Parents involved with the Tenacity program received word today that the Romney Campaign is not willing to work out a compromise for drop-off access at the 585 Commercial Street parking lot next to the tennis courts. (See this previous article: Mitt Romney Security Blocking Longstanding Lot Access to Tenacity Families in North End.) The campaign is leasing the location as its headquarters for the Presidential campaign. Tenacity offers a free tennis and literacy program for kids.
A meeting was held yesterday with representatives of the Tenacity program, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the property management company for 585 Commercial Street. Tenacity said they also had support from the City of Boston. The program has been operating at the location for many years, always with drop-off access in the sparsely occupied parking lot.
The management company at 585 Commercial Street told Tenacity that it is a private lot and the tenants (i.e., the Romney campaign) were not willing to give any access for parents dropping-off/picking-up kids. Apparently, DCR has not been able to show they have any easement rights on the property.
In a bit of progress, however, there was some help offered on other fronts. The City of Boston has offered 15 minutes free parking in resident spots, although those usually are not available. The LAZ parking lot across the street is willing to grant them free access, which would help some parents. Multiple parties in the area seem to be willing to chip-in something … except for one.
“Game over, not nice,” commented a North End Mom.
Given the political nature of the high-profile campaign, parents were hoping to show up today and see a pile of autographed tennis rackets and a photo op! No such luck. Still, the parents involved in the city-wide program believe they have a few levers yet to pull and this is not over yet.
Correction: This post was edited to delete a reference to sponsorship of Tenacity by City Year. Both organizations are part of the Americorps service network and sources indicated a sponsorship, but we have not been able to directly reference support by City Year to Tenacity.