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Friends,

I'm thrilled to share great news from the Boston Housing Authority and the Bunker Hill housing in Charlestown. The city is proposing a 
$30m investment in the redevelopment of Bunker Hill, something I've advocated for and fully support. The BHA has also pushed for and secured 1000 new vouchers, and will be exploring adjustments that greatly expand the buying power of these vouchers in our heated real estate market.

I'm proud our city is pushing forward to address real issues in our communities when, for many of us, things in Washington, D.C. seem dark.* These local efforts and investments will make real differences in the lives of Boston and I'll continue pressing forward locally to 
bring new resources for housing in Boston.

I wanted to share a few things going on here at the city council. We're looking at a range of workforce issues in the City of Boston, including just in the past week 
equity in construction jobs and the rights of student workers. I firmly believe that economic opportunity should be afforded to all members of our communities and that every job should be a good job. I'm excited to see progress on city efforts towards construction equity, and I look forward to bringing in educational institutions to discuss working conditions on their campuses. Notably, some of the universities with active labor disputes also have lagged on their payment in lieu of taxes contributions - as major landowners and industries, we want to ensure institutions of higher education play a positive role in our city. More to come soon!

I'm also pleased to work with Councilor Essaibi-George and Councilor Andrea Campbell to call for a hearing on parking reform. Yes, parking is a fraught issue. I've heard from constituents with a wide range of concerns, including visitor parking, teacher and itinerant parking, parking for seniors, parking for residents at homeless shelters, need for new metered parking in commercial districts and, of course, transportation and traffic congestion! This hearing is meant to be a comprehensive conversation and to supplement existing dialogue around parking passes and parking for home health aides without missing out on key areas communities have asked us to discuss and debate. 

Read more at the links about what's going on at the links below, check out a list of upcoming hearings and stay in touch as the council continues to work through our FY20 budget!

*By the way --  in case you're wondering, yes, your elected delegation is fighting the good fight in Washington, too.
All the Best,

Lydia Edwards
Boston City Councilor
District One
NEWS CLIPS FROM APRIL

City council: Developers should have to study community impact before building

From Boston 25 News:

Developers may soon have another hurdle to jump over before getting the green light to build in Boston.

The City of Boston is in a building boom, with roughly 20,000 apartment units under construction in the metro area. CBRE, the largest full-service real estate services company in New England predicts nearly 12,000 new apartments will open this year. 

"The rule in which we plan and how we design our city needs to make sure that civil rights is part of the conversation," said Boston city councilor Lydia Edwards. 

The Boston City Council is considering an amendment to the city's zoning rules that would require large-scale developers to study the civil rights impact their project would have on the neighborhood it builds in, factoring in things like displacement, accessibility, and ethnic make-up.

Click Here to Read More

With Growing Demand For Affordable Housing, Boston Council Mulls Controversial Luxury Transfer Fee
From WBUR:

The Eddy, a brand new residential tower along East Boston’s waterfront, is in many ways typical of the kind of development projects popping up all around Boston.

The building is 16 stories high, a mix of studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments; its website, “EddyLiving.com,” boasts “uninterrupted views of the Boston Harbor and city skyline,” a “lounge with a chef’s kitchen,” and an “outdoor terrace with a pool and sun deck.”

The apartments are not exactly cheap: Listings on the real estate site Zillow list studios at upwards of $2,500, and one-bedroom apartments above $3,000, monthly.

“It’s really meant for people who can afford luxury units,” said Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards, who represents East Boston, as well as Charlestown and the North End.

For Edwards, the building embodies one of the most challenging problems for East Boston.

Luxury buildings like The Eddy are going up across the city, while low-income, working-class and middle-class residents are finding it increasingly difficult to afford living in Boston — let alone buy their own home.

Click Here to Read More

Councilor would include displacement, discrimination in consideration of large Boston developments

From Universal HUB:

The City Council will consider a proposal by Councilor Lydia Edwards (East Boston, North End, Charlestown) to add the loss of existing homes and federal laws that bar housing discrimination to the list of things developers of large projects in Boston would have to address to win city approval.

With the giant Suffolk Downs project looming at one end of her district, Edwards said developers need to start showing what they will do to keep people who already live in a particular area "to remain in communities they have built up and hold dear."

