2003 Public Policy Summer Fellows

2003_bagnato.jpgJoshua Bagnato
Graduate Degree:
Boston University, School of Management
Undergraduate Degree: Hamilton College
Areas of Interest: Renewable energy and natural resource protection
Mentor: David Ellis, former president of Museum of Science
Agency: Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
Supervisor: Ellen Roy Herzfelder, Secretary of Environmental Affairs, Stephen Pritchard, Program Director, Office of Public/Private Partnerships and Betsy Shure Gross, Special Assistant for Community Preservation
Project Description: As a Rappaport Fellow, Josh began working for Secretary of Environmental Affairs Roy Herzfelder within the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) in May, 2003. The EOEA is the office charged with managing all of Massachusetts’ state environmental offices. When he arrived the EOEA proposed merging the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) and the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to create a new entity, known as the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

Betsy Shure Gross, then a Special Assistant for Community Preservation at the EOEA, had proposed the formation of a new Office of Public Private Partnerships to support the newly created DCR. In early June, when the merger and subsequent proposal were approved by the legislature, Bagnato was asked by Ms. Shure Gross to submit a plan for this office’s structure. He spent the next six weeks researching and designing this framework. In late July, he formally submitted his proposal to both the Secretary and the transition team, the group responsible for the merger. Many of his ideas from this proposal were announced at an August 18, 2003 press conference announcing the Office of Public Private Partnerships to the public. Bagnato says that during this fellowship, he learned that to achieve change within the public sector, it is important to market your ideas to the constituent base. Since the structure does not allow for vertical communication of ideas from within the agencies, one also needs access to upper management to create change.

2003_chung.jpgEileen Chung
Graduate Degree:
Harvard Kennedy School
Undergraduate Degree: Yale University
Areas of Interest: Crime and criminal justice, domestic violence issues
Mentor: Jerry Rappaport, Chairman of the Rappaport Charitable Foundation
Agency: Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety
Supervisor: Jane Wiseman, Executive Office for Public Safety
Project Description: Eileen provided policy recommendations to revamp the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety’s administration of the federal Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program (Byrne Program). The Byrne Program focuses on violent and drug-related crime and serious offenders. It also focuses on fostering multi-jurisdictional and multi-state efforts to support national drug-control policies. Since then, each state has received an annual Byrne grant, ranging from less than $2 million to more than $50 million, depending on the size of the state, population, crime problems, and a host of other factors. The state’s Executive Office of Public Safety (EOPS) Programs Division, responsible for allocating the Byrne fund, parcels out approximately $10 million annually to the Commonwealth’s subgrantees. Eileen contacted similar program divisions in all 50 states and compiled information based upon the 19 state programs who sent responses regarding tracking progress and financial reporting.

2003_forman.jpgBenjamin Forman
Graduate Degree:
MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Undergraduate Degree: Trinity College
Areas of Interest: Economic development
Mentor: Vivian Li, Executive director for the Boston Harbor Association
Agency: Mayor's Office, City of New Bedford
Supervisor: Michael McCormack, Chief of Staff, City of New Bedford
Project Description: While at the Mayor's office, Ben worked on a plan to revitalize the downtown area of New Bedford. Ben focused on the Greater Boston Satellite Cities (GBSC) and researched what they had to offer in revitalizing downtown areas and increase housing options. The satellite cities can also gain by cooperating rather than competing for economic development. Compared to large cities like Boston, the GBSCs have few resources to devote towards attracting new employers. Since they offer very similar environments to prospective businesses, they are frequently competing with one another by giving away tax incentives. The winning city often gains very little. If GBSCs work together they could market themselves as a group to industry groups. Sharing their resources would allow them to design more sophisticated sales strategies and promote a more unified image of the advantages of the region’s medium-sized cities.

GBSCs can also turn the fact that they have been abandoned by industry into an advantage. The GBSCs are relatively clean and quiet urban environments. They can market this advantage by creating "Green" campaigns. The cities could work together to tailor environmental plans that would generate energy and cost savings for the cities and their residents. These plans could be created by officials from each city working with students studying environmental planning at local universities. Greater Boston is an increasingly expensive area to live and do business. The danger is that the region will suffer as firms seek less expensive business environments. Fortunately there is an alternative vision. The recent recovery of inner-city neighborhoods in places like Boston, Cambridge and Somerville demonstrates that there is demand for dense urban living – demand that far exceeds the available supply. Medium-sized older historic cities offer vital attractive living environments to families and new dense nodes of activity to growing businesses. In order to achieve this vision, local leaders from GBSCs must cooperate and convince powerbrokers beyond their borders that their cities can become ideal destinations.

