From the Councilor: Short-Term Rentals, East Boston Planning, Fire Department Investigation, MassPort in Charlestown, & Tax Arrears

June Newsletter from City Councilor Lydia Edwards:

After two months, sixty hours, and twenty-nine hearings, I was honored to vote for a forward-thinking budget improving lives of all Boston totaling in the amount of $3.29 billion. This incredible process was enlightening and I was proud to fight on behalf of my district as well as the City of Boston.

I am extremely grateful to everyone who weighed in either through either written or oral testimony. Thank you for your advocacy! Your engagement makes our city better and certainly helped me through this process. Thank you to my colleagues in the Boston City Council especially our reliable and unwavering central staff.

This budget supports some of my priorities for Charlestown, East Boston, and North End including new climate resiliency deliverables for our waterfront following devastating winter snowstorm flooding, new legal services funding to help tenants stay housed, significant investments in parks, open space, and initial “Climate Ready” recommendations, as well as a support and push for the expansion of BPS fresh lunch programs throughout the district.

Despite these steps forward, I am concerned with the difficult situation facing the sixteen of fifteen hundred fire fighters who are women. Thanks to the budgetary process, the administration added funds for training to prevent harassment and encourage a safe and healthy workplace. This is step forward, but not sufficient, and I will be working with my colleagues to promote further action at the Department. 

After filing a hearing order in the City Council earlier this month to begin the conversation for an East Boston Masterplan, we were thrilled to learn that the BPDA will move forward with PLAN: East Boston in order to foster sustainable growth and reduce displacement in East Boston. Although the plan for East Boston will focus on preserving the residential fabric of a neighborhood that is rapidly changing due to development, I will continue to hold all city agencies accountable to ensure the planning process is led by the community.

Please join us for a public hearing on the East Boston Masterplan on Monday, July 16th at 6:00PM in the auditorium at the Umana Middle School Academy, 312 Border Street, East Boston. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Those who know me know very well that I will never stop being an unapologetic and relentless advocate on behalf of my constituents. That’s why I will continue fighting for a senior center in East Boston with meaningful programming for our seniors, a top-of-the-line dog park in Charlestown, a world class community center for the North End, and transportation improvements to reduce traffic congestion and pollution.

Topics in this month’s newsletter include:

  • Short-term rental regulations passed by City Council.
  • East Boston planning initiative to ‘preserve, enhance and grow’ the neighborhood.
  • Questions raised in Boston Fire Department harassment and misconduct investigation.
  • Pushing MassPort to give Charlestown its fair share of mitigation.
  • Continued efforts on moving to enact a more equitable tax collection policy.

Read more about these topics and see upcoming community meetings in the full newsletter.