Thursday, April 2, 2020

Local real estate agent donates 300 Bolocco's burritos to EB Health Center


United Brokers Real Estate Sales Agent Juan Lopera (green jacket) donated 300 burritos to staff at East Boston Neighborhood Health Center on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Also included in the photo is John Pepper (black jacket), co-founder of Boloco, along with two employees.

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center Announcement on Baby Vaccinations


Mayor Walsh announces small business relief fund

New resources created to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 receive immediate capital relief and navigate the evolving financial assistance landscape
BOSTON - Thursday, April 2, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the creation of the Small Business Relief Fund, established to assist Boston's small businesses most directly impacted by closures, policies, or general loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This newly created fund, administered and managed by the Mayor's Office of Economic Development (OED), is designed to quickly and strategically disburse grants to local businesses through a streamlined process that does not require businesses to assume additional debt. The Fund will begin accepting applications on Monday, April 6, 2020. 


"We are committed to helping Boston's small businesses during this unprecedented time by providing strategic, accessible, and critical financial resources to help them stay afloat and pay employees," said Mayor Walsh. "Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the lifeblood of our neighborhoods. As the response to COVID-19 continues to evolve, we want to make this resource as straightforward as possible for business owners and work one-on-one to ensure they have the most up-to-date information on financial assistance available."

The Small Business Relief Fund will be administered through OED's Small Business Financing program, and is funded by a combination of funds from the City of Boston, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and private institutions. Eligible small businesses - a for-profit entity with fewer than 35 employees, and less than $1,500,000 in annual revenue, which is registered and operating in Boston - will apply through a single application and be considered for one of three grants based on the size of the business. Grants can be used to address rent, fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, lost sales, lost opportunities, and other working capital expenses.

The Fund will kick-off with an initial $2 million in resources available to small businesses, which includes city operating funding and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) that the City of Boston receives annually from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funding will also include an additional $50,000 contribution from the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of everyone in Massachusetts and our small businesses have been hit especially hard," said Attorney General Maura Healey. "I thank Mayor Walsh for his leadership and the opportunity to contribute to this fund to assist these businesses during this difficult time. I'll continue to collaborate with my partners in government to help all those affected by this crisis - we will get through this together."

As business owners, employers, and employees navigate an evolving COVID-19-related assistance landscape, OED has created a Financial Relief Handbook and FAQ document, both of which are continuously updated. Small Business conference calls will continue every Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. to communicate policy updates, answer questions, feature relevant City of Boston departments, and troubleshoot the ecosystem of funding available from the state, federal, and private industry. For any business interested in joining these weekly calls, please email smallbiz@boston.gov

OED has created a number of useful guides and resources for businesses impacted by COVID-19 and the Commonwealth's  Non-Essential Services and Stay At Home Order.
  • Open Businesses in Boston: a tool for essential businesses to publicly share that they're open, share gift-card information, and which (if any) delivery/take-out services they use. This guide is available for residents to utilize, and explore what local businesses are open in their neighborhoods. 
  • Support Boston Restaurants: a web page for restaurants to publicly share that they're open, share gift-card information, and which (if any) delivery/take-out services they use. This guide is available for residents to utilize, and explore what local businesses are open in their neighborhoods. 
  • Takeout and Delivery Guidebook: a guide on how to establish food takeout and delivery services now that the City of Boston has lifted licensing regulations. 
  • Small Business Survey: the third of four surveys for small businesses to pinpoint the help and services they need during this time. 
The above resources and more industry-specific guidance are accessible on boston.gov/small-business or under the Local Resources "Economic Development Response" on  boston.gov/coronavirus. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Boston Foundation announces first 15 grants from COVID-19 Response Fund: East Boston group among grantees



Fund has raised more than $2.2 million; TBF donors have granted over $3 million to support COVID-19 efforts from donor advised funds

(BOSTON, March 31, 2020) – The Boston Foundation today announced the first round of grantees from the COVID-19 Response Fund at the Boston Foundation, the community foundation’s effort to raise millions of dollars in support for Greater Boston nonprofits at the front lines of support for thousands of residents feeling the greatest impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Foundation today announces 15 grantees, each of whom will receive a $25,000 general operating support grant. The Foundation is working to award new grants on a rolling weekly basis during the coronavirus crisis, even as large and small donations continue to come in.

“The COVID-19 Fund is designed to be a rapid response solution to the ongoing challenge facing nonprofits who find themselves taxed to provide high levels of service and have been forced to cancel or suspend fundraising events that provide needed operating support,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “The selected organizations are deeply embedded in the fabric of their communities. They inspire us – and we know they are just a sampling of the work we can and must support moving forward.”