Click Here to Read More

City council takes up Fair Housing laws
 

From The Bay State Banner:

City councilor Lydia Edwards has proposed a change in Boston’s zoning code which would require the city to analyze future developments based on the 1968 Fair Housing Act, and look at how potential building would affect displacement in the city.

“One of the functions of government that most deeply impacts what gets built and how communities change is our zoning code,” Edwards said in a city council meeting last week. “We need to make sure that that zoning code has all the tools necessary to combat discrimination.”

The civil rights amendment would especially focus on large planned development areas like East Boston’s Suffolk Downs in Edwards’ district.

She noted the development of the Seaport, which she referred to as one of the city’s “greatest failure[s],” as it is one of both Boston’s richest neighborhoods and the whitest, due to high rents that are inaccessible to low-income residents who are disproportionately people of color.

Edwards’ proposal came the day before the 51st anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, which is one section of the Civil Rights Act, and protects people from discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, disability and other characteristics. However, she said that housing has long been one of the strongest ways discrimination has held power over people, through practices like redlining that prevented people of color from renting or purchasing homes in certain neighborhoods.

Click Here to Read More

How Affordable Should Suffolk Downs 2.0 Be?

How Affordable Should Suffolk Downs 2.0 Be?

From WGBH:

Right now, the old Suffolk Downs race track exudes that particular type of melancholy that’s unique to places that are about to disappear.

Regulars still place simulcast bets inside the clubhouse, leaving a smattering of cars in the parking lot. But the huge grandstand sits empty, and the track itself is idle. The knowledge that Seabiscuit raced here in 1935, and the Beatles played to 24,000 screaming fans in 1966, only reinforces the feeling of faded grandeur.

Spend a few minutes talking with developer Thomas O’Brien of the HYM Investment Group about his vision for the property, though, and your spirits are likely to lift.

“As you can see, this is a big site,” O’Brien said recently, standing on the unused track’s edge. “It’s 161 acres, so it’s by far one of the biggest sites that can be redeveloped in the greater Boston area.”

And when that redevelopment is complete, O’Brien says — in 15 or 20 years, if everything goes as planned — the new neighborhood that will sit on this spot will be a gem.

Click Here to Read More

Lydia's Re-Election Campaign Kickoff
THANK YOU to everyone who co-hosted and came to my campaign re-election kickoff! I am so proud of the coalition built and the work we’ve accomplished together these past two years. It’s been an honor working on behalf of District One and I absolutely love this job. I hope to earn your support in the coming months - yes, I want you to rehire me as your City Councilor. Shout out to La Hacienda Boston for the amazing space and food, DJ Smokey Cain for Dj’ing, and my dream team delegation for their continued friendship and support.
2019 Old North Church Lantern Ceremony
“One if by land, two if by sea...”
I was honored to attend this year’s annual Lantern Ceremony at the Old North Church in the North End. This year was particularly special because I had the great distinction of introducing Congresswoman Lori Trahan and celebrating Rev. Steve Ayres last Ceremony after 22 years.
New England Jewish Labor Committee Labor Seder

Proud to be a host committee member of New England Jewish Labor Committee Labor Seder this weekend! Congratulations to Brian Doherty for his recognition and thank you to Marya Axner for her years of service. You will be dearly missed by all.

East Boston YMCA Fundraising Breakfast

It was my pleasure to attend the annual fundraiser breakfast in support of the East Boston YMCA. The Y is a great organization that provides services ranging from affordable childcare to overnight camps for city youth. They're even helping me train for a triathlon with swimming lessons! Thank you to the event organizers and all who came and donated.

Play Ball!

I spent a majority of last weekend celebrating Opening Day for the Little Leagues in Charlestown, East Boston, and the North End this weekend! Thank you to all the organizers and good luck to all the players.

Taste of the North End

I ended April with one of the best events of the year - Taste of the North End. Endless meatballs, cannolis, and raviolis made for happy North Enders and Councilor. Congrats to the Frattaroli family along with North End Waterfront Health organizers for another successful year showcasing some of the local businesses.

