Bill MacGregor was quickly congratulated after the polls closed as the winner of the special election for the 10th Suffolk District state rep seat on Tuesday night. The district includes West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and some of Roslindale and Brookline, but is primarily West Roxbury. In Boston, MacGregor netted 3,098 votes (45.51%), according to Boston's Elections Department. Orthman came in second with 2,303 votes (33.83%), and Segel took 1,392 (20.45%). There were also 15 write-in votes.
Jamaica Plain resident Jessica Morris recently joined Benchmark Strategies public affairs team as Assistant Vice President. Morris brings experience in renewable energy and sustainability, intergovernmental relations, public policymaking and execution, and press and media relations. Prior to joining Benchmark, Morris served six years at as the Chief of Staff to former District 6 Boston City Councilor and Council President Pro Tempore Matt O’Malley. In that role she oversaw and managed a team of legislative staff and neighborhood liaisons for District 6. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Morris led a crisis response for the council district with the Boston’s largest population of seniors and created a 100+ member volunteer call system to connect with seniors, identifying their urgent needs, such as food insecurity.
After 11 years, Boston City Council President Pro Tempore and District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley is moving on from City Hall and is very excited about what the future brings. O'Malley spoke to Jamaica Plain News about his proudest accomplishments, unsung constituent services, and what's next for him. This is an edited version of the conversation. https://twitter.com/MattOMalley/status/1463893405604401160
Q: Tell us about your new job and what does it entail? O'Malley: I was named the Chief Sustainability Officer of Vicinity.
Dozens of seniors protested against Turtle Swamp Brewing and its landlord before the weekend to drop their legal opposition to a city-approved plan for 38 units of affordable senior housing. Seniors carried signs and chanted slogans during Friday's cold weather to protest area landlord Monty Gold and the brewing company who filed lawsuits against the project at 3371 Washington St. The project is next to the brewery, whose landlord is Gold. The rally was organized by Massachusetts Senior Action Council (MSAC) and City Life/Vida Urbana (CLVU). The lawsuit inspired a Boston zoning code amendment by District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley and District 8 City Councilor Kenzie Bok to remove parking
minimums for affordable residential developments where at least 60% of the units are income-restricted at 100% Area Median Income (AMI) or below.
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.
District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley says that in his 10 years on the Boston City Council he can clearly point to his proudest legislative achievement. And we're going to let O'Malley to fully explain why the passage of BERDO 2.0 is his great legislative achievement. O'Malley sent out the following message via newsletter:
After a decade serving in elected office, I can honestly say that this is my most proud legislative achievement. Here's why:
In 2010 I was elected to the council, in part, because I'm an environmentalist. Since then, I've led on a whole host of issues ranging from water filling stations in our parks to plastic bag reduction to wetlands protection to increased renewable energy sources (among others).
Plant graduation season, an annual rite of passage at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, is an occasion for pomp and circumstance as well as a reminder of our connections to nature and the power of plants. The Plant Graduation Class of 2021 took place on April 2 and featured more than 500 plants, some rare and endangered, graduating from the nursery and finding placement throughout the 281-acre landscape of the free and open museum teaching the world about plants. Before the plants officially graduated from the greenhouses for their new “careers” out in the field, a commencement ceremony was held to honor the budding and burgeoning Class of 2021. “The fact that there are more and more plants being planted and groomed and protected and nourished shows the importance of this place," said District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley. “At the Arnold Arboretum we do conservation, education, and we are trying to make sure people understand their responsibilities to the planet and to their fellow species,” added Ned Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum.
Like Frank Sinatra sang, "I did it my way!” District 6 City Councilor Matt O’Malley is leaving the Boston City Council on his own terms.
O’Malley recently spoke with Jamaica Plain News. The following is an edited version of that conversation. Q: Why did you decide to not seek re-election? O’Malley: I have been so grateful for the people of the district for electing and re-electing me for the last decade. I’m excited to write the next chapter in my book to try to pursue new opportunities to continue to serve the public in any way that I can.
Boston's Community Choice Electricity (CCE) program, which enables the city to leverage collective buying power of Boston to secure more stable and affordable electricity rates, and more clean power, will officially launch Feb. 1, 2021. CCE is an opt-out program that offers customers electricity choices without any change in delivery or any contractual commitments. The city will begin sending notices to residents on Eversource Basic Service on Dec. 4. Those residents will be automatically enrolled in the program unless they actively choose opt out.
After 10 years of being District 6's City Councilor, Matt O'Malley has decided he's not going to seek reelection. O'Malley sent out a heartfelt letter talking about his time on the council, his accomplishments, and very personal aspects of his life. "This wasn’t an easy decision to make, but the right one for me and my family. While politics (particularly in Boston) can be rough and tumble, the support and votes of confidence this district has given me time and time again is a lot to walk away from. I am forever grateful," wrote O'Malley.