The first grantees from the COVID-19 Response Fund include: Agencia ALPHA, Asian Community Development Corporation, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Centro Presente, Inc., Community Servings, Inc., Friends of the Children – Boston, Heading Home, La Alianza Hispana, Inc., Lawyers for Civil Rights, Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, Maverick Landing Community Services, The Record Co., Union Capital Boston, and Violence in Boston. 

“This first group of grantees provide a diversity of leadership, strategy and experience that represents the heart and soul of Greater Boston’s nonprofit community,” said Orlando Watkins, Vice President for Programs at the Boston Foundation. “They are not only doing remarkable work in the region, they reflect the best of the region in all its many faces, as we strive to both address the many needs made evident by the pandemic and foster greater racial equity in Boston.

Eleven of the 15 organizations are headed by women; ten of the 15 leaders identify as people of color. They each work in support of communities of color, immigrants, seniors, children and the homeless, among others. More details of each grantee’s work can be found at the end of this media release.

Fundraising for the Fund has reached well over $2 million, in addition to a seed grant from the Boston Foundation of $250,000. Boston Foundation program staff and a review team led by senior managers and Boston Foundation  Directors have established the grant application and review process and are conducting the ongoing review of applications and selections.

To date, the Fund has received about 400 requests for funding to date; as the fund is considering applications on a rolling basis, eligible nonprofits need only apply once.

Major donors to the COVID-19 Response Fund have included the Nike Foundation, Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, the BJ’s Charitable Foundation, Wells Fargo, Comcast, Plymouth Rock Foundation, and the Tufts Health Plan Foundation. In addition, Boston Foundation donor advised funds have donated well over $3 million to COVID-19 related efforts at nonprofits and foundations, including a $1 million grantmaking effort by the Waldron Charitable Fund.

Grantees List:

Each grantee receives a $25,000, one-time general operating support grant from the COVID-19 Response Fund.
  • Agencia ALPHA: to provide support to 50 undocumented families by providing $500/family, of which many will or have already lost their jobs due to COVID-19
  • Asian Community Development Corporation: to provide financial, nutritional and medical support for elders, as well as support for community members facing racism and xenophobia
  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters: to provide support for their work with homeless youth including distributing food and COVID-19 information via the Mobile Medical Van, in addition to providing overnight shelter, meals, day programming and hygiene products at their shelter
  • Centro Presente: to support for their COVID-19 work with the immigrant community, including undocumented immigrants, by providing information, links to resources and connections to those who can help them navigate issues including immigration assistance, food assistance,  and child care assistance.
  • Community Servings, Inc.: to provide support to distribute medically tailored food to sick and hungry community members.
  • Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath): to provide support for housing and basic needs expenses of their client families in shelters and transitional housing
  • Friends of the Children – Boston: to provide support for wrap-around services for Achievers and their families, including but not limited to: assisting caretakers access medical services, connecting Achievers and families to meal providers and  providing emotional and educational support to Achievers
  • Heading Home: to provide support for emergency responsiveness care for 270 Boston families in their housing (inclusive of 525 children in shelters), and the 200+ chronically homeless Cambridge residents who are supported, many of whom suffer from disabilities and chronic health conditions.
  • La Alianza Hispana, Inc.: to provide 125 low-income elderly Latino immigrants with critical health, educational, and social supports
  • Lawyers for Civil Rights: to support their policy and advocacy work focused on immigration, education, housing, and the Census.
  • Massachusetts Jobs with Justice: to provide financial assistance to undocumented individuals and families who have lost their homes, wages, and/or employment due to COVID-19
  • Maverick Landing Community Services, Inc.: to provide support for COVID-19 response efforts in the East Boston community, including conducting basic needs assessments, distributing hygiene products, sanitizers and food, and producing face masks and shields for healthcare workers
  • The Record Co.: to provide support to the Boston Music Maker Relief Fund to make $200 rapid-response grants to Boston music makers experiencing lost income as the result of  COVID-19
  • Union Capital Boston Inc.: to provide support to distribute $150 gift cards to people in financial need in the Greater Boston area
  • Violence in Boston: to provide support to feed BPS students both lunch and dinner, as well as the collection and distribution of toiletry items and cleaning products for low-income communities in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan.


