Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, September 23, 2023



Massachusetts ballot initiative to reevaluate employment of app-based drivers

Voters in Massachusetts may see a ballot question about the employment and benefit status of gig drivers during this November’s elections. Senator Elizabeth Warren and a coalition of labor groups have vehemently opposed the ballot question, while rideshare companies like Uber, Lyft, Doordash and Instacart have backed the initiative. There is a possibility that the state legislature intervenes before then, eliminating the need for a ballot question.


Tufts faculty, students collaborate with local organization to study community climate resilience

A team of Tufts students and faculty members is working with Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW), a Cambridge-based grassroots organization that helps communities prepare for climate change-induced severe weather, to survey Chinatown and Roxbury residents on their level of preparedness for extreme weather events. The aim of the survey is to examine how social connectedness within communities can help build climate resilience. 


Somerville awards $2.7 million in Community Preservation Act funding

The City of Somerville awarded $2.7 million in Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding to various organizations in the area. This funding is funneled annually to organizations that work to preserve historic sites, maintain open spaces, develop outdoor recreation facilities or create affordable housing. Funding recipients include the Elizabeth Peabody House, the Somerville Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the Somerville Hispanic Association for Community Development and the Somerville Museum.


COVID-19 increases obstacles for Somerville residents with disabilities

As the world enters a second year of the pandemic, immunocompromised people and individuals with disabilities continue to face systemic and social detriments to their health and well-being. While many able-bodied individuals are lowering their risk potentials, people with disabilities often have little choice but to remain vigilant. This is not unfamiliar to residents of Somerville, who have expressed frustration over the difficulties that individuals with disabilities continue to experience even as the pandemic wanes. 


Uyterhoeven's PILOT reform bill under review in Mass. State House

Proposed legislation to reform the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program is currently under review in the Massachusetts state legislature by the Joint Committee on Revenue. Bill H.3080, which was filed in February 2021 by State Representative Erika Uyterhoeven of Somerville, would give municipalities the option to opt into a PILOT payment program requiring property tax-exempt organizations with more than $15 million in property holdings, such as Tufts University, to pay the city or town the equivalent of 25% of what their property tax would be were they not tax exempt.


Tenants Union protests LaCourt Realty, claims exploitation, negligence

A group of 20 tenants, organizers and local supporters holding signs reading “Somervillain” and “LaCourt Lies” marched from the Davis Square T stop to the office of Mouhab Rizkallah, owner of LaCourt Realty and The Braces Place in Somerville, on Feb. 3. The protesters, organized by the LaCourt Tenants Union, demanded Rizkallah withdraw his lawsuit against former LaCourt tenant Alona Brosh, whom he has sued for $28,875 of “unpaid rent,” according to a demand letter to LaCourt Realty. Brosh was not present at the protest and did not respond immediately to a request for comment.


Proposed bill would pause prison construction in Mass. for 5 years

A bill proposed last year in the Massachusetts state legislature would enact a five-year moratorium on the design and construction of prisons and jails in Massachusetts. The bill was reported out favorably from the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight on Jan. 24 and is now being considered by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, bringing it one step closer to Governor Charlie Baker's desk.