^ curriculum revolutionary : Irnerius of Bologna (1050-1125), who introduced new studies of law and so won the competition to draw students to his lectures

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“Today’s lesson, boys and girls, is ‘school reform : its history, its heroes, and its opponents.”

Thus sayeth the teacher. This shall be Part One of a Two-part course. Let the lecture begin :

No societal institution is harder to reform than schools. it has always been so. To take one huge example, when Greek began to be studied by European scholars in the 13th Century, its introduction, as a taught course, into the universities of that day — which taught all in Latin only — occasioned actual riots. Another example : teachers in medieval Europe were independent contractors, competing with each other (often viciously) for students (and student fees) — not collegial at all. Witness the revolutionary curriculum innovations — and career — of Irnerius of Bologna. Only when the advantages of coming together as a faculty showed themselves fatal to independent teachers seeking students did the faculty, collegial system become the standard. It took almost 300 years to make the point. One thing did NOT change : teachers worked on the margins, never far from wipe-out. If students did not sign up for their lectures, their teaching career ended. Something like that is still the case. Courses that attract too few students to pay the teacher’s salary get dropped from the curriculum.

You will of course notice that I am talking about “higher’ education. The situation with primary education was different and still is. Students in primary school learn the basics. These have hardly changed at all since Roman days — because the basics of civilization scarcely change. What does cahnge is the WAY in which the basics are taught, and, again, changes in method have come about only with much controversy and almost always far too late. Thus it is no great surprise to see that, today, in Boston, school reform movements meet big resistance, even counter-reformation.


^ Cassiodorus (ca 485-585), the Arne Duncan of his day, as chief aide to Theodoric the Great and later, educational reformer. When he retired, his library of over 2200 books stocked a monastic school that he founded on his estate at Vivarium, near Catanzaro in the “boot” of Italy.

There have always been four major constituencies on the battlefield of school reform : parents; students; teachers; employers. it was so in Roman times — but the Roman system was a ducal, bureaucratic one in which schools prepared for only one career : oratory in the senate, oratory as a proctor (litigating lawyer), oratory in imperial administration. Parents fought to get their brightest children into a school well connected to imperial circles; teachers fought to get the imperial approval without which they could not teach in an imperially sanctioned school; students were force-fed and even beaten, learning by rote, marine-drill-sergeanted into a mindset sufficiently bureaucratic to win them a coveted post in the imperial or Senatorial circle. (if you want to taste something of the flavor of late Roman schools, read chapters 3 through 6 of Augustine’s CONFESSIONS.) To sum up ; in the Roman world, the employer entirely dictated what the school would teach, to whom, and how.

Is it thus so odd that today, in Boston, employers want a major say in how the City’s schools teach future employees ? Is it not a huge concern of theirs, that graduating students be able to meet the entry-level prerequisites, at least, of their hiring ? Kids do not graduate from twelve years of primary and secondary schooling just for graduating’s sake. They graduate to employment. Some may, it is true, go into the military — where they will be trained as forcefully as the Roman world trained its legions. A few may move directly to entrepreneurship. but for 80 to 90 percent of graduating students, employment awaits, just as it awaited the graduates of Roman academies.


^ John Dewey : “learn by doing” — implanting the culture of apprenticeship learning into school methodology

As for employers dominating, even owning our schools, keep in mind that imperial or Senatorial patronage funded and staffed all the Roman world’s schools. Today we would not accord employers such dominance of our schools, partly because we have thousands of varying employers where Rome had only one. But we cannot, and should not, decry substantial employer involvement in the content and method of what our schools teach. We should invite it.

Our schools also teach one other major ethical learning : citizenship. In Rome, citizenship belonged to all, and it bestowed important rights. But citizenship imposes duties as well, and so long as the Roman world held together its schools taught what they taught not just as skills necessary to imperial employment but also as a responsibility of citizenship. The two obligations were not separate. In our world and our schools, citizenship is not so obviously an integral part of employment knowledge. It involves knowing history, the law, cultural diversity, tolerance, inquiry, participation in politics. Yet are employers not concerned that their employees be good citizens ? Young people who cannot accept diversity, or display good manners, or lack social graces, often make poor employees.


^ Horace Mann : Massachusetts Congressman and education reformer — citizenship / civics as part of a core curriculum

I present this lengthy background as a platform upon which I now offer the education reform plan posted by incoming mayor Marty Walsh. Here it is as posted on his website :

“Marty’s plan is to immediately build on current strengths within Boston Public Schools, and simultaneously develop and implement a long-term strategy based on equity, access, accountability, transparency and collaboration to provide a top-notch education for all of Boston’s children. Success will require taking a hard look at current practice, the political will to make tough, necessary changes, and the collaboration of families, educators, and partners across the city to realize a shared vision.”

“In addition, Marty recognizes the achievement of students with disabilities can be accelerated by participation in inclusion classes with their differently abled peers. The Walsh Administration will continue support for current plans to expand the number of inclusion schools, and will increase support for principals and teachers to learn about co-teaching models, Common Core Standards and differentiating instruction.

“Embrace and Support the Implementation of the Common Core State Standards – The Walsh Administration will ensure each and every school has a plan to integrate the Common Core State Standards into daily instruction, prepare teachers to teach the standards, and help students demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

“Selecting the next superintendent is one of the most important decisions facing the new administration. It is critical that the superintendent fully embraces the Mayor’s vision and is committed to its success.

“Maintain a Mayoral-Appointed School Committee – Marty supports an appointed school committee. This is the best way to ensure a body that fully reflects all the stakeholders in quality public education, including those with direct experience providing education, and those who understand the importance of prioritizing the needs of the whole child in an urban school setting.

“Central office departments will be redesigned into streamlined cross-functional units and held accountable for how well they provide support and service to schools. School supervisors will closely monitor schools in order to know which school leaders to support, which to push, and which to grant autonomy so that each and every Boston Public School is among the very best schools in Massachusetts.

“The Walsh Administration will focus on “deepening the bench” of potential school leaders who know how to work with teachers to improve instructional practices tied to the Common Core State Standards.

“Strong partnerships with local colleges and universities, and support for accelerated programs that prepare teachers for urban schools, such as those offered at the University of Massachusetts Boston, will be developed to supply qualified candidates. Systems and incentive will be implemented to retain strong principal and teacher leaders with appropriate compensation.

