The City Council today agreed with a proposal to look at designating Hyde and Jackson Squares as an official Latin Quarter, in recognition of the Latinos who have long called the area home.
City Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury), who said he fondly recalled the bilingual Christmas-eve massses at Blessed Sacrament, sponsored the measure to begin looking at an official designation. In 2007, the council agreed with a resolution to unofficially designate Centre from Hyde Square to Jackson Square as la Avenida de las Americas.
O'Malley said Latin American immigrants have been moving to the area for 60 years, said 40% of the residents along the street speak Spanish in their homes and that 65% of the 125 businesses along the street are owned by immigrants.
Councilor Ayanna Pressley (at large) praised the idea, saying it would not only honor the residents, but possibly spur action to keep them from being gentrified out of the area and even attract tourists to the stretch.