Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said that the city has hired a law firm to review how the Zoning Board of Appeals conducts business after a city employee pleaded guilty to accepting bribes to influence the ZBA. On August 30, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced that John M. Lynch, 66, a former Assistant Director of Real Estate at theEconomic Development Industrial Corporation (EDIC), a division of the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), pled guilty to accepting $50,000 in bribes from a Boston real estate developer. Lynch was supposed to use his official influence to secure a ZBA vote that favored the real estate developer on his federal tax return. The real estate development project was not in Jamaica Plain. Sullivan & Worcester LLP, a law firm outside of Boston, will conduct the review of the ZBA, starting with the rules and regulations in place that dictate how the board conducts business on behalf of residents, and those with matters before the board.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley's Equity Agenda Event Series will continue this Monday with a special discussion in Jamaica Plain. "Stable, safe and affordable housing is a fundamental human right and I believe that we need federal policies and spending to match our need," said Pressley, MA-7th, via the event page. "A survey by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition showed that a minimum wage worker needs to work at least eighty-four hours a week in order to afford a decent one-bedroom apartment at 'fair market rent' in the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District." The event is open to all, but RSVPing is required, and then the event's location will be provided. This is being done due to concerns about Pressley's safety and security.
Massachusetts is a national leader on policy firsts. Education justice is no exception. We were the first state to establish education as a right in our Constitution. As with any worthwhile leadership challenge, the struggle to live out the vision is even harder than the act of codifying it. Today education in Massachusetts is still unequal.
The Holzer Park project on Amory Street is moving forward after the state committed to funding the building that will provide 62 new units of transit-oriented rental housing. Mayor Martin Walsh and the Department of Neighborhood Development made the announcement on July 23, as the project at 125 Amory Street has already received funding from the city. "I am excited that this project, along with several others, received the final amount of funding needed to begin the work to build more homes in our neighborhoods," said Mayor Walsh via press release. "This project adds 62 subsidized housing units that will offer more opportunities for low and middle income families to live and work in Boston and further contributes to the goals laid out in our Housing Boston 2030 plan." All of the 62 units will be income-restricted across different income levels.
The recent extreme heat delayed Mayor Marty Walsh touring around Main Street districts highlighting local businesses and volunteers, including several of Jamaica Plain's favorite businesses. Some of the JP part of the tour was rescheduled for July 22, and some of the tour was rescheduled for this weekend. During three separate days, Mayor Walsh will visit nine different locations, honoring 20 Main Street volunteers and numerous businesses. This weekend the PikaloX restaurant and volunteer Eugenia Arroyo, will be honored as part of Egleston Square Main Streets. The Little Dipper restaurant, and volunteer Melvin Tutiven will be honored by the Jamaica Plain Centre South Main Streets program.