Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Boston City Council Looks At Cannabis, Pedestrian Safety, TNCs & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. Here are some highlights from the November 20, 2019 meeting:

Equity in Cannabis Licensing: The Council voted 12-1 (Councilor Garrison opposing) to pass Councilor Janey’s amended ordinance. The goal of the ordinance is to promote and encourage equity in the newly created marijuana industry with full participation of residents from communities that have previously been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition and enforcement and to positively impact those communities. The language creates a new category of municipal equity applicants, which would include companies with 51% or more ownership stake from three or more of the following criteria: 1) a person who has resided in an area of disproportionate impact for at least 7 of the past 10 years; 2) a Boston resident who has a past arrest or conviction for possession, sale, manufacturing or cultivation of marijuana between 1971-2016 who has been a resident of Boston for the past 5 years; 3) someone who has resided in Boston for at least the past 5 years; 4) someone who is of Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, or Asian descent; 5) someone whose annual household income is at or below 100% of the area median income; or 6) someone who is certified by the Cannabis Control Commission as an Economic Empowerment Applicant. The City of Boston would require a 1:1 ratio of equity firms as defined by the above criteria compared to other businesses. The inclusion of an independent municipal cannabis commission was removed from the ordinance through an agreement with the Mayor that there will be a separate Executive Order creating that commission soon. Councilor Garrison stated that she believed a separate city commission would create corruption.

Residential Property Tax Exemption: The Council voted to approve the annual certification that Boston will take the maximum residential exemption of 35% of the average assessed value for Fiscal Year 2020.


Independent Commission on Equal Opportunity: Councilors Edwards, Campbell & Zakim reported back on their recent hearings on the proposed ordinance to create an Independent Commission on Equal Opportunity and the Elimination of Systemic Bias in the Workplace. They updated the Council that because the Administration recently reconstituted the Human Rights Commission for the City, this ordinance would be placed on file so that resources could focus on strengthening the new commission and its efforts.
Pedestrian Safety: Councilors Flynn & I reported back on the recent hearing to discuss pedestrian crossing signals, traffic calming, and Vision Zero (the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities). City representatives reported back on the recent increase in resources for safe streets from increasing parking fines and increasing parking meter charges, which have gone to expanding staff focused on transit, engineering, and design. Councilors pushed for a faster and wider implementation of street infrastructure improvements, whether through the Neighborhood Slow Streets program or other mechanisms. Read more about this hearing in the Boston Herald here

Transportation Network Companies: Councilors Flynn, O’Malley & I reported back on yesterday’s hearing to discuss transportation network companies (TNCs). Ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft average over 115,000 trips originating in Boston per day, contributing to traffic significantly. Administration representatives stated at the hearing that they hoped to see passage of state legislation that would increase the fees assessed on ride-share rides and direct more resources to Boston, and that the City was focused on curb-side management to reduce double parking and blocking traffic from ride-hailing rides stopping to pick up or drop off riders. The Council will explore the possibility of a home-rule petition and reaching out to other municipalities in the metro region affected by ride-hailing companies to push even beyond assessments.

Zoning for Civil Rights & Fair Housing: Councilor Edwards & I reported back on yesterday’s hearing on her petition to amend the Boston Zoning Code in order to establish fair housing regulations and procedures to secure integrated communities. Her proposed language would require amendments to agreements for major projects, including through cooperation agreements (or through separate agreements with the Department of Neighborhood Development and the Office of Fair Housing and Equity to include the prevention of exclusionary displacement and strategies for promoting racially, ethnically and economically integrated communities. At the hearing, we heard from legal experts, BPDA representatives, and the Fair Housing Commission that there was a shared desire to codify affirmatively furthering fair housing into the zoning code, but the BPDA hoped to delay the formal inclusion of language until they could have more process on how to implement it. Councilors hope to codify the language immediately and allow for a delayed effective date to sort out the specific process. 

UPCOMING HEARINGS (In the City Council Chamber unless otherwise noted. Watch online.)
  • Our next Council Meeting will be on Wednesday, December 4th 
For complete notes of Boston City Council meetings, visit or sign up to receive these notes automatically. 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

South Boston Neighborhood Associations Holiday Party

Join your South Boston neighbors and fellow neighborhood and civic associations for holiday cheer. 

On the Dot and Washington Village
Cordially Invites you to the


Wednesday, December 11th
6:30 until 9:30 p.m.
1 Ellery Street
South Boston – Andrew Square

hors d'oeurves – spirits – hot chocolate bar - carolers

Please RSVP to FPNA with your name(s) and address
by 5pm Sunday, November 24, 2019.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

FPNA Gathering: 6.5 Acre Channelside, Your Top 5 Issues & Neighborhood News

You are invited to a
Fort Point Seaport Neighborhood Gathering

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
6 pm to 8 pm
Capital One Café
57 Seaport Blvd


Related Beal
with KPF Architects

244 - 284 A Street 
6.5 acres Channelside

(former Gillette Parking Lot)


Neighborhood Top 5
A Discussion of Key Issues In Fort Point & Seaport


Neighborhood News

Special Thanks to Capital One Café for their hospitality 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Fort Point Landmarks November 2019 Meeting


Thursday, November 14, 2019
6:00 PM
Boston City Hall - Piemonte Room (5th Floor)
After 5:30 pm, enter and exit City Hall at the Dock Square entrance on Congress Street (across from Faneuil Hall).

Subject of the hearing will be applications for Certificates of Design Approval on the agenda below, review of architectural violations and such business as may come before the commission, in accordance with Ch. 772 of the Acts of 1975, as amended.


