District 1 City Council Candidates spoke to a group of North End waterfront residents on Tuesday night at the Prince Building, 63 Atlantic Avenue. Originally set to be outside, the gathering was moved indoors due to the impending thunderstorm.
Candidates Lydia Edwards, Margaret Farmer and Stephen Passacantilli largely stuck to their themes from previous forums including public schools, transportation, housing, development and parks. Residents also queried the candidates with some debate around the following issues.
Waterfront development – Now that the State has ruled to severely limit the proposed Lewis Wharf hotel development, residents asked about other potential sites including Sargent’s Wharf, Commercial Wharf, lot next to Mariner and the former Lavanderia site. All candidates spoke against large developments at those sites.
Brick Sidewalks – The issue of process (or lack thereof) was noted as the waterfront has seen its brick sidewalks replaced with concrete. Candidates spoke about possible options from this point.
Liquor Tax – None of the candidates support the former proposal by Councilors Linehan and Baker for a new 2% tax on all alcohol sales. Candidates did support other taxes where funds would go toward recovery programs.
Marijuana Dispensaries – All of the candidates are following the process whereby dispensaries will be proposed in the Boston neighborhoods.
Passacantilli highlighted his experience within City Hall, first with Councilor LaMattina and then with Mayor Walsh. His campaign platform emphasizes support for neighborhood schools, including fresh lunch programs. He also spoke about transportation and improving the districts parks and open spaces.
Farmer noted her role as a resident candidate without ties to City Hall. Among other initiatives, she plans to fight for an inner harbor ferry that will connect East Boston, Charlestown, the North End, Downtown, and the Seaport.
Edwards spoke about her work toward the passage of the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights and her concerns regarding income inequality. She would also push for a major tax credit to allow residents to stay in neighborhoods with increasing housing costs.
District 1 includes the North End, Charlestown and East Boston. The preliminary election will be on September 26th, 2017. The two candidates selected from that election will appear on the general municipal election ballot on November 7th, 2017.
For more information on the District 1 City Council Race, follow our District 1 Tag.