“The Walsh Administration will be aggressive in working with federal elected officials and agencies, the Massachusetts State House, and corporate and non-profit partners to increase revenues for targeted programs.”

— so sasys Marty Walsh, officially.

photo (21)

^B George Perry, Jeri Robinson, and John Barros — Walsh’s Schools team. Is there a Cassiodorus in this triad ? Or just smiling faces ?

The Walsh plan has aroused plenty of opposition from anti-Common Core advocates. (Even though Massachusetts school standards are stronger than Common Core, which is thus irrelevant to Boston schools.) it also disappoints many who want a much more comprehensive overhaul of Boston Public School methods, curriculum, student assignment, and partnering. For me, the plan’s face is its blandness. It is cardboard. It avoids all of the difficult issues. It hardly mentions the most controversial or necessary. you won’t find in it the terms ’employer,’ “charter school,” “teacher evaluation,” “teacher selection,” “school competition.” It really is not a plan for reform at all. What I take from it is a message that we should TALK about reform. This, the City is doing. But then what ?

I find especially unfortunate the plan’s entire avoidance of competition. I know of no dynamic school system in which competition between schools — between teachers within those schools — was not an integral condition. Uncompetitive schools teach uncontroversial knowledge. Competition can be imposed upon schools and teachers only by employers — in the Roman world, the Emperor demanded, and that WAS the competition — or by the students and their parents, who, as in Abelard’s Paris and in the teaching city that was contemporary Bologna — pay their teaching fees to the best teachers. The competition then — years 1080 to about 1270 — was brutal, but knowledge advanced daringly and hugely. (we don’t call it “the Renaissance of the 12th Century” for nothing.) Much of the advance in knowledge was brought into those schools by independent researchers, often working in Muslim lands. The same is true today. Innovation Districts and their collaborative competitors are our era’s version of 12th Century’s wandering researchers. They and their knowledge, gathered from everywhere, should inform, revive, reconstitute our City’s public schools — curriculum, evaluation and pay, responsiveness to a rapidly evolving world of employers.

Or we can choose stagnation, blandness, and loss of the innovative daring that made Boston so different a city for so long.

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere

Tomorrow : the teacher and his or her career in a system committed tyo innovation, citizenship, and employment.



^ all but one of these folks didn’t hide. Why the AFT ? “OneBoston” ? Ya right.

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Thanks to the Boston Globe’s Wesley Lowery, who scooped the story, we now know who “OneBoston” was and where its mysterious, last-week-of-the-race $ 480,000 ad buy came from. The AFT did it. As in American Federation of Teachers.”

My purpose is not to retell Lowery’s story, which you can read in the link below this paragraph. My intention, rather, is to confront the secrecy of it. By steering their $ 480,000 into the Boston Mayor race via a New Jersey PAC, in which state disclosure of donors is not required, the AFT kept hidden what it felt it needed to hide. The same was true of the Boston Teachers’ Union, which didn’t issue an endorsement of Marty Walsh until the morning of election day, too late for news media to make the voting public aware.

Link to Wesley Lowery’s story :

Why the hiding ? Clearly these teachers’ unions felt that if their active involvement in a Boston Mayor’s race were known , Boston’s 57,000 public school parents — and surely others — would not like it. These unions know that there’s scant public support for their agenda. Yet they were willing to hide behind the blinds for the sake of electing as Mayor a man who sits on a charter school board — which teachers’ unions profess to hate — but who is known to be a friend of unions and a go-slow collaborator who would likely not shake too many peaches off the peachtrees, in preference to a committed “school transformer” who actually sends his kids to a public school and who wanted much better than the status quo.

All year long the teachers unions have demonstrated their unwillingness to accord any school reform measures but their own. For them it has been “our way or the highway.” Thus the hiding; because school parents, curriculum developers, and Massachusetts’s state government have other ideas about how to improve schools than the teachers unions do and have more than sufficient public support to override the inflexibility of the teachers’ unions; and these unions know it, and thus took to subterfuge to evade the spotlight.

It was a pitiable example to set for the students whose citizenship learning we entrust to teachers. Don’t discuss, insist. Don’t make your moves known, deceive. Don’t confront unpleasant truths, send anonymous poison letters. (Privatization of schools, corporate intruders, child of privilege, etc.)

Bad enough when political campaigns do it. Despicable when done by people to whom we entrust the education of our children.

To circle the wagons around their own agenda, teachers’ organizations were ready to see a Mayor elected whose prospects are incremental at best, a mayor who is too decent a guy and too collaborative to force the hard decsions, instead of pursuing real reform by a Mayor candidate who understood that the future will not be like the past and who had solid ideas — and the intelligent fortitude and talented support group — on how to get his city there. To circle the wagons and do it under the table, like a worker trying to avoid paying taxes. I call it dishonorable.

John Connolly, the loser in this ambush, told Lowery “as a candidate I’m moving past the race. As a BPS parent, I am really angry.”

There was a time when teachers were reformers; embraced experiment; proposed new curricula and new school arrangements. Most teachers still understand very clearly that it is NOT about THEM, it’s about educating children. Unfortunately, the teachers’ organization that invaded the Mayor’s race unannounced “because they are fighting for working families,” no less, failed to get that message. For these groups, it was indeed all about them.

The Boston Teachers Union (BTU) had an opportunity, early in the race, to embrace the candidacy of John Connolly, which had made education the number one issue, and to discuss with him how to best reshape the public schools to be beneficial to the future economy and society. That would have been a superb exercise in reform that the voting public would surely have welcomed. Instead, the BTU chose to retrench, to demonize Connolly, to support a man they didn’t want to support, and to do so by last-minute ambush. But I do not blame the BTU as profoundly as I do the AFT. The BTU’s resistance to reforms not advocated by it was well publicized even if their election-morning endorsement wasn’t. The AFT chose to hide behind the curtain, like Polonius, and to lob a $ 480,000 bomb into the arena. It shouldn’t be surprised if it now finds itself poignarded by a host of Boston School Parents who have other ideas about school reform and who resent being ambushed by refuseniks.

