July 11, 2023
🥤 It's Tuesday, and we hope you're ready to get your Slurpee on because it's 7-11.
Today's weather: Mostly sunny with possible morning showers. Mid-80s.
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Today's newsletter is 865 words — a 3.5-minute read.
1 big thing: 🕶️ Sunny states are eating our lunch
Why it matters: The pattern is evidence of the growing influence of parts of the country far from New England and New York.
- It's not just about the coasts and the bubbles anymore: Americans are spreading out, physically and economically.
Those six southern states' new muscle is part of a "$100 billion wealth migration" as the U.S. economic center of gravity tilts south, Bloomberg reports.
- The switch happened during peak pandemic. There's no sign it'll reverse.
Zoom in: Massachusetts landed in the bottom five U.S. states for net inbound migration last year, meaning more people leave than move in.
- Even with an annual influx of students and a burgeoning medical and tech economy, Massachusetts' high cost of living keeps people from putting down roots.
- Only Louisiana, Illinois, California and New York saw more people leave.
- Maine ranked fourth for net inbound migration and New Hampshire 17th.
Between the lines: The people who are moving out are among the highest earners, according to a Pioneer Institute study. More than 60% of the wealth Massachusetts lost in 2021 came from those earning $200,000 or more annually.
- The report's authors attribute much of the out migration among the wealthy to the state's tax structure and surtax on incomes over $1 million.
- Lawmakers and Gov. Healey are deliberating over a tax relief package meant in part to keep wealthy families from leaving.
Zoom out: In total, Massachusetts lost around $900 million in adjusted gross income to out-migration in 2012.
- That number nearly quintupled to $4.3 billion in 2021, thanks in part to the pandemic.
By the numbers: Nationally, a flood of transplants helped steer about $100 billion in new income to the Southeast in 2020 and 2021 alone, while the Northeast bled out about $60 billion, Bloomberg writes from IRS data.
The Census Bureau said in May that nine of the nation's 15 fastest-growing cities were in the South.
- Of the nine fastest-growing cities in the South, six were in Texas.
The bottom line: For years, the U.S. population has been trending south and southwest. Now money and economic activity are following, and that's a warning sign for the Bay State's future.
2. 🚦 Sumner slowdown
The Sumner Tunnel has been closed for a week, but this morning could see the heaviest traffic yet navigating into downtown Boston without it.
What's happening: MBTA officials expect more riders mid-week because it has become the most popular time for office commutes due to more flexible schedules.
- So, there will likely be more cars on the road this morning than any day since the Sumner closed July 5.
State of play: Alternate routes from north of the city like the Tobin Bridge and Ted Williams Tunnel were sluggish yesterday morning, with delays around three times as long as normal, according to MassDOT data.
- The MBTA Blue Line, which is free while the tunnel is closed, performed without much delay until late morning yesterday.
- Traffic peaked at 6:30am yesterday.
Be smart: The tunnel is scheduled to reopen at the end of August.
👂 Did you brave Rt. 1 or the Williams Tunnel yesterday? Are you putting off coming into work until the Sumner's back open?
- We want to know your strategies — and traffic horror stories. Reply and tell us.
3. 🔙 Back that Mass. Up: Connolly quits Socialists
🚓 Boston City Council President Ed Flynn wants to meet with Police Commissioner Michael Cox after learning that an officer worked 24 hours straight. This isn't the first time Flynn has raised overtime concerns with Cox. (WBZ News)
A judge declared a mistrial in the case of a Weymouth man accused of killing police officer Michael Chesna and a bystander in 2018. (Herald)
- The jury in Emanuel Lopes' case had been deliberating since June 28.
✌️ State Rep. Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge) quit the local branch of the Democratic Socialists of America before its new leadership could oust him. (Twitter)
- They'd criticized Connolly for supporting mainstream Democrats.
🗳 Marty Walsh, former Boston mayor and ex-Biden labor secretary, is backing John FitzGerald in the District 3 City Council race. This is his first formal endorsement since leaving City Hall. (Reporter)
4. Lunch spotlight: 🌮 Borrachito
Steph here. I recently visited Borrachito Taqueria & Spirits in the Seaport and enjoyed some tacos and drinks.
The intrigue: Borrachito (which means a little drunk in Spanish) is Boston's latest "secret bar."
- The food counter in the front has a large door that leads to a full bar in the back.
What I ate: I had tacos al pastor, as well as pork belly carnitas and bang bang shrimp tacos. They were flavorful.
Yes, but: West Coast transplants should probably take my review with a grain of salt.
- A friend from California reminded me that even the most delicious Boston tacos wouldn’t rank high in Dallas or Los Angeles.
Fresh job openings around town
5. Where's Townie? City Hall Plaza playground
For the second time in "Where’s Townie?" history, none of you guessed her whereabouts correctly.
The answer: The playground at Boston City Plaza.
Flashback: Boston City Hall Plaza reopened in November with a playground, an accessible path and fountains.
Better luck next time.
Deehan wanted to go swimming, but all the rainfall means Dorchester beaches are all crudded up with bacteria.
Steph wants to know if you're actually using Threads.
This newsletter was edited by Emma Hurt and copy edited by James Farrell.