Friday, March 29, 2019

Mayor Walsh's column: Celebrating One Boston Day

by Mayor Martin J. Walsh 

Every year on the third Monday in April, tens of thousands of athletes gather in Hopkinton, and begin the 26.2-mile journey to Boylston Street in Boston. All along the Marathon route, spectators cheer on their friends, family members, and complete strangers. It brings our city together like nothing else. That’s why the Boston Marathon is much more than a road race. It’s a celebration of everything Boston stands for -- our grit and heart; our resilience and hope.

In recent years, the Marathon has come to stand for something even bigger. April 15, 2013 left our city reeling -- it was one of our city’s darkest days. But it also showed us the generosity and compassion of everyday people. We came together as one community, as one Boston, and we showed the world what it meant to be Boston Strong. We showed that we would never let the darkness win. And we vowed to take back the finish line.

Over the last six years, we have turned the Marathon into a movement. April 15th will always be One Boston Day. It’s a Citywide day of service, reflection, and healing. It serves as a way to celebrate the resilience, kindness, and strength demonstrated by the people of Boston and around the world in response to the tragedy. We honor those we lost, and those whose lives changed forever, with acts of kindness, big and small. It’s a day when Boston shines brightest. And it’s a tradition that we will continue for years to come.

This year, for the first time since 2013, One Boston Day and the Marathon fall on the same day. It will still be a citywide day of service. I call on everyone to do something good for your community on Monday or the weekend leading up to it. Go to OneBoston Day.Org and tell us what you will do.

This year, we are also finalizing our work on permanent markers on Boylston Street to honor the lives that were lost near the finish line on April 15, 2013. Artist Pablo Eduardo is working closely with families to honor their loved ones in a meaningful way. These markers will reflect our City’s spirit after the tragedy: bent, but not broken.

This remembrance consists of stone markers on two separate sites. Bronze and glass pillars will rise and twist into each other, representing the lives lost. The markers will forever serve as a symbol of hope, representing our city’s resolve. We look forward to their completion this coming summer. 

Until then, please join us in preparing for the fifth annual One Boston day on April 15, 2019. I encourage you to visit, to see the acts of kindness planned by individuals and organizations throughout the city and around the world. Last year, we counted more than 43,000 individual acts of kindness. Bostonians shared their projects on social media, and the hashtag #OneBostonDay was trending nationwide. This year, as we get closer, we’ll be highlighting the projects people are planning. Whether it’s volunteering at a food bank, or helping your neighbor with a household project, there are countless ways to honor this special day. I hope that the stories of others’ actions inspire you to get involved this year, and for many years to come. 

For 123 years, the Boston Marathon has represented the strength of the human spirit. Now, along with One Boston Day and our permanent marker, we will continue to show the world what it means to be Boston Strong.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Councilor Edwards Releases Policy Brief on City Affordable Housing Programs

Report calls for updates to Linkage and Inclusionary Development Programs

Councilors Lydia Edwards, Chair of Boston's Housing and Community Development Committee, has released a policy brief ( on two key city housing programs. Inclusionary Development requires certain developers to produce deed restricted units (for rental units, at up to 70% of the Area Median Income) or pay towards a fund that accomplishes the same purpose, and Linkage (also known as Development Impact Fees) generates funds for the Neighborhood Housing and Neighborhood Jobs Trust.

Boston's inclusionary development and linkage requirements are substantially lower than neighboring communities of Cambridge and Somerville. Inclusionary development in Boston is currently set at 13%, with up to 18% applying in certain areas, while Cambridge and Somerville have adopted 20% inclusionary requirements. In addition, many Boston renters, and Black and Latino households on the whole, tend towards income levels below those required by inclusionary development. Linkage, which in Boston applies to buildings over 100,000 square feet, is currently $10.81 / sq foot with $9.03 for housing. A 2016 "Nexus" study commissioned by the Walsh administration recommended increasing the housing portion to $16.08 - $21.39, depending on exemptions, for a total of $18.07 to $24.04. In January, Councilor Edwards filed legislation to implement the recommendations of the linkage Nexus study.

