Friday, February 02, 2018

Boston City Council Looks At Voting Rights, Collective Bargaining, Homelessness, Composting & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their January 31, 2018 meeting:

Collective Bargaining: Mayor Walsh filed orders to fund the recently settled collective bargaining agreements between the Boston School Committee and the Boston School Police Patrolmen’s Association. This would include base wage increases of 2% in October of each fiscal year. The contract is from September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2020. The matter was assigned to the Ways & Means Committee for a hearing.

Grant: Mayor Walsh filed an authorization order for Council approval for the Police Department to receive $30,000 from the Department of Justice for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program to fund surveillance vehicles for the Boston Police Department Fugitive Unit. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Public Safety & Criminal Justice for a hearing.

Appointments
• Boston Conservation Commission: Mayor Walsh appointed Michael Parker as member until November 2019
• Boston Retirement Board: The Board selected Thomas V.J. Jackson as a member until January 2019
Assessing Department: Commissioner Ronald W. Rakow appointed William Dudula as an Assistant Assessor

Curbside Composting Program: Councilor O’Malley and Pressley refiled a hearing order on the feasibility of implementing a curbside composting program in Boston. They both spoke on how such a program would save the City money by reducing waste sent to landfills, while also producing finished compost that could be used for landscaping in Boston’s parks and gardens or could be sold.  The matter was assigned to the Committee on Environment, Sustainability & Parks for a hearing.

Annual Homeless Census: Councilor Essaibi-George called for a hearing on this year’s homeless census, the point of time count that occurs each year surveying individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Boston shelters and on the streets. This data is used to identify policy priorities and measures to end homelessness. Having a hearing would give the Council an opportunity as in previous years to focus on how homelessness impacts individuals, children, young adults and families, as well as resources currently in place to support team. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Homelessness, Mental Health & Recovery.

Voting Rights for Immigrants with Legal Status: Councilor Campbell called for a hearing to explore the possibility of allowing Legal Permanent Residents, visa holders, Temporary Protected Status recipients, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients to vote in municipal elections and to examine other inclusive practices. Currently, non-U.S. Citizens are prohibited from voting by state law and thus limited in playing an active role in civic life. Several Councilors supported the need for the Council to have this discussion, given that federal laws and politics are preventing many of these people from becoming American citizens. Others expressed that voting should remain a right for United States citizens only. The matter was assigned to the Government Operations Committee for a hearing

For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email. 

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