Issues

Boston Logan Airport is our neighbor; I want it to be a better neighbor. Logan is one of very few international airports located in the center of an urban area in the United States.

This is why MASSPORT needs to be a national leader on environmental issues for airports.

If elected as your City Councilor I will push MASSPORT to:

  • Pay for an independant source to produce a scientifically, peer reviewed environmental study to stand as a benchmark measurement for future environmental studies. This would include a broad range of data points including ultra fine particulate matter. I support the long term efforts of community groups including AIR, Inc. in calling for this measure.
  • Continue to promote and expand “Logan Express” options outside of the city that promote bussing from the suburbs. Changes should include lowering the cost, increasing the number of sites, trips per day and amenities offered from remote lots to ensure the Logan Express lots offer a flexible schedule and are used to capacity by airport travelers. Currently 40% of riders of the Logan Express are airport employees. This number should be reduced.
  • Fund the NOAH Tree cover project, adding 2,500 trees to East Boston, giving us the average number of trees for a Boston community. This would give us 30% tree cover, the minimum recommended amount needed to have an impact on air quality. This would provide the community with natural air filtration, cleaning the air from both car and plane pollution and assist us in combating flooding.
  • Introduce a noise abatement curfew, stopping planes from flying between 11PM and 6AM.
  • Follow the lead of European and Chinese airports that are installing industrial air vacuums to remove carbon monoxide and ultrafine particulate matter from the air. In several instances these are being installed on runways, using airplane exhaust to push air through, making the machines themselves environmentally friendly.
  • Implement State Rep Adrian Madaro’s proposal for the installation of “Real Time” tracking devices around the airport and within East Boston to allow for the monitoring of noise, air pollution, and a broad range of data points with immediate access to the general public. This increased transparency and information will allow residents to hold MASSPORT more accountable, while giving us the ability to study real time data.
  • Expand the window proofing program, including the replacement of the original windows. Inclusion of local schools within the program.
  • Contract for its own ambulance. Currently, one ambulance covers all of East Boston and the airport. When called to the airport, residents have to wait up to 20 minutes for an ambulance to come through a tunnel or across a bridge in the city. As we add thousands of more residents to our community, it is only a matter of time until this situation leads to fatal results.

As the Director of Development at North Suffolk Mental Health Association, I know firsthand that we have an opioid crisis in Massachusetts.  People are dying from it every day and the Commonwealth’s own data shows just how big of a problem we have on our hands.

As your city councilor, I will prioritize creating a Boston version of the Angel program, pioneered and already successful in Gloucester, where an individual can walk into a police station and ask for help finding treatment.  I will also push for an increase in the number of Rapid Access Treatment beds ensuring that those seeking help with addiction can get it immediately.

I also support expanding the drug court system, where an individual charged with nonviolent offenses as a result of addiction receives intensive, supervised probation and mandatory treatment, as well as random drug testing with progress monitored by a supervising probation officer. Drug Courts significantly reduce crime, as much as 45 percent more than other sentencing options, though prison time remains an option for those violating their probation terms. See this page for more information.

Initiatives like these will help after an individual has become addicted, but we must work hardest at prevention.  Charlestown (Turn it Around), East Boston (E.A.S.T.I.E) and the North End (North End Against Drugs) all have strong community programs working to promote drug awareness and prevention.  Groups like these should be allowed into our schools to provide educational programs to steer students away from opioids and other drugs.  Doctors also have an important role to play.  It is well documented that prescription opioids are often the gateway to addiction.  As your city councilor, I will work with the Boston Public Health Department to ensure that doctors get the training they need to help cut down new instances of addiction.

The internet has created many new opportunities for people to make money with things they already own. Owner occupants making a few dollars off their spare room is a time honored tradition; in the first half of the 20th century many families took in boarders as a way to supplement their income. For many individuals, Airbnb is simply a new way to facilitate an old transaction.

However, there is a difference between a resident making some extra money by offering that extra bedroom on Airbnb and absentee landlords using the service to run unlicensed hotels. Such facilities are unsafe, unregulated and do a disservice to the communities in which they are present: limiting housing choices for community members and reducing social capital and cohesion through the introduction of large, transient populations into neighborhoods where people should have the opportunity to put down roots and know the folks next door. They also increase competition for rental units, driving up the price of existing rental apartments.

In East Boston, where many residents work in downtown hotels as service staff, large blocks of Airbnb rentals are a direct threat to their livelihoods since an unregulated business can undercut the costs of a traditional hotel. To address these issues, I propose the following initiatives:

  • Airbnb units which are not owner occupied are hotels in everything but the name and they should be treated as such, and need to have regular fire and safety inspections.
  • Any large residential development with 5 Airbnb units or more in it must notify all residents of the presence of these units and take appropriate safety measures.
  • All Airbnb units need to be subject to local taxation.

East Boston needs its own, dedicated ambulance. Currently, when East Boston’s only ambulance is in use at the airport, residents lives are being endangered when a backup ambulance must come through the tunnels. We are all familiar with tunnel delays, which in an emergency, is a matter of life and death. As Logan’s passenger volume continues to increase, so too will the demands for ambulance service at the airport. Residents in East Boston will be safer with ambulance service dedicated to their own needs. In tandem, I will encourage Massport to increase its ambulance count, so as to provide a win-win situation for both residents and travelers.

