rights in the wake of Proposition 8.

(Saturday, 12:30 pm – 5:30 pm, UMass Boston Campus Center)

EVENT: Fri., Feb 6---“STARTING LINE 2009”

“STARTING LINE 2009” | MassINC on Friday hosts its biennial look at the upcoming legislative session. A panel of four will look at items on the agenda, the top issues for 2009, and relations between Gov. Deval Patrick and the Legislature. The panelists at “Starting Line 2009” are Jim Braude from New England Cable News, Hilary Chabot of The Boston Herald, Scot Lehigh of The Boston Globe and Craig Sandler of State House News Service.

(Friday, 8 am – 10 am, Omni Parker House Hotel, 60 School St., Boston)


DMH COMMISSIONER AT FORUM: Department of Mental Health Commissioner Barbara Leadholm gives a presentation on her agency at a mental health forum. Invited guests include providers, advocates, and community partners in western Massachusetts. Western Massachusetts mayors, school superintendents, the sheriff departments and legislators were also invited.

(Thursday, 3 pm, Rivers Auditorium, Western New England College, 1215 Wilbraham Rd., Springfield)


QUALITY AND COST COUNCIL: Headed by Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby, the Health Care Quality and Cost Council’s governance committee meets.

(Thursday, 1 pm, Matta Conference Room, One Ashburton Place, 11th floor, Boston)


SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT: The Supreme Judicial Court meets this week. In one case, Commonwealth v. Mark Means, the issue is whether a Superior Court judge correctly denied a criminal defendant the right of counsel, ruling that the defendant had forfeited his right because of wrongdoing. In another case, MC WorldCom Network Services joins with the cities of Boston and Newton in fighting the state Department of Revenue. That case deals with a number of issues, including: whether the Appellate Tax Board employed an erroneous standard of review of the revenue commissioner's valuation of certain telephone company personal property; whether the telephone company met its burden of proof to show its property was overvalued; whether the board correctly ruled that it could not increase valuation on the taxpayers' appeal unless the municipality had appealed; and whether an entity that was a limited liability company is entitled to the corporate utility exemption from personal property tax.

(Thursday, 9 am, Courtroom One, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square)

EVENT: Thurs., Feb 5---MINORITY VOTERS: Deepening Democracy Through Citizen Engagement

MINORITY VOTERS: The Boston Foundation hosts a forum to release data on increases in minority voter participation. The data, part of a report titled “Deepening Democracy Through Citizen Engagement,” will be the subject of a panel discussion featuring Boston City Council Sam Yoon and Chelsea Collaborative Executive Director Gladys Vega. The report was produced by the Civic Engagement Initiative, a voting advocacy organization.

(Thursday, 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm, 75 Arlington St., 10th floor, Boston)


SUBURBAN COALITION: The Suburban Coalition hosts advocacy organizations to discuss reforms necessary to help cities and towns cope with reduced local aid. The coalition will discuss “key mandate relief proposals” and will provide information to attendees to help persuade legislators to support reforms. The event is titled “Speaking with One Voice.”

(Thursday, 7:30 pm – 9 pm, Kennedy Middle School, 655 Lexington St., Waltham)


MASS. HIGH TECH BIOFORUM: Mass. High Tech hosts its seventh annual BioForum, featuring Steve Bernitz of Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Mirza Cifric of FORMA Therapeutics, Doug Fambrough of Oxford Bioscience Partners, Albert Luderer of BioTrove and Robert Urban of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.

(Thursday, 7:30 am – 10 am, Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Ave., Boston)


EMINENT DOMAIN: The Pioneer Institute hosts Susette Kelon, a woman whose New London house was taken by eminent domain, setting off a legal challenge that resulted in a landmark Supreme Court Decision, and Jeff Benedict, an investigative journalist who probed the case. The event is also hosted by the Institute for Justice.

(Thursday, 5 pm – 7 pm, The Union Club, 9 Park St., Boston)


BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION: The Board of Higher Education meets. The agenda includes UMass, state and community college tuition rates for fiscal 2010.

(Thursday, 10 am, Worcester State College, Student Center, North South Auditorium, 486 Chandler St., Worcester)

EVENT: Wed., Feb. 4---Green Day at BU

In BU Today: BU will host a Green Day on Wednesday, February 4, part of National Green Week. Green Day is a nationwide environmental awareness campaign that aims to mobilize students to participate in green curriculum and a waste reduction program designed to eliminate 1,000 tons of trash.

