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    Home page > Economic Justice > Gateway City eligibility

    Gateway City eligibility


    How do we correct the census so we're eligible for millions in grants?

    May 22, 2023: Randolph Town Council discussion of Gateway City Home Rule Petition


26 Current Gateway Cities


Gateway City criteria

    Gateway City is a municipality with these criteria that Randolph meets:
  1. population greater than 35,000 and less than 250,000
  2. rate of educational attainment of a bachelor's degree or above that is below the state average
  3. median household income below the state average
  • ...but the 2020 federal census listed Randolph at 34,984 (sixteen people shy of the cutoff).
  • The federal census under-counted Randolph, if we can fix that.


Correcting the Census?

    Randolph was under-counted by many hundreds of people.
  • How to persuade the Census Bureau?
  • UMass Donahue Institute compared our municipal census with federal census, looking at group homes for people with disabilities, who are consistently under-counted in the census.
  • The UMass Donahue Institute has addressed the population requirement of 35,000 by showing where the Census undercounted by at least 110 people (we only need to show 16!)
  • They prepared their results, but the Census Bureau haven't accepted their results (i.e., they are reluctant to admit that they under-counted by 16 people)
  • And even if the Census Bureau okays it, the Commonwealth has no clear mechanism to add Randolph to the list
  • Associated Press reports that many non-citizens were missed (as Councilor Clerger has noted publicly) but there's no mechanism to fix ANY errors! We could sendin other evidence like that when the Legislature holds hearings later this year.


Legislative Solution

    State Rep. Bill Driscoll, who first notified us about the possibility of Randolph's eligibility in late 2020, suggests that the Legislature could declare Randolph eligible:
  • Town Council passes authorization for Home Rule Petition
  • We send Home Rule Petition to legislature, with a supportive packet from the Donahue Institute and letters of support.
  • We work with legislative delegation to get it enacted (we lobby!)


Criteria 1: Population 35,000

  • Will we send an "info packet" accompanying our Home Rule Petition, demonstrating that we meet all the criteria.
  • The info packet is to make Legislators and the Governor comfortable voting to "deem" Randolph a Gateway City.
  • The UMass Donahue Institute will address the population requirement of 35,000 (sixteen people more than the Census counted) by showing where the Census under-counted.
  • The UMass Donahue report indicates that at least 110 people were missed in "Group Quarters": at least 60 in nursing homes, and at least 50 in group homes.
  • People can add other letters of support demonstrating other sources of under-counting, and other support....
  • Official Census Bureau data:
  • Randolph Profile: https://data.census.gov/profile?g=060XX00US2502155955
  • Statewide profile: https://data.census.gov/profile/Massachusetts?g=040XX00US25
  • Those two profiles are the source of the Criteria 2 & 3 figures below. They also say that Randolph's population in April 2020 was 34,984.
  • The census updated their final totals in 2021 (still an estimate of April 1, 2020 population) and Randolph ended up with 34,995 -- that is only 5 people shy of the 35,000 cutoff!
  • Quickfacts Population estimates base, April 1, 2020, (V2021): 34,995


Criteria 2: Educational Attainment

  • Educational Attainment (Bachelor's degree or higher):
  • Randolph is below the state median for the percentage of adult residents with Bachelor's degrees or above:
  • Randolph: 27.1%
  • Statewide: 46.6%
  • Source: 2021 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates (S1501)
  • Secondary source: "Quickfacts" Randolph-vs-Statewide comparison "Bachelor's degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+" (2017-2021 update):
  • Randolph: 30.5%
  • Statewide: 45.2%
  • The two sources above, both official Census reports, demonstrate that the statistic is "robust" -- as long as you look at this statistic, with updates or not, you get the same results, that Randolph is below the state average. How come? Randolph is a "city of nurses" many of whom get Associate's Degrees -- we're well above the state average there! -- but only BA degrees count in this statistic.


Criteria 3: Household Income

    Randolph is just below the state average for Median Household Income (measured by a 5-year average):
  • Randolph: $73,697
  • Statewide: $89,645
  • Source: 2018 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (S1901)
  • Secondary source: "Quickfacts" Randolph-vs-Statewide comparison "Median household income (in 2021 dollars)" (2017-2021 update):
  • Randolph: $87,869
  • Statewide: $89,026
  • Again, the two sources show "robust" evidence that we meet this criteria. Randolph's income statistics count for the 5-year period including the pandemic, when incomes were volatile. So single-year averages sometimes show Randolph above the state average, as do "family" or "average" incomes. But the census officially uses the 5-year average shown.
  • It's important to look at "median household" incomes, not "family" or "average" incomes. "Average" is impacted by a few very-high-earners, whereas "median" is not. "Average" means "the total of all earnings divided by the number of earners" whereas "median" means "the 50th percentile of earners, so half the people are above and half are below." One guy who wins the lottery for $10 million would push Randolph's average household income up by $1,000, but he would just add a buck to the median household income. The term "median income" is explicitly used by the Census Bureau to avoid ambiguity and avoid the impact by a few very-high-earners.