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere

Reporter’s note — All of this confirms my appraisal that it was Walsh’s weakness, electorally, that allowed him to accrue so many allies and thus to win. The politicians and interest groups that lent Marty their support applied the “City Council Presidency” rule : always vote for the weakest. That’s fine when electing a mostly powerless Council Presidency. It’s not so fine when misapplied to an office truly potent, as Boston’s mayor sure is. By applying the “vote the weakest” principle to Walsh, the groups and politicians who backed him basically retained power in their own hands — a kind of back-door Recall. The last thing these groups and office holders wanted was a strong Mayor who didn’t need them at every flex point. Walsh can still break free and grab the power of office; but to do so, he will have to betray and/or push aside many of his supporters. (It can be done. See the papacy of Pope Stephen III, mid- 8th Century, for an example of how to do it.) However, I see nothing in Walsh’s career or temperament that suggests such an outcome. I’m not sure he even wants it.   —- MF



^ five of the seven US Senators who have represented Massachusetts since 2009. can you name the other two ?

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A couple of days ago I was conversing as usual about Massachusetts politics with a friend who suddenly stopped me. “Do you realize we’ve had seven different US Senators in this State the past four years ?”

I had not, in fact, realized that. He counted them out : Ted Kennedy, Paul Kirk, Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren. John Kerry, Mo Cowan, Ed Markey. Yup, seven it is.

We’re not used to such stuff. Before 2009, Massachusetts had sent the sme two men to the Senate since 1984, when John Kerry replaced Paul Tsongas. That’s what we do. We want our Congressmen and Senators to build up huge seniority, to outlast their opponents, to leave the Federal bureaucracy no chance to put off reforms in hopes that the reformer would just go away. It work. Kennedy and Kerry got a lot done in their 47 and 29 years in the Senate. Meanwhile, the seven who have followed them had, in comparison, barely time to put a name plate on the office door. It’s the same deal for a Massachusetts Congressman. Get him or her elected and then re-elect him or her every time until the seniority passes critical mass. Almost no Massachusetts Congressmen get defeated. The last time it happened was 1996, when Peter Torkildsen was beaten by John Tierney, who has held the 6th District seat ever since.

Given our state’s political habits it’s no wonder that people here are now calling the tide of elections, special and otherwise, rolling through Massaachusetts as “election overload.” In addition to the US senate elections there’s been a Special election in the 5th Congressional District, a Boston Mayor election, several State Legislature “specials” — and more of these to come — and, in eleven months, the regular election for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and more. For some of these “specials,” very few voters have bothered. Even the dramatic, confrontational Boston Mayor election only induced 37 % of the City’s voters to cast a ballot.

About the same percentate of the State’s voters balloted in the now legendary 2009 US senate “special” in which Scott Brown became the only Republican that we have sent to the US Senate since 1978. It seems as though 36 to 37 % of voters is our State’s participation ceiling other than on “normal” election dates. On those dates, between 70 and 80 percent of our voters vote. The state has two classes of voters : the “always active” 36 to 37 percent and an equal number of “only at the usual time”people.

What is the difference between these two groups ? I’d say that the only-at-regular-time people see voting as a duty, while the participant actives see it as connection. Those who vote whenever an election is called actually expect, or hope, that their vote will move things. The duty voters probably vote as skeptics, not believers. That’s healthy. Politics is an arena of agendas, not saviors. We should be skeptical of agendas. But we also need believers in agendas; and my point in this column is that we should welcome, not shrug at, the tide of elections now rolling over Massachusetts. Our democracy was not set up for lifetime office holders. Well into the 20th Cehtiury it was uncommon for Senators and Congressmen to serve for 20, 30, 40, even 50 years, as some have done since. Citizens stood for office, served, and came home again to their lives and communities. The Massachusetts custom, since the 1920s, of saying “why replace someone who’s down there doing his job ?” now gives way to a series of fresh faces, one after another, many people voicing our State’s concerns, each in his or her own way, and — we hope — voicing the concerns of more voters than just the insiders who for so long had everything their own way.

Almost all of our state’s political indsiders are Democrats. It is totally a good thing that, since 2009, they have had to campaign to the 70-80 of voters who vote in elections rather than just to the 15 % who control the Democratic primary, For decades, our state’s politics was — with the exception of Governor elections — the purview of a very small core whose members spoke only to themselves. That’s not true now. With so many elections at hand for so many offices, vast numbers of candidates who, in the period 1960-2008 would never have had a chancve, now have that chance. Many of therse newcomers are Republicans. Some are Tea Party. Much of what the Tea candidates, in particular, have to say shocks and disgusts; but better that it be said out in the open, where it can be confronted, than seething in silence. As for the Democrats, they now divide on many issues, between Obama-Clinton centrists and the labor-Left who would like to use Elizabeth Warren as their banner. All of which assures me that in the foreseeable future, Massachusetts will be a state with three — maybe four — political parties stepping into a never-ending exercise of democracy in action. After all, there’s at least five major candidates going for the Governorship, several others, and a lengthening list of new names vying to be Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, and state Legislator. Don’t knock it.

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere



^ Leonard DiCaprio as penny stock pusher in Martin Scorcese’s “Wolf of wall Street”

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“The Wolf of Wall Street” is everything “American Hustle” wanted to be and more. It’s smart, mean and makes a pointed political statement while roiling in the excess of its characters. As far as drama goes, let’s face it, : rags to riches and success isn’t so alluring. No one wants to see a nice guy make it, they want to see someone claw their way up, live large and fall hard. Take, “Scarface,” “Goodfellas” or “Wall Street” to name a few. “Wolf” and “Hustle” are less violent and black and white, but the elements, greed, lust, envy and hubris, are all there in fine, fermented form.

Both films are based on true stories and take place in New York City during high flying eras that predate cell phones and the rampant use of the internet. “Hustle” jogs through the Abscam scandal of the 1970s via a petty con who, ensnared by the Feds, helps draw in corrupt pols. “Wolf” is smaller fare, following the hilariously self-destructive travails of a hungry wanna-be who, from humble origins, gets his brokerage license on the eve of the Black Friday market crash of 1987 and instead of cashing out and moving on to something more sure-footed, goes on to parlay his smooth cold-calling skills into a pump and dump scheme, manipulating the penny stock market and making a killing on the fifty-percent commissions. The sad underlying truth to “Wolf,” as wonderfully articulated by an over-the-top broker (a blazing Matthew McConaughey adding to his banner year) teaching the naive ‘Wolf’ pup the ropes over a five martini lunch, is that money in motion is change in your pocket. Always be selling and always be buying; forget about value added, if they make money, good, but it’s all about movement.

