Integrity. Impact. Independence.

Committee on Ways and Means -  BPD

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Among the things Councilor Edwards wanted to know about:Projections for the completion of the new East Boston police stationWith the new Casino opening soon, has BPD been working to increase the police detail in Charlestown and East BostonIn terms of traffic control, does BPD have a plan to have more officers or civilian help in intersections?Does BPD have any new surveillance technology that they wish to disclose? Can they disclose this sort of information in the future if they acquire more of these types of resources?How has the outreach been, from BPD, to the immigrant community (documented and undocumented alike)? Keeping in mind the trust that needs to be had between these communities and law enforcement.Councilor Edwards has mentioned that in Colorado, despite their legalization of marijuana, has seen an increase in arrests related to possession and selling of [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Parks and Recreation

Monday, May 13, 2019

Park Safety, Park Privatization

Councilor Edwards asks about the potential to put up signs in city parks, particularly at picnic tables, that remind people to be considerate of those with allergies (food allergies like peanut allergies) and to wipe down tables once they are done eating. Keep in mind that children with severe allergies might suffer an attack because either they sit at a table that had previously had someone eat allergy-triggering foods or, might also play with kids that ate something that others can be severely allergic to (games that involve touching like tag). This is an issue brought up to the councilor by many parents.In addition, the councilor also brought up concerns around the privatization of parks throughout the city. Keeping things like the Suffolk Downs project in mind, the Councilor wants to ensure that the public will still have the [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT)

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Suggestions for DoIT

In this hearing, the councilor had a few suggestions (Start at: 31:06) for the heads of the Department of Innovation and Technology about ways the city can make it easier for the public to access city resources. Things like: applying for permits, looking for jobs, (etc.). She suggests the creation of a portal (online site/database system), that works and connects residents to all Boston departments, that could serve this purpose. [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Boston Transportation Department

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Will BTD make more of a commitment to parking reform out in East Boston and try to map put new areas for new parking meters, angled parking, and visitor parking?With the encore Casino opening in early June, does BTD believe that the city of Boston is ready for the inevitable upsurge in traffic in the Sullivan Square/Charlestown area? There are concerns with the traffic lights out in Sullivan square not being coordinated well enoughmaking that area more walkableThere has been some discussion about the need for a plan concerning parking and pickup/dropoff areas in the North End. Does BTD have a plan for parking and adding more Pickup/dropoff areas in the North End?Concerning visitor parking and those who are homeless but still have their car, what is BTD's plan for parking permits or passes for these people? [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Department of Neighborhood Development

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

(Concerning Condo conversions) Councilor Edwards asking about the rate of condo conversations and if it's increasing. She asked about the use of luxury funds for housing preservation for 13 A buildings to buy down affordability. Hoping for budget priority and asking if DND has assessed the transfer fee.(concerning housing vouchers) Councilor Edwards is excited for the recent announcement for housing vouchers to be administered by BHA only. BHA capital bonding as a capital investment for $30 million in BHA housing. Proponent in bonding since we have a triple A rating. How can we look at bonding in scale?City-owned land and it's dispersal to developers - Councilor Edwards asked about the process of selling city owned land to private developers. (Concerning HUD Fair Housing requirement) Councilor Edwards introduced a fair housing amendment to Boston's zoning code. She's wonder if [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Public Works Department

Monday, May 6, 2019

Budget season is in full swing! In case you missed it, here is a link to yesterday's budget hearing for the Public Word Department. My questions start at the 1:17 mark and again around 2:16. I ask about issues regarding bridges throughout the district, the need for additional hokies, trash barrels, and resources for community cleanup crews. This is only the beginning of the conversation! I will continue to advocate for resources that will improve the quality of life of District One residents. [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Inspectional Services Department

Monday, May 6, 2019

- Asked Commissioner Christopher about short term rentals. Specifically on the short-term rental registry. Confirmed in late September we can cross check and enforce in our own neighborhoods.- Asked about regulation of dry ice for the North End and the steps the City of Boston can take to move forward on utilizing it for rat abatement.- Looking for a Loftel Hotel update in East Boston. checking in on the receivership or problem property task force idea. How can we enhance or get involved in the problem properties initiative?- Is there anyway to board up the building since there is vagrancy? Commissioner mentioned they are allowed to board up to 8 feet. There is no budget within ISD but will consult another company to do it and put a lien on property to cover cost.- Councilor Edwards asked about the [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - BPS Operations

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Congratulations to My Way cafe in the district. Advocated for the expansion of the program through an equity lens and questioned the timleline of Citywide rolloutChecking in on safety protocols at BPS and safety issues in schools [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - BPS | Academics

Monday, April 29, 2019

How is BPS using the $5Million dollar Title One funds?(conerning the Meta Lawsuit and havign a more robust community involvement) Part of the consent decree is that there will be an annual determination and that the school committee will colllect from each school monetary checklists. Will BPS or has BPS shared that checklist with the Boston City Council?Under order of the budget, expenditures for Chapter One funds must be determined in consultation with the council and with Meta. Have you shared those checklists with Meta and what will be the practice moving forward in sharing those checklists in the future?There has been conversation going on in the community about the East Boston Early Education Center's future and the probability of combining it with the Allen-Gary school. What is Build BPS' future plan for the East Boston Early Education Center? [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means FY20 Budget - BPS/School Budgets

Thursday, April 25, 2019

How does BPS evalutate things like homelessness, displacement, and undocumented immigrant students when weighting schools on the "opportunity index?How his a student identified as homeless?Does BPS' weights, when budgeting, take into account students that are going through displacement issues?Around what time of the year does BPS make decisions on budgeting for Boston's Schools?When was the decision made to cut $1.2 Million from East Boston High?There is a reserve of money that BPS holds for unexpected upsurges in student population in Boston Public Schools (this can be a result from immigrant students arriving in the middle of the school year or Boston resident students leaving charter schools and transfering in to Boston Public Schools).How much is in that reserve?When BPS makes a budget cut to a school, do they study the effects of that budget cut on that school?Things like [ more ]

Resolution Affirming The Rights of Graduate Student Workers to Organize for Fair Working Conditions

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Docket 0679

WHEREAS: Boston College relies upon the labor of student workers to educate its students,assist its faculty, and produce research that increases the global standing of theUniversity; andWHEREAS: On September 12 and 13, 2017, graduate student workers voted to form theirunion, Boston College Graduate Employee Union (BCGEU-UAW), in a fair andopen election; andWHEREAS: Boston College has refused every request by BCGEU-UAW to bargain a faircontract to address the demands of graduate workers at the University; andWHEREAS: No worker can do their job well without fair compensation, sufficient health anddental insurance, and a fair procedure for adjudicating workplace harassment anddiscrimination; andWHEREAS: The faith tradition of Boston College as a Jesuit institution, through CatholicSocial Teaching, strongly supports the dignity of work and the rights of workers,including their rights to organize and join unions; andWHEREAS: In September 2018, Boston College graduate workers exercised [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Assessing Department

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Councilor Edwards' questions to Gayle Willet (33:33):Update on back tax (introduced in an ordinance that was passed last year)Making sure that assessing department is compliant on multi-lingual noticesHow much we have from Massport PILOTsWhy hasn't there been a priority in updating the assessing numbers for non-profit Universities' properties?Will updating those numbers be a priority in the future? [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Budget Overview

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Funding for Boston Students, Evaluating the "Opportunity Index" System, Equity in Student transportation

Overview of Councilor Edwards' Questions for the Super Intendent of BPS:5% of BPS' budget already covers costs for students that are not wihtin the Boston Public School System. This part of BPS' budget primarily goes towards charter schools within the city, which of course has students that live in Boston and neighboring cities/towns.How does BPS ensure that it is not spending too much on students that do not live in Boston?Individual Schools' fundraising and donationsWhen an individual school recieves a donation for whatever purpose it may be (example: someone donates so that the school can mantain its music department) does that school need to report said donation to BPS?Does BPS have any amount of control over how that donation is to be allocated?Does the opportunity index system (more on this below) take into account the ability of an individual [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - Admin and Finance

