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The Continental Army, which became the U.S. Army, was founded in Cambridge. General George Washington took command here and led the fight for American independence. A century later, the first volunteer company to fight in the U.S. civil war formed here. This war took the nation a giant leap toward racial equality. Just over a century after that, the first legal applications in America for same-sex marriage licenses were issued at Cambridge City Hall, a watershed in the gay rights movement.
In the Vertex case, the press has focused on the competition between Cambridge and Boston. That’s a good thing. Competition sharpens our wits and pushes us to be more competitive. According to economic development theorists, intense local competition is required to make a region become a global powerhouse. We should encourage it. If Boston has made itself more attractive to businesses, then Cambridge should too. This said, to the extent that points are being tallied for regional economic wins, let’s give the greatest credit to those who bring companies into the region, as Cambridge did with Novartis. I will cheer for Boston when it announces that it has brought a million-square-foot technology tenant into the region.
We all know the real threat to our region is places like Shanghai and Dallas. At the recent first-ever joint session of the Cambridge and Boston City Councils, the good folks at Monitor Group and Harvard presented data showing that Massachusetts is losing market share in the fields we are most competitive in. What’s up with that? Let’s get our act together, guys!
We invite innovators and entrepreneurs to come to Cambridge, MA, to collaborate with us to create the innovations that will shape the next century. We are the world’s most innovative city, and we want you to be part of that.
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