APP # 20.477 FPC  370 Congress Street
Applicant: Jess Hanson; Star Sign Co 
Proposed Work: At the Thompson Street and Congress Street elevations, replace four existing pole banners, relocate one pole banner, and install one new banner with associated armature; At the southwest corner replace two wall plaques; At the Congress Street entrance replace halo-lite channel letter sign and install vinyl decals on entry doors.

APP # 20.524 FPC  250 Summer Street
Applicant: Dan Desroches, Slnergy lnvestments
Proposed Work: At the Harborwalk and alley-facing elevations, install flood barrier systems at seven (7) doorways and seven (7) windows.

II. Administrative Review/Approval

APP # 20.524 SE  250 Summer Street: 
At the Harborwalk and rear alley elevations, repoint 3’b above grade; paint and replace sealant at seven (7) windows; remove asphalt paving at six (6) door thresholds at the rear elevation and replace with concrete.

III  Ratification of 10/10/2019 Public Hearing Minutes

IV. Staff Updates

V. Projected Adjournment: 6:45 PM

David Berarducci, Susan Goganian, John Karoff, Lynn Smiledge, Vacancy 
Alternates: Thomas Rodde, Vacancy

originally published 11.6.19

Thursday, November 07, 2019

P&G Gillette Launches Assessment of World Shaving Headquarters

A good neighbor and major Fort Point property owner, P&G Gillette, notified the Fort Point Neighborhood Association  (FPNA) shortly after informing their own employees that P&G is conducting an assessment related to their Massachusetts operations.   The assessment  they explained is the first step in executing a plan to invest in new, world class, high tech production facilities, a cutting-edge innovation center and modern office space.   The assessment will explore how best structure P&G Grooming operations across their Fort Point (34 acre) and Andover (150 acre) sites to bring their new vision to life - and will consider what's best for the business, employees, and the community.

Under any scenario, the company plans to maintain a meaningful presence in South Boston. "We are proud of our Boston heritage and want to continue to benefit from, and enable, the strong business and innovation ecosystem that exists in Boston today."

"We do believe that with the right planning and partnership with local leaders, this exploration could yield some advantages for the city, the state and the neighborhood.    We will also honor our commitments related to climate ready planning - and we plan to continue our longstanding charitable giving program to support the many incredible nonprofit organizations that are making our community a better place to live and work."

Monday, November 04, 2019

Tuesday Is Election Day Let’s GOTV

Tomorrow Tuesday, November 5, 2019 is the Boston Municipal Election for City Council. On the ballot in our district are: District City Councilor Ed Flynn and eight City Councilors-At-Large vying for your vote to fill four At-Large seats. 

When: Tuesday, November 5, 2019
7 am – 8 pm
Where: Condon School (200 D Street)
What: Boston Municipal Election of City Council

District 2:  Ed Flynn*

At-Large City Councilors (vote for up to 4 of 8)

Michael Flaherty*: Born and raised in Boston, Michael Flaherty developed a passion for public service from his father, a State Representative. First elected to City Council in 2000-2008, he served as President for 5 years. Re-elected in 2013 as a Councilor-At-Large, Michael fights to improve Bostonians’ quality of life. Michael lives in South Boston and is running for re-election. Read more about Michael.

Althea Garrison*:  Althea Garrison was sworn in as an At-Large member of the Boston City Council on January 9, 2019, filling the seat vacated by Ayanna Pressley. A resident of Dorchester, she fights every day for the cares and concerns of all Bostonians. Althea is a registered Independent.

Annissa Essaibi-George*: Annissa-Essaibi George is a former Boston Public Schools teacher, a mother of 4 students in BPS, a small business owner, a proud daughter of immigrants, and a lifelong Boston resident. Annissa was elected as an At-Large Boston City Councilor in November 2015 and sworn in on January 4, 2016. Annissa resides in Dorchester and is running for re-election. Read more about Annissa

David Halbert: David Halbert has spent a lifetime putting his values into action serving others, working to improve his community, and heeding the call of civic duty. He has worked for two Boston city councilors and former governor Deval Patrick and helped community organizations like East Boston Main Streets. David resides in Dorchester/Mattapan. Read more about David.

Julia Mejia: Driven by a lifelong pursuit of justice and equity, Julia Mejia has created countless opportunities for others to step into their power and advocate for positive change. That is why she believes It’s time for City government leadership include new faces from different walks of life…striving for a voice in our institutions of power. Julia resides in Dorchester. Read more about Julia

Erin Murphy: Erin Murphy is a 5th generation Bostonian, but a first-time candidate for office. She is a veteran BPS teacher and proud graduate of Emerge, the state's premier political organization that recruits, trains, and provides a powerful network for women who want to run for office. Erin resides in Dorchester. Read more about Erin.

Alejandra St. Guillen: Born and raised in Mission Hill, Alejandra has dedicated her lived and professional experience to the people of Boston. As a parent, wife, and seasoned public advocate, she understands firsthand the opportunities for prosperity and mobility, as well as the obstacles that often deny these opportunities to many. Alejandra resides in West Roxbury. Read more about Alejandra.

Michelle Wu*: Michelle Wu has been a voice for Boston’s future through inclusion, innovation, and transparency. First elected to the Boston City Council in November 2013 at the age of 28, Wu is the first Asian-American woman to serve on the Council, and the first woman of color to serve as Council President. Michelle resides in Roslindale and is running for re-election. Read more about Michelle

* incumbents

Want to hear the City Councilors-At-Large in debate? WBUR, UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies and The Boston Globe hosted a live debate featuring the eight candidates for the four at-large Boston City Council seats on October 22, 2019.

Non-Binding Ballot Question (citywide)

Do you support the renaming/changing of the name of Dudley Square to Nubian Square?