Monday, April 22, 2019

City Departments' Workplace Culture, Affordable Housing, Parking Revenue

1. (1:50:18) The Walsh administration's Human Resources department is considering hiring a new employee that would oversee diversity trainings and investigations into any workplace hostility relatted to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, (etc.). In this part of the hearing, Councilor Edwards wanted to: get a sense of what the job description for this position would be (getting a little more into specifics, how directly this person would deal with the city departments) and also figure out if the Walsh administration has any plan to ensure accountability both on the Director of Investigations and Trainings and on the effectiveness of any trainings that they implement.2. (1:54:38) With rent prices increasing in the city of Boston, there has been a housing crisis that has mainly been effecting lower income indivduals and families. One particular group at risk are the ones that live [ more ]

Committee on Ways and Means - PFD / Capital Budget

Monday, April 22, 2019

PFD Project Timing, planning, and funding | BuildBPS Planning and Vision

Councilor Edwards' questions for Tricia Lyons (Director of PFD): (Start at: 30:30)Timing for the Paris Street Pool renovations. (when will renovations begin)East Eagle Street police station timing, estimated timing for prequalifications processIn regards to the Animal Shelter program: What is the investment plan? Will any investment go towards renovations of current facilities or construction of new facilities?Is PFD or will PFD look into public-private partnerships for the funding and development for Long Island project? Councilor Edwards' questions on BuildBPS (Start at: 1:26)Is there any testing for lead in the water in school facilities?Does BuildBPS include any plan for the Mel Stillman Tennis Center (Near the Charlestown Rec Center)Concerns about funding distribution for schools within District 1Timing on modular classroom project for the Warren-Prescott school, how much will it costSimilar planning for the Edwards school? [ more ]

Order Regarding A Text Amendment For Boston Zoning Code Relative To Fair Housing And Integrated Communities

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Docket 0647

WHEREAS, On April 11, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, including Title VIII of said legislation, the Fair Housing Act; and,WHEREAS, The Fair Housing Act outlawed discrimination in sale, rental, and financing of housing; and,WHEREAS, Beginning in 1968, federal, state and municipal jurisdictions have recognized the obligation to proactively address, or, as defined in 24 CFR 5.152, affirmatively further, fair housing through meaningful actions that overcome patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities; and,WHEREAS, The City of Boston has committed to the elimination of discrimination, within Chapters 10-3 and 12-9 of the Boston Municipal Code and elsewhere through policy and executive action, and has conducted listening sessions relative to fair housing; and,WHEREAS, The city’s zoning code and development review procedures lack affirmative measures to further fair housing; NOW, THEREFORE BE ITORDERED, That the Boston [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Prayer by Pastor Matt Love of The Church of The Well

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Councilor Edwards was delighted to introduce Past Matt Love from The Church of The Well in East Boston. The Church's mission is to impact the City of Boston spiritually, socially, and culturally. Watch above for the opening prayer and words on how the Church of the Well gives to the City of Boston through its three coffee shops. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Docket #0518 Hearing Order Regarding Enforcement of the Boston Trust Act

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

COuncilor Edwards thanked Councilor Zakim for both his contributions to passing the Boston Trust Act in 2014 and for making sure that when City Council passes an ordinance, one the Mayor signed as well, that the agencies tasked with enforcing them do so. This past hearing on the subject, held with the BPD Commissioner Gross and other present, was not a moment when we blame the BPD. Instead, it was a moment that the Council have the time to ask the important questions. What is the point of the Trust Act is the Boston Police Department admittedly worked with ICE to tell them where a man was so that he could be picked up for deportation proceedings. As a City Council, Councilor Edwards asks if this is in the vain of the Boston Trust Act that was established unanimously. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Docket #0607 A Text Amendment  For Boston Zoning Code Relative To Fair Housing and Integrated Communities

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Councilor Edwards proposed Docket #0607 as a text amendment for Boston zoning code relative to fair housing and integrated communities. April 11th marked the 51st anniversary of civil rights act of 1968. This signature piece of law is also known as a the fair housing act. Passed a week after the death of Martin Luther King Jr., it outlaws discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing. In doing so it paved the way for a society that is more just, fair, and equal. Today, this act protects yoour right to equal tretaemnt in the law in regards to housing. Fair housing actively fights discrimination and systemic injustice. Since its passing at the federal level, states and cities have seen it as a push to increase policies and programs that promote equity. In fiar housing, that term is [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Regarding Councilor Garrison's Proposal on Rent Control

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Councilor Edwards rose to commend Councilor Garrison on her understanding that the question on rent control is rising. Councilor Edwards believes that we do need an adult conversation on rent control. Although she did not sign onto this proposal due to changes in language she would like to see, Councilor Edwards recognizes that this is a needed conversation. The concerns of small property owners relates to Councilor Edwards personally, as she is a small property owner. However, 65% of Boston are tenants, renters. Most Boston renters would want rent control, and most homeowners who would oppose rent control do not live in Boston. Councilor Edwards is not implying that owners living outside of the city should be ignored. She is recognizing our current housing market. Working people cannot afford rent in Boston, so this conversation will happen regardless. Councilor [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Supporting SEIU 509 Demand For A Fair Wage From Northeastern

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Councilor Edwards thanked Councilor Janey for proposing this and the workers of SEIU 509 for making sure that all workers have a voice. Councilor Edwards reiterated that "when workers rise, we rise with them", as the Council did with steel workers. Councilor Edwards stated that "we will fight to make sure they are recognized and valued in the City of Boston" and that the City Council will act as their megaohone to raise workers' voices. Coucnilor Edwards also affirmed that the City Council will not back down. In this case, even against the giant non-profit that is of Northeastern. They are not lacking the funds to pay their workers a fair wage, especially not as they raise tuitions every year. They are a school that teachers about civil rights and workers rights. City Council is simply asking that they [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - The Green New Deal Proposed In Boston By Councilor Wu

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Councilor Edwards rose in support of Councilor Wu and her leadership in bringing the federal discussion of the Green New Deal to Boston. In bringing this discussion to Boston, the Council gets to recognize that the city will face the impact of the action or inaction at the national level. The City of Boston must be preparing for an economy that is green. Councilor Edwards supports this and believes that supporting it as the Council is meaningful. Councilor Edwards stated, in conjunction with past sentiments by Councilor Matt O'Malley, that if we do not push ourselves locally, then we are completely hiding our heads in the sand. Councilor Edwards also addressed Councilor Garrison's concern that pushing the Green New Deal will leave Seniors and their medication behind. To Councilor Edwards, neither is exclusive. Working to ensure a green future [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - April The Month of The Military Child

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Councilor Edwards rose to announce that April is the month of the Military Child. As a Military Child, Coucnilor Edwards jokingly welcomed the Council and Boston to her month. She wanted to acknowledge the kinship that she shares with folks all over the world who are military children. Councilor Edwards acknowledged the veteran serving on the Council, Councilor Flynn, and fellow Military Child and Parent of a child in the military, Councilor McCarthy. She thanked them both for their service. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Proposed Hearing Order Regarding Retirement Age of Boston Police Officers

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Councilor Edwards just wanted to go on the record stating that she has mized emotions about this. Councilor Edwards jokingly expressed that it may be due to her distance from the age of 65, making her bias in her understanding. But also that her knowledge to this point on police resources and personnel in general may have been incorrect. Councilor Edwards believed that we were using retired police officers to fill in detail positions, such as traffic. However, this looks to not have been the case. She is looking forward to the conversation to find out how we can fill the missing positions, like the four positions available for the casino transportation system at Sullivan Square, and use our retired police force. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Report Recommendations on IDP and Linkage Programs

