After 23 years of serving in the Massachusetts State House, state Rep. Liz Malia will retire from elected office. Word of Malia's, D-11th Suffolk, retirement became public when discussing a proposed map that would alter state representative districts throughout the state. The new map would place Malia's home in the same district as state Rep. Nika Elugardo, D-15th Suffolk. If that map goes through, and Malia wanted to continue to seek office, it would've set up an election between two incumbents. Malia's retirement was first reported by Lisa Kashinsky for Politico.
This year, there will be a question on the November ballot that would change how the city budget is created. It would allow the city council to change budget items by a majority vote, and create an Office of Participatory Budgeting to allow people to vote on certain budget items. More of us would get a say in how we spend our city’s money. Currently, city councilors can only vote yes or no on the entire budget; they have no power to shift funds within the budget. Also, there is currently no process for voters in Boston to have direct input on the budget through participatory budgeting processes, a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend a portion of a public budget. This project exists in many other major cities like our neighbors next door in Cambridge, as well as New York, Seattle, Oakland, and Chicago.
The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) approved a project that will encompass the shell of the historical Doyle's Cafe building. The BPDA tweeted about it yesterday. The proposed project includes a renovation of the old Doyle's building, and a roof deck would be added. The interior could fit 100 people (post-COVID), and 100 more on the deck, which elevators would be added to make it ADA compliant. Lee Goodman of WaterMark Development has said that there would be murals in the same style of the ones that adorned the walls of the original Doyle's.
Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced four members to the newly established to Civilian Review Board for the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency, including one Jamaica Plain resident. Jamaica Plain resident Joshua Dankoff, E. Peter Alvarez of West Roxbury, Dexter G. Miller of Dorchester, and Danny Y. Rivera Jr. of Mattapan, were all appointed. Rivera is the youth representative for the board. Dankoff is the the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Citizens for Juvenile Justice. He previously staffed the Massachusetts Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Leadership Forum.
City Councilors Lydia Edwards and Elizabeth Breadon are targeting what some call predatory towing practices in Boston by seeking to establish a towing bill of rights, and other towing related regulations. District 1 City Councilor Edwards and District 9 City Councilor Breadon introduced an ordinance at Boston City Council meeting in August that would “modernize and reform involuntary private vehicle towing and relocation practices in Boston.”
Former Mayor Martin Walsh took steps to protect people from predatory towing practices in 2015. However, the pandemic has made predatory towing an even more pressing issue in 2021. “The regulations come at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the ability of residents to cover essential everyday costs such as food, rent, and car payments, and recent studies have shown just 39% of U.S. adults could afford a $1,000 unexpected expense,” said a press release from Edwards and Breadon. Breadon explained the importance of protecting citizens of Boston from these towing practices, and the drastic impacts they can have.