Integrity. Impact. Independence.

Order For a Hearing Regarding Wage Theft At Logan Airport and in The City of Boston

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Docket 0550

WHEREAS: Wage theft is a blight on the Massachusetts economy, with an estimated $700 million stolen from workers statewide annually; andWHEREAS: Low wage, immigrant and limited English proficiency workers in the transportation, service, hospitality, restaurant, and construction industries are vulnerable to and suffer from wage theft; andWHEREAS: Employees of airline contractors including Flight Services and Systems, serving airlines such as JetBlue at Logan Airport, have experienced wage theft at Logan Airport; andWHEREAS: The City of Boston enacted a Boston Jobs and Living Wage Ordinance in 1997 to ensure vendors working on contracts with the city worth at least $25,000 provide a wage sufficient for a family of four to live at or above the federal poverty level; andWHEREAS: Mayor Martin J. Walsh issued a Wage Theft Executive Order in October 2014, to review wage theft complaints in industries overseen [ more ]

Order for a Hearing Relative to Implementation of Chapter 6-8 of the Municipal Code

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Docket 0551

WHEREAS: Residents of the City of Boston have experienced uneven and discriminatory financial practices that impact housing stability, limit financial opportunity, divide community wealth and disproportionately harm low-income residents and communities of color; andWHEREAS: The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was enacted in 1977 to, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, prevent redlining and to encourage banks and savings associations to help meet the credit needs of all segments of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and individuals; andWHEREAS: In 2013, the Boston City Council enacted Chapter 6, Section 8 of the municipal code, which regulates city banking practices and establishes a public commission to oversee city investments; andWHEREAS: The “Invest in Boston” ordinance, originally sponsored by Councilor Felix Arroyo, requires banks and financial interests providing services to the City of Boston [ more ]

Order For a Hearing Regarding Preservation of Historic Boston

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Docket 0552

WHEREAS: Boston is a historic city whose legacy is intimately connected to the foundation of the nation, the industrial revolution, the marine economy, the abolitionist and civil rights movements, and other fundamental chapters of American history; andWHEREAS: Hundreds of sites in Boston, including churches, monuments, forts, wharves and marine areas, open spaces, performance areas, places of business, commercial districts and historic homes are listed on the state and National Registers of Historic Places, designated as City or National Landmarks and showcase the character of the community; andWHEREAS: Beyond its social and cultural importance, Boston’s historical sites are an economic engine for the Commonwealth, providing a key backdrop for the state’s $1.2 billion tourism industry while attracting long-term residents, entrepreneurs and academic institutions to make their home in the City, and providing spaces for small businesses and the local economy; [ more ]

Order For A Hearing To Discuss Services For Persons With Disabilities

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Docket 0517

WHEREAS: According to Boston’s Language and Communications Access program, 12.8% ofBoston residents identify as having at least one disability. This include experiencing difficulties in self-care, hearing, vision, independent living, cognition, and walking;andWHEREAS: The City of Boston has undertaken measures to ensure that persons with disabilitieswill have access to various services, with the Mayor’s Disabilities Commissionfocusing on increasing access to opportunities and promoting equity for those with disabilities; andWHEREAS: The City Council also passed an ordinance establishing language and communication services in 2016, creating the Language and Communications Access program to make sure that all City departments have translation and interpretation services for non- English speaking residents and residents with disabilities; andWHEREAS: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal act that ensures that all disabled people are entitled to the same services as every other American; andWHEREAS: The [ more ]

Order For A Hearing Regarding Biannual Review of The Boston Employment Commission and Boston Residents Jobs Policy

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Docket 0459

WHEREAS: In 1983, Mayor White and the Council enacted the Boston Residents Jobs Policy Ordinance requiring that on any city financed construction project, a minimum of 50% of the work hours trade by trade, be performed by Boston Residents, 25% by people of color, and 10% by women; andWHEREAS: In 1986, Mayor Flynn and the Council amended the ordinance, establishing the Boston Employment Commission to enforce the policy, and boradened the scope of the ordinance to cover private projects of 100,000 square feet; andWHEREAS: In 2017, Mayor Walsh and the Council approved a revised Boston Residents Jobs Policy Ordinance raising the standards for minimum hours worked by Boston workers to fifty one percent; raising the minimum hours worked by workers of color to forty percent; and raising the minimum number of hour worked by women to twelve percent; andWHEREAS: [ more ]

Order for a hearing to discuss ways to support tenants facing eviction and displacement

