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In closed-door budget process, Mass. House leaders scored big

In closed-door budget process, Mass. House leaders scored big

By Samantha J. Gross and Matt Stout. After months of preaching fiscal restraint, five of the Massachusetts House’s highest-ranking Democrats slipped at least $5 million in earmarks into the chamber’s spending plan in late April, fattening their own districts’ haul far beyond that of most others and almost entirely out of public view.
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Citizens Bank filling a void at Blue Hill Ave. and Morton St.

Citizens Bank filling a void at Blue Hill Ave. and Morton St.

A Citizens Bank branch that opened last fall on a site at Blue Hill Avenue and Morton Street that once featured a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise and then sat vacant for more than a decade was officially welcomed to the neighborhood in a ceremony inside the branch last Friday (Jan. 19).
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Trinity’s project at 150 Centre St. wins BPDA board support

Trinity’s project at 150 Centre St. wins BPDA board support

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) Board voted 4-0 on Thursday night to approve Trinity Financial’s 72-unit affordable rental housing project on the Fitzpatrick Brothers Auto Body site next to Shawmut MBTA station. The unanimous decision to green-light the project came after several years of vigorous opposition from some neighbors and abutters and after concessions from the Trinity team, including downsizing the number of units from its original scale.
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Rep. Holmes rolls to re-election in 6th Suffolk district

Rep. Holmes rolls to re-election in 6th Suffolk district

State Rep. Russell Holmes was re-elected on Tuesday as he dominated his Democratic challenger Haris Hassan Hardaway, winning 75 percent of the vote in the Sixth Suffolk district, which includes sections of Dorchester, Mattapan and Roslindale, and Hyde Park.
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Minority leaders put legislative agenda behind thoughts and prayers

Minority leaders put legislative agenda behind thoughts and prayers

State officials also laid out a legislative agenda for Beacon Hill, including proposals that have been put forward — unsuccessfully — before. One measure, pushed by state Representative Russell Holmes, would decertify police officers who lose their jobs, so that they cannot apply for an opening at another community or on a college police force.
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Diversity Dashboard

Diversity Dashboard

“Today, Massachusetts moves forward with greater transparency that will lead to a better future for the state’s workforce overall,” said State Representative Russell Holmes (D – Mattapan). “It is imperative that the public see the diversity of the hiring, promotions, and terminations of the state’s workforce segmented by department and at every level of government. Aggregating the workforce and comparing the workforce to the state’s population can mask poor hiring and retention performance by department managers. Today’s update to the dashboard lives beyond this administration and will ensure that masking is prevented for years to come.”
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‘Cash for Diabetic Supplies’ signs face the snap of Rep. Holmes’s wire cutters

‘Cash for Diabetic Supplies’ signs face the snap of Rep. Holmes’s wire cutters

State Rep. Russell Holmes (left) and former Boston Police Capt. Haseeb Hosein were out last Friday evening taking down ‘Cash for Diabetic Supplies’ signs on American Legion Highway. Seth Daniel photo
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The Interview: State Representative Russell Holmes

The Interview: State Representative Russell Holmes

The outspoken state representative on what’s rotten on Beacon Hill, running for higher office, and where to find the best Chinese food in Jamaica Plain.
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Cote Village: A Victory for Hope over Blight

Cote Village: A Victory for Hope over Blight

It took political capital and courage to make the costly but necessary investments in infrastructure to help seed housing starts like Cote Village and the mixed-use project now rising from the old parking lot next to the trolley station in Mattapan Square. Thankfully, there are partners in the development community whose mission and purpose align to make difficult projects like Cote Village possible.
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Holmes says House should run differently

Holmes says House should run differently

Trash and grit swirl in the air as the Mattapan Democrat, wearing a gas-powered leaf blower, pushes litter into the path of street sweepers due to arrive later in the day. The weekly chore dates back about 15 years to when Holmes first bought a house and moved to Wellington Hill. “I believe my neighborhood should be clean. I hate coming home to a dirty neighborhood,” Holmes says.
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‘I want this thing to land’

‘I want this thing to land’

Rep. Russell Holmes is ready to start screaming again over police reform bill. Holmes knows the “enormous amount of fire and pressure” now on lawmakers. The state must do something, he said. “Even the folks who have been nervous about that qualified immunity piece are saying we got to go and get some of this stuff done,” said Holmes, the former chairman of the Massachusetts Black & Latino Legislative Caucus.
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