As that young fry of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort, who morphs into a coked-up kingpin of crack and cash, Leonardo DiCaprio delivers one of the strongest performances of his impressive career. It’s also Martin Scorsese’s best film since “Goodfellas.”

Marty, who’s a soft spoken reflective soul, has made some of the most violent, in-your-face films of all time. “Wolf” is no exception. Sure, there’s no real gun play or jaw cracking per se, but “Wolf” is brutal. You never see the plumbers or middle class mom and pops who are defrauded, led astray and into ostensible ruin, throwing their life savings on junk because a faceless, confident voice on the other end of a telephone told them he was going to make their dreams come true and put them on easy street. Jordan, too, is a train wreck, snorting coke and entertaining escorts in the office during working hours. Yes the film’s pretty racy, working women work the conference rooms during work hours, servicing the execs, before giving the new hires a turn, and female co-workers, either caught up in the frenzy of money, the desire to get ahead or the sheer love of sex, are as happy to get on their knees and perform felatio as they are excited by closing a deal. Belfort lives big and he’s fairly generous, unless you do something to irk him; then you are fired in the most humiliating way possible. And he does all this while popping qualudes, getting a candle inserted into his rectum and raising a family.

How a self-interested SOB like Belfort spins so rivetingly, and for three hours, is both tribute to DiCaprio and the screenwriter Terence Winter (“Boardwalk Empire” and “The Sopranos”) who get at the decadent depravity and don’t try to make Jordan heroic as his moral compass falls out. “Hustle” tries to have its cake and eat it. The characters too don’t feel real or likable. Jordan lives the American dream and nightmare, and it couldn’t be more illumination or a reflection of what ails us. Jordan is Gordon Gecko with a heart and insecurity, a boy with a supermodel and a race car. The formula has played out tragically for celebs and athletes before, but none have done it with such bombastic aplomb as Jordan.

The supporting cast which includes Jonah Hill as Jordan’s wigged-out wingman, Kyle Chandler as the FBI agent on Belfort’s tail, and Rob Reiner as pop Belfort.

—- Tom Meek / Meek at the Movies



^ the tree, the light, and the presents = good will to those we love an d to all men

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There is mankind at its worst, mankind in the ordinary, and mankind at its best. If today means anything, it means celebrating mankind at its best. That is what those who believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the son of God celebrate in him. How can a human being be better than to be God’s only begotten son ? Believers in Jesus believe that there is a “best’ in human life, that it has been witnessed, that it will come again. But first of all, that a best human being was born, because being born is proof that he existed; that it is possible actually to encounter the best of human beings.

Today is the date that the Christian polity, under Emperor Constantine’s guidance, set as the date of Jesus’s birth. His actual birth day was not known. Nobody recorded it; when Jesus was born, he was born a very ordinary child to a very ordinary family. No early writing mentions the day of his birth, because none of the writers of that time (excepting possibly the beloved disciple in John) knew Jesus personally; and those people who did know him did not follow him because of what day he was born but because of what he was doing, decades later, when they recognized that he was very special. Thus the Church gathered 300 years later in synod assigned a day to Jesus’s birth. It was no ordinary day. On December 25 began the Roman world’s most important festival, the very pagan, very raucous, but entirely celebratory festival, the lupercalia. That festival celebrated the lengthening day after the Winter Solstice ; the return of the sun, of light, of planting season and bounteous harvest to come. It was a festival of hope, of optimism, of — good will to all men, that all might propser from the coming of the light.

By decreeing December 25 as the birth day of Jesus, the Church  made Jesus’s birth a symbol of the light, of all best things. And so it has been ever since. The addition, much later, to December 25 of the St. Nicholas story — of the giving of presents — simply reiterates what Constantine and his bishops had in mind. The day symbolizing Jesus’s birth is to be a day of ritual bounty in honor of the bounty to come — to all men, in good will.

It really seems a miracle, that a bishop of Constantine’s day, St. Nicholas of Myra, became —  via German folklore, of all things — the jolly German burgher named “Santa ‘Klaus,” a jolly symbol of the happiest day in the lives of everyone he visits this morning. But so it is. Santa really does live, doesn’t he ? And for those who, despite the history, think Santa just a cute invention, I refer you to the immortal 1890’s newspaper editorial “Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus.’ in which the writer assured his reader’s 10-year old daughter — for such she was — that Santa Claus (as we call him) is as real as happiness is real, as good will to all men is real.

You do not have to believe — in the Church that Constantine gave legal recognition to, form and process; and which well before Constantine’s day had taken to heart and soul the life and works of Jesus of Nazareth for proof of God’s good will to all men — to accord good will to all men a central place in your own life. You are not on this earth alone. None of us is here alone. We depend on each other in almost everything, every day; each of us accords respect to every one of us wherever we meet, when instead of injuring or being mean to someone, we encounter them with courtesy, patience, a smile, hospitality, a collaboration, a purchase, a conversation. We do this almost without realizing. It is second nature to us as members of the human community. but especially on this day set aside to honor — even worship — the best of men and the best in men, we restore the health of our souls, the clarity of our vision, the strength of our purpose, the charity and courtesy that we give to our fellows — no matter who we are or what God we believe in .

And of course the presents and the Christmas cards. Dear readers, take this little message as our Christmas card to you. You can even sing it : “Good will to all men, the light is come !”

—- the Editors / Here and Sphere



^ in the post-Obama era, insurgents find common ground : Elizabeth Warren and John McCain

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The 2014 mid-term elections are under way, and both parties are preparing a battle which won’t resemble that of 2012 much at all.

We’re moving into the post-Obama period. Agendas are advancing that the President either does not want or has little to do with. Even in foreign policy he doesn’t have his way undisputed : witness the Senate bill, presented by 13 members from each party, to toughen Iran sanctions if the recent Interim Agreement doesn’t lead to a permanent one. The bill’s point is hard to disagree with, but it’s hard to see how diplomacy is assisted by legislation that feels like interference.