Upcoming Council Hearings and Meetings
 
Wednesday, May 1st, 2019, at 12:00 PM 
City Council Meeting, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019, at 10:30 AM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: BPS Operations, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019, at 3:00 PM 
City Council Committee on Government Operations Hearing RE: Equity in the City of Boston Procurement and Purchasing, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019, at 6:00 PM 
City Council Committee on Healthy Women, Families, & Communities Working Session RE: To Listen to Communities impacted by Violence and Trauma, Piemonte Room, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Friday, May 3rd, 2019, at 11:00 AM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: Veterans Services/ Age Strong Commission, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Monday, May 6th, 2019, at 10:30 AM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: Public Works, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Monday, May 6th, 2019, at 2:00 PM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: Inspectional Services, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019, at 10:30 AM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: Transportation, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019, at 2:00 PM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: Neighborhood Development, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019, at 12:00 PM 
City Council Meeting, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Thursday, May 9th, 2019, at 10:30 AM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: Innovation & Technology, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Thursday, May 9th, 2019, at 12:00 PM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: 21st Century Fund, also known as the Public Educational, or Governmental (PEG) Access and Cable Related Fund, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Thursday, May 9th, 2019, at 3:00 PM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: BCYF, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall


Monday, May 13th, 2019, at 10:30 AM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: Library, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Monday, May 13th, 2019, at 2:00 PM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: Parks & Recreation, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall


Monday, May 13th, 2019, at 3:45 PM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: Parks and Environment Revolving Funds, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019, at 12:00 PM 
City Council Meeting, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019, at 2:00 PM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: Police, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019, at 3:30 PM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: BPD Revolving Funds, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Thursday, May 16th, 2019, at 10:30 AM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: Public Health Commission, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Thursday, May 16th, 2019, at 2:00 PM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: Public Health Commission - Recovery Services, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Monday, May 20th, 2019, at 3:00 PM 
City Council Committee on Government Operations Working Session RE: an ordinance regarding fair workweek employment standards for City contractors, Piemonte Room, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019, at 10:30 AM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: Fire Department, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019, at 2:00 PM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: BPDA, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019, at 12:00 PM 
City Council Meeting, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019, at 10:30 AM 
City Council Committee on Way & Means Hearing RE: Emergency Medical Services, Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston City Hall
 
May Community Meetings in District One
East Boston:
  • Harbor View Neighborhood Association - First Monday of every month 6:30 p.m.at the Edward Brooke Charter School, 145 Byron St. 
  • Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association - Second Monday of every month. 6:30 p.m. at the Jeffries Point Yacht Club, 565 Sumner St.
  • Orient Heights Neighborhood Association - Third Monday of every month. 6:30 p.m. at Ashley Street YMCA, 54 Ashley St.
  • Maverick Central Civic Association - Third Wednesday of every month 7 p.m. at Paris Street Community Center, 112 Paris St.
  • Friends of the East Boston Greenway - Fourth Thursday of every month. 6:30 p.m. at the Anna DeFronzo Center, 395 Maverick St
  • Gove Street Citizens Association - Fourth Monday of every month 6:30 p.m. at the Noddle Island Community Room, Logan Rental Car Center
  • Eagle Hill Civic Association - Last Wednesday of every month 7 p.m., July Meeting will take place at the East Boston Social Center 
Charlestown:
  • Charlestown Neighborhood Council - First Tuesday of Every Month 7:00pm, Knights of Columbus, 595 Medford Street
  • Friends of the Charlestown Navy Yard - May 2nd at 7:00PM, Spaulding Conference Room A on the first floor
  • Public Safety Meeting - Last Wednesday of Every Month, 6:00pm, Boston Police, 2nd floor mtg room, 20 Vine St. 02129
North End:
  • Public Safety Meeting - First Thursday of Every Month @ 6:00PM, Nazzaro Community Center, 30 N. Bennet Street.
  • NEWRA Monthly Meeting - Second Thursday of Every Month @ 7:00PM, Nazzaro Community Center, 30 N. Bennet Street.
  • NEWNC Monthly Meeting - Second Monday of Every Month @ 7:00PM, Nazarro Community Center, 30 N. Bennet Street 
Photo from bostonplans.org
SUGGESTION BOX
Copyright © 2019 Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards, All rights reserved.


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