2005 Public Policy Summer Fellows

2005_demase.jpgKate Demase
Graduate Degree:
Boston University School of Management
Undergraduate Degree: Wellesley College
Areas of interest: Health policy
Agency: Office of Senator Richard T. Moore
Supervisor: Helen Flaherty, Chief of Staff, Office of Senator Richard T. Moore
Project Description: Kate Demase worked in the office of Senator Richard T. Moore. She focused on two key bills concerning increased access to health care for the uninsured and under-insured in Massachusetts. She analyzed the two bills for content and clarity, and researched possible solutions to gaps in the bills. Ms. Demase also developed an analysis of testimony received during a Health Care Finance Committee Hearing that may be used in redrafts. Finally, she provided recommendations about potential opportunities to implement constituent’s suggestions for the bills.

2005_espejo.jpgDennis Espejo
Graduate Degree:
Boston University School of Public Health
Undergraduate Degree: University of California Los Angeles
Area of interest: Mental health, Medicaid, violence prevention
Agency: Office of Representative Kay Khan
Supervisor: Representative Kay Khan, Massachusetts House of Representatives
Project Description: Dennis Espejo worked in the office of State Representative Kay Khan with a focus on mental health policy. Representative Khan was entering her eleventh year in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and represents the Eleventh Middlesex District which includes Newton. His main project focused on her proposed legislation regarding the mental health needs of minors in the juvenile justice system. Responsibilities included researching policies that have been implemented or were being developed in other states, researching policies or services offered to this population in Massachusetts, assembling background information, developing fact sheets and testimonials, creating press briefings, and meeting with the new Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services. Dennis also researched and created supportive material for health status and services offered to women in prison. Finally, Dennis assisted State Representative Kay Khan to revamp the Mental Health Caucus that she has facilitated in the past.

2005_groll.jpgStephanie Groll
Graduate Degree:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Undergraduate Degree: University of California, Santa Cruz
Area of interest: Transportation, smart growth, cars
Mentor: Fred Salvucci, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Agency: Office for Commonwealth Development
Supervisor: Tad Read, MBTA Transit Oriented Development Coordinator
Project Description: Stephanie Groll worked at the Office for Commonwealth Development (OCD). The Office for Commonwealth Development’s mission is to care for the built and natural environment by promoting sustainable development through the integration of energy, environmental, housing, and transportation investments policies, programs, and regulations. OCD enacts smart growth policies in the agencies directly responsible for the Commonwealth's infrastructure and environment. This office also oversees the executive offices of Housing and Community Development, Environmental Affairs and Transportation and encourages all three offices to work together to create sustainable plans for the Commonwealth. Stephanie’s supervisor was Tad Read who is the MBTA Transit Oriented Development Coordinator for the Office for Commonwealth Development. Stephanie worked on a project to develop and implement new transit-oriented development (TOD) guidelines to be used to grant State bond funds to public entities which follow these guidelines. This project is part of a major new TOD initiative that has been launched by the OCD in partnership with the Executive Office of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Community Development. The new funding program is part of a multi-pronged strategy to spur high quality transit oriented development in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

2005_kwiatowski.jpgJustine Kwiatkowski
Graduate Degree:
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Undergraduate Degree: Middlebury College
Areas of interest: Environmental Issues
Agency: Department of Strategic Planning and Community Development, City of Somerville
Supervisors: Jim Kostaras, Director, Department of Strategic Planning and Community Development and Ezra Glen, Chief Planner, Department of Strategic Planning and Community Development
Project Description: Justine helped the Somerville Department of Strategic Planning and Community Development prepare for the Green Line extension by carrying out two urban planning projects. For the first four weeks of her fellowship, she projected growth scenarios on quarter-mile areas around future subway stops, with special attention to Union Square and the Inner Belt industrial district. The study identified potential development parcels around each stop in order to predict job growth, transit ridership, and tax revenues. Her goal was to help transform the Green Line into an engine of economic prosperity while improving the quality of life and of the environment. The team will present their findings to the State Office of Commonwealth Development in September. The remainder of her summer was spent developing a smart growth scorecard, a new policy that will help the city evaluate whether a proposed project will advance the long-term viability of the community or create negative impacts with little overall benefit.

2005_lee.jpgKai-Yan Lee
Graduate Degree:
MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning/Harvard Kennedy School Dual Degree
Undergraduate Degree: University of California, Berkeley
Area of interest: Labor and off-shore trade
Agency: Office of Senator Jack Hart
Supervisor: Nathan Pham, Legislative Aide
Project Description: Kai-Yan Lee worked this summer at the Office of Senator Hart , who chaired the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technology. Kai-Yan’s project was to work on the draft of the new economic stimulus bill. He met with representatives of the private sector, community organizers, and public officials to solicit their input. He also consulted various legislative caucuses and the Senate President’s office during the legislative process. Kai-Yan drafted memos to analyze the issues, made policy recommendations, and crafted the overall policy framework for the stimulus bill. Some of his recommended policies were included in the Senate version of the bill, and he is eagerly waiting to find out if they will make it to the final bill.