Monday, March 16, 2020

Building trades unions issue statement supporting Mayor Walsh on construction shutdown

From a press release by 617mediagroup.com

-Brian Doherty, General Agent, Building Trades Unions
“We support Mayor Walsh’s decision to take every step necessary to keep our communities safe. This is a worldwide pandemic and our public health community has made clear that social distancing is the only way to combat this virus. We support Mayor Walsh’s decision to take action and to put the health of the public first. We will be working with our unions and with our contractor partners to make sure every worker is safe and secure, and we are confident that by working together as a community, we will get through this difficult time.”
The Building & Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District represents 35,000 working families in the Metropolitan Boston region. The building trades unions advance social and economic justice by providing family-supporting wages, healthcare benefits and dignified retirement benefits to workers and their families in the construction industry.

The Building and Construction Trades Council, an umbrella group of 20 local construction unions, in partnership with more than 3,300 union contractors, provides the highest standards for workers in the construction industry. It is through collective bargaining and the Labor-Management partnership that workers achieve the highest levels of training, safety and economic security throughout their careers. The Council strives to create a more fair and just environment for all workers in the construction industry.

Source: 617Mediagroup.com


Saturday, March 7, 2020

March 2020 Events at the East Boston Branch Library



Free U.S. Interview Classes
Thursdays, March 19th to June 4th, 5-8 p.m.

Participants will learn the answers to the 100 civic question and learn how to prepare for the reading and writing tests.  The class is in partnership with St. Mark Community Education Program.  Technical and legal help with N-400 application is provided by Project Citizenship.
For more information contact St. Mark Community Education Program, 617-288-8515 or stmarkesol@gmail.com
Register online at: http://bit.ly/StMarksRegistration 


Matt Heaton in Concert
Tuesday, March 24th at 10:30 a.m.

Join us for a performance by Matt Heaton.  Matt’s music mixes surf, American roots and Irish traditional.  For ages 1-5, accompanied by and adult.

Leprechaun Traps
Tuesday, March 17th at 3:30 p.m.

Use recycled materials to build a leprechaun trap.  See if you can catch your very own leprechaun for St. Patrick’s Day. Recommended for ages 5 and up.


East Boston by Map
Thursday, March 19th at 6:30 p.m.

At this event you will explore East Boston history through historical maps, photos & atlases from the BPL archives and beyond! In this class you will also try out a new tool from the Leventhal Map & Education Center called Atlascope for researching historic properties: https://atlascope.leventhalmap.org/

Annual Boston Bruins Pajama Drive at the East Boston Branch Library
February 1st-March 15th

We are teaming up with the Boston Bruins, Cradles to Crayons, and The Wonderfund, a partner of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, to collect pajamas for children in need! You can get involved by bringing new pajamas to the library and donating them to the drive.

Mars Exploration & Settlement 
Saturday, March 28th at 1 p.m.

Did you enjoy the book and film "The Martian", by Andy Weir, about an astronaut alone on Mars? Have you wondered how people might live on Mars? That future is not so far away! This talk will cover the natural resources available on Mars, the chemistry to make use of them, and related topics. Questions and discussion are encouraged. This event is organized by the National Space Society's Space Ambassadors program, which provides educational presentations about the human endeavor to create a future with people working and living in space. More information is at space.nss.org

Remembering the Women of East Boston
Monday, March 30th at 6:30 p.m.

Join us for this slide show on important women of East Boston presented by Maria D’Itria of the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail.  Since 1989, the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail (BWHT) has worked to restore women to their rightful place in the history of Boston and in the school curriculum by uncovering, chronicling, and disseminating information about the women who have made lasting contributions to the City of Boston.The efforts of students and teachers resulted in trails throughout many of our city’s neighborhoods. A group of fifth graders from the Harvard-Kent School and their teachers, Mary Rudder and Maria D’Itria, created an East Boston Trail and named it Remembering the Women of East Boston. Some of the women remembered are Annie Frasier Norton, Harriet and Margaret Curtis, Caroline “Orrie” Orr, and Albenia Martha Boole. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the East Boston Branch Library


Monday, February 24, 2020

Latinx Mother and 15-year-old daughter attacked in Maverick Square

Victims Demand Hate Crime Investigation Against White Assailants

(February 24, Boston, MA) — In an unprovoked attack captured on video, a Latinx mother and her 15-year-old daughter were brutally assaulted by two white assailants because they were speaking Spanish, rather than English, near the Maverick Square public transit station in East Boston on the evening of Saturday, February 15, 2020. 

The mother, Ms. Vasquez, will call for justice at a press conference this morning at 10 AM. The press conference will be hosted by Centro Presente (12 Bennington Street, Second Floor in East Boston), the community organization that referred the hate crime survivors to Lawyers for Civil Rights, which is providing free legal support to the family. 

To date, the Vasquez family has not been notified of any arrests. They still don’t know whether the matter is being investigated as a hate crime. The day of the incident, the Boston Police Department (BPD) arrived at the scene and prepared a report of the attack. The mother and daughter required medical attention. 