Green Day will take place on Wednesday, February 4, 2009. The event is cosponsored by the Green Education Foundation, Green Mountain Coffee, and the Sargent College Rotaract Club.3 to 7 p.m.

Cast your “coffee bean vote” for your favorite student exhibit on the second floor of the GSU.

5:30 p.m.
Stop by for the awards presentation to the group that shows the most sustainable green innovation. The film Flow: For the Love of Water will also be shown in the second floor theater of the GSU.

Friday, January 30, 2009

EVENT: Tues., Feb. 10---Change Realized

In celebration of Black History Month, Benjamin Chavis, Jr., an African American Civil Rights Leader and former president of the NAACP, will speak as a part of the African American Studies Program's Spring 2009 Lecture Series.

His presentation, entitled "Change Realized," will focus on the African American struggle and the surge in leadership among African Americans, particularly in the hip hop community.

The BU African American Studies Program's Lecture Series meets on Tuesday afternoons from 4-6pm in the African American Studies Building at 138 Mountfort Street.

When: Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 4:00pm until 6:00pm on Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009
Where: 138 Mountfort Street (Seminar Room)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


The state Retirement Board and Treasurer Timothy Cahill's financial education division host a free seminar for state employees as part of the "SMART Retirement and Beyond" series.

(Thursday, 5:30 pm, Gardner Auditorium)

EVENT: Thurs., Jan. 29---2009 PINNACLE AWARD

2009 PINNACLE AWARDS: First Lady Diane Patrick, a partner at Ropes & Gray LLP, and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation President Myra Kraft are honored Thursday with Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce 2009 Pinnacle Awards. Other honorees include Julie Kahan, vice president at Entercom; Mass Highway Commissioner Luisa Paiewonsky; The Freedom Trail Foundation President Mimi La Camera; HouseWorks co-founder and CEO Andrea Cohen; Urban College of Boston President Linda Edmonds Turner, and Susan Esper, partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP.

(Thursday, 11:45 am, Westin Copley Place Boston, 10 Huntington Ave., Boston)

EVENT: Thurs., Jan. 29---AIDS LOBBY DAY

A coalition of AIDS service providers and advocates gathers Thursday to call for maintained HIV/AIDS funding in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. Project ABLE (AIDS Budget Legislative Effort) will be lobbying lawmakers to restore HIV/AIDS funding that was cut $1.5 million in the fiscal 2009 budget and to include a $500,000 initiative in the fiscal 2010 budget to reduce the "explosive HIV/AIDS epidemic" among gay and bisexual men.

(Thursday, 10 am, Nurses Hall)

Sunday, January 25, 2009


U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern and Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray update the Worcester community on the city-wide effort to plant 30,000 trees and replace the ones destroyed because of the Asian Long-horned beetle infestation.

(Thursday, 4:30 pm, Harrington Learning Center, Room 109, Quinsigamond College, 670 West Boylston St., Worcester)

EVENT: Thurs., Jan. 29---AIDS LOBBY DAY

A coalition of AIDS service providers and advocates gathers Thursday to call for maintained HIV/AIDS funding in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. Project ABLE (AIDS Budget Legislative Effort) will be lobbying lawmakers to restore HIV/AIDS funding that was cut $1.5 million in the fiscal 2009 budget and to include a $500,000 initiative in the fiscal 2010 budget to reduce the "explosive HIV/AIDS epidemic" among gay and bisexual men.

(Thursday, 10 am, Nurses Hall)


Organizers of a rally on Boston Common Thursday afternoon say they expect at least 500 people to turn out and demand adequate funding for hospitals and community health centers that serve disproportionate numbers of poor and minority residents. Since December, more than 45 community organizations have enlisted in the Put Patients First Coalition, which delivered 5,000 signed postcards to Gov. Deval Patrick's office last week protesting midyear cuts in state funding for Boston Medical Center and Cambridge Health Alliance. Fearing a step backwards in the state's effort to reach universal health care, coalition members are urging Patrick to resist further health care cuts this week. They are also calling on him to devote, and not to divert expected federal funds targeted to reinforce the MassHealth program.