The report by Councilor Edwards calls for an array of updates to these programs, including:
  • Modeling 20% and 25% affordability standards for inclusionary development in Boston; 
  • Adopting new rental affordability measures to increase the affordability of deed-restricted properties, which may still be out of reach for many Bostonians;
  • Eliminating loopholes that allow developers to avoid affordable housing contribution "triggers," such as building numerous 8-unit or 9-unit buildings when 10-unit buildings are subject to inclusionary requirements
  • Evaluating decisionmaking on inclusionary development, which in most cities is done by the Mayor and City Council as opposed to by a quasi-public entity;
  • Improving data reporting to track beneficiaries of the inclusionary development program to facilitate city's efforts toward advancing racial equity;
  • Clarifying inclusionary development requirements for Planned Development Areas like Suffolk Downs; 
  • Promoting long-term affordability by dedicating a portion of inclusionary development funds to community-owned housing, such as community land trusts;
  • Adjusting Boston's zoning code to automatically update linkage and avert missed opportunities;
  • Updating state law to codify inclusionary development and modernize linkage.

Building for all Bostonians.png  

Table 1: Comparison of Inclusionary Development in Metropolitan Boston Municipalities

Inclusionary %
Unit threshold
13-18%, varies based on zones
10 units or more
Policy; cannot be adopted via zoning article or ordinance
20% citywide
10 units or more
Zoning Act + Ordinance
20% citywide for large developments; 17.5% for 8-17 units; 6-7 units have option of building affordable unit or paying into fund
6 units, 8 units and 18 units each trigger deeper requirements.
Zoning Act + Ordinance
10% citywide
10 units or more
Zoning Act + Ordinance

Table 2: Comparison of Development Impact Fees in Metropolitan Boston Municipalities

$10.81 / sq foot
($9.03 for housing)
First 100,000 square feet
Can ONLY be changed every 3 years per statute, adjusted based on change to CPI.
$15.95/ sq foot, all housing
First 30,000 square feet
Automatically re-evaluated every 3 years; annual increase based on change to CPI.
$12.46 / sq foot
($10 for housing)
First 30,000 square feet
Zoning ordinance requires 2020 study; annual increase based on change to CPI.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Mayor Walsh announces call to artists for permanent public art at new East Boston police station

BOSTON - Monday, March 25, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture, in collaboration with the Boston Art Commission and Boston Police Department, today announced a call to artists to create a permanent piece of public art that complements a new police station in East Boston that was funded through Mayor Walsh's Imagine Boston 2030 Capital Plan.

"Incorporating public art into the construction of this new police station is exciting because it gives us the opportunity to make the building more welcoming, approachable, and reflective of the rich culture in East Boston," said Mayor Walsh. "Through the Percent for Art program, we will continue to make more public art available for people to enjoy all across the City of Boston."

This call to artists is part of the City of Boston's Percent for Art program, announced by Mayor Walsh in 2016, which sets aside one percent of the City's annual capital borrowing as a budget for the commission of public art. The City also has Percent for Art projects underway in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury.

The public art will be placed on the future new Area A-7 Police Station in East Boston, which recently received an investment of $29 million through the Mayor's capital plan for design and construction of a new 27,505 square foot station that will be situated at the intersection of East Eagle and Condor Streets. The new building will be welcoming to the community, while having a civic presence through public art.

"Any opportunity, be it through police work or art work, that allows the men and women of the BPD to expand their capacity to protect and serve our community members while drawing attention to and highlighting the accessibility of our neighborhood police stations, as well as the approach-ability of our hard-working police officers is most certainly a project that we want to participate in and fully support," said Police Commissioner William Gross.

Artists are encouraged to consider three key qualities of the East Boston neighborhood in their applications: its deep history within a wide variety of immigrant communities, its geographic location and how that has put it on the front lines of climate change, and its strong neighborhood identity and close-knit community.

"In a changing, diverse, and growing neighborhood like Eastie, public art can bring people together by communicating at several levels to several folks," said Kannan Thiruvengadam, director of Eastie Farm and an East Boston resident. "It can beautify space, make people stop, see, and wonder, and provoke thought and conversation."