However, BPD did not follow-up or formally interview the Vasquez family until legal counsel intervened. Even then, the BPD process has been daunting.

“We were attacked, punched, kicked, and bitten. I’m having nightmares. I’m afraid to take the train to work, and my family is afraid to speak Spanish in public. My daughter is still wearing a neck brace and she’s having trouble sleeping. We are all very shaken,” said Ms. Vasquez whose physical injuries are still visible.

“This family’s experience was not an isolated event; acts of racism and xenophobia are alarmingly common in East Boston,” said Janelle Dempsey, an attorney with Lawyers for Civil Rights, which regularly receives reports from community groups and residents who have experienced hate crimes. “Most of the time, victims and witnesses are reluctant to speak out of fear and trauma. But the Vasquez family wants the police to hold the assailants accountable,” added Attorney Dempsey.

“We are providing vital support to the Vasquez family and to many others in East Boston. People of color and immigrants cannot feel safe when police officers fail to act. We are not second-class citizens. We deserve protection and respect. In a neighborhood such as East Boston, which has seen a spike in hate incidents, immediate and meaningful investigations of hate crimes are critical to deter further threats and violence,” said Patricia Montes, the Executive Director of Centro Presente.  

Centro Presente and other community groups are rallying against hate crimes in East Boston:

“This situation is very concerning: even to ask for police help in Spanish, you have to wait even though this is a neighborhood where many people primarily speak Spanish. There are no appropriate resources for us to know that we will be safe and for us to safeguard our lives,” said Noemy Rodriguez, an active community member, volunteer and organizer in East Boston.

“In the current climate, the streets are dangerous. Far too many people are living in fear. Our well-being and safety are at risk. We need more support from law enforcement officials,” said Luz Zambrano, Co‑Director of the Center to Support Immigrant Organizing, and General Coordinator of the Center for Cooperative Development and Solidarity in East Boston. “Many immigrant residents feel the hostile atmosphere. That is why so many people and organizations are working together to help preserve the diversity and protect the fabric of our neighborhood,” added Ms. Zambrano.

The Vasquez family demands that BPD dedicate all available resources to investigate this urgent matter as a hate crime and to bring all relevant charges—to the fullest extent of the law—against the perpetrators. BPD must also conduct a comprehensive assessment of its procedures for identifying and responding to hate crimes, especially in instances where victims and witnesses are not represented by legal counsel. Increasing the number of police officers who are fluent in Spanish and other languages relevant to the East Boston community would also help support victims and witnesses.

Lawyers for Civil Rights, Centro Presente, and the Vasquez family stand ready to assist law enforcement to stop this wave of hate. We have also turned over to law enforcement a video of this violent hate crime.

A video of the brutality is available here.

Source: Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, Esq. Lawyers for Civil Rights
2/24/2020

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Atlantic Works' Christine Palamidessi to show work in South End's Galatea Gallery: February 5 - March 1

Icons & Talismans

Art inspired by the Byzantine frescos of Puglia, Italy
Christine Palamidessi, Artist
February 5- March 1, 2020
Gallery hours 12-5PM Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Monday 
Galatea Fine Art
450 Harrison Avenue,Boston 02118
617-542-1500




Additional information available at 

Christine Palamidessi
Mass MoCA Artist-in-Residence, 2017
Visiting Artist, American Academy in Rome, 2017
617.460.0550

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

In State of the City Address, Mayor Walsh announces East Boston Transportation Action Committee


BOSTON - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - Building on his commitment to ensuring Boston's streets are safe, equitable and reliable for all, Mayor Martin J. Walsh during his State of the City address tonight announced the creation of an East Boston Transportation Action Committee.

"This year, we will build on our community planning in East Boston, launching a Transportation Action Committee to address the traffic challenges there," said Mayor Walsh. "Transportation is crucial to ensuring our residents can get to their homes, their jobs and their schools, and my Administration will continue working hard to create the best transportation options for residents in Boston. I look forward to working with the East Boston community to make transportation better for all."

Important projects under consideration include improving bus reliability on Meridian Street, designing Bennington Street to be safer and more bike friendly, and re-imagining Day Square with additional public space.

In his speech, Mayor Walsh announced new efforts to reduce congestion and improve in Boston, including launching a Transportation Action Committee in East Boston to address the unique circumstances in the neighborhood. The committee will include local residents, advocates and stakeholders.