(Thursday, 4 pm, Boston Common, fountain near Park Street Station)

Saturday, January 24, 2009


The Department of Public Health, the Mass. Medical Society and Jane Doe Inc. host a training forum for health care providers, include physicians and nurses. The forum is a follow-up to Gov. Patrick's issuing of a public health advisory on domestic violence. Homicides related to domestic violence have tripled in the last three years, according to Jane Doe, an advocacy group. In 2007, there were 42 murders and 13 suicides - averaging almost one a week and the highest rate since the early '90s - up from 2005, there were 15 murders and four suicides.

(Wednesday, 8 am, Mass. Medical Society, Conference Center Auditorium, 860 Winter St., Waltham)


The Massachusetts School Building Authority meets. The News Service reported earlier this month Treasury officials sent letters to Beacon Hill leaders that asked to loosen current rules that demand communities provide 20 to 60 percent of school construction costs. The officials cited expected federal assistance through a stimulus package and said the move, along with "targeted investment," would help stimulate jobs and eliminate uncertainty over local funding votes.

(Wednesday, 10 am, 40 Broad St., Boston)


The biotech industry has found many friends within the Patrick administration and the state Legislature, securing a 10-year $1 billion investment package last session. On Wednesday, an industry-sponsored event at a Boston hotel will attract Lt. Gov Tim Murray, Mass Life Sciences Center President and CEO Susan Windham-Bannister, and Rep. Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport), in addition to executives from Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth, and Merck & Co. Mass. Biotech Council President Robert Coughlin offers opening remarks at the council's annual policy leadership luncheon, which is intended to "set the stage for the 2009 legislative sessions on Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill." The council will roll out a federal policy white paper outlining key issues that will affect the biotech and life sciences sectors in the 2009 Congressional session. Topics on the agenda include the future of health care and innovative medicines.

(Wednesday, 11 am, Parker House Hotel, 60 School St., Boston)


The Massachusetts School Building Authority meets. The News Service reported earlier this month Treasury officials sent letters to Beacon Hill leaders that asked to loosen current rules that demand communities provide 20 to 60 percent of school construction costs. The officials cited expected federal assistance through a stimulus package and said the move, along with "targeted investment," would help stimulate jobs and eliminate uncertainty over local funding votes.

(Wednesday, 10 am, 40 Broad St., Boston)


The Ocean Advisory Commission, a 17-member panel advising the energy and environment secretariat on the development of an ocean plan, meets to discuss a conceptual framework, draft goals and objectives.

(Wednesday, 1 pm, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, McCormack Hall, UMass-Boston, Dorchester)


MassEquality Executive Director Marc Solomon speaks at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government as part of the school's University Declaration of Human Rights Speaker Series. Solomon will discuss the right to marry. Pizza and refreshments will be served.

(Wednesday, 12 pm - 1:30 pm, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Carr Conference Center, Cambridge)


Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral headlines a discussion about women, race and incarceration, hosted by the Massachusetts Bar Association. According to a description of the event, "Rates of incarceration have soared over the last three decades, giving the United States the distinction of having the highest incarceration rate in the world. Incarceration and its after effects have become racial justice issues because rates of incarceration are higher for men and women in communities of color."

(Wednesday, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm, 20 West St., Boston)


Housing resources and homelessness prevention are the focus of a legislative staff briefing on Thursday hosted by Sen. Susan Tucker and Rep. Kevin Honan. Tucker and Honan chaired the Housing Committee during the 2007-2008 session.

(Wednesday, 10:30 am, Room A-1)


In recent years, the news emanating from annual budget announcements on Beacon Hill has largely centered around which accounts would be infused with the largest amounts of new cash. Wednesday's announcements from Gov. Deval Patrick won't fall into that category, as the news will center on which dramatic steps the governor plans to take to push the fiscal 2009 back into the black and balance, at least on paper, a spending plan for fiscal 2010, which begins July 1, 2009.

EVENT: Tues., Jan. 27---DPU HEARING

The Department of Public Utilities holds the first in a series of public hearings ordered by Gov. Deval Patrick to examine utility companies' response to a December ice storm that left thousands of households without power. Companies under investigation include Unitil, National Grid, NStar and Western Massachusetts Electric Co.

(Tuesday, 4 pm - 10 pm, Memorial Middle School, 615 Rollstone St., Fitchburg)


House lawmakers meet Tuesday to continue their discussion of pension reform. A Temporary House Committee on Pension Reform agreed at its first meeting to further explore pension systems in other New England states, removing provisions that allow state employees to inflate their pensions, and the definition of compensation as it relates to how pension amounts are calculated. Tuesday's gathering is a meeting not a hearing but the public is welcome to attend.

