Mass. Transport Bill Passes House; Progressives and Michigan Fans Upset

Late Monday night, the Louisville Cardinals beat the Michigan Wolverines to win the NCAA Championship. My Twitter feed was filled with commiserating Michigan fans, except for my friend Charlie Ticotsky. Ticotsky, who is the Government Affairs Specialist for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, was following a different double-digit score on April 8, the vote count in the Massachusetts State House in favor of the Transportation Bill.

We learn from WBUR the amount allocated for the bill and that the legislation may be vetoed by the Governor.

A coalition of Bay State organizations pushing for substantial transportation infrastructure investment, called Transportation 4 Mass, has been organizing around the legislation on the #mapoli and #fixingtranspo hashtags.

They were joined by progressive activist organization People For the American Way and the Mayor of Somerville.

Before the vote, Governor Patrick asked State representatives to not legislate a “short term fix,” which received push back from Twitter users upset about the possibility of new taxes to cover the cost.” Today, the Governor started to work on finding middle ground with lawmakers and appeared hopeful that a compromise could be found.

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo was not available for comment on Twitter; he has no account. But here is a picture of him with a horse.

It remains to be seen what the final transportation legislation will look like. But we can safely say that, progressives and transportation investment advocates, like Michigan fans, were hoping for a different outcome Monday night…

Sad Michigan Cheerlead is Sad

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About Erhardt

Erhardt Graeff is a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab and MIT Center for Civic Media, studying information flows across mainstream and social media, and exploring technologies that help entrepreneurs from marginalized groups, especially youth, to be greater agents of change. Erhardt is also a founding trustee of The Awesome Foundation, which gives small grants to awesome projects, and a founding member of the Web Ecology Project, a network of social media and internet culture researchers. He holds an MPhil in Modern Society and Global Transformations from the University of Cambridge and B.S. degrees in Information Technology and International Studies from Rochester Institute of Technology.

2 thoughts on “Mass. Transport Bill Passes House; Progressives and Michigan Fans Upset

  1. I like that you hone in on the wild juxtaposition of issues that Twitter and Facebook streams bring to our lives. And the reminder that if you don’t join the social conversation, you allow others to define your image on your behalf, and that image may just be you feeding horses.

  2. Also interesting that the nuances of the transportation debate don’t really make it to Twitter. I’m interested in the topic but as you noted in class, these tweets don’t really provide much depth.

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