The City Council today gave backing to a proposal by Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) for a hearing to look at both specific increases in murders and shootings in Boston over the past year and more general issues about how Boston police, public-health and even housing departments can do something about it. Read more.
The city council today urged Harvard University to give its food-services workers the $35,000 minimum salary that is one of the issues in the workers' current strike. Read more.
Times columnist Frank Bruni writes that at-large Boston City Councilors Ayanna Pressley and Michelle Wu (also currently council president) are two young Democratic elected officials to keep an eye on. He also put US Reps Joe Kennedy and Seth Moulton on his list.
Anticipating voters will approve the recreational use of marijuana, city councilors voted today to ban pot shops and medicinal marijuana dispensaries from opening closer than a half mile to each other.
City Councilor Michael Flaherty (at large) had originally sought a one-mile restriction, but offered a half mile as a compromise. Read more.
The Boston City Council today approved a resolution calling for restaurants with under 30 seats outside the downtown area to let customers bring their own beer and wine if they don't have liquor licenses.
The proposal now goes to the Boston Licensing Board, which has oversight of liquor service in the city and which currently bans all BYOB. Read more.
Jamaica Plain News reports at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley will vote for O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) for council president to replace Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End, Chinatown, Downtown), who is not trying for a third term in the president's aerie above the council chambers.
The City Council today approved Mayor Walsh's proposal to increase members' pay almost 14%, to $99,500, starting Jan. 1.
Councilors Ayanna Pressley (at large) Michelle Wu (at large), Charles Yancey (Dorchester) and Josh Zakim (Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Mission Hill, Fenway) voted against. Read more.
Cambridge Day reports at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley has endorsed Manikka Bowman, a candidate for school committee in Cambridge, where voters get to choose who oversees the school system.
Two key councilors in the struggle for higher council pay say they have come to terms with the mayor's proposal to increase their salaries 13.7%, to $99,500, come January. Read more.
At-large city councilor Steve Murphy called for restrictions on development in Boston at a candidate forum in Roslindale tonight. Fellow at-large councilor Ayanna Pressley, meanwhile, wants to look at restricting the numbers of certain types of franchise operations in particular neighborhoods. Read more.
Among the people welcoming BPS students to school yesterday was at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley. Today, Pressley reports, she's getting private messages via Twitter (or "DMs" in Twitterspeak) questioning what was going on with her face:
Are ppl (incldg media) really DM'ing me re:why I wasn't wearing make-up @ #bps visits yesterday? Ridic. Ask my colleagues why they never do.
The Boston Licensing Board decides tomorrow whether to grant a liquor license for a proposed restaurant at the site of a long abandoned video store in Adams Corner in Dorchester. Read more.
The City Council today approved a hearing on conditions for housekeepers at the Wyndham Hotel on Blossom Street, whom they said are routinely exposed to blood, feces, vomit, syringes and other possibly unhealthy materials left in rooms by Mass. General patients staying at the hotel. Read more.
City Councilors Ayanna Pressley (at large) and Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End, Chinatown) both say they love the idea of increasing the number of restaurants that can serve alcohol in Boston, but both are saying they have major concerns about a proposal by Councilors Michelle Wu and Steve Murphy to let smaller eateries offer BYOB service.
Interim School Superintendent John McDonough plans to tell the School Committee tonight that he will not support a proposal to arm school police with a form of pepper spray.
In a statement released today, he said:
Councilors Tito Jackson (Roxbury) and Ayanna Pressley (at large) want the school department to just say no to pepper spray.
School police, who do not carry guns, say pepper spray would help them better control violent situations. But in a request to the council for a hearing on the BPS idea, the two councilors say they don't understand the need when violence in Boston schools is declining and when pepper spray brings with it a variety of health risks and legal liabilities for the city:
The City Council today passed an ordinance under which all trucks over 10,000 pounds used by city contractors will have to be equipped with side guards and special mirrors to reduce the odds a bicyclist or pedestrian will be crushed when the truck makes a turn or changes lanes.
The ordinance, which goes into effect in six months, is the first in the nation. The measure, first proposed by at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley, does not apply to emergency vehicles or trucks used for snow plowing.
According to the mayor's office:
An angry Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) today demanded an in-depth audit of finances at the city's only vocational high school.
BPS "should be absolutely ashamed" that the school has 62 staff vacancies just two weeks before school opens, Jackson said today, calling for a hearing to consider the issue.
Councilor Charles Yancey (Dorchester) agreed. "The situation at Madison is really at a crisis level," he said.
"The school is failing because we have failed these kids," at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley said. "If the school is being set up to fail, the students are being set up to fail. Enough is enough."
City councilors began work today on a zoning change that would allow art galleries to open in areas such as Newbury Street, where, technically, they are currently prohibited.
City Councilor Josh Zakim (Back Bay) said he was amazed to learn recently that ISD rejected a request by Pucker Gallery, 171 Newbury St., to move to 240 Newbury St. because of the prohibition.
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