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

In an update on the hearing on the proposed linkage legislation, Councilor Edwards began by thanking everyone who has taken the time to provide feedback and work on this report. The report took time and effort, but it was necessary to summarize the work done and work going forward in the City. Specifically, the report focused on the two tools that the city uses, linkage and IDP, and their functions in promoting affordable housing. Councilor Edwards recommends that these two tools, especially IDP, are adopted into our zoning code. Another recommendation is to grow these programs such that other City Councils are able to directly impact IDP and Linkage in their role in Zoning rules. They also recommend that a reporting track of the beneficiaries of the Inclusion Development Program to monitor the program impacts over time be created. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Docket #0106 Petition for a Special Law Regarding an Act to Further Leverage Comercial Development Build Housing, Create Jobs, and Preserve Development

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Councilor Edwards rose to state that she believed this proposed Docket #0106 Home Rule Petition to the General Law entitled Petition for a Special Law Regarding an Act to Further Leverage Comercial Development Build Housing, Create Jobs, and Preserve Development created a wonderful conversation, one that ties to the linkage proposal she had previously pushed for. The only concerns she expressed during the hearing on the Mayor's proposed Home Rule Petition is that she feels City Council must have a role and be a part of this expansion of opportunity of Boston controlling its own zoning rules. The current version of the legislation does not provide that role for Boston City Council, a necessary amendment. Tied to this is ensuring that IDP becomes a part of our zoning rules, as well. [ more ]

City Council Week- Docket #0582 Hearing Regarding Unreasonable and Excessive Noise Levels in the City of Boston

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Councilor Edwards began by commending Councilor Garrison for her leadership and proposal on this proposal regarding excessive noise in the City of Boston. Being the City Councilor for the North End, East Boston, and Charlestown this proposal hits close to home. Councilor Edwards explained how after every event at the TD Garden people flood into the North End, looking at it as a tourtist attraction and not the neighborhood that it is. That means that the noise level of the drunk adults walking through the neighborhood at night is obnoxious and loud. The other largely impacted community in her district is East Boston. Due to the airplanes flying overhead at night are loud for constituents. This again represents an area where MassPort should be brought into the conversation, considering flight schedules and how noise impacts the quality of life [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Proposed Hearing Order Regarding Vacant Properties in Boston

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Councilor Edwards commended the makers, Councilor President Campbell and Councilor O'Malley, of this proposal on vacant properties. This proposal particularly impacts The Loftel in East Boston, a building that looks like a hollowed-out hotel that is the first thing people driving into East Boston see. It is ugly, with the plastic just flying in the windows, and embarrasing. This sight is not what we want to welcome coming into Boston with. It's owners live outside of Boston and have not felt the need to do anything with their property. They bought it for several million dollars but treat it like it is nothing. They have also stood in the way of any attempt to better the building, claiming that the cellphone companies who have towers on the building are stooping them. This just creates finger-pointing. However, at the end [ more ]

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 ]

City Council Weekly Meeting: Regarding the Home Rule Petition For A “Special Law RE: An Act Authorizing the City of Boston To Establish An Investor And Commercial Properties Transfer Fee"

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Councilor Edwards rose to comment on the hearing for docket 0187, regarding the establishment of investor and commercial properties tax fees. Councilor Edwards believed that the hearing was a spirited conversation with many passionate people who want to ensure that we have the resources in Boston to prevent displacement. What was left unanswered is the price tag to ensure that Boston is an affordable city for people of all socioeconomic statuses. That price tag is something the city must provide. The Councilor stated that considering the linkage fees the city is currently receiving, there are not enough resources to ensure that Boston can build a middle class city. Docket 0187’s proposed tax fees could bring in over $4million. This money can be used for subsidizing programs, homeowner assistance, and investing and purchasing buildings at market rates. The city currently [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting: Order For A Hearing Regarding Wage Theft At Logan Airport And In the City of Boston

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Speaking on how the City of Boston has a core mission to ensure that our employees are paid a living wage as we fight for workers and working families, Councilor Edwards presented an order for a hearing, docket 0550, to support airport workers against wage theft. MassPort is one of the largest entities and employers in Boston. They have a role to play when their subcontractors do not pay their workers. MassPort is aware of this. Two subcontractors, ReadyJet and FSS, have been documented for stealing worker’s wages, sexual assault, and union intimidation. This makes workers feel unsafe and disrespected at work at JetBlue and MassPort. Councilor Edwards did recognize that MassPort complies with ordinances, when it sees fit. MassPort has a role to play to provide “equity, fairness, and good jobs” in the City of Boston. This hearing [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting: Order For A Hearing Regarding Implementation of Chapter 6-8 of the Municipal Code

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Councilor Edwards proposed docket 0551, an order for a hearing regarding implementation of municipal code in response to a recent hearing about divestment of retirement funds. Shortly thereafter, the Mayoral Administration announced that they will be moving $250 million into community banking. Speaking on that $250 million specifically, the Councilor stated that the administration had been asked on how they intended to “comply with the municipal depositories on banking”. This referred to the City Ordinance passed in 2013, assuring fairness in community banking and establishing a city commission to oversee city investments and implementation. However, this ordinance was not implemented and no such commission was made. Councilor Edwards aims to speak with the Mayoral Administration to implement this ordinance through this hearing. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting: Order For A Hearing Regarding Preservation of Historic Boston

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Councilor Edwards presented docket 0551 as a refile of an order for a hearing to ensure that we have both historic preservation and development in the City of Boston. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting: Vote Regarding Councilor Wu's Order For A Hearing Regarding the Right Of Free Petition

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Councilor Edwards rose to speak on Councilor Wu’s order for a hearing regarding the right of free petition and her proposed plan to hold committee meetings on a bi-weekly basis for constituents to come and petition. She shares the sentiments that Councilor Baker made regarding the concern that individuals may use the ability to petition as a way to overstep or get ahead of constituents who have used the proper channels to speak with Councilor on issues of interest. She is also concerned that they may use it as a means to push an agenda that the City Council has determined is not in line with their values or waste the Council’s time. The City was born as an experiment in democracy, taking pushes and risks. It’s at the very core of who we are in the City Council [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting: Hearing Order to Discuss City Services and Public Facilities in The South Boston Waterfront

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Councilor rose to thank Councilors Flynn and Flaherty for their work on this hearing order discussing city services and public facilities in the South Boston Waterfront. Considering Councilor Edwards has two major development in her district, Suffolk Downs and Charlestown One, she will be looking at the standards set by this hearing will set precedent for the development in District One. Councilor Edwards proposed the establishment of standards along the lines of parks or green-spaces per a set number of growth in population or another ambulance per a certain amount of community growth. She hopes that this hearing creates standards not just for the waterfront, but also for the general growth occurring in our communities. In this way, Boston ensures that as the population grows the infrastructure grows with it. [ 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 ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Order for Hearing on Veteran Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Improving Awareness Of and Access To Mental Health Care Services For Veterans

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Councilor Edwards rise to thank Councilor Garrisson and Councilor Essaibi-George on filing this and starting such an important discussion. Looking at Mission 22, Councilor Edwards noted that over 20 veterans commit suicide on a daily basis. As a result, it is our responsibility as a city to reach out to veterans and their families where they are. She stated it is especially important to provide mental health support and remove any and all stigma surrounding it. Veterans have served our country and call Boston home, we should ensure they have the full respect and support they deserve. The councilor looks forward to this conversation. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Order For A Hearing To Discuss Services For Persons With Disabilities

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Councilor Edwards rose as the third co-sponsor on this hearing order to discuss services for people with disabilities. Building a city that is accessible for those with disabilities means that we all have access. Coming from the perspective of those who have physical disabilities, when creating infrastructure that includes them it includes all of us. Councilor Edwards also wanted to focus on parents of adult children with disabilities. Inclusion of parents of children with disabilities typically centers itself within the education space. However, many of those children have aged out of the BPS system and still need support. It is imperative that our community stiill support those parents who are working for the rest of their lives to ensure that thair adult children have diginty and are respected. The Councilor mentioned the work of special members of the Charlestown [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Housing Order Regarding Enforcement of The Boston Trust Fund