Brockton has so many great resources

  1. Brockton provides "Free Trees" to residents from a $12 million grant, to plant 20,000 trees within eight gateway cities
  2. Brockton gets a cut of a $1.7 billion program to bring more foot traffic and more small businesses downtown
  3. Brockton offers state tax credits for rehabilitating existing multi-unit residential housing (not property tax credits!)
  4. Brockton trains teachers for bilingual education (like Randolph Community Partnership, but Brockton gets Gateway City grants!)


Benefits of Gateway City status


Attleboro: $2M from MassDevelopment

  • Feb. 2022: Attleboro and 12 other Gateway Cities are poised to reap big benefits from an expansion of the Transformative Development Initiative program.
  • The expansion doubles the size of the program run by MassDevelopment, which currently operates TDI districts in five Gateway Cities, including Attleboro.
  • The expansion will invest $23.7 million in the 12 communities over three years.
  • A funded "TDI fellow" [will result in] technical assistance, grants to support local market development and arts and cultural infrastructure, collaborative workshops, and resources.
  • Link to original article


Brockton schools: $150,000 for bilingual ed

  • Jan. 2020: Brockton Schools awarded $150 Gateway City Grant As Bilingual Hub
  • Grant will help Brockton Public Schools prepare teachers to lead dual language immersion and transitional bilingual education programs.
  • Bridgewater State University will offer four grant-funded courses to Brockton teachers.
  • Brockton Director of Bilingual Education Kellie Jones said, "We've expanded our transitional bilingual education and dual language education programs."
  • Link to original article


Fall River: $290,000 for Career Academy"

  • Two state grants totaling close to $300,000 will enable to the school department to expand opportunities for English language learners and students seeking career paths.
  • The state's Gateway Cities Education Agenda [will provide] $245,000 to support the creation of a five-week intensive summer program centered on English language instruction.
  • An additional grant of $45,000 [will fund Fall River's] plan for the creation of a career academy focused on science, engineering and math.
  • Link to original article


New Bedford: $1M Empowerment for Small Business

  • The "Empowerment Grant for Small Businesses" for businesses registered in a Gateway City
  • Gateway City funding set up the New Bedford Economic Development Council (NBEDC) which now offer $3.3 million in programs for "small businesses and homegrown start-ups."
  • NBForward! program will offer at least 100 grants of up to $20,000 -- along with technical assistance including business planning, resource guidance, and best practices.
  • Link to original press release and grant program


Taunton: $60,000 for "Greening the Gateway Cities"

  • Announcing $825,703 in grants to support tree plantings in five Gateway Cities, [a continuation of] $25 million to support planting nearly 35,000 trees across the Commonwealth.
  • Taunton -- $60,000 to purchase a 500-gallon spray tank, install tree pits, and plant 15 trees in neighborhoods outside DCR's planting zone.
  • City of Fall River -- $99,125 to plant 175 street trees in partnership with the non-profit Fall River Street Tree Planting Program.
  • Groundwork Southcoast -- $15,000 to disseminate literature and social media in the New Bedford DCR tree planting zone.
  • Link to original article


Quincy: Permanent "Greening" city program

  • City of Quincy website: Forestry Division -- they created a city agency with Gateway City funds, to administer local funds
  • Greening the Gateway Cities Program (GGCP) is an urban tree planting program designed to reduce household heating and cooling energy use. The Quincy Natural Resources Department is working closely with DCR to plant trees in our urban forest. A healthy urban forest also cleans the water we drink and the air we breathe, and contributes to neighborhood stability and overall quality of life [especially in neighborhoods with] a larger renter population.
  • Link to original article


Randolph: $$$ for Shuttle Bus?

  • Town Council will soon vote on a Shuttle Bus petition -- how would Randolph pay for that? Gateway City grants are available‚Ķ.
  • MassInc runs "The Gateway Cities Journal" with grant opportunities including this March 15, 2023 article: --"Governor Healey's budget invests in Gateway Cities"
  • "Even smaller cities require frequent and reliable local transit to support intense urban activity without choking on congestion. Governor Healey's budget provides a step in the right direction. Agencies could also seek additional [local transit] resources to expand service from a new $19 million grant program."
  • Link to original article


What you can do

  • Send letters of support with our "Legislative Packet"--(e.g. people who were not counted in census on April 15, 2020)
  • There will be a legislative bill filed; write to our State Reps and State Senators in support
  • There will be a legislative hearing for the bill; you can "testify"
  • Letter of support from organizations that would apply for Gateway City grants (e.g. Randolph Community Partnership could get a bilingual education grant like Brockton got)
  • We'll link to the House Bill after it's filed!


Additional references

Committee to Elect Jesse Gordon, 52 West St, Randolph MA 02368

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