The field for this year's at-large Boston City Council election continues to grow with a wealth of viable candidates. Mattapan's David Halbert is one of those candidates. While Halbert doesn't live in JP, he does have a strong connection to the neighborhood, having been the Jamaica Plain liaison for former District 6 City Councilor John Tobin. Halbert also previously worked for At-Large Boston City Councilor Sam Yoon, as well as Governor Deval Patrick. Currently, Halbert is the deputy director of community affairs at the Middlesex County Sheriff's office.
At-Large Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu regularly takes public transportation (often with kids in tow). So the MBTA's proposed fare hikes really strike a personal chord with her -- and she has created a petition asking for people to oppose the fare increases. "We oppose the proposal to raise MBTA fares. The proposed 6% fare hike would place an undue burden on residents already struggling to meet transportation-related costs, totaling an unaffordable 41% increase in MBTA fares since 2012. The increased costs would push more commuters to drive, undercutting our most urgent goal of increasing transit ridership to ease congestion, limit air pollution, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," wrote Wu in the petition.
Stop us if you've heard this before. The Boston City Council voted to change the length of their terms from two to four years. Back in 2016, the council voted 12-1 to change term limits, with only At-Large City Councilor Michelle Wu voting against it. On Wednesday, the council voted 11-2 in favor of changing their own term limits, with Wu once again voting against it, as did District 7 City Councilor Josh Zakim. Councilor Wu regularly provides recap notes on all Boston City Council meetings and provided insight into why her colleagues supported extending terms, as well as why she and Zakim voted against it. "Several councilors had stated at the working session on Monday and on the council floor today that having a longer term would strengthen the council as a counterweight to the mayor’s office, and it would save the city money by eliminating the need to run a citywide election in the non-mayoral odd year," wrote Wu.
Ethos, a Jamaica Plain-based nonprofit, was recently chosen to be in charge of the Boston Elder Nutrition Program, which is responsible for providing more than 2.1 million meals to Boston senior citizens per year. The meals are subsidized by the federal, state and city governments with the goal of providing healthy and nutritious meals through Meals on Wheels to homebound senior citizens to help them stay living independently, and meals in neighborhood settings called Community Cafes. The Boston Elder Nutrition Program is being made possible through a collaboration between Boston’s Age Strong Commission (formerly the Commission on Affairs of the Elderly), and the elder services non-profits Central Boston Elder Services, Boston Senior Home Care and Ethos, which all working together to bring healthy food to seniors. Meals on Wheels of America, the advocacy group representing elder nutrition providers, reports that seniors make up 22 percent of the state’s population, with more than 27 percent living alone and 12 percent threatened by hunger, according to a press release. “For millions of Americans, Meals on Wheels and Community Café programs are literally the difference between remaining in their own homes and needing to relocate to a nursing facility,” said Dale Mitchell, CEO, Ethos, via press release.
Jamaica Plain's Mohammad Dar, who most recently practiced internal medicine at the VA hospitals in Brockton and West Roxbury, is running as a Democratic Party candidate for the 8th Congressional District in 2020. Dar would face incumbent Rep. Stephen Lynch, if Lynch chooses to run again. “It is time for change. We need more than incremental change. We need bravery in our politics.