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Docket 0398

WHEREAS: Boston has one of the most expensive rental markets in the nation, with many longtime residents facing the threat of eviction and displacement from our neighborhoods; andWHEREAS: Recently, the Boston Globe Magazine published an article that highlighted the plight of Boston area tenants who are facing eviction, describing the lack of resources that low income tenants have in fighting their eviction cases in housing court; andWHEREAS: Evictions disproportuinately affect the most vulnerable residents in our City - including low income residents, people of color, immigrants, the elderly - and oftentimes these tenants do not know their rights or have attorneys to represent them when they appear in housnig court to fight their eviction; andWHEREAS: It is noted that having legal representation increases a tenant's chance in staying in their homes, and in San Francisco and New York, legislations [ more ]

Order for a Hearing to Discuss the Senior Home Repair Program and Other Housing Programs

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Docket - 0318

WHEREAS: The City of Boston has a Senior Housing Home Repair Program (the "program") run by the Boston Home Center which works with several neighborhood agencies to assist our seniors with minor to larger repairs to their homes; andWHEREAS: The program can be used to update a kitchen or bathroom, paint the inside and outside of a home, replace a heating system, porch, or roof, or other repairs to make a home more habitable; andWHEREAS: This program is vital to help our senior residents remain in their homes during a time when the City of Boston is experiencing a housing crisis that is discplacing many residents; andWHEREAS: The program may be particularly useful in neighborhoods with high homeowner rates or growing senior populations such as Charlestown, Roslindale, Mattapan and West Roxburry; andWHEREAS: The City also offers housing programs including [ more ]

Order for a Hearing to Discuss the Impact of the Partial Federal Government Shutdown on Boston Veterans' Services and challenges facing Veterans and Military Families in the City of Boston

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Docket 0132

WHEREAS: The partial Federal Government shutdown has placed many Federal services at a standstill across the nation; and,WHEREAS: While the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is not impacted by the partial government shutdown, agencies such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development are affected, possibly delaying needed benefits to our Veterans and Military Families; and,WHEREAS: Veterans and Military Families have proudly served our Country and earned their benefits from our City, State, and Federal Governments; and,WHEREAS: The City of Boston has worked with Federal Agencies in the past though departments such as the Office of Veterans Services in order to empower our Veterans with the information that they need to be educated about the services and benefits they earned; and,WHEREAS: It is critical that all our Veterans and Military Families are guaranteed on-time services and that there is [ more ]

Order for a Hearing Regarding Student Transportation to Boston Public Schools

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Docket 0135

WHEREAS: The City of Boston and Boston Public Schools are committed to securing equitable educational opportunities for all children; andWHEREAS: Members of the public have raised a variety of issues regarding equity in school transportation; andWHEREAS: Student transportation and routes to school are critical components of a student’s success; andWHEREAS: Boston Public Schools’ Transportation staff work under the serious and difficult charge of safely, effectively and fairly conduction students between school, enrichment programs and extracurricular activities and their homes across the city; andWHEREAS: The city has on certain occasions negotiated with the MBTA to supplement the municipal fleet in providing bus service; andWHEREAS: Recent changes in school transportation policy have also directed older students to use public transportation operated by the MBTA; andWHEREAS: At the start of the school year, many of Boston’s families faced difficulty with transportation including [ more ]

Order for a Hearing Regarding Pension Fund Disclosure, Socially Responsible Investment and Reinvestment

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Docket 0136

WHEREAS: The City of Boston has invested billions in retirement funds across thousands of corporate stocks, funds, and currencies in sectors ranging from real estate to fossil fuel energy to defense and security contractors; andWHEREAS: Retirement funds are established to protect the future wellbeing of residents and workers, yet certain investments may frustrate this goal by creating risks to society at large, while other investments may act counterproductively by denying human dignity or profiting from violation of human rights; andWHEREAS: The Boston Retirement Board has a legal and moral obligation to protect City of Boston employees and retirees through fiscally prudent investment; andWHEREAS: The City of Boston and Commonwealth of Massachusetts have in the past divested pensions from socially irresponsible actors when authorized by special statue, including divestment from South Africa during apartheid; andWHEREAS: The state’s Public Employee Retirement [ more ]

Order for a Hearing Regarding a Zoning Amendment To Regulate The Proximity of Certain Businesses to Recovery Facilities

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Docket 1511

WHEREAS: The City of Boston has long established regulations regarding the operation of facilities serving or selling alcohol; andWHEREAS: In 2016, voters authorized the legislation of adult-use cannabis consumption and sale, opening up new business opportunities while obligating municipalities and state agencies to update regulations for agriculture, sale and consumption; andWHEREAS: Many of these businesses play or will play an important role in the city's economy; andWHEREAS: The City and Commonwealth are simultaneously striving to address serious and lasting issues of substance abuse; andWHEREAS: Regulations of locations and use has a role in promoting public health and welfare, a key purpose of zoning; andWHEREAS: City regulation must respect the will of voters who overwhelmingly supported cannabis legislation, and recognized legalization as a social justice and economic issues; andWHEREAS: Text Amendment 432 of the zoning code regulates the proximity of [ more ]