I agree with the Wall Street Journal that the hiring of John Podesta as a Presidential adviser announces that Democrats will campaign 2014 as a “class warfare” election. But it’s difficult to see how that translates into support for Obama’s remaining initiatives : immigration reform, gun control legislation, tax reform. The “class warfare” cry seems geared to invigorating the Democratic party for 2016. Same is true of nominating Senator Max Baucus of Montana to be Ambassador to China. Baucus was up for re-election next year; he had already announced his retirement. Montana was carried by Romney in 2012, by 14 points. Electing a Democrat to succeed Baucus was going to be difficult. Now, however, a Democrat — probbaly Lieutenant governor John Walsh, as the Wall street journal says — will assume Baucus’s seat, by appointment, and run in 2014 as the incumbent. It’s a smart move and a party move. Retaining the senate is a must for their 2016 basis.

Obama has wiggle room to pursue party-building stuff because the Republican Party is having to change as well, in the direction of compromise, so that it can be seen as a realistic governing party and not as obstruction. Republican strategy now accords vital budget and funding agreements, even as Obama concentrates on party-building in opposition.

As I have noted in several columns, Democrats at ground level having been moving for many months now to advance an agenda largely (but not entirely) Left-populist : union workers’ rights, higher minimum wages, banking reform, teacher union control of public education, alleviation of pay inequities, greater public spending on infrastructure and aid to families in need. It was easy to see that the infusion of these priorities into Mayor elections in Boston and New York was not happening only for local reasons. Clearly the leaders of this agenda had in mind the 2016 Democratic nomination for President.

At times the intensity of this movement has threatened to split the Democratic party, and i have decried that. we don’t need the Demotratic party to become “Left-tea’d,” as I have put it. But I wonder now if my warnings have been superseded by events. The 2014 campaign is upon us, the Democratic Party as a whole seems committed to the Left-ing agenda, and this is probably a wise decision for the party to make at mid-term time.

What must not happen is for this agenda to appear the Elizabeth Warren for President campaign. THAT would personalize the issues, and generate all manner of opposition to from Democrats threatened. Speaking of Warren, how come I do not see as much love for Senator Bernie Sanders as for her ? Sanders has been an eloquent voice for a Left-populist agenda — much of it very needed — long before Senator Warren appeared on the scene. My suspicion is that Warren Love arises from the 52 million dollars she raised for her 2012 campaign. It is ironic that the Left-populist movement wants big big money even while decrying its influence.

Readers can now ask me : what, if any, of the Left-populist agenda do I support ? Answer : I support quite a bit of it.

1. We do need a higher minimum wage. Substantially higher. Why should taxpayers have to sbsidize low-wage employers who pay their workers so little that they need public assistance to make ends meet ?

2. Employers should not be allowed to use job seekers’ credit scores as a hiring factor except if the job being sought is a financial one such as a comptroller or bank employee.

3. Financial institutions that specialize in customer deposits should not be allowed to use those deposits to engage in arbitrage trading. Or else such trading should be subject to the Federal Reserve’s margin requirements just as these are already imposed on customer accounts at stock-broker firms.

4. Union workers’ pension and benefit rights, as contracted for, should never be subject to legislative negation.

5. Infrastructure is as communal as anything in our society. Maintaining and improving our infrastructure is a vital economic duty. If tax dollars are needed, they should be granted.

But :

1.Education reform. This was the big divisive issue in the Boston Mayor election. I do not agree that teachers’ unions should control public school reform or that corporations have no defensible interest in school performance. I support school competition, because it is from competition that we find out what works well or not so well. I accord teachers unions a central voice in school reform because it is they who must do the teaching and who must work competigtively. But decsions on how to proceed with education reform must be collegial. Corporations have a vital interest in public education because the jobs they must fill depend on school graduates being prepared sufficiently to do them.

2.Unions in general : as I wrote almost every day during the Boston Mayor campiagn, union workers deserve strong representatipon in the halls of power, but they shouldn’t own the halls of power. Union workers number only about 10 %, nationally, of all employees, and no next-generation jobs in the innovating economy easily translate to unionization because almost all such jobs are individually dfifferent, employed by small units constantly reshaping, and involve pay that isn’t just a paycheck but includes benefits, stock, bonuses, and collaboratives. How to accommodate the innovation economy will be a major challenge for Democratic policy leaders facing 2016. Many in the innovation economy might just find a newly reasonable Republican Party more sympatico than a Democratic party committed to Left Populism. Take the fake-“Christian” stuff, the contempt for needy people, and the anti-immigration bigotry out of the Republican agenda, and the possibility is very real for the innovation community to prefer Republican entrepreneur-ist reform to Democratic Left-Populism.

After all, if Elizabeth Warren and John McCain, insurgents both, can co-sponsor banking reform legislation — and they have — then economic innovators are as free to find a useful home on the McCain range as on the Warren one.

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere



^ destructive : Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina

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There has always been money in campiagns and in governance. This we understand; governments chiefly are formed and operate to move money from here to there. Campaigns cost money too. Community conversations about how to move money require money, for media and for communication services.

All of the above we know, we accept, we can agree to. But as my Dad used to say, “too much of anything is a poison.” Too much money kills off the civic events. We saw this in the recent Mayor election, where a majority of the money spent by the two finalists came from “outside” PACs, some of them secret. We see it in Washington, where big-pocket book PACs threaten Congressmen, put challengers in the field to run against them, and inundate elections with all manner of misleading — deceptive — palpably false — advertising to promote the PAC’s specific interest and, so doing. have brought the Federal government almost to a standstill : a condition that many of these PACs openly seek. the best-funded and greediest of them want to roll back 80 to 130 years of social progress . They want government out of thed way and unfunded so that their donotrs can do want they want with America’s money.

This we have seen and tasted and found most foul. It is most foul. Our society is everybody who lives in it — nothing less. A raid upon the inclusion of everyone is sedition.

Somebody in my twitter feed recently said, “the rich employ FOX to set the middle class against the poor.” True. And after they come for the poor, they will come for the middle class. You don’t like it ? Too bad about you.

It need not be. There’s another saying that seems germane right now : “you can fool all of the people some of the tome and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Abraham Lincoln said that. He knew the truth of it so well, because no president in our hiostory was the object of so much vitriol amd so many self=seeking lies as was he. Eventually the voters will wake up to the fraud that the greedy are perpetrating upon them, and all the PAC money in the world will then just prove the point.

