Gateway Cities Report

MassINC and the Brookings Institute released an important report today suggesting the important role that 11 "Gateway Cities" could play in the economic and social future of Massachusetts.

Volunteerism said to be at 5-year low

New data released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of Americans volunteering decreased by over 4 million between 2005 and 2006, the lowest since 2002.

To mark the five-year anniversary of the establishment of the Freedom Corps, President Bush invited scholars and nonprofit leaders to the White House for a discussion on the findings and what they say about the state of civic engagement in America. The speakers included Professor Robert Putnam, who reportedly


suggested the president do more to help get working-class youths involved in volunteering, the political system, and other aspects of civic life.


The nation risks creating a "caste system" if middle-class children are far more engaged than their less affluent peers, [Putnam] said.


Read more: Philanthropy News Digest, Volunteerism Figures Fall to Five-Year Low, Study Finds, 19 February 2007; Chronicle of Philanthropy, Volunteerism Figures Fall to Four-Year Low, Federal Study Finds, 14 February 2007

Posted by Mike

Harvard and the Real World

I was pleased to read on the front page

Actor promotes civics education

Actor Richard Dreyfuss has been vigorously promoting civics education recently, appearing on ABC's Real Time with Bill Maher and lecturing on civics at Oxford University in England.

Governor Creates Public Liason Office

In his second weekly podcast, Governor Patrick announced the creation of a new Public Liaison Office. The Public Liaison Office is intended as a connector between the state Executive and the public. Citizens can contact the Office by clicking the link above or calling 617-725-4005. The Governor has also elaborated on plans to create the Commonwealth Corps, a new statewide volunteer opportunity.

Residents can contact the Public Liaison Office by calling 617-725-4005, or by visiting the new Office's homepage and clicking "contact us online."

Full details on both these programs can be found in the complete press release from the Governor's office, reproduced below.

Posted by Mike


BOSTON—Friday, February 2, 2007—In his weekly podcast airing today, Governor Deval Patrick announced the creation of the Public Liaison Office, the Civic Engagement arm of the Executive Office that will help connect residents across the Commonwealth with each other and with their state government.Read more