Order for a Hearing Regarding a Biannual Review of the Boston Employment Commission and Boston Residents Jobs Policy

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Docket 1398

WHEREAS: In 1983, Mayor White and the Council enacted the boston Residents Jobs Policy Ordinance requiring that on any city financed construction project, a minimum of 50% of the work hours trade by trade, be performed by Boston Residents, 25% by people of color, and 10% by women; andWHEREAS: In 1986, Mayor Flynn and the Council amended the ordinance, establishing the Boston Employment Commission to enforce the policy and broadened the scope of the ordinance to cover private projects of 100,000 square feet; andWHEREAS: In 2017, Mayor Walsh and the Council approved a revised Boston Residents Job Policy Ordinance raising the standards for minimum hours worked by Boston workers to fifty one percent; raising the minimum hours worked by workers of color to forty percent; and raising the minimum number of hours worked by women to twelve percent; andWHEREAS: [ more ]

Order for a Hearing to acknowledge and discuss the outreach of the Office of Veterans' Services and opportunities & challenges facing Veterans and Military Families in the City of Boston

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Docket 0986

WHEREAS: The City of Boston’s Office of Veterans’ Services continues to advocate for Veterans and Military Families across the City; andWHEREAS: Veterans and Military Families served our Country and have earned benefits from our City, State, and Federal Governments; andWHEREAS: The Office of Veterans Services, in order to empower our Veterans with the information that they need to be educated about their services and benefits, has an outreach program called “Operation Thank a Veteran”; andWHEREAS: “Operation Thank a Veteran” assists all Veterans from our City’s diverse community including Women, Homeless and Disabled Veterans; andWHEREAS: Through the Boston’s Way Home Program and the leadership of Mayor Walsh, the City of Boston has effectively ended chronic Veterans’ Homelessness in the City; andWHEREAS: Despite the City’s commendable work, not every Veteran and Military Family may be aware of the services and benefits [ more ]

Order for a Hearing Regarding Land Disposition and Stewardship

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Docket 0818

WHEREAS: Public land is a public good whose protection and use or disposition should further a greater purpose, such as promoting open space, enhancing cultural activity, creating recreational opportunities or expanding and preserving affordable housing in perpetuity; andWHEREAS: Many City of Boston agencies or quasi-governmental planning and development entities own, lease, and dispose of land to further a variety of purposes, including economic development, promotion of housing, creation of departmental revenue streams, and other uses; andWHEREAS: Currently, the City of Boston lacks a uniform policy for land disposition that would further community-defined priorities, include affordable housing goals that match the community’s needs and provide for the longest term of affordability, and offer the highest level of community resident ownership and control; andWHEREAS: Certain departments in the City of Boston have utilized requests for proposals to include community priorities and [ more ]

Order for a Hearing Regarding Preservation of Historic Boston

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Docket 0774

WHEREAS: Boston is a historic city whose legacy is intimately connected to the foundation of the nation, the industrial revolution, the marine economy, the abolitionist and civil rights movements, and other fundamental chapters of American history; andWHEREAS: Hundreds of sites in Boston, including churches, monuments, forts, wharves and marine areas, open spaces, performance areas, places of business, commercial districts and historic homes are listed on the state and National Registers of Historic Places, designated as City or National Landmarks and showcase the character of the community; andWHEREAS: Beyond its social and cultural importance, Boston’s historical sites are an economic engine for the Commonwealth, providing a key backdrop for the state’s $1.2 billion tourism industry while attracting long-term residents, entrepreneurs and academic institutions to make their home in the City, and providing spaces for small businesses and the local economy; [ more ]

Order for a Hearing Regarding an East Boston Zoning Initiative and Master Plan.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Docket 0720

WHEREAS: The neighborhood of East Boston has long served as a beacon for immigrants, a cornerstone of the marine economy and a portal to the world; andWHEREAS: East Boston is currently experiencing rapid growth, intense development pressures, traffic congestion, and sea-level rise and flooding; andWHEREAS: The City of Boston has set a goal of 53,000 new units of housing by 2030; andWHEREAS: Rents are rising to a degree that threatens the permanent displacement of neighborhood residents while home ownership opportunities are decreasing; andWHEREAS: Traffic congestion, exacerbated further by new development and underfunded public transportation system, is negatively impacting neighborhood quality of life; andWHEREAS: East Boston is lacking a comprehensive, traffic and parking plan, accommodating the need to reduce congestion and vehicle emissions; promote sustainable transportation such as walking, biking, MBTA bus and subway services and an East Boston ferry; [ more ]

