Readers respond to ‘Massachusetts Works’


Last week, the Ideas section focused on what Massachusetts gets right. We explored health care, the judiciary, biotechs, startups and more because we wanted to know: How did we get here, what can we learn from our successes, and what can we teach other states?

We asked our online readers to tell us what they think works especially well in Massachusetts. Here is a selection of the answers, edited for clarity:

‘We value education: not just in spending (great) but we actually value learnedness and respect teachers. And I feel safer here because of gun laws.’

‘MassMOCA. Exemplifies how public investment in the arts can spark economic development.’

‘The history and tourist attractions (beaches, mountains, lakes) that make this area so wonderful to live in.’

‘The air smells better in Massachusetts.’

‘Health care, civility, generally bipartisan.’

‘Massachusetts is so great for the outdoors. Ocean, mountains, forests, lakes, rivers all within easy access and so different each season!’

‘Our Gateway Cities! Designed to support regional economies where residents could live/work/play all in close proximity. Time to reinvest in them.’

‘I moved here six months ago from New Mexico. I love walking down the block to take public transportation every day.’

‘My child with Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) and other needs is thriving in Newton Public Schools. They get inclusion right.’

‘The many regional library systems, in conjunction with the Mass. Board of Library Commissioners — especially the electronic databases.’

‘Your minimum wage, while not the highest, is certainly above many states. I live in Nevada and would welcome such a wage!’

‘I think the health care system in Massachusetts is much better than most. The schools in many towns do need work though.’

‘After 52 years in Massachusetts, and now living in Tennessee for four years, I miss LGBT protections, world class health care, fair minimum wage, legal pot, and concern for the environment.’

‘Paying teachers well and expecting them to be professionals has sent Massachusetts to the top.’

‘What works best? The people. I’ve lived elsewhere; nobody works harder or better.’

We also asked our online readers about what Massachusetts needs to work on. Here are some of the answers, edited for clarity:

‘Public transportation is too limited. It needs to replace the need for cars.’

‘The lack of charging infrastructure [for electric vehicles] is a particular problem. Many people live in buildings where you have to park on the street.’

‘I would love to install solar in my home but can’t afford it, even with state incentives.’

‘Economic inequality within Massachusetts continues to worsen. Massachusetts has one of the largest gaps between those at the top and those at the bottom.’

‘Things that need work: mass transit and racism.’

‘Worst: Traffic light coordination (or is there any?).’

‘We need-more state funding and corporate investment in Western Massachusetts.’

‘We have failed to preserve the precious amount of open space that remains in our state. We allow low density sprawl to prevail.’

‘Massachusetts must do a much better job at investigating and improving the nursing homes which they license! Overworked and understaffed!’