(Tuesday, 1 pm, Room 156)


The Massachusetts Republican State Committee, with a small voter base and an even smaller group of legislators on Beacon Hill, meets to elect its new chair. Current chairman Peter Torkildsen, a former Congressman, is not seeking re-election after two years at the helm, saying he wants to spend more time with his daughter. The race comes as the GOP, which lost the governor's office two years ago, holds five seats in the 40-member Senate and 16 in the 160-member House. Republicans shed three House seats in November. And while rumors persist of who will take on Gov. Patrick in 2010, no candidates have stepped up. As of last week, there were three contenders for the chairmanship: Jennifer Nassour, a Republican state committeewoman from Charlestown; Michael Franco, a Holyoke Republican who has unsuccessfully run for representative and Governor's Council; and Joseph Manzoli from Shrewsbury, who managed Jeff Beatty's 2008 campaign against U.S. Sen. John Kerry. Manzoli is a late entry into the three-way race, having announced his plans earlier this month. "We have to save this party from disaster," he said. "That's why I'm running." Manzoli said Beatty's campaign was the first that he had lost, but the campaign had 4,000 volunteers and collected $2 million in donations and 1 million votes. His plans include creating a "government in waiting," investing heavily in all media, recruiting new candidates and installing Khalil Byrd, a former campaign aide to Beatty and Patrick, as executive director. Nassour and Franco faced off earlier this month at the Point Bar in Boston, with both calling for a "full audit" of what town and ward committees are still active and increased fundraising. Nassour said she would use the position as a bully pulpit on Beacon Hill. "Small businesses are getting killed," she told a small crowd of GOP activists. "It's a very easy message. Our job is done for us by the Democrats." Nassour said she would go after top Democratic legislative leaders, some of whom have ethics clouds hanging over them. With the GOP in the minority on Beacon Hill, "We can do a hell of lot more to them than they can do to us," she said. A former Air Force officer, Franco touted himself as a social conservative, pushing for bringing back "true Americanism," with "strong families" that have a mother and a father. "I believe we can change hearts and minds," he said, adding, "I'm not going to run anybody out" of the party for different beliefs.

(Tuesday, 7 pm, 242 Adams Place, Boxborough)


HEALTH, HOUSING AND HUNGER PREVENTION: Advocates for children's health care, access to housing, and hunger prevention hold an event Monday to raise awareness of "the building blocks of childhood success." Speakers will include Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, Health Care For All; Helen Coulter-Harris, Springfield Department of Health and Human Services; Diane Sullivan, Homes For Families; Ellen Parker, Project Bread, and Debbie Frank, Children's Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Project. Event organizers include Health Care For All, Homes For Families, Project Bread, United Way, Children's Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program, Boston Public Health Commission, Crittenton Women's Union, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations.

(Monday, 9:30 am, Great Hall, State House)


A Temporary House Committee on Ethics holds a public hearing Monday on Gov. Deval Patrick's ethics and lobbying reform bill. Committee chairman Rep. James Fagan told the News Service Thursday that Patrick should not expect the Legislature to rubber stamp his legislation but the bill includes a "large number of common sense, very doable ideas." Patrick filed his bill Jan. 7 and called for legislative action on it within 30 days. While the bill is technically before a temporary House ethics panel featuring only House members - the Legislature hasn't yet established its permanent joint committees - Fagan said senators are welcome to join the hearing. Fagan said that in advance of Monday's hearing, he's reached out to parties that have been active in the debate recently, including Patrick legal counsel Ben Clements, Secretary of State William Galvin, Inspector General Gregory Sullivan, and State Ethics Commission Executive Director Karen Nober. Patrick's bill gives the attorney general new investigative and enforcement tools, expands the definition of lobbying, applies revolving door provisions to the executive branch, and increases penalties for violations of ethics and lobbying laws.

(Monday, 1 pm, Room A-1)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

EVENT: Thurs., Jan. 29---Rory Stewart: "The Places In Between"

Rory Stewart, Chief Executive of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation in Afghanistan, will speak on his memoir, "The Places In Between", a NY Times best seller which chronicles his walk across Afghanistan following the collapse of Taliban rule in 2002. He is currently the Faculty Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University.