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Councilor Edwards rose to thank Councilor Zakim for his leadership on this matter. The Councilor believes that The Trust Act is one of the city's shining moment sin Boston's history. It recognizes that if you live or work here you are a part of our family. But if you are here to commit crimes or do something else that takes away from our City, then rightfully so our police officers shall find, arrest, and put you through the appropriate due process. However, our police officers are not meant to double as agents of ICE. At the end of the day, the Councilor does not feel that it serves us well to connect the two roles. The Councilor is very excited to hear how Boston has abided by the ordinance that it passed an dhow Boston can do better. She [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting: Hearing Regarding Eliminating The Ridership Fare on MBTA Bus Route 28

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Councilor Edwards rose to speak on the hearing proposed by Councilors Wu and Janey on the issue of equity and making the MBTA Bus 28 route free. The Councilor believes that moving cashless, as the MBTA plans to do, is an equity issue. Moving cashless requires and assumes people have bank accounts, are regularly able to pull and move money, have access to banks or cash. There are communities that have to pay more to get the cash they have in their accounts. This is important especially when looking for the locations the MBTA plans to provide space for folks to load up their cards. Councilor Edwards believes that all public libraries, BCYF facilities, and public schools should be locations to load up, as they are places where we frequent already. The quarter mile assumption of having load up [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting: Remembering Mary Ellen Welch

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Councilor Edwards rose to recognize Mary Ellen Welch, a fourth generation East Bostonian who made waves throughout the city and passed away on March 7, 2019. Her lineage reaches back to when East Boston was an Irish community. Councilor Edwards recounted how Mary Ellen knew Councilor Edwards before Councilor Edwards even knew herself. She was a supporter and stood by the Councilor's side, even before she knew she could work in politics. Councilor Edwards described Mary Ellen as "East Boston's Melnea Cass". She is the reason we have a Greenway, the reason the Airport respects our neighborhood, and the reason why so many folks know that East Boston has a vibrant, active community. Air Inc. going against the Airport and NOAH are both because of her. So many things within this city comes from her. As one of 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 ]

Resolution Affirming The Rights of Journalists As Workers And The Need For A Free Press

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Docket 0460

WHEREAS: Democracy depends on a free press to promote the open exchange of ideas, promote debate and critical reflection, question authority, lift up and remember history and the stories of neighborhoods, and to seek, discover, analyze and share information that affects residents’ lives and wellbeing; andWHERAS: With the evolution of technology, consolidation of media outlets, increased used of freelance agents and ever-changing play field, many members of the press have experienced unstable working conditions and uncertain futures; andWHEREAS: Recently, amidst criticism from the White House of individual journalists and the news media as an institution, the Boston Globe led outlets nationwide in a series of editorials reminding our society of the importance of the press; andWHEREAS: Journalists and content creators are workers, with rights to reasonable pay, benefits, Hours, job security, and the right to declare and investigate grievances; [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Resolution for Free Press

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Democracy dies in the dark. Councilor Edwards rose to stand in solidarity with workers, specifically journalists. A free press, bold media, and unapologetic reporters are vital to our society. To be a reporter is to be skilled and understanding of power of words and stories to move us. They are the power that holds accountable institutions, regimes, corporations, governmments, and government actors. Jamal Khashoggi's story exemplifies the courage reporters have, may he rest forever in power.To do this work, journalists should recieve fair wages, benefits, and compensation. They should have the right to job grievances, job security, and livable wages and benefits. If we do not fight for journalists, Councilor Edwards does not understand how we can expect them to fight for us. The assumption that because journalists can bring light to topics that they do not need support [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting: Bi-Annual Review of the Boston Employment Commission and Boston Jobs Policy

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Councilor Edwards refiled this matter with Councilor Janey. The City Council had already passed the Boston Jobs Policy to require Bi-Annual review. Councilor Edwards' goal in refiling this hearing order is to have both the April and October hearings scheduled. [ more ]

Hearing Regarding Pension Fund Disclosure, Socially Responsible Investment and Reinvestment

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Councilor Edward's sponsored hearing on Docket #0136 regarding pension fund disclosure, socially responsible investment and reinvestment in the Committee on Ways and Means, chaired by Councilor Mark Ciommo. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Amendment on City Ordinance on Licensing and Regulating Shared Mobility Businesses

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Councilor Edwards spoke to the Order amendment presented by Councilor Matt O'Malley on the City of Boston Code, Ordinance, Chapter XVII, regarding Licensing and Regulating Shared Mobility Businesses. This amendment looks ahead and gets ahead of the problems that the City of Boston had with Uber and Lyft. Councilor Edwards believes that this could not be more timely considering the effort being put into establishing equitable legislation for budding industries. She drew the parallel between the cannabis industry and the scooter industry this amendment is aimed at impacting. It is imperative that we ask the same questions. Those being, who is making money? Who is owning these businesses? Who is getting employed? It is through these targetted questions that the City can capture this short term travel industry. Councilor Edwards did also mention that she hopes the administration is [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Order for a Hearing to Discuss The Possible Allocation of Linkage Fees to Fund Early Childhood Education

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Councilor Edwards rose to thank Councilor Flynn for the filed order for a hearing to discuss the possible allocation of linkage fees to fund early childhood education, as it hits on housing and childcare, the two most espensive items in Boston. Councilor Edwards recognized that the cost of childcare forces families out of Boston and puts them in difficult positions where they must choose between rent and childcare. The Councilor sees this as a larger question asking how do we fund early childhood education and Pre-K in the City of Boston, even beyond the proposed linkage fund. Referencing research done by advocates in the community, Councilor Edwards shared that there may have been zoning done years ago that states the need for childcare space in certain developments. Councilor Edwards also referred to Councilor Wu's previously filed hearing order that [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Order for a Hearing to Discuss Ways to Support Tenants Facing Eviction and Displacement

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Councilor Edwards thanked Councilor Flynn for having her sign on as a co-sponsor. Housing justice is a topic close to Councilor Edwards heart. She shared some moving statistics to share the impact of evictions in Boston and Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, we have 43 evictions every day. Since 1988, 1 million evictions cases have been filed in Massachusetts. The records for those individuals are publicly available forever, including individuals as young as three years old because in Massachusetts you can name a child as a defendent, along with their parents, in an eviction case. Not only does the City have to work to prevent evictions when they do not have an attorney or aid to create an argument in their favor, but we must also work to combat the trailing impact defendents face simply being in an eviction hearing. Councilor [ 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 ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Special Laws on Elections

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Councilor expressed her sentiments on precedures when a vacany opens in City Council and City Council term lengths. She feels that the default position of going to the person who placed fifth as a fill-in when a vacancy opens in City Council is essentially having ranked-choice voting without explicitly having voters vote in that way. Due to the fact, that the way we operate in that matter is so similar to ranked-choice voting, the Councilor suggested moving to ranked-choice voting for all At-Large and even potentially all City Council races. The Councilor also spoke to the criticisms she has heard regarding changes the terms from two years to four. A common criticism she heard is the concern on concentration of power with a four year term. However, she countered this by stating that the Mayor has a four [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting -  Corporate Tax Break Transparency in the City of Boston

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Councilor Edwards spoke on Docket 0349, an ordinance presented by Councilor Wu regarding Corporate Tax Break Transparency in the City of Boston. The Councilor thanked the sponsor of the ordinance and appreciated this effort as it is consistent with the push for transparency. The Councilor stated that she feels the theme of this year will be transparency. Part of transparency is knowing where money is going and holding ourselves accountable, when voting on items that may be counterintuitive. The Councilor provided an example regarding retirement funds and climate change, where environmental policy is voted on but retirement funds remain dependent on fossil fuels.The Councilor believes that companies that have gotten benefits from the City must rise up, as people forget about the contracts  and tax breaks made. Even beyond contracts made, the City must hold companies accountable for laws, [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting -  Equity in City of Boston Procurement and Purchasing

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Councilor Edwards spoke to a hearing order filed by Councilor Edwards regarding Equity in City of Boston Procurement and Purchasing. The Councilor stated that this is an example of when the City needs to lead and set an example of what it means to be equitable when working with private individuals or private companies. In the same way the City is responsible for ensuring diversity in their boardrooms and in management positions, they should hold companies responsible when investing in equitable contracts. In this way the City will be putting its money where its mouth is and invest in equity. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Review of Precincts

