Rep. Cabral, Sen. Downing among speakers at Jan. 26 MBA forum on Gateway Cities

Issue February 2012 By Tricia M. Oliver

The MBA hosted an informational forum on Gateway Cities on Jan. 26 at UMass School of Law in Dartmouth.

The evening event opened with a meet-and-greet reception, which led to an informational forum. Bar, community and legislative leaders who have long worked with the issues impacting the state's Gateway Cities shared their insight. The final leg of the evening focused on pinpointing ways in which the legal community can help address such issues.

Some of the evening's featured speakers included MBA President-elect Robert L. Holloway Jr.; UMass School of Law Dean Michael G. Hillinger; Rep. Antonio Cabral (D-New Bedford) and Sen. Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield), chairs of the Gateway Cities Caucus; representatives from MassINC and UMass Dartmouth's Urban Initiative; as well as other leading voices on the academic, economic and cultural aspects impacting Gateway Cities.

MBA President Richard P. Campbell identified a Gateway Cities initiative as one of his priorities for the 2011-12 association year. He named Margaret D. Xifaras, who practices in New Bedford, and Francis A. Ford, who practices in Worcester, to lead this important effort.

Xifaras and Ford moderated the Jan. 26 forum.

Massachusetts' Gateway Cities are those mid-sized cities whose residents are experiencing significantly higher rates of unemployment and a stalemate in social, economic and civic innovation. Some examples are Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, New Bedford, Springfield and Worcester.

Look for complete coverage of the event in the March issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Journal.