2003_hall.jpgJennifer (Hall) Orozco
Graduate Degree:
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Undergraduate Degree: Stanford University
Area of Interest: Transportation and development
Agency: Boston Redevelopment Authority
Supervisor: John Dalzell, Planner
Project Description: Jennifer worked at the Boston Redevelopment Authority and focused on city efforts to foster transit-oriented development in Boston. The evolving South Boston Waterfront is perhaps the premier example of current transit-oriented development (TOD) in Boston. As a mixed-use extension of the city center, most of the 1,000-acre waterfront district is within a one-quarter mile walk of the new Silver Line transit service to South Station and Logan Airport. Frequent, high-quality transit and a limited parking requirements for developers has attracted high-end residential, office, retail, and hotel projects. Significant public investments – including a well-planned street grid, new waterfront open space, federal courthouse and convention center – have laid the framework for Boston’s newest pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented district. These TOD successes, however, are not the result of a comprehensive transit-oriented development strategy. The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), as authorized by the Massachusetts Legislature and the Boston City Council, " is responsible for all planning and zoning functions as well as economic and industrial development efforts." Jennifer created a TOD planning overview for the City of Boston. She noted that seven kinds of players are important for transit-oriented development, including different levels of government, developers, community advocates, and regional-planning agencies. She also outlined some possible policy options for the Boston Redevelopment Authority to promote transit-oriented development that can be arrayed along a spectrum ranging from "passive" interventions such as requesting transit- friendly modifications to developer-initiated projects, to the crafting of "active" regulations to support specific TOD goals. The BRA can engage in "proactive" efforts to frame neighborhood and citywide strategic plans according to TOD principles and can even act as a "master developer" issuing requests for proposals for specific city-led transit-oriented developments.

2003_horowitz.gifJake Horowitz
Graduate Degree:
Harvard Kennedy School
Undergraduate Degree: Reed College
Areas of Interest: Crime prevention and enforcement, justice and welfare issues
Agency: Massachusetts Executive Office for Public Safety
Supervisor: Jane Wiseman, Executive Office for Public Safety
Project Description: Jake investigated the issue of disproportionate minority arrests and incarceration in the juvenile justice system.

2003_mun.jpgWynne Mun
Graduate Degree:
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Undergraduate Degree: Yale University
Areas of Interest: Transportation Planning
Mentor: Alex Krieger, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Agency: Office of Commonwealth Development
Supervisor: Anne Tate, Office of Commonwealth Development
Project Description: Wynne researched options for transit-oriented development along the nodes of the MBTA proposed Greenbush line.

2003_pokorny-wilson.gifDiane Pokorny Wilson
Graduate Degree:
Brandeis University
Undergraduate Degree: College of the Holy Cross
Areas of Interest: Families and children in need
Mentor: Charles Baker, CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Agency: Strategic Planning Office, Boston Public Schools
Supervisor: Valerie Edwards
Project Description: Diane developed performance metrics for Boston Public School's developing registration system. Her goal was to identify and define a list of outcomes and indicators that could be used to assess whether the registration process is meeting its goals and objectives.

2003_pollard.gifRebecca (Pollard) Doolin
Graduate Degree:
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Undergraduate Degree: Colby College
Areas of Interest: School reform
Agency: Massachusetts Board of Education
Supervisor: Aundrea Kelly, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
Project Description: During her fellowship she conducted a survey of public college admissions staffs, high school guidance counselors, and other stakeholders about the information gaps between K-12 and preparation for higher education; compiled information about public institution admissions criteria, information about financial aid, and alignment of high school academic standards with college proficiencies. The conclusions were synthesized in a research paper on the barriers facing low-income, minority, and first-generation college goers in Massachusetts.

2003_ravin.jpgAmelia (Ravin) Pellegrin
Graduate Degree:
MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Undergraduate Degree: Emory University
Areas of Interest: Conservation and energy issues
Mentor: Susan Tracy, The Strategy Group
Agency: Planning Department, City of Newton
Supervisor: Juris Alksnitis, Project Coordinator
Project Description: Amelia prepared a draft of an Energy Action Plan for the City of Newton to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support more energy efficient policies. While at the City of Newton she was involved developing and refining a comprehensive energy policy for the City of Newton, Massachusetts. One of the most environmentally-progressive mid-sized cities in the nation, Newton engaged Ms. Ravin to modernize energy policy on a broad scale, coalescing the work of a number of departments, developing consensus across city agencies, involving community organizations, and driving the project to the point of implementation.

2003_rosenfeld.jpgLindsay Rosenfeld
Graduate Degree:
Harvard School of Public Health
Undergraduate Degree: Brown University
Areas of Interest: Health disparities, health promotion and program design, health literacy and violence prevention
Mentor: Ellaine Ullian, President of the Boston Medical Center
Agency: Massachusetts Department of Public Health in the Violence and Injury Prevention Division
Supervisor: Beth Jacklin, Director, Violence and Injury Prevention Division
Project Description: Lindsay focused on two major projects. In one she crafted recommendations for a long-term plan concerning how the Department of Public Health and specifically the Violence and Injury Prevention Division will address youth violence, as well as created plain language, publicly available resources concerning youth violence. In the second project, she revised work plans and wrote memos to facilitate assessment processes in the CARE Communities Project, a demonstration project of localized service networks serving victims and children exposed to violence, and perpetrators of intimate partner violence in four geographic and culturally-based communities in Massachusetts.

2003_weinrobe.jpgZoe Weinrobe
Graduate Degree:
MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Undergraduate Degree: Cornell University
Areas of Interest: Affordable housing, economic/community development
Mentor: Marcia Lamb, Co-director of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
Agency: Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development
Supervisor: Cate Racer, Undersecretary of Housing
Project Description: Zoe conducted a study of affordable housing developments at-risk of losing units due to expiring affordability restrictions; developed a database of department-funded projects to create threshold criteria to analyze future projects.

2003_willingham.jpgSonia Willingham
Graduate Degree:
Suffolk, Sawyer School of Management
Undergraduate Degree: University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Areas of Interest: Juvenile justice and policing, fair housing and gentrification
Agency: Attorney General's Office, Civil Rights Division
Supervisor: Priscilla Duffy, Director, Civil Rights Division
Project Description: Sonia compiled statistical information for annual report and developed brochure and outreach material for the legal outreach program.