The MBA hosted its second Gateway Cities forum at the Worcester
Trial Court on April 30.
"We are here tonight to answer the question of 'How can
Massachusetts Bar attorneys assist with the Gateway Cities in
Central Massachusetts,'" said MBA President-elect Robert L.
Holloway Jr. before introducing the event's panel.
All leaders who have long worked with the issues affecting the
state's Gateway Cities, panelists included:
- Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray
- Massachusetts Secretary of Education S. Paul Reville
- Michael F. Collins, MD, chancellor of University of
Massachusetts Medical School and senior vice president for Health
Sciences for UMass
- Massachusetts Sen. Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester
- Massachusetts Sen. Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury)
- Benjamin Forman, research director, MassINC
- Craig L. Blais, president, Worcester Business Development
Sharing the sentiment of panelists to follow him, Lt. Gov.
Murray posed the question of "How do we bring time, attention and
money to his initiative?"
Murray explained that all of the 24 communities that the
Patrick-Murray Administration have identified as Gateway Cities
play a critical role in local and regional economies. These
communities "continue to play an historic role," he said.
Murray pointed to education, infrastructure, housing, economic
development and arts and culture as the aspects needing attention
to improve the livelihood of the Gateway communities.
MassINC Research Director Benjamin Forman commended both Murray
and Reville on their attention to this issue. Forman tailored a
portion of his presentation to Worcester specifically, pointing out
that Worcester, when compared to other Gateway Cities, "has really
stood out in increasing the share of its residents with a college
education." He did note that for the cities collectively, "We need
to have a bigger and bolder" conversation about educational
Forman also pointed to Worcester's City Square project as a
"great example of a city bringing all its resources to bear."
Following brief presentations from the other panelists, the
remainder of the event was devoted to a question-and-answer
The April 30 event followed the success of the MBA's debut forum
in Dartmouth earlier this year. Worcester attorney Francis A. Ford
moderated the event. Ford and Margaret Xifaras chair the MBA's
Gateway Cities initiative.