But in the meantime what damage is abroad in our land ! Our economy is hugely tilted toward the top earners. 95% of us have seen oure arnings stay still, por dtrop, in trelation to procers. Millions of us have been out of work for years; skills have vitiated; how will they now start over ? As for the lost years, the years of penury or bare survival, they can’t be made good. An entire genmeration of workers — maybe 20,000,000 of us — has been hammered by student debt that can’t bne discharged in bankruptcy, weakened by under-employment, injured by stress that hurts one’s health, left almost helpless by having no helath insurance. Barbara Ehrenreich says that these millions of us have been “nickeled and dimed.” She nails it.

Worse still, in the current tone of our politics, these 20,000,000 — and many millions more whose home in come amounts to just a little more, enough to get by but not to save or move up — don’t get heard. Who speaks for those of us who most need a speaker ? A few do. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders speak for America’s vulnerable. I’m not sure they have much effect, however. The huge monery greed-PACs can’t trouble warren in Massachusetts or dsanders in Vermont, and they can’t trouble Barbara Boxer in California or Chris Murphy in Connecticut. The Northeast of our country — its richest part, ironically — still has a social conscience and honors the social compact that america used to take for granted. But outside the Northeast (and even in some areas of the Northeast), the greed money pressures, intimidates, forces legislators to kick most constituents to the curb.

Among the worst offenders is the Governor whose picture heads this column : Pat McCrory of North Carolina. His entire legislative program has been pushed by — much of it drafted by — seditious big money organizations. Two more favorites of greed money are Sam Brownback of Kansas and Rick Scott of Florida. Brownback wants all state taxes gone; Rick Scott cuts social services to the poor. Are these guys nuts ? What sane politician would purposely alienate a huge number of voters ? Well, politicians do that if the money demnds it of them. It’s hardly likely that Governors would dare to propose eliminating state income taxes, file vote suppression legislation, cut teacher staffs, wipe out union benefits, make abortion all but unobtainable, harass immigrants, cut off unemployment pay, engage private prisons, loosen gun control, or cut funding for infrastructure — were it not that the vast money pools insist upon it, demand it, swamp their state with demagogic advertising that demonizes those who need state services, health care, voting rights. This is the reality in those parts of america where sedition has a paymaster with unlimited funds to pay. Candidates compete to see who can express the basest contempt for the most people. Why ? Because that’s where the campaign donations are.


^ sedition : Rick Scott of Florida

America is losing its might to these paymasters. Companies can’t get new hires who have the technology skills to handle evn entry-level jobs. Kids don’t learn anything about American history or citizenship. Parents are too busy working two and three jobs to give their kids the reading time — the intellectual and citizenship challenges — that kids need. Immigrants, our nation’s very essence and its source of innovation, new ways, striving, and heroic endurance, were once valued and welcomed. Now they are disliked and pushed out. Self-serving religionists push their voices into the news, gain attention for their bigotry and outrage, thus reaping huge donor dollars for theur “ministries.” We are mounte-banking our society, collapsing its organs. We are killing our future chunk by chunk.

The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have free speech rights; that money for political advertising is protected as free speech’s enabler. It’s hard to find a workable way to didagree that does not impede legitimate expenditures for speech. I have yet to see a Constitutional amendment for this purpose that won’t throw the baby out with the bath. The most effective way is to fight the sedition on its chosen field of huge money demagoguery. Where are the social compact hedge funders ? The income fairness billionaires, the civil rights tycoons, the urban reform grandees ? There are some. There are more than just some. It’s time for them to commit huge money against a sedition that is destroying millions of families, society’s decency — the economy itself — day by day, election by election.

Occasionally the people can defeat the armies of reaction. Rick Scott ;looks likely to lose in 2014. Tom Corbett, the vote-suppression avatar, seems in big trouble in Pennsylvania. that’s good; but it is not enough. It’s time for the Cavalry of progress to rescue us.

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere



^ spark and height : Karyn Polito joins Team Charlie Baker and announces her support for marriage equality

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From December’s start to now, Republican favorite Charlie Baker has put his campaign into solid definition on many fronts. First, he chose a running mate, former State Representative Karyn Polito, who ran a strong State-wide race for Treasurer in 2010 and has as much charisma as any Republican in the state. A high point of their alliance, to all Massachusetts voters of good will, was Polito discarding her anti-gay rights past and joining Baker’s long-standing support for marriage equality. Second, he released a Homelessness Alleviation Plan that actually addresses the issue, in a beneficial manner completely unlike the contempt that we’ve become so used to hearing from Republicans these past six years, a plan that none of Baker’s Democratic rivals will surpass — they’ll be hard-pressed to equal it. Third, Baker almost raised more money, in this period, than his five Democratic rivals combined.

Baker and Polito announced their ticket allliance on December 3rd. Last night they held a campaign Kick-Off fund-raiser at Coral Seafood on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester. (After which they campaigned along the street’s “restaurant row.”) Polito has added plenty of spark to the Baker brand. It made last night’s event worth the time. Before she and her entourage of young, almost trendy supporters entered the room, the average age of the Baker donors was easily 60. It was — to this Boston-based observer — an almost defiantly unhip group of flattops, toupees, and 1970s sideburns. Nor was there much excitement; the mood of the 150 donors was cardboard flavorless. Then Polito stepped into the room, radiant face, televisably sleek, a “great to see you” outreach, and — yes — excitement. She changed the mood from cardboard to glossy brochure.

The Boston Globe notes that Baker’s fund-raising falls way short of the donations amde to him in 2009, as he was preparing a 2010 run for Governor. But that’s not the right comparison. He was then running against incumbent Deval Patrick. This time the office of Governor is open. In 2009, Baker’s name wasn’t well-known; today it is. The measure of Baker’s success now is his five Democratic rivals. Against them, he is showing strong. Let’s look at the December 1st through 19th receipt numbers reported to the state’s Office of campaign finance, as of 9.30 this morning, December 20 :

Charlie Baker : 203,290.69
Steve Grossman : 106,554.00
Martha Coakley : 88,298.73
Donald Berwick : 72,428.35
Juliette Kayyem : 5,522.04 (receipts 12/15-19 not reported yet)
Joe Avellone : 9,329.11

Several of the Democrats have already filed full bank reports for the December 1st through 15th period. Here are the numbers :

Candidate            Begin Balance Receipts Expenses End balance

Martha Coakley 285,272.65 83,073.73 59,635.73 306,711.13
Donald Berwick 155,521.08 52,973.35 59,266.40 149,237.93
Juliette Kayyem 222,717.32 5,522.04 77,627.56 150,611.80

The Juliette Kayyem receipt number surely misleads. During this same time she has pressed a social media and meet and greet campaign second to none; it has boosted her social media presence enormously — far larger a boost than for all her rivals combined. Her twitter following has gained + 2,553 since November 10th when I first checked. No rival comes close. She’s doing more voter outreach than them all — campaigning almost like somebody running for Boston Mayor. Yes, that thorough and up-close. I am impressed.