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Council President Andrea Campbell filed an ordinance on the review of precincts so that they are updated every five years, rather than the current ten year span between re-precincting. Councilor Edwards rose to speak on the matter. She support the makers of this ordinance. Councilor Edwards agrees that the review of precincts should occur more frequently, especially as large developments take place in Boston. In District 1, the Councilor highlighted the Suffolk Downs development, which essentially creates a new neighborhood, and the Charlestown housing re-development, which is the largest development in New England. Such project will create large growths in population, generally, and growth in voting populations, more specifically. Thus, Councilor Edwards feels that it is important to review precincts on a more frequent basis to create election systems that better serve growing voter populations with voting sites closer [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Utilizing Vacant Properties

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Council President Andrea Campbell and Councilor Matt O'Malley filed a hearing order to discuss strategies to use reduce and use vacant residential properies. Councilor Edwards spoke to support the hearing order and speak to its relevance in District 1. She specifically cited a case study in East Boston on its Loft Hotels, a larger scenario. The "hollow hotel" is essentially an empty concrete building that has been sitting for 10 years. The owners live in Sudbury and do not take care of the property, something the Councilor feels should be looked into on a broad scale. She stated that the permits to correct the problems with the property have expired due to the process of changing ownership being drawn out. As a result, the permit process needs to be done all over again. It is such examples that push [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Cannabis Regulations

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

On February 6, 2019, Councilor Kim Janey filed an ordinance establishing equitable regulations on the cannabis industry. Councilor Edwards spoke in support of Councilor Janey's ordinance, stating that she is with her every step of the way as they make history ensuring there shall be equity from the very beginning. Councilor Edwards expressed how this ordinance learns from the inequitable liquor licensing regulations that the City is still trying to fix 100 years later. Councilor Edwards emphasized how this policy is implemented to support communities and teach the city how to talk to companies and speak for communities. In this way it will make sure that Boston sets a true standard for what it means to be a good neighbor. Even further, this sends a message and a standard for how to set up future similar development, such as [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Senior Home Repair Program

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

City Council Edwards, with City Council President Andrea Campbell, filed Docket 0318, a hearing order to discuss the Senior Home Repair Program and other housing programs. Councilor Edwards is working on this as someone who has worked with the Boston Homes Center and has been called to testify in City Council on the work done by the Boston Homes Center. The Office of Housing Stability works very hard on the housing crisis, and in many cases their job is to act as a bridge between constituents and contractors. The Councilor stated this to recognize that while they should be held accountable for conecting a constituent with a bad contractor, they also work hard to do right by their neighborhoods and neighbors. Councilor Edwards also highlighted the "Mentor Guarentee" program that provides security and services to someone who is renting [ 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 ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Payment in Lieu of Taxes

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Councilor Edwards with Councilor Essaibi-George offered an order for a working session regarding Payment in Lieu of Taxes Agreements with the City of Boston. This working session continues the conversation on the pilot program of payments instead of taxes by some of Boston's richest neighbors, as it is not reaching the goals that the City set for it in 2012. The Councilors are pushing forward to say we must do better to esnure these neighbors are contributing to Boston by more than teaching our children and the future of the City. They should contribute and take, as well, with the pilot program acting as the measure to engage these rich neighbors in this way.Councilor Edwards did recognize the growth in the payment program contributions from 65% to 81% in 2018. However, that is not 100%, nor is it based [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Inquiry on Special Law Regarding Appointments at BPD and BFD

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

During Councilor Flaherty's offer for a petition for a special law regarding an act providing for residency preference for appointment at the Boston Police and Fire Departments Councilor Edwards asked who in the MA State House is waiting for this ordinance. Councilor Edwards asked just to clarify what committee will be working on this at the state level. Councilor Flaherty stated that it will likely head to the Committee on Public Safety or join the bills being read to the Senate if they are in reading period. [ more ]

Order for a Working Session Regarding Payment in Lieu of Taxes Agreements with the City of Boston

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Docket 0251

WHEREAS: To promote fiscal stability and fairness for residential and commercial taxpayers, the City negotiates Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreements with forty-seven tax-exempt institutions, such as colleges and universities, cultural centers, and healthcare institutions; andWHEREAS: New guidelines for the PILOT program were adopted in 2012 and phased in over five years, but between Fiscal Years 2012 and Fiscal Year 2017, compliance with program guidelines deteriorated; andWHEREAS: Efforts by city staff to improve institutional compliance with the PILOT program are laudable, necessary and produced results in Fiscal Year 2018, when the program compliance improved from sixty-five percent to eighty-one percent; andWHEREAS: Further attention is needed to realize the full benefits of the program, and several key issues can be addressed locally through a collaborative stakeholder process; andWHEREAS: The method for real estate valuation utilized in the City of [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Investor and Commercial Properties Transfer Fee

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Speaking on the subject almost a year to the date since she first spoke about housing speculation, Councilor Edwards, with Councilor Janey, offered a Home Rule Petition to authorize Boston to establish an investor and commercial properties transfer fee. The transfer fee would exempt owner-occupants and family transfers. To Councilor Edwards, this is about stopping speculation and saying that Boston's housing market is for families and workers. The goal is to prevent property owners that own property to own it, not to live in it and live in the community. She believes that property owners should live in their property and give back to the community. She mentioned that in some ways this replicates the actions of Newton and Somerville, with their push to ensure people come to their town to live. The Mayor's State of the City Address [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Special Presentation

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Today the City Council meeting began with a special presentation from Councilor Edwards made to recognize Chris Lovell, Arthur Colpack, Pippa Nava, and Christina Mulé, four volunteers from Charlestown that have been taking the time to clean the Bunker Hill Monument, a national park, during this shutdown. Even as the shutdown continues it is constituents like these four volunteers that ensure that Boston shines brightest. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Reauthorizing Condominium Conversion Protections

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Councilor Edwards, with Councilor Zakim, proposed a reauthorizing of the Condominium Conversion Protections in the City of Boston as it is set to expire later this year. They are offering the reauthorization of condominium conversion protections to renew protections for tenants, provide notice periods, provide relocation assistance for the elderly, and limit rent increases. This was last authorized in Boston in 2014. As it has already gone through the State House to become state law, the action needed is solely about approving it as continued law in Boston. This proposal was assigned to the Committee on Government Operations. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Commission on Equal Opportunity and the Elimination of Systemic Bias

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Councilor Edwards, with Council President Campbell and Councilor Zakim, offered an ordinance relative to the establishment of an independent commission on equal opportunity and the elimination of systemic bias in the workplace. Councilor Edwards began by recognizing the statements that the Mayor made on diversity and discrimination during his State of the City Address. Councilor Edwards wants to take this further to make the ordinance an act against systemic discrimination that has been ingrained into our systems. She expressed frustrations with the investigation into the Boston Fire Department stating that she found it "lacking." She wants to restore meaning behind independent investigations that the Mayor or City Council call for. The commission proposed would be an independent commission that has funding from the City of Boston and has individuals appointed to the commission by the City Council and Mayor [ more ]

Weekly City Council Meeting - Recognition of Mary Mahoney and the Great Molasses Flood

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

This week Councilor Edwards, extends her deepest condolences to the sister of Father Mahoney, Mary Mahoney. Councilor Edwards recognized that Father Mahoney is an important city figure who has had an impact on the whole of the City Council. She, along with all of City Council, extend their support to him and his family if they need support.This week is also the 100 year anniversary of the Great Molasses Floor in the North End. The Councilor recognized the 21 people who passed away as a result of the flood, but also that because of them Boston now has zoning laws to protect residents. In fact, that may have been one of the first class action lawsuits. [ more ]

An Ordinance Reauthorizing Condominium Conversion Protections in the City of Boston