Since launching Boston's safety plan, Vision Zero, the City has cut fatalities on Boston roads by half. Mayor Walsh again called for Boston to have a seat on the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board, noting Boston is the largest payer into the MBTA--but doesn't have a voice at the table. In addition to this advocacy, Mayor Walsh urged Boston's partners at the Massachusetts Legislature to take up transportation financing, and enable Boston to use Regional Ballot Initiatives (RBI) to fund its transportation initiatives.

Last year, the Boston Transportation Department resurfaced over 30 miles of roads, repainted over 1,000 crosswalks, rebuilt sidewalks, installed safety signage all throughout Boston, cut the ribbon on North Square in the North End, and broke ground on new streets and sidewalks in Roxbury. The Boston Transportation Department has also worked to improve active transportation options, improving bike connections from Jamaica Plain, Mission Hill, and the South End to downtown. Additional work includes rethinking how our connections operate, designing bridges in Charlestown, South Boston, Hyde Park and Long Island that work for everyone.

In November, Mayor Walsh announced a significant milestone reached on the implementation of the City's Go Boston 2030 transportation plan, with more than half of the 58 projects and policies identified in the plan currently underway. The comprehensive plan was unveiled in 2017 and is designed to provide, by the year 2030, a safe, reliable and equitable transportation system that also supports Boston's climate goals. In just two years, the Boston Transportation Department and its partners have made significant progress on their planning goals, designed to increase safety, accessibility, equity and affordability in transportation for all residents. Twenty-one projects are already in implementation and another 17 are in design.

Source: Mayor's Press Office

Monday, January 6, 2020

Taste of Eastie; The details on the 24th annual showcase of local food

The 24th Taste of Eastie on Thursday, January 23rd, 2020.

East Boston, MA (January 5,2020) – East Boston Main Streets is proud to present the 24th Annual Taste of Eastie on Thursday, January 23, 2020.

Our Charismatic State Rep. Adrian Madaro, is going to be in charge as MC for this special evening, highlighting Eastie’s amazing restaurants.

East Boston Main Streets invites the public to the 24th Annual Taste of Eastie at the Hilton Boston Logan Airport Hotel on Thursday, January 23th 2020 from 6:00-9:00pm.

Food and fun highlight this wonderful evening including raffles and auctions. Over thirty local food merchants will showcase their delicious cuisine, including tastes from South and Central America, the Mediterranean, China, the Middle East, and Italy.

Tickets are $35.00 until 01/22/2020, and can be purchased online at Eventbrite  or in person in our office at 154 Maverick Street, as well as at the Maverick Cafe at 154 Maverick St.

For more details or questions please contact Gladys Oliveros at ebmsgladyso@gmail.com  or at 617-669 2544.

####
EBMS is a non-profit corporation. Its mission is to create a more vibrant business district by initiating private and public improvements, promoting commerce, and supporting efforts to improve the quality of life for all who live, work, and do business in East Boston.

24th Annual Taste of Eastie Set for January 23, 2020


Friday, January 3, 2020

EB Residents Launch Grassroots Campaign for New Ward 1 Democratic Committee

(EAST BOSTON, January 2, 2020) - A grassroots group of civically-engaged residents have started a campaign to elect a new Ward 1 Democratic Committee in East Boston. The group, called “Fresh Slate Eastie,” includes:

Leaders of community organizations such as Airport Impact Relief (AIR) Inc., East Boston Community Soup Kitchen, Eastie Farm, Friends of Belle Isle Marsh, Golden Stairs Imigration Center, Harborkeepers, and What’s Up Eastie?

Representatives from all of East Boston’s neighborhoods including life-long and recently-arrived residents, 5 current Ward Committee members including City Councilor Lydia Edwards, and parents of students attending Boston Public Schools.

The group’s goal is to build a strong, open, and inclusive Democratic Committee. They envision fostering a rich discussion around issues most important to East Boston residents, resulting in greater community voice in city, state, and federal policy. The group’s principles include:


  • Transparency: holding widely advertised Democratic Committee meetings at times and places that maximize involvement from all East Boston residents
  • Diversity and Inclusion: engaging a diverse range of residents and community organizations
  • Community Voice: creating channels for the East Boston community to express its priorities on issues such as housing, transportation, climate change, and education
  • Independence: bringing a new perspective to the Ward Committee
  • Civic Engagement: increasing voter registration and participation in elections
The Ward Committee gives East Boston residents the opportunity to voice concerns by creating forums for conversation with elected representatives, endorsing candidates, and creating opportunities for civic participation. Voters will elect the next Ward 1 Committee during the next Democratic primary election on March 3, 2020.

