As always, please reach out with any questions to michelle.wu@boston.gov or 617-635-3115. Anyone can sign up to receive these notes by email at www.michelleforboston.com/sendmenotes or see the whole list of notes at www.michelleforboston.com/notes.

Appointments: Mayor Walsh made the following appointments
  • Temporary First Assistant Collector-Treasurer: Richard DePiano for a period of sixty days, effective May 2, 2017
  • Temporary Second Assistant Collector-Treasurer: Anthony Dello Iacono for a period of sixty days, effective May 2, 2017

Transportation Policy Briefing Report: Councilor LaMattina and I filed a report summarizing the transportation policy briefing series that the Council held over the last few months, including recommendations and graphics. See the full report here: http://meetingrecords.cityofboston.gov/….

Just Cause Eviction (Jim Brooks Stabilization Act): Councilor Flaherty reported back on Monday’s working session on the Jim Brooks Stabilization Act, a home rule petition filed by Mayor Walsh with a goal of preserving housing stability and maintaining diversity in Boston’s neighborhoods. As a reminder, the proposal would apply to landlords who own seven or more units in Massachusetts and includes two major provisions: 1) requiring notification that any eviction or nonrenewal of a lease must be sent to the City’s Office of Housing Stability within two days after such notice is sent to the tenant, which would give the City important data on evictions and particularly mass emptying of buildings; and 2) replacing “no-fault eviction” with a requirement that the eviction notice specify one of nine just causes for eviction, including nonpayment of rent, violation of terms of the lease, damage to the apartment, illegal activity, recovering the property for personal or family use, etc. He mentioned that there was consensus around the notification and data collection piece, and the Committee would explore whether part of the legislation could be separated out as an ordinance for immediate implementation rather than kept as a home-rule petition that would require state legislative action before implementation. The matter remains in the Committee on Government Operations.

Insurance Benefits for Surviving Spouses: Councilor Flaherty reported back on the home-rule petition he filed to reinstate the ability of spouses of City of Boston employees who died in the line of duty who later remarried to receive City of Boston health insurance. In 2000, the legislature repealed part of the “remarriage penalty” allowing those spouses who remarried to receive pension benefits, but not insurance benefits. This home rule petition would once and for all do away with the “remarriage penalty.” The matter remains in the Committee on Government Operations.

Dyslexia and Special Education: We voted to pass Councilor Pressley’s resolution to support state legislation that would define dyslexia and ensure proper special education support services for diagnosed students across the state. According to the advocacy group Decoding Dyslexia MA, between 10-17% of the general public have dyslexia and 80% of the Commonwealth’s population of students receiving special education services have dyslexia but may not be identified or are miscategorized. The Commonwealth currently has no legal definition of dyslexia, and there are no universal practices to screen early.

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: We voted to pass Councilor Pressley’s resolution supporting the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act proposed at the state level, which would protect women needing reasonable accommodations during and after pregnancy. The City of Boston already has these protections in place. Councilor Campbell and I, both expecting this summer, were especially eager to support!

National EMS Memorial: We voted 12-0 (Councilor LaMattina absent) to support Councilor McCarthy’s resolution supporting the National Emergency Medical Services Memorial Foundation’s efforts to establish a permanent memorial in DC, as well as Congressman Lynch’s bill to authorize funding. He mentioned that each year over 860,000 EMS providers answer more than 30 million calls to serve over 22 million patients in need of emergency pre-hospital care, and EMS providers die in the line of duty at a rate more than twice the national average for all occupational fatalities. There is currently no national memorial that acknowledges the heroism and dedication to public service of EMS providers.

Upcoming Hearings/Working Sessions (Watch at www.cityofboston.gov/citycouncil/live.asp)

  • Monday, 5/15 at 2:00PM, Working Session, Community Preservation Committee (Government Operations)
  • Wednesday, 5/31 at 2:00PM, Fenway Cultural District (Arts & Culture)

Upcoming Budget Hearings (Ways & Means):

  • Wednesday, 5/10 at 6:00PM, Boston Transportation Department
  • Thursday, 5/11 at 11:00AM, BPS: School Operations
  • Monday, 5/15 at 11:00AM, Department of Innovation and Technology
  • Thursday, 5/18 at 11:00AM, Department of Inspectional Services Overview and Revolving Funds
  • Monday, 5/22 at 2:00PM, Boston Public Library
  • Monday, 5/22 at 6:00PM, BPS: Academics and Student Support Services Part 2
  • Tuesday, 5/23 at 10:00AM, Boston Public Health Commission: Boston EMS and Office of Recovery
  • Tuesday, 5/23 at 2:00PM, Boston Public Health Commission
  • Thursday, 5/25 at 10:00AM, Department of Neighborhood Development: Overview and Office of Housing Stability
  • Thursday, 5/25 at 1:00PM, Boston Planning and Development Association
  • Monday, 6/5 at 11:00AM, BPS: Carryover
  • Tuesday, 6/6 at 11:00AM, Departmental Carryover