Author: Tom Benner

  • For the GOP, A Roadmap Back From Irrelevance

    For the GOP, A Roadmap Back From Irrelevance

    Republican uber-strategist Karl Rove’s election-night meltdown on live television put a human face on the GOP’s willful self-delusion. Mitt Romney, who didn’t prepare an Election Night concession speech, ran a campaign based on yesteryear’s party values, policies, and worldview. “It’s not a traditional America anymore,” moaned Fox News conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly. The wake-up call […]

  • First Person: A Paper With A Future

    First Person: A Paper With A Future

    Like any good Greater Bostonian, I always dutifully bought each new issue of Spare Change News when it came out every other Friday. Jesse, my Spare Change vendor who sells the paper in Court Square, not too far from the State House in Boston, was a very nice guy. He was big on the mission […]

  • Editorial: Get Smart On Crime

    “Tough on crime” talk might sounds good to legislators who like surefire-sounding answers that sell well to a crime-weary public. Three strikes and you’re out. Lock ‘em up and throw away the key. Build more jails. But even some of the nation’s more conservative states are learning that being “smart on crime” means more than […]

  • Editorial: A work in progress

    No one can argue with the good intentions behind HomeBASE, the centerpiece of the Patrick administration’s “housing first” approach to homelessness. The idea is to move the homeless out of emergency shelters — and costly state-subsidized hotel and motel rooms, which are used in the frequent event that shelters are full — and into permanent […]

  • Affordable Health Care Ruling: Reason for Joy/Reason for Sadness

    A shout of joy. A sigh of relief. A bit of puzzlement. A sense of disappointment. These are all feelings that those who hoped that the Supreme Court would uphold the Affordable Care Act most likely experienced upon hearing of the Supreme Court decision issued on Thursday, June 28, which upheld in part and rejected […]

  • After Sweeps, San Jose Stores Property of Homeless

    More evidence that just chasing away the homeless is bad public policy, from the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/20/us/after-cleanups-san-jose-stores-property-of-homeless.html?_r=1&hp

  • Editorial: Helping People Help Themselves for 20 Years

    A handful of not-so-likely-to-succeed homeless people started a newspaper 20 years ago. They were staying at a homeless shelter in Harvard Square, and they had a dream. A big dream. It was a little crazy. They dreamed about rising above their plight, their misery, their station in life. Staying in homeless shelters, frankly, was a […]

  • 20th Anniversary Gala for Spare Change News – June 21, 2012

    It’s hard to believe, but Spare Change News is all grown up. For the past 20 years, Spare Change News has been empowering persons experiencing homelessness and other forms of social and economic adversity to improve their lives through self-employment. Through the voices of its vendors and the content of its pages, Spare Change has […]

  • Editorial: Not So Fast on New Tax Giveaways

    “I’m not saying fraud is rampant in the program,” Robert DeLeo was quoted as saying recently in the Chelsea Record. “It’s of a small nature, but what we want to do is tighten up the restrictions during the budget process. When we have to cut other programs that are important to us, any time we […]

  • IN BUDGET, STATE EYES WAYS TO REDUCE HOTEL USE FOR HOMELESS FAMILIES

    From State House News Service: By Colleen Quinn STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE BOSTON, STATE HOUSE, MAY 29, 2012…..When House and Senate lawmakers debated the annual budget this year, homelessness – and the question of what to do with the thousands of families living in motels and hotels across the state – took center stage for […]