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Docket 0184

WHEREAS: Since 1983, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has afforded municipalities the option to enact protections for tenants residing in properties subject to condominium conversion; andWHEREAS: Boston’s Condominium conversion ordinance, last updated in 2014, affords residents of covered properties a notice period, right of first refusal to purchase their unit, relocation assistance, just cause eviction, and relocation benefits if the unit is converted to a condominium; andWHEREAS: The tenant protections offered through Boston’s condominium conversions ordinance sunset on December 31st, 2019; andWHEREAS: Due to statutory limitations, tenant protections for condominium conversions are limited to properties of four or more units; andWHEREAS: Data from the City of Boston suggests the majority of condominium conversions are occurring predominantly, in two-and three-family homes; andWHEREAS: While condominium conversion levels peaked during the economic recession of FY2009, conversion levels increased substantially between Fiscal Years 2013 [ more ]

Home Rule Petition for a Special Law RE: An Act Authorizing the City of Boston to Establish an Investor and Commercial Properties Transfer Fee

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Docket 0187

WHEREAS: The City of Boston is facing a housing affordability and displacement crisis, impacting the health and quality of life of city residents, contributing to housing insecurity, rent burden, homelessness and evictions, increasing transportation emissions by displacing residents who work in the City of Boston and straining public resources; andWHEREAS: Multiple factors are contributing to the housing affordability crisis, including inadequate supply of homes, the construction of housing that is unaffordable to an overwhelming majority of Boston residents, expiring use affordability restrictions, the speculative and rapid resale of property resulting in inflation of real-estate prices, activities that remove supply from the housing market including short-term rentals and intentionally vacant investor properties, and a reduction in public investment in housing; andWHEREAS: The federal government has, for many years, steadily decreased support for housing, necessitating municipal, state and private section action; [ more ]

Ordinance Relative to the Establishment of an Independent Commission on Equal Opportunity and the Elimination of Systemic Bias in the Workplace

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Docket 0188

WHEREAS: The City of Boston is committed to being a City and a workplace free of discrimination;WHEREAS: The City of Boston has historic instances of bias and discrimination which have impacted its efforts to diversify our City workforce and must be overcome through intentional and strategic interventions;WHEREAS: Many of today’s struggles with bias and discrimination are systemic issues that were inherited from past administrations and resulted in departments and agencies that do not reflect the fullness of Boston;s diversity, and reflect a lack of accountability despite reports, lawsuits and settlement agreements;WHEREAS: When circumstances evidence the presence of systemic bias, it is a good and honorable endeavor to engage in an independent investigation of an agency to understand where biases lie, where systemically there are areas of improvement and ways to greatly reduce or eliminate discrimination;WHEREAS: The City currently does [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Veterans Affairs

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Councilor Edwards filed Docket 0132 with Councilor Flynn to order 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. Councilor Edwards requested that regardless of action in D.C. that Boston function in the most efficient, transparent, and equitable way possible, in this case in support of veterans and military families, who have fought hard to earn these services and have them readily available. Docket 0132 is assigned to the Committee on City and Neighborhood Services and Veterans and military Affairs. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Affordable Housing

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Councilor Edwards filed Docket 0134, a Home Rule Petition regarding An Act Relative to Affordable Housing and Workforce Development in the City of Boston. This petition seeks to update the linkage so that the funds generated from development are used for mitigation on negative impacts luxury and unit developments have on neighborhoods. If passed, the City of Boston would adopt the recommendations of the linkage Nexus group, including updating linkage to $24 per sq. ft., connecting it to consumer index, and having the finances and value of land is updated automatically. Docket 0134 is assigned to the Committee of Government Operations. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Transportation to BPS

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Councilor Edwards filed Docket 0135 with Councilor Essaibi-George to order a hearing regarding student transportation to Boston Public Schools. This was re-filed as Councilor Edwards wants to extend the discussion and action on equity in school transportation, ensuring that services for those with the hardest commute are accounted for. Docket 0135 is assigned to the Committee on Education. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Pension Fund Disclosure

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Councilor Edwards filed Docket 0136 with Councilor Wu to order for a hearing regarding pension fund disclosure, socially responsible investment, and reinvestment. This was re-filed to continue the conversation on where retirement funds are going to ensure that the city is invested in a sustainable future. Docket 0136 is assigned to the Committee on Ways and Means. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - BuildBPS

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Councilor Edwards spoke regarding Docket 0141 on an order for a hearing regarding BuildBPS. The Councilor expressed the wanting act of transparency and deep analysis from her district. She also expressed frustrations with BPS’ and its leadership’s, or lack thereof, perspective that due to funding in one area of her district BPS views her district as overfunded, providing no growth or development in her district. She also specified that her district is undergoing massive growth in the next 10-20 years and that the BuildBPS plan, as it stands, does not develop her district based on the future needs of her constituents. Councilor Edwards also found it not democratic that the one dissenting voice on the school committee is no longer present. Councilor Edwards also referenced the standing question of whether the school committee members will be elected or appointed. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Traffic Enforcement

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Councilor Edwards spoke to Docket 0143 proposal to create traffic enforcement unit in the Boston Police Department. Councilor Edwards recognized that this is a life or death situation. She also recognized that charging for parking and decreasing speed limits do help, but the one thing that has helped is police detail. As the City of Boston builds and causes traffic, Councilor Edwards finds, specifically in Sullivan Square in Charlestown and before the Sumner Tunnel in East Boston, having police detail and teams to quell traffic. [ more ]

City Council Weekly Meeting - Affordable Housing and Inclusionary Development Policy

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Councilor Edwards filed Docket 0144 with Councilors Flaherty and Flynn to order a hearing to discuss the inclusionary development policy (IDP) and affordable housing. The councilor specified the difference between IDP and linkage. The Councilor stated that linkage is about leveraging private dollars of commercial investments and bringing those funds to pay for affordable housing. Inclusionary development policy is when representatives fo to plan for housing developments and make it clear to developers what the expected number of affordable units are to ensure that development is made in a way that makes Boston an affordable city. She also emphasized the voices of advocates who want the discussions on developments between the Mayor’s administration and the Boston Planning and Development Agency to take place in a setting where community advocates can state their goals for the neighborhoods. She also emphasized [ 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 ]

Home Rule Petition Regarding An Act Relative to Affordable Housing and Workforce Development in the City of Boston

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Docket 0134

WHEREAS, The City of Boston is presently undergoing a development boom, but not all residents share in the economic and social benefits of a growing community; and,WHEREAS, Due to a stark inadequacy of resources dedicated to affordable housing and the impact of new large-scale commercial real estate development on low-and moderate-income residents, new production accompanied by policy reform cannot develop sufficient housing at levels residents can afford; and,WHEREAS, In 1983, the City of Boston established a development impact fee to mitigate the construction of new large-scale commercial real estate and generate revenue to support the development of affordable housing; andWHEREAS, In 1986 and 1987, the City established the Neighborhood Housing Trust and Neighborhood Jobs Trust, and, with the support of the General Court, codified linkage programs into law; andWHEREAS, In 1996, the City incorporated linkage into Article 80 of [ 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 ]

Resolution to The Establishment of an Independent Commission on Equal Opportunity and Elimination of Systematic Bias in the Workplace

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Docket 1811

Whereas: Every employee of the City of Boston deserves a safe and healthy workplace, free of structural bias and swift in addressing incidents of racism, sexism, or discrimination by age, orientation, origin or ability; andWhereas: A welcoming workplace in which all employees can thrive is a stronger workplace, respecting and maximizing internal talent and elevating cultural competency for employees who are obliged to offer their service, free of bias, to the diverse peoples of Boston; andWhereas: Harassment and discrimination can have many harmful impacts on employees,including behavioral health issues, and negatively impact the reputation of a particular agency, department, and workplace.Whereas: The City of Boston has put into place training and prevention protocols to avert discrimination and harassment among employees; yet, many structural, racial and gender-based issues still exist including harassment, discrimination, retaliation,exclusion, and hostility; andWhereas: Recognizing and correcting [ more ]

Hearing Regarding City Regulation of The Proximity of Certain Businesses to Recovery Facilities