Speaker(s): Rory Stewart, Chief Executive, Turquoise Mountain Foundation, Afghanistan

When/Where: Thurs., Jan 29 at 5:00pm until 6:30pm at The Castle, 225 Bay State Road

More Info:


Education Secretary Paul Reville heads to Blackstone Valley to speak on priorities for 2009. The education secretariat is bracing itself for more cuts, but Reville pledged "continuing commitment" to education goals after speaking to a crowd of early education advocates last week. Reville also noted it was "premature" to talk about raising revenue.

(Wednesday, 9 am, Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School, 65 Pleasant St., Upton)


Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby testifies on health disparities before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The committee is chaired by US Sen. Edward Kennedy.

(Thursday, 9:30 am, Location TBD)

EVENT: Fri., Jan. 23 & Sat., Jan. 24---PATRICK AT MMA MEETING

This year's annual meeting of the Massachusetts Municipal Association falls at a pivotal moment for perhaps the most important Beacon Hill priority of cities and towns: local aid. The more than $5 billion in aid that Beacon Hill funnels each year to municipal governments is on the chopping block. Gov. Deval Patrick, who will alone decide how much local aid to cut, addresses municipal officials at the opening session of their annual meeting Friday. He'll speak at about 10:30 am. Award-winning author and presidential scholar Doris Kearns Goodwin will kick off the MMA's 30th Annual Meeting & Trade Show, which NBC financial correspondent Mike Jensen, award-winning actor Ken Howard, Attorney General Martha Coakley, and comedian Paula Poundstone are also featured attendees.

(Friday and Saturday, Hynes Convention Center and the Sheraton Boston Hotel; Gov. Patrick is expected to speak Friday at about 10:30 am at the Hynes with AG Coakley speaking shortly afterwards, also at the Hynes)

EVENT: Sat., Jan. 24---Stand for Children Summit

Stand for Children hosts its 5th Annual Statewide Education Summit to help advocate for children's education. "The current economic news is bleak - but our kids only grow up once," according to an announcement for the event. The conference includes workshops on helping kids in a tough economy, increasing the knowledge base for advocates, building advocacy skills and a discussion of the group's 2009 policy platform.

(Saturday, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, Reading Memorial High School)

EVENT: Thurs., Jan. 22---Massachusetts Clean Energy Technology Center Meets

CLEAN ENERGY TECH CENTER: The board of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Technology Center meets. The quasi-public agency was created under the Green Jobs Act passed last summer and is focused on funding instruction, research and development of new clean energy technologies. The agency is receiving $65 million over five years for grants and research.

(Thursday, 10 am, 100 Cambridge St., Boston)


A top advocacy group that helped push through the 2006 health care law holds a briefing for lawmakers and staffers on their priorities for 2009. The briefing is hosted by Sen. Richard Moore (D-Uxbridge) and Rep. Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington).

(Thursday, 10 am, Room A-2)


When the Mass. Turnpike Authority board voted 4-1 on Nov. 14, 2008 to raise tolls by $100 million, former Transportation Secretary Bernard Cohen said the agency had run out of options and board members built expected toll revenues into the authority budget and said they expected to give the hikes a final stamp of approval on Jan. 22. Two months later, with fierce opposition still swirling, the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority is now preparing to hold "a discussion" on big toll increases at its meeting next Thursday. A final vote is not listed on the agenda. A spokesman said that whether a vote occurs is up to board members, who are grappling with intense opposition to the toll increases from proponents of a gas tax, who say it is a more equitable way to raise transportation dollars. The Senate has called on the turnpike authority to forgo its toll increase and wait until significant reforms are implemented first. Top state officials have outlined reform ideas, but no legislation has been filed. Gov. Deval Patrick, who has since replaced Cohen with James Aloisi, has suggested the toll hike revenue is desperately needed to pay turnpike obligations, but Patrick has also softened his once ironclad opposition to a gas tax hike. The plan under consideration would boost tolls in Allston from $1.25 to $2, with tolls in Weston also rising by 75 cents. Tolls at the Sumner and Ted Williams tunnels would rise to $7 from $3.50, under the turnpike's plan.