“We are excited to launch Fresh Slate Eastie. Our goal is to revitalize the policy conversation in East Boston around issues that matter most to residents while creating a more transparent and inclusive Ward 1 Committee,” said Brian Gannon, one of the members of the group.

The following is the complete list of candidates making up the slate: 

Matt Cameron, 
Gabriela Coletta, 
Ben Downing, 
Victoria Dzindzichashvili (DiLorenzo), 
City Councilor Lydia Edwards, 
Margaret Farmer, 
Jo Ann Fitzgerald, 
Brian Gannon, 
Zachary Hollopeter, 
Lisa Jacobson, 
Giordana Mecagni, 
Gail Miller, 
Dionyssios Mintzopoulos, 
Sandra Nijjar, 
Heather O’Brien, 
Ricardo Patron, 
Jesse Purvis.
James Rosenquist, 
Aneesh Sahni, and 
Kannan Thiruvengadam. 

For more information contact: freshslateeastie@gmail.com.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Mayor Walsh celebrates groundbreaking of new East Boston police station on Eagle Hill

The first new police station in ten years, the $29.9 million construction will be located on East Eagle Street

BOSTON - Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, Boston police officers and community members to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new East Boston Police Station on East Eagle Street.

The start of construction on the District A-7 precinct marks a $29.9 million investment in East Boston's community and safety by creating a building to improve the Boston Police Department's operations in the neighborhood, and create a community space. This new police station will be the first complete new station in a decade.

"In Boston, we put our community first, and this new police station is an investment in East Boston, and in public safety," said Mayor Walsh. "This station is our commitment to the next generation. We're dedicated to community policing, and that means interacting with residents, families and youth in a positive way. For our young people, this station is a place where they can learn about a career in law enforcement, join a youth group, or get mentoring. We will continue to invest in our values of trust and community, and create public spaces that help all residents."

As Boston leads in community policing, the city's crime rate is down 25 percent in the last five years. In A-7, major crime is down by 15 percent this year.

"Our officers work hard every day to serve the residents of Boston, creating relationships and ensuring public safety," said Boston Police Commissioner Gross. "I'm proud that my department has won the trust and respect of our residents, and this new building will allow our police officers to do their jobs more effectively, and continue their incredible work and relationships with the East Boston community."

The design and location of the building creates a more efficient 27,000 square foot, three story station, and will be LEED Silver Certified, as part of Mayor Walsh's Climate Action Plan goals.

The new building will include a lobby, front desk and gathering space for the community that holds up to 49 people, a community service office, new fencing, a parking area, pedestrian paths, landscaping, and new site utilities. The station will also contribute to Mayor Walsh's "Percent for Art" program by permanently housing a piece of public art.

The "Percent for Art" program is the City of Boston's five-year commitment to granting $13.4 million to public art pieces over the time-frame. It is a part of the City's cultural plan, Boston Creates, founded in 2016. The allocation of funds for the new police station comes from Mayor Walsh's Capital Plan for fiscal years 2020 to 2024 supported by the Capital Budget.

This is one of several BPD projects that will be funded by the Capital Budget. Public safety and education make up 60 percent of spending in the Capital Plan.

The Boston Police Department and the City of Boston's Public Facilities Department partnered with Leers Weinzapfel Architects and J&J Contractors Inc. to design an efficient and effective, community-oriented police station.

The A-7 police station builds on Mayor Walsh's commitment to investing in community spaces and services for residents in East Boston, and across the city.

In East Boston, Mayor Walsh has dedicated $2.4 million for renovation at Engine 5 for the Boston Fire Department; $8.9 million for the Paris Street swimming pool; $4.8 million for Noyes Park; $1 million for a new senior center at Orient Heights; $3 million for McArdle Bridge; new lights at Memorial Stadium; and resilience upgrades at key points along the waterfront.


 




Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Mayor Walsh signs "An Act to Further Leverage Commercial Development to Build Housing, Create Jobs, and Preserve Inclusionary Development."

BOSTON - Thursday, September 12, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined members of the Boston City Council, community residents and advocates as he signed "An Act to Further Leverage Commercial Development to Build Housing, Create Jobs, and Preserve Inclusionary Development." This Home Rule Petition enables the City of Boston to have more flexibility to fund affordable housing and workforce training through Boston's Linkage program, and will codify the Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) into Boston's Zoning Code to protect the City's ability to create and fund income-restricted housing. Mayor Walsh proposed the Home Rule Petition in January 2019 as part of his 2019-2020 legislative package. Following the signing, the proposal will move to the Massachusetts Legislature for approval. 