The City has identified several potential sites for the artwork, including the entrance lobby, the community room, and three locations outside of the station. The project is expected to take approximately two years to complete.

A rendering indicating the locations identified as potential sites for the artwork.

This call to artists is open to all artists, artisans, architects, landscape architects, or teams with experience in public art, site responsive design, project management, and construction administration.

"This project is the perfect opportunity to showcase the power public art can have on uniting communities and fostering cross-cultural exchange," said Kara Elliott-Ortega, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. "I look forward to seeing how this project helps us reach a new level of creative problem solving and bridge the gap between law enforcement and local residents."

An Artist Selection Committee comprised of representatives from the Boston Art Commission and local arts professionals representing East Boston will review applications using criteria including experience, past work, knowledge of materials and their durability, experience working with multiple stakeholders, and how well the artist/team responds to the goals and community values outlined in the call.

The deadline to apply for the project is Thursday, April 25 at noon EST. To apply for the project, visit here.

About the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture
The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture's mission is to support artists, the cultural sector, and to promote access to the arts for all. The office houses the Boston Cultural Council, the Boston Art Commission, and the Poet Laureate program. Responsibilities include implementing the City's cultural plan, Boston Creates; commissioning public art, managing the Boston Artist-in-Residence program; curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester. For more information go to:

About the Boston Art Commission
The Boston Art Commission (BAC), an independent board of arts leaders charged with the care and custody of all artworks on City of Boston property, advocates for the creation of innovative and transformative art and promotes its accessibility to enrich the lives of Boston's diverse citizens and visitors. The Art Commission advises, supports, and consults with artists and communities, City departments, and others. It commissions, approves, and conserves the City of Boston's collection of art and historical artifacts. For more information, go to: 


Source: Mayor's Press Office  March 25, 2019; For more information please contact the Press Office at 617-635-4461

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Mayor Walsh announces Lina Tramelli as Neighborhood Liaison for East Boston

BOSTON - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the appointment of Lina Tramelli as the East Boston Neighborhood Liaison within the Mayor’s Civic Engagement Cabinet. Jesús García-Mota who previously held this position will now be Mayor Walsh’s liaison to the citywide Latino community. 

“Lina has a fantastic background in public service and I couldn’t be more excited for her to become the East Boston liaison,” said Mayor Walsh. “East Boston is a neighborhood full of tradition, growth and diversity and I know she will continue to be an advocate for the residents and businesses in East Boston.” 

As the East Boston liaison, Lina will serve as the primary contact for constituents and businesses looking to connect with the Mayor's Office, and will facilitate the delivery of services in collaboration with City departments.

The Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) encourages, facilitates and maximizes citizen input and participation through service requests, neighborhood meetings, mailings and emergency responses. To report non-emergency issues to the City, residents are encouraged to connect with BOS:311 by dialing 3-1-1 or by downloading the free BOS:311 app on iOS or Android platforms. 

“I sincerely want to thank Mayor Walsh for this appointment as his liaison to East Boston,” said Lina. “Since taking office, the Mayor has made sure East Boston receives excellent city services and I very much look forward to continuing that mission and joining his administration” 

Born in Colombia, Lina received her bachelor's degree from the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá. She graduated from Harvard University with a master’s in Liberal Arts last year. 

Lina is a native Spanish speaker and proficient in Italian. In her spare time, Lina enjoys exploring the different cultural institutions in East Boston as well as enjoying the local food scene. She is a resident of East Boston.

Source: Mr. S. Chambers, Mayor's Office 3/20/2019

Mayor Walsh awards 221 Arts Organizations and Projects over $480,000 in Boston Cultural Council Organizational Grants

BOSTON - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, in partnership with the Boston Cultural Council (BCC), have awarded 221 Boston arts organizations and projects Boston Cultural Council organizational grants, totaling $487,000. This marks the City's largest ever investment in local arts organizations, and is part of an effort to bring accessible opportunities to engage in the arts throughout the entire City.  

