WBUR reports on progressives fretting about the City Council winding up next year just as white and XYish as "old Boston." Or as 'BUR calls these folks, "self-styled progressives," because God forbid people be allowed to identify their political leanings without a reporter casting some doubt on what they really are by adding some empty phrase like "self-styled." But I guess we could expect no less from self-professed reporter David Scharfenberg.
By a 9-4 vote, the City Council today approved an ordinance that requires owners of commercial buildings larger than 35,000 square feet and residential buildings with more than 35 units to file annual reports with the city on their resource consumption - along with their annual emissions of greenhouse gases.
The goal of the new law is to help curb greenhouse emissions and just make Boston a more resource-efficient kind of place.
No mayoral race for him, the Herald reports.
Shaun Ivers of Jamaica Plain plans to formally launch his campaign today in Geneva/Bowdoin, but first he took a few potshots against rivals Michael Flaherty, Steve Murphy, Ayanna Pressley and Michelle Wu.
There is no place in an at-large race for candidates like Michael Flaherty who are only interested in issues that pertain to their own neighborhood. That’s what district races are for. ... This city does not need more hack politicians like Michael Flaherty and Stephen Murphy, nor does it need self-interested opportunists like Michelle Wu and Ayanna Pressley. When elected I promise serve the people – not exploit them.
Meanwhile, the Jamaica Plain Gazette reports that two employers whom Ivers claimed to be working for as a freelance writer say he never worked for them.
Ivers's complete release:
Shaun Ivers, a Jamaica Plain real-estate agent and consultant, said today he's running for one of the four at-large city-council seats this fall, vowing not to become another mayoral kowtower engaging in "meaningless soapbox grandstanding:"
Although I have worked with politicians in the course of pursuing school and housing causes, I am not of the politician’s class. I do not come from a family of self-entitled politicians, nor have I ever been a legislative aid bidding my time until I can win an election to become the boss.
Ivers, who moved to Boston from Philadelphia six years ago, says he would bring:
A fresh perspective and new ideas to bolster innovation, increase job security, reduce homelessness and create new treatment opportunities for those suffering from addiction.
NorthEndWaterfront.com reports Philip Frattaroli, owner of Ducali Pizzeria, could go citywide.
The Herald reports former at-large Councilor Michael Flaherty will run for an at-large seat, rather than for mayor.
City Councilor Rob Consalvo (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan) says he's running for mayor. His statement:
UPDATE: The Herald reports state Rep. Marty Walsh of Dorchester is running.
City Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) this week took himself out of the running for mayor this fall. But in an e-mail to supporters today, Councilor Felix Arroyo (at large) says, yes, he's thinking about running - but first he wants to see if he can raise the $1 million he says it would cost:
If you believe, like I believe, in a Boston where everyone has opportunities to succeed, where we invest in all of our communities, where every child can receive a quality education, where we care for our elderly, where everyone can live in a safe neighborhood, and where we all have a say in the direction of our city, I ask that you please give now and give as generously as possible. Your donation will make this campaign a reality.
It's just not municipal election season until we hear the rumors about Menino winning re-election, getting Rob Consalvo elected city-council president and then stepping down so Consalvo can become mayor without an election. Oh, yeah, and the side rumor about Menino being Consalvo's godfather (he isn't).
Francisco White, a youth organizer from East Boston, says he's running for one of the four at-large seats on the city council in this fall's election.
White, 26, is Young Civic Leaders Coordinator for MassVOTE and says he is openly gay. In a statement, he says:
I am someone who has always believed that government works, but only if everyone truly has a voice. I have no delusion of being middle class, I am not Ivy League educated, and my story is not like those who are typically elected to public office. I live, like so many people, at the margin. My reason for running is my desire to take Boston beyond its reputation as a progressive city, to work toward necessary progress that is inclusive of the marginalized. Moreover, my reason for running is to empower poor people, students, minorities, and LGBTQ individuals to take their seats at the table and have input in the decisions that affect us. Boston is much more than its middle class.
- White Web site, which allows comments, one of which is from Boston's biggest fan of open stenographic records.
David Bernstein alerts us that Seamus Whelan has set up a formal campaign committee to run for an at-large council seat in the fall elections.
According to his Facebook page, Whelan will run as the "socialist alternative" and "a voice for the 99% in Boston."
A registered nurse, Whelan calls for more teachers, an end to foreclosures and an elected School Committee and Boston Redevelopment Authority:
Boston is controlled by unelected organizations, from the school committee to the Boston Redevelopment Authority to the MBTA Board and the vultures on State Street. We need an economy that works for everyone and not just the rich and powerful. We must organize to build structures that allow working people make the important decisions that affect our lives.
City councilors Steve Murphy (at large) and Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End) today will propose setting a limit on how much a homeowner's property taxes can rise from one year to the next.
