Jamaica Plain Resident Jessica Morris Joins Benchmark Strategies

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.

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Matt O’Malley Energized About Next Opportunity, Reflects on City Council

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.

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Seniors Lead Grinch-Like Protest Against Turtle Swamp Brewing and Landlord

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.

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Boston City Council Looks to Address Predatory Towing Practices

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.

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O’Malley: This Is My Most Proud Legislative Achievement

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).

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