[Editor's Note: The East Boston Artists Groups, East Boston Friends of the Library and Zumix are among the East Boston grantees for 2019.]

"The organizations that received Boston Cultural Council grants this year demonstrate the enormous power of creative expression, and reflect the cultural vitality of our city," said Mayor Walsh. "I'm eager to see how each organization strengthens Boston's neighborhoods through arts programming in 2019."

Grants of up to $5,000 were awarded to organizations in two categories. Organizations with a budget of less than $1 million received general operating support, and organizations with a budget of over $1 million received project-specific support. In order to be eligible for either award, organizations had to either be based in the City of Boston, or offer programming in the City. The City of Boston contributed $300,000 in funding and the Mass Cultural Council (MCC) contributed $187,000 in funding to the BCC. A total of 244 applications were received.

Organizations were evaluated on a series of criteria, including diversity of the organization, how well they serve historically represented populations, whether they provide public benefit, and whether they meaningfully reflect the goals and ideas of the Boston Creates cultural plan.

Performance by OrigiNation, one of the 2019  Boston Cultural Council grantees

"The support of the Boston Cultural Council is very significant to us, as it represents public investment in the diversity of LGBTQ art," said Harold Steward, Interim Executive Director of The Theater Offensive, a 2019 BCC grantee. "It lends credence to our aesthetic of theater that is by, for, and about Boston residents with a goal of building community and understanding among neighbors by amplifying often untold perspectives and unheard voices. We so appreciate the support of the City of Boston investing public funds in programs like ours that directly support community members."

The selected organizations represent an array of disciplines, including visual arts, theater, film, music, dance, and the humanities. The number of grantees has increased by 40 this year, with 181 organizations receiving BCC grants in 2018. For a complete list of 2019 grantees, visit here.

"Boston is home to so many incredible arts organizations and cultural institutions that work tirelessly to bring opportunities to engage in creative expression to every individual, in every neighborhood," said Chief Kara Elliott-Ortega. "It's great to see Boston provide increased support and resources to these organizations year after year, and witness the impact it has on our local communities."

This year, the BCC developed an equity statement and awarded several organizations with an additional Model Equity Organization award of $5,000 in an attempt to further promote cultural, economic, and racial diversity in the arts. The winners of the 2019 Model Equity Organization award were Urbano Project, Arts Connect International, and BAMS Fest.

Mayor Walsh with Model Equity Organization grantee Marian Taylor Brown of Arts Connect International, and Chief of Arts and Culture Kara Elliott-Ortega

"For ACI the Model Equity Organization award is a beautiful recognition of both the work that we are currently doing, as well as the work that we endeavor to do," said Marian Taylor Brown, Executive Director & Founder of Arts Connect International. "It is particularly significant for us this year as we are running an inaugural Arts Equity Summit March 22nd - 24th where award monies will support the participation of local Artist Fellows attendance. We thank all of the organizations, artists, and individuals who are doing this cultural work around the city, and are especially thankful to the Boston Cultural Council for their leadership in the creation and piloting of this award."

A reception was held Monday at MassArt's Pozen Center to congratulate the 2019 grantees. To learn more about the BCC Organizational Grants, visit  here.

About the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC)
The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture's mission is to support artists, the cultural sector, and to promote access to the arts for all. The office houses the Boston Cultural Council, the Boston Art Commission, and the Poet Laureate program. Responsibilities include leading up the City's cultural plan, Boston Creates; managing the Boston Artist-in-Residence program; curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester.  For more information, click here.

About the Boston Cultural Council (BCC)
The Boston Cultural Council, under the umbrella of the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, annually distributes funds allocated by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, to support innovative arts, humanities and interpretive sciences programming that enhances the quality of life in our city. The BCC is comprised of 15 Boston residents appointed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh to serve for up to six years each. The BCC annually reviews applications during a series of fall meetings conducted to evaluate the overall quality of proposed programming and its potential benefit to diverse audience in neighborhoods throughout Boston. For additional information on the Boston Cultural Council, please visit here.

Source: Mayor's Press Office 3/20/2019