^ Juliette Kayyem at La Semana Television

It would surprise not to see Kayyem post a noteworthy fund-raising number in her December 31 or January 15th report. Like Baker, she has released action plans — more of them than Baker so far. We seem to have entered the campaign’s Policy Plan season; every one of the six chief contenders — except Martha Coakley, who is still working her Attorney General agenda as a kind of Governor rehearsal — is releasing Policy plans on everything from Green Environment to Health care costs to criminal justice reform, immigrants’ rights, and women’s health.

The feeling in Berwick’s plans parallels that in Charlie Baker’s Homelessness alleviation paper — maybe because both men come from the health care field. It would greatly uplift the political morale of Massachusetts to see the two of them become the campaign’s finalists. But Berwick has had less success with voters than Kayyem, and he has also fallen into the no-casino hole. Kayyem has avoided cul-de-sac issues and focused herself on the main chance. a final between her and Baker would be a classic policy battle : who has broader capability and a stronger resume predicting success ? Kayyem versus Baker might even rise above the polarized mess that partisan Washington has put upon us. Both candidates are solid reformers who believe that government should benefit people.

What, then, of Steve Grossman and Martha Coakley, presumed to be the two strongest Democrats ? They are that — for now. Grossman has run a laid-back campaign, an almost State of Maine nonchalance. Yet he has by far the most money on hand — I await his December 15th Bank report — and, as state Treasurer, has state-wide connect and name recognition. One woners if his campaign’s low heat is an intentional stance ; that he feels that after so much over-passioned politics, voters of Massachusetts would welcome a candidate who doesn’t stoke fires, who approaches governance with patience, not hurry. On the other hand, as reported, most of Grossman’s fundraising has come from interests doing business with the state. That’s a lazy way to fundraise, and it invites questions about Grossman’s independence. Would Grossman, as baker’s opponent, fall back upon Democrat versus Republican rather than address the State’s actual issues ? It could be.

And now for Martha Coakley. The polls say that she is the clear Democratic favorite. I doubt that will be true after February caucus month. Her fund-raising falls short. She’s running on Attorney General issues. She continues to be the wan campaigner who lost that now legendary 2009 US Senator campaign to then barely known Scott Brown. No activist has forgotten that campaign. It’s one thing to be laid back like Grossman; it’s another to be flat and cliche, words that define Coakley as a campaigner.

In any case, December so far belongs to Charlie Baker and Juliette Kayyem. With the Holiday period now beginning, the rest of December is likely to stay that way.

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere



^ apostasy to party ? to most of us, it’s the way things should be. To the activists, just the opposite

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The Democratic party looks on the verge of cleaving, Left versus Left-center, even though the Left’s avatar, Senator Elizabeth Warren, will not be a candidate for President. I seriously hope this does not happen. The Democratic party’s unity is the major factor holding America steady on forward. Splitting the party can only impede. Sometimes it seems as though those who would move the Democratic party to the Left want America to NOT proceed. This is a huge policy mistake.

One sees the signs. Senator Warren has done a lot of talking, challenging the money interests at every turn, and though much of what she talks about needs saying, at a time when the Congress is finally of a mind to take small, fragile steps forward, Warren’s insurgency seems as ill-timed as Ted Cruz’s in October. Warren acolytes abhor the comparison, but I am hardly the first or only one to make it.

Both Cruz and Warren are fanning flames that want to be flamed and which would likely find other bellows if Cruz and Warren were not stoking. At a lower level, here in Massachusetts, in Boston, the decision by newly elected Councillor Michelle Wu to support the “conservative” — but Democratic — Bill Linehan for Council President has generated a huge flare of Left flame, even though the selection of a Council President has almost no policy consequences.

This Left split is not new. I wrote of it three months ago, during the Mayor of Boston campaign, noting attacks, by Left-minded Democrats, upon John Connolly for his school transformation call — a policy advocated by Democrats for Education Reform as part of what Arne Duncan, President Obama’s Secretary of Education, was seeking. Connolly was also attacked as the candidate of moneyed interests generally : yet the bulk of moneyed interests supporting his candidacy was Democratic. All of this sounded strange in a local, one-City campaign. But there it was.

The polarization of national party politics have no business deciding a purely local election. Yet for the Left, polarizing party politics were a key to victory for their candidate, who, after a primary in which the Left made various personal choices with few partisan consequences, became Marty Walsh. He was well advised to take advantage of the opportunity. By no means do I criticize him or seeking out that support : it’s what he had to do. But at the time, I noted that the potential Democratic party split was a rehearsal for a wider split in 2014 and 2016 and a direct consequence of the Tea Party capsizing the GOP. As I wrote, “you can’t radicalize an electorate in one direction only.”

The timing could not be worse for those who, like myself, desire a workable forward national agenda. Even as the Democratic party split aggravates, the split in the GOP is resolving, in favor of the pragmatists. The Tea Right is under serious attack from all quarters — business, incumbents, centrist money PACs, even from evangelicals — and is losing as GOP House (and Senate) incumbents free themselves from the fear of a serious primary challenge. Many states are considering legislation similar to California’s, in which all candidates run in the same primary and then a final between the top two. This process has already made California’s parties move to the center and away from domination by “base” activists.It would hardly be good for Democrats if the nation and the GOP are moving toward unity while the Democratic party is splitting. But activists do not care about consequences. For them, it’s their way or the highway.

I prefer the highway.

You may argue against me, that in the Budget Deal that passed the Senate today, the Democrats stood united, the GOP quite split. True enough; yet the Budget Deal was criticized often and loudly for its omission of unemployment insurance extension. Democrats voted “yes’ as a bloc because to reject the deal might have made any deal impossible, given the fragility of the House GOP’s new pragmatism. My thinking is that the more the House GOP commits to pragmatism, the more that Left Democrats will feel that they can split the Democratic party without endangering the nation.