"We must use every tool we have to leverage Boston's growth to invest in affordable housing and workforce training for our residents," said Mayor Walsh. "I am proud to sign this legislation that addresses one of our most pressing issues in Boston: building more opportunities for all. I thank the City Council and many advocates for helping us take this critical step forward, and look forward to working with the Legislature to quickly move this bill into law." 



Boston's Linkage program provides funding for affordable housing and workforce training through payments by large-scale commercial real estate development. Under the current law, the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) is only allowed to adjust Linkage every three years based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Currently, commercial developments over 100,000 square feet pay $10.81 per square foot for housing and jobs Linkage. The money collected is made available through competitive funding rounds administered by the Neighborhood Housing Trust and the City of Boston's Office of Workforce Development.  

The Home Rule Petition signed today will allow Boston to make adjustments to the required payment and program guidelines, including annual adjustments, allowing for Linkage to be more closely aligned with the market and offering additional opportunities for the creation of affordable housing and workforce development.

Since 2014, the City has invested $43 million in housing funding from Linkage that it has leveraged for a total of $723 million in additional public funds across 66 developments. Those projects have created 1,546 new affordable units and preserved 749 existing affordable units. Between 2015 and 2016, Linkage helped more than 2,300 low- and moderate-income residents access job training and education programs. After job placement, graduates of the training programs earned an average wage of $15.23 per hour with 72 percent earning benefits as well.

"Housing our communities and preparing residents for economic prosperity are critical priorities for the City of Boston," said City Councilor Lydia Edwards. "This legislation will ensure Boston secures lasting affordability for those who live here today as we plan for growth and development in Boston neighborhoods."

"Throughout the legislative process, my City Council colleagues and I heard from a range of stakeholders who expressed how this Home Rule Petition would be a specific tool to address the housing crisis in Boston," said City Councilor Michael Flaherty. "This legislation will enable Boston to update the Linkage exaction rates on an annual basis to allow for the City to make adjustments based on the realities of the real estate market. Giving the City more flexibility and local control over the exaction rates is especially important so as we continue to go through an  era of rapid growth and development. I join Mayor Walsh and my Council colleagues in advocating to move this bill forward."    

The Home Rule Petition also codifies Boston's Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) into the Boston Zoning Code. Under the current law, IDP requires that developers of buildings with 10or more units seeking zoning relief or building on City of Boston owned land set aside a percentage of their on-site units as income-restricted, create off-site income-restricted units, or make a payment to the IDP fund. As the BPDA completes comprehensive planning in Boston's neighborhoods and updates Boston's existing zoning, more market rate residential projects may become as of right and be exempt from IDP requirements. The Home Rule Petition strengthens Boston's IDP as a strategy to capture affordable housing units and funding from projects which are zoning compliant, expanding the work under Mayor Walsh to create and preserve Boston's affordable housing. 

"Workforce development and economic mobility go hand in hand in helping people achieve economic self-sufficiency," said Joanne Hilferty, President and CEO of Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, which operates MassHire Boston Career Center, and provides job training and career services for 7,500 individuals annually. "We applaud Mayor Walsh and the Boston City Council for their work on strengthening the Linkage Program to create more access to job training and career services for those who need it most."

Since the inception of IDP in 2000, the policy has resulted in 2,706 units of stable, income-restricted housing for moderate- and middle-income families, and $154 million in funding. When combined with other affordable housing resources, this funding has supported the completion or preservation of 2,006 additional units of housing, affordable to very low-, low-, and moderate-income households.

"It is important that the City continues to increase affordable housing options for Boston's households that are rent burdened," said Karen Chen, Executive Director of the Chinatown Progressive Association. "We need to do everything we can to ensure that our low-income residents can remain in their neighborhoods, near their jobs, schools and families. I want to thank the Mayor and the City Council for passing this important home-rule petition and commit that the IDP and Linkage coalitions will work hard to get this bill passed at the State."

The BPDA is currently working with outside consultants, the development community and housing and job advocates to explore policy changes to both Linkage and IDP beyond the legislative changes made in the Home Rule Petition.  

The Mayor's commitment to increasing affordable housing in the City is reflected in Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030, Boston's latest  quarterly housing report, and the City's overall housing goal of 69,000 new units by 2030. These 69,000 new units include 15,820 new income-restricted units, which would elevate Boston's income-restricted inventory total to 70,000, or one in five of all housing units. In addition, the plan set a goal to preserve 85 percent of Boston's most at-risk privately-owned affordable units, and to purchase 1,000 units of rental housing stock from the speculative market and income-restrict them for perpetuity. 

