Police, Privatization and Public Data on the Use of Force: A Response to Ferguson

By Pacey Foster.

Recent events in Ferguson, MO, have generated a national discussion about the growing militarization of the police and their accountability to the public for potential abuses of power. While Massachusetts does not have the worst national reputation in this regard, we do have deep and historical reasons to be concerned. Recent claims that some Massachusetts law enforcement agencies are in fact private corporations, and thus exempt from public reporting requirements, should only add to growing public concern.

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From Ally McBeal to The Zookeeper: Can Massachusetts Become Hollywood East?

By Pacey Foster, Stephan Manning and David Terkla.

Hollywood and New York used to be the centers of movie-making in the U.S. This reality is changing as more and more states now attract ‘run-away’ productions from Hollywood. Massachusetts is one of them. After hosting well-known movies and TV shows in the 1990s, such as Good Will Hunting and Ally McBeal, Massachusetts experienced a drop in productions in the late 1990s and early 2000s. To counteract this trend, and to compete with other states that had begun to offer tax incentives to film and television productions, Massachusetts set up its own tax incentive program in 2006. This program has clearly contributed to an increase in the volume of productions and total employment in this sector. According to a study by HR & Associates, the tax credit in Massachusetts generated in 2011 2,220 full-time equivalent jobs and $375 million in state spending that year.* Movies shot in Boston and Massachusetts since 2006 include The Departed, Gone Baby Gone, The Zookeeper, The Town, and The Social Network. But can Massachusetts really grow into a new film production cluster? Can Massachusetts really become Hollywood East?

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