The warning signs are there. People continue to Cruz-ify Elizabeth Warren.

All of this you would expect to go away were the President to exert his power of office effectively, as he sometimes knows how : in foreign policy always, during the “shut down” too. His weak management of the Federal bureaucracy — ah, the Annals of — has opened an effectiveness  gap, however, into which people are stepping who really don’t like the President’s agenda all that much anyway. It’s a cliche now that President Obama’s most activist supporters wanted a messiah but got a mishugas. In other words, a President ; but they don’t want a president, they still want a messiah. When that happens in American politics, we usually get an anti-messiah instead. With Obama, an Abraham Lincoln saved us. Unless things change, I doubt we’ll be as lucky in 2106.

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere


Herb Gleason

^ aristocrat in Boston City hall : corporation counsel Herb Gleason, 1928-2013

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Herb Gleason of Beacon Hill died on December 9th. He was 85 years old and was, as Barney Frank recalls, “a man from the Boston aristocracy who deeply immersed himself in Boston politics in a wholly constructive way.” You should read the obituary that Bryan Marquard wrote for today’s Boston Globe and which features Frank’s quote. It tells Gleason ‘s life story and why — as Mayor Kevin White’s Corporations Counsel, most of all — he was important to the civic minded people of my generation.

My intention in this column is not to repeat that obit but to ruminate on Frank’s words and also on something that Gleason’s son David is quoted as saying of him : “He was very progressive in the real meaning of the word, the sense that government should benefit citizens.”

Today that “old Boston aristocracy” has almost disappeared. Those not yet born in its last glory days — the 1970s — probably have no idea what I’m talking about. No one uses the term “aristocracy” any more. “Child of privilege” — the term pinned on Jonn Connolly by Marty Walsh’s notorious AFL-CIO fliers — comes closest; yet A “child of privilege” can have parents who were themselves born into no privilege at all. The “Boston aristocracy” propagated its values (and its privilege) for many, many generations, one after another committed to the idea that wealth and privilege can never be their own justification; that being an aristocrat requires a man or woman to dedicate to the common good. The best-known Boston example of that aristocratic commitment is Robert Gould Shaw, son of Beacon Hill Brahmins, who coloneled the 54th Massachusetts Regiment of African-Americans and gave his life leading them into battle. Shaw’s life and death, thanks to the movie “Glory,’ now belong to the ages; but he was hardly the only exemplar, even in his own family : Barney Frank himself won his first elective office, State Representative from aristocratic Ward 5, with sponsorship by such as Shaw’s collateral descendant (by marriage) Susan Shaw Lyman.

There was much to criticize in the ways of the Boston aristocracy as it became defiantly snobby during the 1870s-90s. It was often anti-Semitic and hostile to Boston’s Irish. It was cruel to its own. Boys who could not shape up became “black sheep,” rarely forgiven. Its women had to suffer the unfaithfulness of husbands; many turned to hard liquor and spent days in a drunk. There was much ceremony — tuxedos and ball gowns to be worn — for the invited few, balls to be staged. Just as staged was the aristocracy’s speech. You knew immediately a Boston aristocrat by his or her pronunciations — consciously imitative of titled Britons. There was a list, too, of the accepted. Boston aristocrats proudly kept a copy of the “blue book” — the Social Register — on their desks or coffee tables; in it were the names, addresses, and current life status of those who “belonged.” And there was boarding school for every child — the most aristocratic of these quite consciously toff — a tumble into discipline for discipline’s sake which propagated itself all the way to the 1960, by which date  men like Herb Gleason (and women too) had reached adulthood.

For the majority of us, who were not Social Register, “that government should benefit citizens” was okay enough. It moved men and women to fight for child labor laws, women’s rights, slum clearance, hospital care open to all (there would be precious few Boston hospitals had not its aristocracy donated millions to their founding and expansion), pro bono legal work, libraries and books, the ACLU, racial integration, a city-girding parks system, bequests to the City for public purposes (think the George Robert White Fund), and service on all manner of City Boards. Taking a paid job in Kevin White’s administration, Herb Gleason went further. But so did John Sears — an aristocrat of aristocrats who also ran for mayor in the year that Kevin White won — when he accepted the job of MDC Commissioner. Yet the jobs taken by Gleason and Sears were a kind of civic-minded donation; each could have earned far more money in private law practice than they did as civic administrators.

All of this civic dedication by people born to great wealth or position seems so foreign to how we view the world today. We see people of great wealth now mostly as greedy self-seekers, or as celebrities fronting selfies. We cannot imagine today’s wealthy or famous sitting on library trustee boards, for example, or cleaning up Boston Harbor, or gathering signatures to raise the minimum wage, or protesting vote suppression — as so many did in the 1960s, even. And when we do encounter a “child of privilege” such as John Connolly was dubbed actually taking an interest in reform — in his case, school transformation — we’re not sure what to think.

Today when we hear of “children of privilege” in politics or civic affairs we’re as likley as not to think them out to serve themselves; to “skew the system” in their favor; to disenable, not enable, those in need. Perhaps that is one reason why John Connolly fell short of victory on November 5th. As said the AFL-CIo flier that i have already mentioned : “He’s trying to fool us.” There were plenty of successful people like that back in the day : but in those days they fooled no one — and didn’t try to. Yet always, from the decades of America’s founding right through the 1970s, critical numbers of civic-minded reformers of wealth and standing confronted the self-seekers at all levels. Today, when such a person appears on the urban horizon, he or she should be welcomed.

Civic-minded, progressive reform was never easy even in its aristocratic salad days. Machine politicians and those who kept them going — saloon keepers, contractors, industrialists, stock manipulators, work padrones, even criminal gangs — always pushed back. Only occasionally was urban reform successful. It was spectacularly successful, often, in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and it was, finally, successful, after many failed attempts, in Kevin White’s Boston. Herb Gleason was a large part of that triumph, as were so many people from aristocratic Ward 5 — think Micho Spring,. Kathy Kane, Susan Lyman, Barney Frank, Stella Trafford, John Sears, David Morse, Joseph Lee, Parkman Shaw, Chris Lydon, Oliver Ames, and many many more. Is that spirit having a revival, with John Connolly as its vanguard ? I am hopeful that it will, and that Boston will advance once more, by the commitment to the City’s civic life of many more men and women like Herb Gleason. RIP, Sir.

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere