What Role Will Second- And Third-Tier Democrats Play In The 2020 Race?
A new Suffolk University/USA Today poll of Iowa Democratic caucus goers has former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren almost tied for first place, with Mayor Pete Buttigieg showing a significant jump to third place and Sen. Bernie Sanders dropping to single digits. The numbers raise questions about the shifting dynamics of the second-tier candidates jockeying for a position beneath the current top two candidates. Meanwhile, third-tier candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who has struggled to poll at 2 percent, gained traction in the headlines after Hillary Clinton’s comments about her on a political podcast last week.

To discuss all this and more, Jim Braude was joined by two candidates running in the Democratic primary for Massachusetts’ 4th Congressional district: Newton City Councilor Jake Auchincloss, and City Year co-founder Alan Khazei. Greater Boston will be joined by the other candidates in that race in the weeks to come.

Sustaining An Emotional Life Line For Those Behind Bars
While conversations about criminal justice reform have gained more traction recently, they generally have focused on issues of reducing the number of people sent to prison or jail. But advocates stress the need to also address conditions for those who are currently incarcerated, both from a concern for human rights, and from a desire to help reduce recidivism upon release. A hearing on Beacon Hill on Tuesday will examine several bills that will seek to increase inmates’ connections with their loved ones so that they have an intact support network to return to, including two bills that would make phone calls to inmates cheaper or free, and another that would loosen restrictions on who can visit inmates.

Jim Braude was joined by Elizabeth Matos, the executive director of Prisoners’ Legal Services, which is supporting the bill, and Ayana Aubourg, the co-founder of a local group for women affected by incarceration, Sisters Unchained, whose father was incarcerated for much of her childhood.

The “Reverse Freedom Riders” Forced North By Southern Segregationists
So-called “sanctuary cities” like New York, Los Angeles and Boston generally protect non-violent immigrants from deportation, and are often targeted by President Trump, who said last year he would support sending undocumented immigrants to such place to “see if they have open arms.” While he hasn’t yet done that, his words did conjure up echoes from the early 1960’s, when, at the height of the civil rights movement, southern segregationists gave African American residents one-way bus tickets to communities in the North. Gabrielle Emanuel has the nearly forgotten story of the “Reverse Freedom Riders.”

IMHO: Getting Schooled
Jim Braude shares his thoughts on some simple changes that would make life better for the nation’s students.