2005_mceachern.jpgConor McEachern
Graduate Degree:
Suffolk Sawyer School of Management
Undergraduate Degree: Bentley College
Areas of interest: Municipal finance, affordable housing, land use
Agency: Budget Office, City of Boston
Supervisor: Christopher Guiliani, Office of Budget Management
Project Description: This summer Conor McEachern worked at the City of Boston’s Office of Budget Management focusing on a report regarding trends and issues in municipal finance. The report and its recommendations were the product of the Municipal Finance Task Force, a group of public, private and non-profit leaders brought together by the Metro Mayors Coalition to review the state-local relationship and the fiscal pressures facing cities and town in the Commonwealth. The City of Boston is member of the Metro Mayor Coalition.

2005_ortizperez.jpgMaria Ortiz Perez
Graduate Degree:
Suffolk University Sawyer School of Management
Undergraduate Degree: Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Mexico City, Mexico
Areas of interest: Economic Development
Mentor: Kathy Kottaridis, Executive Director, Historic Boston, Inc.
Agency: Department of Strategic Planning and Community Development, City of Somerville
Supervisor: Ezra Glenn, Deputy Director, Mayor's Department of Strategic Planning and Community Development
Project Description: Maria Ortiz-Perez worked in the Somerville Mayor’s Office in the Department of Strategic Planning and Community Development laying the groundwork for a Main Streets program in the East Broadway area. Much of her time was spent meeting with the area's diverse community leaders and business owners, as well as preparing for a community meeting with bilingual invitations and outreach on local radio. She also worked for the Director of Planning and Development to recommend future improvements on previous small business assistance programs.

2005_rosan.jpgChristina Rosan
Graduate Degree:
MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Undergraduate Degree: Williams College
Areas of interest: Regionalism and metropolitan coordination
Agency: Metropolitan Area Planning Council
Project Description: Tina Rosan worked at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) on a research project about the intersection of local planning and politics in the I-495 region. Tina interviewed state and local officials and citizens in four towns. She combined these findings with data gathered by the MAPC to form the basis for a future report on the state of local planning in Massachusetts. While at the MAPC, Tina also participated the MAPC's MetroFuture regional visioning project and assisted a study titled the Cost of Sprawl.

2005_sanford.jpgClare Sanford
Graduate Degree:
Harvard Kennedy School
Undergraduate Degree: St. Olaf College
Area of interest: Early childhood education
Mentor: Paul Reville, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Agency: Office of Representative Alice Wolf
Supervisor: Blair Brown, Legislative Aide, Office of Representative Alice Wolf
Project Description: Clare worked in the office of State Representative Alice Wolf (D-Cambridge) on early childhood education issues. Her main project culminated in a report provided to the Commissioner of the newly-created Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. She interviewed several interests groups from a variety of regions and offered recommendations for the structural reorganization of Massachusetts’ Community Partnerships for Children (CPC) program, which distributes funds to over 160 community councils to local 3- and 4-year olds.

2005_shipleydalton.jpgDuncan Shipley Dalton
Graduate Degree:
Harvard Kennedy School
Undergraduate Degree: University of Essex
Area of interest: Crime prevention
Mentor: Jim King, Consultant
Agency: Boston Police Department
Supervisor: Kathleen O'Toole, Commissioner, Boston Police Department
Project Description: Duncan Shipley Dalton worked in the Boston Police Department on a number of projects under the supervision of Commission Kathleen O’Toole. His primary focus was to build a strategy to develop a homeland security component for Boston’s Neighborhood Crime Watch Unit. To achieve this task and to reinvigorate the operation of the unit, he reviewed the work of the Crime Watch Unit and recommended a number of management and organizational reforms. Duncan also worked on number of performance-management issues in the Bureau of Field Services and took part in various strategy meetings with senior department staff to assist in developing the department’s five-year strategic plan.

2005_wang.jpgKristy Wang
Graduate Degree:
MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Undergraduate Degree: Yale University
Area of interest: Housing
Agency: Department of Housing and Community Development
Supervisor: Sarah Young, Deputy Director, Policy Development Department
Project Description: While working in the Policy Development Department of the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, Kristy Wang wrote a portion of the department’s long-term strategic plan. She researched and wrote about barriers to housing development in Massachusetts, such as zoning, education costs, and financial barriers, and she recommended strategies for removing those barriers. These included encouraging communities to implement smart-growth strategies through campaigns and enhanced technical assistance, zoning reform, and education campaigns, as well as compensating communities through state aid for increased school enrollment costs due to new construction.

2005_yeh.jpgYiaway Yeh
Graduate Degree:
Harvard Kennedy School
Undergraduate Degree: American University
Areas of interest: Affordable housing finance, health care finance, public-private partnerships
Mentor: Jim King, Consultant
Agency: Finance Office, City of Somerville
Project Description: Yiaway worked in the City of Somerville's new SomerStat office in the Mayor's office and consulted with the Department of Public Works. The city sought to move its trash services from a line-item expense using property tax revenue, to a resident user fee that captured the actual cost of trash services. Yiaway researched the financing, organizational structure, legal constraints, and made recommendations on how to implement a Pay-As-You-Throw program, based on an activity-based costing analysis of trash services. Mayor Joseph Curtatone of Somerville approved the proposal for a Uniform Container program in the commercial sector and a Basic Service PAYT program in the residential sector, with implementation slated for July 2006. The projected cost savings for the City in the first year of the PAYT program is nearly $4 million.