24 Jamaica Plain Orgs & Projects Receive Boston Cultural Council Grants

A smorgasbord of Jamaica Plain organizations and projects received thousands of dollars thanks after the city dispersed its Cultural Council Organizational Grants. The Boston Cultural Council (BCC) Organizational Grants are distributed annually to arts and cultural organizations that are based in Boston, or offer programming in Boston. Grants varied for each organization, going as high as $5,000 per organization. The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, in partnership with the Boston Cultural Council (BCC), awarded grants to 221 Boston arts organizations and projects, totaling $487,000. "Boston is home to so many incredible arts organizations and cultural institutions that work tirelessly to bring opportunities to engage in creative expression to every individual, in every neighborhood," said Kara Elliott-Ortega, Boston's Chief of Arts and Culture, according to a press release. "It's great to see Boston provide increased support and resources to these organizations year after year, and witness the impact it has on our local communities."

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Matt O’Malley is Boston’s Environmental City Councilor

Banning plastic bags, protecting wetlands, fighting gas leaks, water-filling stations, sidewalk composting and net zero carbon buildings. There isn’t a Boston City Councilor who can lay claim to as many environmental legislative accomplishments and initiatives as Matt O’Malley. O’Malley’s environmentally friendly legislation started during his first year on the council when he literally went after paychecks. “Every other week I would get a pay stub even though I had direct pay,” said O’Malley, District 6’s City Councilor, who was first elected in 2010. “I hate paper and I hate clutter and I was raised as an environmentalist.

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JP Forum on Apr. 4: It’s Time to Change the State’s Racist Flag & Seal

The next Jamaica Plain Forum will be discussing how to change Massachusetts' official flag and seal, which is regarded as a symbol of white supremacy. "The current flag and seal, which features a Colonial broadsword held in a white hand over the head of a composite 'Ideal Native American,' is one of two state flags in the United States that remains controversial due to its representation of white supremacy," says the Jamaica Plain Forum website. (The other state is Mississippi, which still uses the Confederate Stars and Bars.)

For more than 30 years there has been proposed legislation to establish a special commission to review the state flag and seal, while working with Native American leaders of the Commonwealth to create a new flag and seal. This year state Rep. Nika Elugardo, D-15th Suffolk District, co-filed a bill to establish the commission. Elugardo is one of the scheduled speakers for the April 4th forum.

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Boston City Hall Now Has Public Lactation Room for Anyone to Use

Boston City Hall now has a public lactation room available to anyone looking for privacy to breastfeed or pump while at City Hall. The free lactation room is in the main lobby on the third floor, adjacent to the south elevators. It is open for use during regular business hours. "At Boston City Hall and throughout our city, we need to ensure there are resources and support for parents, and I'm proud this new resource will be available to all at City Hall," said Mayor Marty Walsh via press release. "We look forward to continuing our work supporting parents and children throughout Boston, building resource for those who are raising the next generation of Bostonians."

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Valdez Goes From JP Neighborhood Coordinator to City’s Economic Mobility Lab

Jamaica Plain has lost our neighborhood coordinator for the city in Alexandra Valdez. But the good news is that the city has gained a new director of engagement for its Economic Mobility Lab. "It has been my absolute pleasure serving as the Mayor’s Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Coordinator and the citywide Latina Liason for the past three years," said Valdez to Jamaica Plain News. "From attending community meetings about local issues, to helping new businesses open, I have learned so much from our neighborhood and how government is here to help its constituents. I have also learned a great deal from the many residents and activists who put in tireless hours engaging in our government to improve our neighborhood."

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