Globe to co-host first of four ballot debates on Tuesday

The Boston Globe, in conjunction with the University of Massachusetts Boston and WBUR radio, will host the first of its live weekly debates on the four Massachusetts ballot questions from 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, beginning with Question 2 on whether to raise the cap on charter schools.

“Representatives of Great Schools Massachusetts, which advocates raising the cap, and Save Our Schools, which opposes the question, will square off in an hourlong debate,” UMass Boston said in a statement. The event will be held at the university’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies.

Former state representative Marty Walz, currently head of Marty Walz and Associates, will represent Great Schools Massachusetts, while Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson will represent Save Our Schools, according to the statement.


WBUR’s Meghna Chakrabarti and Globe reporter David Scharfenberg will moderate the debate.

The debates will be broadcast live on WBUR radio from the McCormack Theatre on the UMass Boston campus, as well as live-streamed at,, and

Partisans spent sizable sums to shape the state Legislature over the issue, the Globe reported. Two opposing groups in the charter school debate set aside $200,000 each to influence the outcomes of some Democratic primaries.

Debates on the other three ballot questions will be held on subsequent Tuesdays:

■  Sept. 20, Question 3, about regulating the treatment of farm animals.

■  Sept. 27, Question 1, about an additional slots gambling parlor.

■  Oct. 4, Question 4, about legalizing recreational use of marijuana and regulating its sale like alcohol.

“These ballot questions could have — in very different ways — a profound impact on Massachusetts residents,” said Brian McGrory, editor of the Globe. “We think it’s critically important to be part of this effort to help inform voters and thoroughly explore both sides of each issue.”


Nicole Fleming can be reached at