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Councilor Edward's sponsored hearing on Docket #1511 regarding city regulation of the proximity of certain businesses to recovery facilities in the Committee on Planning, Development, and Transportation, chaired by Councilor Michelle Wu. [ more ]

Hearing Regarding Bi-Annual Review of the Boston Employment Commission and Boston Residents Job Policy

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Councilor Edward's sponsored hearing on Docket #1398 regarding biannual review of the Boston Employment Commission and Boston Residents Job Policy in the Committee on Jobs, Wages, and Workforce Development, chaired by Councilor Frank Baker. [ more ]

Resolution to support equitable access to homeownership through fair lending and a strong community reinvestment act

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Docket 1510

WHEREAS: The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was enacted on October 12, 1977 to end the practice of “redlining” by financial institutions where they would draw a red line on a map around neighborhoods they did not want to offer financial services; andWHEREAS: Before the enactment of the CRA, redlining made it near impossible for low- and moderate-income Americans, racial and ethnic minorities, and their neighborhoods to access credit services, such as mortgages and business loans, regardless of their qualifications or creditworthiness; andWHEREAS: The CRA establishes a regulatory regime for monitoring the level of ending, investments, and service sin low-and moderate-income neighborhoods traditionally underserved by lending institutions, with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reviewing nationally chartered banks and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve Board, both of whom examine state-chartered banks; andWHEREAS: Federal [ 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 ]

Hearing Regarding Land Disposition and Stewardship

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Councilor Edward's sponsored hearing on Docket #0818 regarding land disposition and stewardship in the Committee on Planning, Development, and Transportation, chaired by Councilor Michelle Wu. [ more ]

Ordinance for the establishment of a commission for economic justice in the City of Boston construction industry

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Docket 1399

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; and,WHEREAS: 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; and,WHEREAS: Despite the establishment of ordinances in the 1983 and 1986 establishing standards for the hours of work performed by Boston residents, people of color, and women, thirty year later compliance is significantly below standards in the vast majority of the trade areas for Boston workers and women; and,WHEREAS: In 2017, Mayor Walsh and the Boston [ 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 ]

Hearing to acknowledge and discuss the outreach of the Office of Veterans' Services and Opportunities and Challenges Facing Veterans and military Families in The City of Boston

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Councilor Edward's sponsored hearing on Docket #0986 regarding acknowledgement and discussion on the outreach of the Office of Veterans’ Services and opportunities and challenges facing Veterans and Military Families in the City of Boston in the Committee on City, Neighborhood Services, Veterans and Military Affairs, chaired by Councilor Ed Flynn. [ more ]

Hearing Regarding Payments in Lieu of Tax Agreements Within The City of Boston

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Councilor Edward's sponsored hearing on Docket #0721 regarding payments in lieu of tax agreements within the City of Boston in the Committee on Ways and Means, chaired by Councilor Mark Ciommo. [ more ]

Hearing Regarding East Boston Zoning Intiatives and Master Plan

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Councilor Edward's sponsored hearing on Docket #0720 regarding an East Boston zoning initiative and master plan in the Committee on Planning, Development, and Transportation, chaired by Councilor Michelle Wu. [ more ]

Ordinance regarding repayment of back taxes

Monday, July 9, 2018

Docket 1094

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 of Boston has an interest in restoring tax delinquent commercial parcels to good standing to promote economic development and continue collection of adequate city revenues; and WHEREAS: 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: Other municipalities have adopted these provisions and found them useful in working with residential and [ 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 ]

Resolution in support of the Latina Circle earmark in state budget

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Docket 0852

WHEREAS: The Latina Circle (TLC) is a Boston-based, non-profit social venture founded in 2012 with a goal of advancing Latina leaders across various industries into positions of power and influence; and,WHEREAS: In 2017, TLC launched Amplify Latinx, a non-partisan, collaborative movement focused on significantly increasing Latino civic engagement and representation in elected and appointed positions, board and commissions, and in corporate leadership in Massachusetts; and,WHEREAS: Latinos are the fastest growing demographic in Massachusetts representing over 11% of the population, and 20% of Boston’s residents. However, they are underrepresented in policy making roles, nonprofit boards and government offices; and,WHEREAS: Recent data shows that in Massachusetts Latinos face the largest income and wealth gap in the country and that Latina women have the largest gender pay gap earning only 54 cent to the $1.00 earned by white men; and,WHEREAS: Amplify Latinx [ more ]

Hearing Regarding Flexible Payment Plans For Property Tax Arrears

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Councilor Edward's sponsored hearing on Docket #0626 regarding flexible payment plans for property tax arrears in the Committee on Ways and Means, chaired by Councilor Mike Ciommo. [ more ]

2018 Budget Meeting - Parks

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Asked questions about whether the budget accounts for possible CPA funds, how the department ensures equity in park funding, what the timeline is for Noyes Park to get upgraded, and what the best option is for Langone Park (turf vs. grass). [ more ]

2018 Budget Meeting - Parks

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Asked questions about getting some shade on the field at Charlestown High School, what the timeline is for capital improvements at Ryan Playground, what the timeline is for the Paul Revere Mall renovations, urged support for urban wilds, and expressed hope for the future of the Greenway with the grant received from the BAR Foundation. [ 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 ]

2018 Budget Meeting - BPD

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Asked questions about whether the new station in East Boston would result in more officers in East Boston, whether there's a mutual response program/procedure in place with neighboring municipalities, about where the large increase in budget year over year goes, future surveillance technologies (drones) and the impacts they would have on the community, regional intelligence sharing and whether immigration status could be shared and then misused, and what the plans are for the gun buyback program. [ more ]

2018 Budget Meeting - BPD

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Asked questions about Sullivan Square and the requests for increased police presence there due to the casino, issues related to human trafficking, and whether there are any leadership opportunities available for people in recovery. [ more ]

2018 Budget Meeting - BPDA

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Asked questions about current staffing numbers, the racial diversity of the staff, the racial and gender makeup of top 10% of wage earners, whether there is a residency requirement for BPDA employees, how many BPDA employees don't live in Boston, expressed concern about the fact that the people planning the city don't reflect the population of the city, what the plan is to make sure the agency looks more like the population of the city, what the goals are in terms of recruitment or numbers for the next year to increase diversity, what the income was last year for the agency and where it comes from, how much of the land the agency owns was purchased and how much of it came from agency mergers and/or eminent domain, whether the agency negotiates PILOT payments, and whether the agency has [ more ]

2018 Budget Meeting - BPDA

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Asked whether the BPDA would make a commitment to looking at planning and development in the future through a racial equity lens, the possibility of increasing the 13% IDP requirement, whether a higher IDP requirement in neighboring municipalities has disincentivized development, whether displacement is considered in lotteries, the future of Little Mystic and if the public will be a part of the conversation regarding the future of the Little Mystic. [ more ]

2018 Budget Meeting - BTD

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Asked questions about teachers getting parking tickets during the school day, what BTD's plans are for East Boston moving forward, what additional plans there are to get people into and out of East Boston without necessarily having to rely on cars, and what the plan is to reduce traffic on Sullivan Square. [ more ]

2018 Budget Meeting - EMS

Monday, May 21, 2018

Asked questions about how much the second ambulance in East Boston will cost, the reduction in ambulance response times as a result, the possibility of a second ambulance in Charlestown, and what resources are available to staff for PTSD and second hand PTSD. [ more ]

2018 Budget Meeting - BFD

Monday, May 21, 2018

Asked questions about the number of women in the department and what barriers there are to getting more women in the department, how to go about getting more women in the department, whether the department is partnering with outside organizations to increase the number of women in the department, what the goals are and what accountability measures will be in place if they're not met, and what happens with implicit bias data. [ more ]

2018 Budget Meeting - BFD

Monday, May 21, 2018

Asked whether they would consider having new recruits take implicit bias tests/training, whether they are recruiting women collegiate athletes, when the women's liaison position was created, what the goals are for the next year, the safety of basement apartments, issues presented by vacant buildings, and mutual response procedures with neighboring municipalities. [ more ]

Resolution to support restoration and increase of matching funds for the Community Preservation Act.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Docket 0773