Order for a hearing regarding Payment in Lieu of Taxes Agreements with the City of Boston

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Docket 0721

WHEREAS: The city of Boston depends heavily on property tax revenues to fund education, police and fire departments, housing, social services, road plowing and maintenance, and other investments in public goods; andWHEREAS: Nearly half of Boston’s land is tax-exempt, including land owned by educational, medical, cultural and religious institutions, city departments, state agencies, the federal government, and quasi-public organizations such as the Boston Planning and Development Agency and the Massachusetts Port Authority; andWHEREAS: State aid has declined for years and, beyond property taxes, the city has no other major source of tax revenue; andWHEREAS: Many of the large tax-exempt institutions depend extensively on the city’s infrastructure, housing stock, roadways, and social services; andWHEREAS: The City negotiates Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) from several tax-exempt institutions in an attempt to guide them towards paying a fair share and to [ more ]

Order for a Hearing Regarding Adoption of Flexible Payment Plans for Property Tax Arrears

Monday, April 23, 2018

Docket 0626

WHEREAS: The City of Boston has a significant number of low income, elderly and disabled homeowners that have property tax arrears owed to the City; andWHEREAS: It is in the interest of the City to promote housing stability and to address outstanding tax issues in a manner favorable to both community residents and the municipality; andWHEREAS: The City works with homeowners in tax arrears but currently is only able to offer one year payment plans that require a twenty-five percent down payment to address these arrears; andWHEREAS: The interest rate of tax arrears can be as high as sixteen percent; andWHEREAS: The City can adopt more flexible payment plans and the ability to forgive up to 50% of accrued interest pursuant to G.L. Ch 60 & 62A; andWHEREAS: Many other municipalities have adopted these provisions and found them useful [ more ]

Order for a Hearing Regarding the City of Boston Review of Proposed Development Containing Corporate Short Stay, Executive Suite and Short Term Rentals

Monday, March 26, 2018

Docket - 0483

WHEREAS: The City of Boston is undergoing a building boom and surge in population, creating many new challenges;WHEREAS: The City of Boston is also experiencing significant income inequality, displacement and a shortage of affordable and workforce housing;WHEREAS: Boston residents, civic associations and neighborhood groups expect public agencies to steward development review in a response and transparent fashion with binding commitments from developers; andWHEREAS: New development is an essential asset in meeting city housing production goals, expanding the municipal tax base, stabilizing prices and creating thousands of jobs in the construction industry; andWHEREAS: Some developers are seeking review for large scale residential developments and are known to be filling several units with short term rental; andWHEREAS: The City of Boston needs balanced solutions to prevent displacement and encourage growth;THEREFORE BE IT ORDERED, that the appropriate committee of the Boston City [ more ]

Order for a Hearing Regarding the Redevelopment of One Charlestown Project

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Docket 0293

WHEREAS: The Bunker hill Housing Development was built in the 1930s and is not only the largest in the City of Boston but New England; andWHEREAS: When any government agency seeks to provide housing it has a moral obligation to provide safe, clean, sustainable and healthy housing; andWHEREAS: Many of the 1100 units and buildings at the Housing Development lack hot water, clean hallways, modern sustainability measures or adequate safety for residents;WHEREAS: The Boston Housing Authority (City of Boston) has endeavored to redevelop the Bunker Hill Housing Development; andWHEREAS: The redevelopment process and overall project could take over 10 years, is expected to cost approximately $1 billion dollars; andWHEREAS: Due to the sheer magnitude of the project this process and redevelopment will be setting a model locally and nationally; andWHEREAS: Due to the expected costs and expected minimal support [ more ]

Order for a Hearing Regarding Speculation in the Boston Housing Market

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Docket o178

WHEREAS: The City of Boston has adopted the Housing 2030 goal of building 53,000 new housing units by 2030; andWHEREAS: Even as the City has been on track to meet these housing production goals, families are facing fewer and fewer affordable housing options, forcing many to leave Boston, including many families who have called the City home for generations; andWHEREAS: Flipping of residential properties into luxury condominiums or apartments continues to increase prices and decrease affordable housing opportunities; andWHEREAS: According to the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE), Boston ranks third in the nation for cities with foreign investment in its real estate market; andWHEREAS: Short term rentals are becoming a business model for too many property owners to make a maximum profit but functioning like informal hotels, with short term rental occupying all of the housing [ more ]