(Thursday, 2 pm, Rooms 5 and 6, Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza Boston)


The Governor's Council may vote on Gov. Patrick's nomination of Superior Court Judge Ralph Gants to the Supreme Judicial Court. At his hearing last week, councilors focused on his work in connection with a pair of sexual dangerousness hearings and his preliminary injunction against sub-prime lender Fremont Investment & Loan. Only one complaint against his conduct has surfaced in his ten years on the bench, he said during questioning: a person who was upset with the outcome of a case involving the kidnapping of a Siamese cat. "Your questions were all fair," he said at the end of the three-hour hearing. If confirmed, Gants would fill the seat held until recently by Justice John Greaney who left the court as he approached the mandatory judicial retirement age of 70.

(Wednesday, noon, Council Chambers)

EVENT: Wed., Jan. 21---Temporary House Committee on Pension Reform Holds Public Hearing

PENSION REFORM: There's not bill before it, but the Temporary House Committee on Pension Reform holds a public hearing on the topic on Wed. Some lawmakers, prodded by media reports on pension system abuses, say they're intent on making a push to eliminate laws that allow for such abuses.

When/Where: Wednesday, 11 am, Room 156

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Calling All College Students! Be a Student Correspondent at the 2009 Oscars

**Greetings celebs, opportunity knocks via Tarrah Curtis, a COM alum in LA**

DEADLINE: Jan. 23, 2009

The Academy has partnered with mtvU to find the best college journalists nationwide. Three finalist teams will be flown to Los Angeles to participate in pre-Oscars events. One grand prize-winning team will be given positions on the red carpet and in the backstage press rooms to interview nominees and guests alongside the best entertainment journalists in the world.

For more information on how to apply:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Wednesday, Jan. 7: Opens Voting for the Top 10 Ideas for America Opens Voting for the Top 10 Ideas for America

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, January 5, 2009 --, the leading online platform for social change, today announced it has opened voting for the Top 10 Ideas for America, to be presented to the Obama Administration at an event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., just days before the Inauguration. Each winning idea will form the basis of a national advocacy campaign organized in collaboration with leading nonprofits to translate each idea into real policy.

The voting process comprises the second and final round of the "Ideas for Change in America" competition, which was launched by and MySpace in November 2008 in partnership with more than 50 leading nonprofit organizations and a dozen online political communities and voter registration groups, including TechPresident, Netroots Nation, Declare Yourself, Student PIRGs, and HeadCount.

Since the launch of the competition more than 7,500 ideas have been submitted, addressing major challenges ranging from global warming to the economy to education. More than 30,000 comments have been added and 250,000 votes have been cast to discuss and identify the best among these ideas. This first round finished last week, and voting to select the 10 winning ideas from 100 finalists will run from January 5th through January 15th at also today announced it has partnered with the Case Foundation to host an event at the National Press Club on January 16, 2008 to unveil the Top 10 Ideas for America. At the event, and the Case Foundation will announce the launch of national advocacy campaigns in support of each idea in partnership with leading nonprofit groups. Following the announcement, a panel that will include Chris Hughes, co-creator of, will discuss how new technology such as that used by the Obama Campaign can help to advance greater levels of civic participation in America.

"The inauguration gives every American a renewed opportunity to get involved and make a difference," said Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation. "Just by voting for's Top 10 Ideas for America people across the country can help decide what some of our initial steps are and become a critical part of making those ideas a reality."

The Ideas for Change in America competition was launched in response to President-elect Barack Obama's call for citizen involvement in government, and the overwhelming response has shown the extent of the interest people across the country have in participating in the policymaking process in the same way they were able to get involved in the 2008 campaign.

"The Obama campaign showed the power of the internet to get millions of Americans to participate in politics in ways never before possible," said founder and CEO Ben Rattray. "Our aim is to demonstrate how the same technology can be used to create a more participatory form of democracy and engage the American public, leverage a diverse range of voices to generate innovative ideas, and build momentum for specific policy change. We hope this is the first of many efforts to use new models of online collaboration and organizing to effect the change that so many millions across the country seek."

ABOUT CHANGE.ORG is an online hub and media network for social issues and collective action. The San Francisco-based social entrepreneurship venture operates a network of blogs covering more than a dozen major social issues and has partnered with more than 3000 leading nonprofit organizations to provide outlets for powerful action. was founded by two former classmates from Stanford, Ben Rattray and Mark Dimas, in 2006.


The Case Foundation, created by Steve and Jean Case in 1997, invests in people and ideas that can change the world. The Foundation champions initiatives that connect people, increase giving, and catalyze civic action. For more information, visit