Issue #152 - July 2020
Staff Changes at LivableStreets
LivableStreets has seen quite a few changes over the summer! We welcomed Anabelle Rondon to the staff as our new Great Neighborhoods Network Director. She joined us full-time on July 1 and has been busy putting together resources to help us with our new focus on housing.
Public Policy Director Louisa Gag is heading to grad school in the fall, but not to worry - she'll be staying on part-time to help continue guiding LivableStreets' policy work.
Finally, Marina Recio Rodriguez has been doing amazing work as the Emerald Network Mapping Fellow throughout the summer; we will miss her after her fellowship ends at the end of July!
Great Neighborhoods: State Housing Choice Legislation Advances
Image: Great Neighborhoods
Earlier this week, the Massachusetts House and Senate each passed housing legislation that includes many of the priorities we support, including zoning reform, funding for affordable housing programs, and tenant protections. We are particularly excited to see that both chambers adopted Governor Baker’s Housing Choice reforms, which will make it easier for some municipalities to reduce parking requirements, create transit-oriented development, and incentivize market-rate developers to include affordable housing in their projects. To learn more, visit this blog post.
The next steps are for the legislation to proceed to a House-Senate Conference Committee. Sign up for our Great Neighborhoods mailing list to get action alerts as this important legislation progresses, as well as to receive other housing related news and actions.
Summer Street Ambassador Work Begins
We are thrilled to welcome our newest Street Ambassadors to the LivableStreets team! This summer we are focusing on Cummins Highway and American Legion Highway in the Mattapan, Roxbury, and Roslindale neighborhoods. Both corridors have significant speeding, crashes, and other transportation concerns.
We are excited to have community members supporting efforts to hear from people living along, or nearby, both corridors and advocating for streets that work better. Due to COVID-19 we are limiting our on-street engagement, and will be taking extensive precautions while doing in-person engagement. Keep an eye out for our classic orange Street Ambassador t-shirts and if you see us out on the street say a physically distanced hello and share your story with us!
State Senate Passes Bond Bill
Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Senate passed a Transportation Bond Bill that adopted some of the issues we support, while rejecting others. Thank you to everyone who reached out to their Senator in the days leading up to the Senate vote! Despite the Senate’s decision not to include new revenue for transportation, we were pleased to see them include the following in their bill:
- Support for regional ballot initiatives
- Language that would legalize e-bikes and micromobility devices
- Complete Streets funding
Read more about the Senate Bond Bill here. Next steps are for the legislation to proceed to a House-Senate Conference Committee, to reconcile the Senate’s bill with the package that the House approved in March.
We hope that the final bill will be more bold and include measures such as a congestion pricing pilot program, increased TNC fees, and implementation of regional rail. Stay tuned as this important legislation moves forward.
Sasaki Grant Awarded for Research Project on Columbia Road
Image: Sasaki Foundation
This month, LivableStreets was awarded the Innovation in Transit and Access to Mobility Choices and Creative Community Building grant from the Sasaki Foundation. Partnering with Dorchester Bay EDC, our team is launching the Columbia Road Gender and Mobility Initiative, to explore the mobility limitations that stem from gender inequities, particularly the gendered experiences of streets. We will use the redevelopment of the Columbia Road corridor as an opportunity to address the structural problems emerging from the gender data gap that exists in city planning and for meaningful public engagement on the corridor’s renovation. Stay tuned for more information on this project!
- Transportation Advocate, U.S. PIRG: U.S. PIRG is hiring a Transportation Advocate for their national Transform Transportation Program. They’re looking for an experienced political advocate who will be responsible for media outreach, organizing, developing staff, influencing stakeholders, coalition-building, and fundraising. Learn more + apply here.
- Associate Planner, City of Beverly: The City of Beverly is looking for an Associate Planner to provide varying level of technical and administrative support to several City land use boards and the public, in addition to performing directed studies and research at the request of the Director and Assistant Director. Learn more + apply here.
- Research Fellow, The Boston Foundation: This year-long fellowship will focus on supporting the COVID Community Data Lab, presenting the best non-traditional data sources we can find for analyzing how our communities have changed since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more + apply here.
- Housing Policy Manager, BPDA: Under the direction of the Senior Policy Advisor, the Housing Policy Manager will administer the Boston Planning and Development Agency’s (BPDA) housing programs and policies, including fair housing; oversee the implementation of the BPDA’s Inclusionary Development Program (IDP); direct and participate in the management and coordination of complex residential and mixed-use projects. Learn more + apply here.
- Multiple positions, GreenRoots Chelsea: GreenRoots is hiring for a variety of positions, including organizers and Health Equity Corps members. Learn more + apply here.
- Assistant Campaign Director, Massachusetts Public Health Association: The Assistant Campaign Director will focus on developing and stewarding relationships with community-based organizations, local leaders, coalitions, and other allies to shape MPHA priorities and drive effective action that leads to winning policy campaigns. Learn more + apply here.
Check out the following resources to learn more about what we've been up to lately!
- Press: Read local and national press featuring LivableStreets and our work.
- StreetFilms: Watch videos highlighting our advocacy and events.
- Greenway Stories:Join us as we explore greenway successes and challenges around the Boston area.
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