WHEREAS: In November 2016, a strong majority of Boston voters approved the Community preservation Act (CPA, and;WHEREAS: The Community Preservation Act provides municipalities with a unique instrument to finance housing, open space and historic preservation, and;WHEREAS: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides matching funds to local CPA projects via the Community Preservation Trust, a fund created by the Registry of Deeds filing fee; and,WHEREAS: Boston has recently moved forward implementing the Community Preservation Act by forming a Community Preservation Committee and establishing an initial funding round, and;WHEREAS: Boston is facing a housing crisis, necessitating new and expanded tools to address issues of affordability, displacement and homelessness, and;WHEREAS: The Department of Revenue has recently estimated a record-low state match from the Community Preservation Act Trust Fund, and;WHEREAS: When residents cannot find safe, stable, and affordable housing, the City and State absorb [ 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 ]

2018 Budget Meeting - Public Works

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Asked questions about what's happening with the Alford St bridge, the time frame for the reconstruction of the bridge into Chelsea, and whether the left turn coming off the N Washington St bridge will still be available during construction. [ more ]

2018 Budget Meeting - Public works

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Asked questions about the North End trash hokies, the possibility of snow melters, the need for more trash cans in East Boston, the sidewalk outside of Bova's, the antenna boxes in the North End and how much sidewalk space they take up, the Prado and Revere parks in the North End, the paving on Hanover, thanked them for the work on Geneva St, asked about Rutherford Ave and contractor diversity. [ more ]

BCYF

Monday, May 14, 2018

Thanked them for working towards ensuring equal access to centers. Asked questions about when MOUs will be signed, what percentage of BCYF funds are privately funded, what work is being done towards preventing street violence and addiction, what relationships they have with non-profits to prevent duplication of services, and the future of the tennis bubble in Charlestown. [ 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 ]

ISD

Monday, May 7, 2018

subtitle of test note two

Asked questions about possibility of citywide dry ice program to reduce rodent population, if/how pop-up restaurants and food trucks are involved in inspections, whether goal of 4800 unit goal for rental inspection was met, if ISD enforces accessibility law and which buildings that applies to, how many inspectors are assigned to each district, the building collapse on Maverick Square and the results of the ensuing investigation and what the impacts of the collapse were on the developer and its other projects, and call response rates. [ more ]

Resolution to promote human rights, free speech and government accountability in Honduras

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Docket 0678

WHEREAS: The City of Boston has had and maintains a long and proud history as a City that supports, values and respects its immigrants, regardless of their status of documentation, and refugees escaping war, civil unrest and natural disasters; andWHEREAS: The City of Boston has also been a proud and vocal supporter of the struggle for human rights in all parts of the world; andWHEREAS: The Central American nation of honduras has been experiencing an unprecedented level of insecurity and violence, including widespread impunity and erosion of public trust in the authorities and the justice system; andWHEREAS: In the aftermath of the election there were 192 repressed demonstrations, resulting in over 1,250 arrests, 38 people killed, 393 people injured, 76 victims of torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, 15 journalists assaulted, 24 individuals in preventative detention as political prisoners, [ more ]

DND

Monday, April 30, 2018

subtitle test note one

Asked questions about eviction data collection, section 3 hiring (and the audit that showed over-reported numbers on both dollars and jobs created), how many of the properties they plan on selling are from tax foreclosures, and what happens to tax foreclosure properties after the city takes them over. [ more ]

DND pt 2

Monday, April 30, 2018

Asked questions about funding sources (possibly including bonding for housing), possibly changing IDP requirements (getting rid of waivers, lowering number where requirement kicks in, increasing percentage), if IDP requirements are increased what the impact would be on development, a possible increase of the 53,000 unit increase goal, economic and racial diversity in IDP units, and asked of houses that go into pre-foreclosure how many are foreclosed on. [ more ]

Resolution to Support Restoration and Increase of Matching Funds for The Community Preservation Act.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Docket 0627

WHEREAS: In November 2016, a strong majority of Boston voters approved the Community Preservation Act (CPA), and;WHEREAS: The Community Preservation Act provides municipalities with a unique instrument to finance housing, open space and historic preservations, and;WHEREAS: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides matching funds to local CPA Projects via the Community Preservation Trust, a fund created by the Registry of Deeds filing fee; and,WHEREAS: Boston has recently moved forward in implementing the Community Preservation act by forming a Community Preservation Committee and establishing an initial funding round, and;WHEREAS: Boston is facing a housing crisis, necessitating new and expanded tools to address issues of affordability, displacement and homelessness, and;WHEREAS: The Department of Revenue has recently estimated a record-low state match from the Community Preservation Act Trust Fund, and;WHEREAS: When residents cannot find safe, stable and affordable housing, the City and State [ more ]

BPS Overview

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Asked questions about how decreasing student population will affect schools like EBHS, school discretionary budgets, and bilingual ed programs. [ more ]

BPS Overview

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Asked questions about how decreasing students populations will affect schools like EBHS,school discretionary budgets, and bilingual ed programs. [ 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 ]

Resolution honoring Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. and recognizing his contribution to the City of Boston and to the United States of America

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Docket 0537

WHEREAS: On the evening of April 9th, 1968, one of the country’s most beloved and impactful civil rights leaders, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther king, Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee; andWHEREAS: Fifty years later, the legacy of Dr. King continues to inspire people of color and all Americans, adults, children, low-income people, people of faith and all people of conscience to campaign for human dignity until such basic rights as food, water, stable housing, equality at work and home and fair access to public transportation are basic guarantees; andWHEREAS: Dr. King was a central figure in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the March on Washington, the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Council and numerous effort to fight for desegregation, voting and economic justice; andWHEREAS: Dr. King spent years in Boston as a student at Boston University, as a [ more ]

Hearing Regarding Speculation in the Boston Housing Market

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Councilor Edward's sponsored hearing on Docket #0178 regarding speculation in the Boston housing market in the Committee on Housing and Community Development. [ 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 ]

Hearing Order Regarding The Redevelopment of One Charlestown Project

Friday, March 16, 2018

Councilor Edward's sponsored hearing on Docket #0293 regarding the redevelopment of the One Charlestown Project in the Committee on Housing and Community Development, which was also chaired by Councilor Edwards. [ more ]

Resolution to Support the March for Our Lives and Comprehensive Action to Halt the Epidemic of Gun Violence

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Docket 0336

WHEREAS: The failure to regulate the use and ownership of lethal weapons presents an ongoing and mortal risk to young people, residents of low-income communities, people of color and all Americans;WHEREAS: On February 14, 2018 gun violence took the lives of 17 students at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; andWHEREAS: According to the New York Times and the Gun Violence archive, at least 239 school shootings have taken place since the 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, CT, claiming the lives of at least 138 individuals; andWHEREAS: The death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012 from a gunshot wound inspired millions to take to the streets to protest racism and affirm the sanctity of every life, including black lives; andWHEREAS: In 2017, according to the Gun Violence Archive, gun-related deaths [ 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 ]

Resolution Supporting Boston Logan Airport Workers' Strike

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Docket 0266

WHEREAS: Nearly 500 Logan Airport workers employed by JetBlue’s subcontractors FSS and ReadyJet have announced their intention to strike in the coming days, and;WHEREAS: Subcontracted airport workers like wheelchair attendants, cabin cleaner, and customer service agents keep Boston Logan Airport up and running every day while making low wages and few, if any, benefits, and;WHEREAS: Airport workers have been forced to file charges for illegal surveillance, threats and intimidation of workers who are organizing for workplaces changes, and;WHEREAS: JetBlue’s subcontractors FSS and ReadyJet are repeat offenders of illegal, unfair labor practices and have been cited by Massachusetts and federal agencies, and;WHEREAS: The higher wages, benefits and union representation that these airport workers are organizing for would benefit the families they support and the Boston communities that they are a part of, and;WHEREAS: Workers in this country have a legal [ more ]

Order for Hearing on Housing Speculation

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Docket - 0178

*Page is under construction* [ 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 ]