ABOUT MAYOR WALSH'S 2019 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

Mayor Walsh's legislative agenda continues his administration's work to create greater opportunity for all residents, and serves all people of Massachusetts through its focus on equity. The bills are grouped into different categories: housing security and economic mobility, environment and transportation, education, and health and public safety, and are aimed at ensuring Boston and Massachusetts' growth benefits all communities in the Commonwealth. For more information about the bills and to track the City's advocacy, please visit boston.gov/legislativeagenda. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

"Map Fragments" at AtlanticWorks: Opening Reception Sunday, September 8!



Solo exhibition of paintings on folded paper by X Bonnie Woods

Map Fragments

Sept 1-29, 2019

Opening Reception: Sunday, Sept. 8, 4-7pm
Third Thursday party and artist’s talk: Sept. 19, 6-9pm
Gallery Hours: Fridays and Saturdays, 2-6 pm, or by
appointment. (781-426-5827)


X Bonnie Woods is an artist based in Boston and Berlin, Germany. Her works challenge traditional ideas about artistic materials and boundaries. She has exhibited her paintings and photos widely in the U.S. and Europe. 

The paintings are often map-like, and sometimes include hidden elements of language.

The newest series includes “Map Fragments,” her glimpse into the piecemeal and fragmentary way that contemporary Americans have come to view the world.

Woods paints on folded printmaking paper with Sumi, a dense black Asian ink. Large-scale works done outdoors often incorporate rain or snow. 

Relief printing and ink washes dominate. Her playful use of water tension, gravity, and the random effects of weather are important parts of the process.

GOP chairman Jim Lyons to address local Republicans on October 3

1st Suffolk & Middlesex Senatorial District 
Republican Committee Meeting
Thursday, October 3rd @ 6:30 p.m.
American Legion Hall, 249 Broadway, Revere


Before he became the chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party,Jim Lyons, represented the 18th Essex district in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Since his decisive victory for GOP chair last January, Jim has brought new visions to the Massachusetts Republican Party. 

There will be a lot to discuss at the meeting in October, since the Presidential Primary will be held 5 months later, the Republican National Convention 5 months after that, and the Presidential Election on November 3, 2020.

The First Suffolk and Middlesex Senatorial District includes all of Revere and Winthrop, Boston Wards 1 (East Boston) and Wards 3 and 5, and certain precincts in Wards 2, 4, and 5 in Cambridge. At the meeting Republicans will also be filling out nomination papers to be on the ballot to elect ward committees during the Presidential Primary on March 3, 2020.

The meeting will be held at the American Legion in Revere. There is plenty of parking and light refreshments will be served. Local GOP leaders are encouraging anyone that is interested to please contact the State Committeeman or the State Committeewoman


Paul Ronukaitus / ronukaitus@comcast.net
Joyce Kelly / joycemariekelly@gmail.com

Monday, July 22, 2019

City letter to Commonwealth: Rescind Invitation to Bid for McLellan Highway



The following is the text of a letter sent today by Boston's Chief of Streets Chris Osgood to Secretary Stephanie Pollack, regarding the City's feedback on MassDOT's Invitation to Bid for the Railroad  Right of Way off of McClellan Highway. 


Secretary Stephanie Pollack 
Massachusetts Department of Transportation 
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160 
Boston, MA 02116 

July 22, 2019 

Dear Secretary Pollack, 

We write to offer comments and a request with respect to MassDOT’s Invitation to Bid for the Railroad Right of Way off of McClellan Highway. 

As you know, the parcel of land that is the focus of this ITB parallels Route 1A and serves as a buffer between East Boston and Chelsea Creek. Consequently, this parcel presents important transportation and resiliency opportunities -- opportunities we want to thoroughly examine given the growth in East Boston and the region, as well as projections for sea level rise in the harbor. Moreover, as you are probably aware, the BPDA is currently in the process of a community driven, neighborhood-wide plan for East Boston (“PLAN East Boston”), for which transportation planning is a significant component. As written, the ITB does, in part, consider these transportation opportunities, particularly by requiring space for a shared use path and reserving the opportunity for the MBTA to use any future roadway infrastructure. 

We want to ensure, however, that this ITB does not preclude any critical opportunities. Consequently, we ask that you rescind this ITB, so that the State, the City, other municipalities and the community can discuss how this land can best meet our shared goals. 

This will give us the opportunity to engage the community and conduct an analysis on the ability of this land to improve mobility and resilience in the Route 1A corridor and have that analysis and engagement inform the next steps. We understand the effort that has gone into the ITB already by your team, and we will work with you on the next steps for planning and engagement with this parcel. 

We appreciate your consideration of this request. 

Sincerely, 

Chris Osgood Chief of Streets 


More on the Route 1A easement issue at eastboston.com