The two argue that residents in areas undergoing gentrification are being unduly burdened by the fact that as foreclosed and distressed properties get renovated, their property values - and so their property taxes - are going up too fast. In a request for a hearing on a "circuit breaker" provision, they add:
Increases in property tax bills being seen in the post-recession real estate market have not been fully matched by a bounce-back in the employment sector, making it difficult for many long-time homeowners to continue to afford their homes.
Their proposed limit would be on top of the tax break homeowners already get. They did not detail the potential costs to the city of their idea.
City Councilor Charles Yancey (Dorchester, Mattapan) today seeks approval from his fellow councilors for a hearing to look at borrowing $115 million to build a new high school on the grounds of the old Mattapan State Hospital.
Yancey has pushed the idea, with no success, for more than a decade, arguing the city is failing its students without a brand-new high school and that the city is wasting its money renovating existing high schools in old buildings, such as the Quincy School.
City Councilor Ayanna Pressley is calling for a hearing on how to stop the exodus of liquor licenses from the city's outer neighborhoods to Boston Proper and the waterfront.
At Wednesday's City Council meeting, Pressley will explain her bid to change the current arbitrary limit set by the state legislature on liquor licenses in Boston, which she calls an outdated relic of "Prohibition frenzy about alcohol and a power struggle between Yankee legislators and Irish-dominated local governments."
Pressley might also have to fight the legacy of Dianne Wilkerson - the last time the city got an increase in the number of licenses was at the behest of the currently imprisoned former state senator.
In an "order" explaining her issue, Pressley writes:
The Dorchester Reporter details a proposal by City Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester) to create a School Committee consisting of a mix of three elected members and four appointed by the mayor. The Reporter notes the proposal would need the signature of the mayor, no fan of Baker's or elected school-committee members, before going to the state legislature.
The Dorchester Reporter provides the blow-by-blow of a blowup over diversity in city government between Councilor Charles Yancey (Dorchester) and city attorney William Sinnott:
The back-and-forth between Yancey and Sinnott and shouts from audience members caused a City Council administrative staffer to call the municipal police force, which sent several officers up to the fifth floor to check in on the hearing.
Wu's a past Rappaport Fellow in Law and Public Policy at City Hall and worked on Elizabeth Warren's campaign.
If elected, and Ayanna Pressley gets re-elected, we'll have two Chicago natives on the council.
City Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) thinks the city should dramatically expand its bubbler network as a way of encouraging people to exercise - and just being nice to visitors in this most walkable of cities - by ensuring they have ready access to high-quality Boston tap water.
The council tomorrow considers his request for a hearing on the idea, which he says would also encourage people to stop filling up landfills with disposable plastic bottles, short of just banning them, like some suburban towns we could name. He assures us:
Massachusetts water sources have some of the most advanced disinfection techniques available and the City of Boston has long been at the forefront of water and wastewater engineering. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and the City of Boston are proud of their heritage of "generations of great water."
Ed. note: Maybe O'Malley could team up with Felix Arroyo and Ayanna Pressley on their free WiFi idea and turn abandoned pay phones into convenience centers where people on the go could fill up their Nalgene bottles and check their e-mail at the same time.
City Councilor Bill Linehan says some of his constituents stood in line for three or even four hours on Election Day, and he's not having it.
On Wednesday, the council considers his request for a hearing to figure out how to prevent the long lines he said became common in his district. In his request, Linehan says five precincts have 4,000 voters each - double the citywide average and nine times the size of the city's smallest precinct.
Linehan says he heard from one voter who got in line to vote at 6 p.m. and didn't finally cast his ballot until 10 p.m.
Ed. note: Carter Wilkie sent in this "letter to the editor" after the City Council on Wednesday approved a new map for ciy-council districts:
Roslindale loses in redistricting -- again. The neighborhood had one city councilor (District 5) but is now split three ways (districts 4, 5, 7). Even worse, the new center of gravity in district 5 shifts so heavily towards Hyde Park/Mattapan that it virtually ensures no candidate from Roslindale will be able to mount a base of support to win this district in the future.
Incumbent politicians from other neighborhoods have repeatedly carved up Roslindale in redistricting, disenfranchising a neighborhood. In the last round of redistricting on Beacon Hill, Roslindale was carved up among four state representatives from other communities (Coppinger from West Roxbury, Sanchez and Malia from Jamaica Plain, and Scaccia from Hyde Park).
Roslindale, with a population of 34,000, is the largest community in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts without a resident in any elected office. No other community in Boston is as splintered on electoral maps, and no other community has less of a voice when it comes to protecting its interests.
Through redistricting at City Hall and Beacon Hill, Roslindale has been transformed into an afterthought for politicians who live in other places.