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George Zimmerman verdict, Voting Rights Act setback confound, disappoint

This summer has been profoundly confounding for me — an emotional and psychological roller coaster. I was honestly stunned by the "not guilty" verdict. I suspected that George Zimmerman would not be convicted of second degree murder in the shooting ...

America’s retirement crisis: growing older and poorer

As more Baby Boomers continue to retire, a new research report has found that the nation is facing a trillion dollar retirement savings crisis. According to the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS), 38 million Americans — 45 percent of ...

The Affordable Care Act: The key to opening up ‘job lock’

There are currently 23 million self-employed entrepreneurs in United States and that number continues to rise. In Massachusetts alone, more than 470,000 self-employed firms are contributing to our economy’s growth and success.

Congress must restore the legislative heart of the Voting Rights Act

The decision in Shelby County v. Holder has my father, a native of Alabama, turning in his grave because The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made this critical right accessible to all citizens and now, with its deeply misguided decision ...

Federal study finds overdraft fees are complex and costly

A new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finds that overdraft fees continue to pose high risks to consumers, despite recent regulatory changes. The report focuses on the dreaded overdraft charge — the fees banks and credit unions ...

UMASS Building Authority elects Philip W. Johnston

University of Massachusetts President Robert L. Caret recently announced the election of Philip W. Johnston as Chairman of the UMass Building Authority Board of Directors.

Community activist Mel King questions new luxury development at former Boston Herald site

When I recently learned about plans for developing the “Ink Block” — so called because the area housed the Boston Herald — I was reminded of when I received a copy of the late Boston Traveler newspaper while attending Claflin ...

Rep. Mel Watt gains bipartisan support to head federal finance agency

President Obama recently nominated Melvin (Mel) Watt, a long-time North Carolina Congressman, to direct the operations of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). While major news media reported on the development, few mentioned exactly what the new job would entail ...

Tougher gun laws needed to combat violence in Boston

In response to letters from three students at the Harbor School in Dorchester, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, a Boston mayoral candidate, shared his thoughts on preventing youth violence. The below is excerpted from Conley’s speech last Saturday ...

Student loan borrowers need flexible payments

Earlier this year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) asked for public comments on private student loan debt affordability. By the April 8 deadline, over 4,300 organizations and consumers answered. The volume of these requests suggests that the more than ...

Racial bias: A dangerous ‘blindspot’ in our society

It is no accident that one of the nation’s leading researchers on implicit bias, Harvard psychology professor Mahzarin Banaji, has titled her most recent book: Blindspot: The Hidden Biases of Good People. She and her colleagues have studied brain architecture, ...

Report: Wealth of Latinos and blacks lags behind whites’

“Less than Equal: Racial Disparities in Wealth Accumulation,” from the Urban Institute’s Opportunity and Ownership project, analyzed data and trends from 1983-2010. Over these years, the average household income of whites remained double that of either black or Latino families. ...

National, state groups push to preserve foreclosure aid

A broad coalition of state and national organizations is pushing to preserve a key federal program that has helped more than 1.1 million troubled homeowners and reduced mortgage payments by a median savings of $546 each month.

Poll finds public support for BPS reform, charter schools

The poll of 445 likely voters sponsored by Education Reform Now, a nonprofit group that supports President Obama’s agenda on education reform, was conducted in February before Mayor Thomas Menino announced he would not seek a sixth term. The poll ...

Black leadership positioned to sway Hub mayor’s race

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s decision to not seek re-election presents a unique and opportunistic occasion for the city’s black community. Not since the mayoral candidacy of Mel King in 1983 has the black community been strategically positioned to sway the ...