The pace of development in Boston is quickly reaching indescribable proportions. Although I do not support stopping all development, projects must be reasonable in size, scope and density to their community.

The mayor is pushing for 53,000 new units of housing by 2030. This growth MUST include on-campus dorms to encourage students to move out of our communities and into campus housing. This will relieve tremendous pressure on the rental market and encourage longer term residents, which benefit our neighborhoods.

The city can and should be encouraging the building of more workforce housing; units that are more expensive than affordable, but less expensive than luxury. Too many members of our community are being priced out, unable to live in the city because the only new options are luxury housing. More workforce housing means that everyone has a place to live, safeguarding the health of our communities.

For many people, say “East Boston” and the first thing they think about is Logan Airport.  For those who know a little bit more, the next two thoughts are Suffolk Downs and Santarpio’s, but this corner of the City has so much more to share.  From the shipbuilding tradition of Donald McKay which sent clippers like Flying Cloud around the world to being one of the United States’ busiest immigrant ports in the 19th century and yes, even aviation firsts, East Boston has a rich history.  Perhaps even less well-known is that today’s East Boston has a vibrant arts scene represented at the Atlantic Works Building & Gallery.  This is why we need to work together to realize the East Boston History Museum.  Such a facility would draw tourists across the harbor, offer students and residents the opportunity to learn about our history, and provide another space for local artists to showcase their talents. As your City Councilor I will work with the East Boston Museum to find them a permanent home, and opportunities to continue to celebrate our rich history and culture.

The City of Boston is incredibly susceptible to sea level rise and climate change. The effects of flooding are already showing in the cost of flood insurance for residents. It is up to the city to invest in infrastructure and updated zoning and design efforts to ensure Boston remains a liveable city.

  • As a part of planning and water access I will expand the Harborwalk Master Plan started by Councilor Sal LaMattina to include Charlestown and the North End, and incorporate climate resilience into the planning and implementation.  This would encourage developers to incorporate pedestrian friendly, accessible design which also provides coastline protection.
  • I support the creation of a “berm”, a raised embankment to protect low level areas from continual flooding.  This infrastructure investment could hold back a significant amount of flooding from sea level rise, and has been supported by local climate groups.
  • As part of adding a bike path in the city of Charlestown, I would advocate for it to be lined with rain gardens, or specially designed green areas that absorb water, to help combat inland flooding.
  • Change zoning efforts directly on the coast line to incorporate graded development, raising the developments themselves, and providing protection to buildings and developments behind them.
  • Push for the conversion of traffic islands and medians to be converted to rain gardens to absorb water, and keep it off of the roadways. This could be done as a regularly scheduled part of maintenance and construction.
  • Convert the abandoned commuter rail line “potato road” in Charlestown to a bike path. Connect this path to the North Bank Bridge in Boston, giving bicyclists an additional, but safe and separate connection to downtown. This could also connect to Somerville, and over the pedestrian bridge about to be constructed to Everett, allowing for a connection to the north shore, creating a path similar to the minuteman bike path in Somerville, Lexington and extending to Concord.
  • Encourage the city to do a review of all under utilized plots of land to convert them to reduce the environmental impacts of climate change. The decision of use would be made after an evaluation of the site, and with the community.  IDEALLY this would include partnerships with local organizations who could use the site as an educational and employment opportunity for local youth. This could include a wide variety of usage options including rain gardens, renewable energy production, local food production, charging stations for electric cars, or a mix of environmental uses.
  • I support the NOAH Tree cover project, adding 2,500 trees to Boston. This would give East Boston a 30% tree cover, the minimum recommended amount needed to have an impact on air quality. This would provide the community with natural air filtration, cleaning the air from both car and plane pollution and also provide the community with a natural way to combat flooding. This program should be supported by MASSPORT as a way to combat environmental issues.
  • Expand the Boston composting program, and work with local groups to promote and educate residents. This would reduce the amount of garbage we produce, and lower the cost of garbage removal over time. Institute a pilot program for restaurants and food production spaces to implement composting.
  • Work with our waste management department to institute composting and recycling in addition to trash removal at all large scale events including concerts, parades, feasts and festivals.
  • Require Article 80 (large scale) projects to include non-gas car options.  This could include spaces for Zipcar, electric charging stations or parking for gas mopeds. The developer can incorporate the option they feel best for their development. These options must be accessible to the general public. 
  • Expand the Slow Streets program, incorporating traffic calming measures and encouraging pedestrian traffic.  Incorporate the tenets of the slow streets program into new design to ensure that new and renovated streets have safety measures installed.
  • Expand the Greenovate program to provide information and program support to local non-profit organizations and schools, ensuring Bostonians in every community receive education and information regarding climate change, how it will affect them personally, and what the city is doing about it.
  • Require all newly purchased city non-emergency city vehicles to be hybrid or electric by 2020.
  • Support the creation of separate bike paths and urban connections to encourage walking and biking, relieving congestion on public transportation and encouraging health.
  • Ensure that municipal buildings that are under construction and being renovated are retrofitted to be as energy efficient as possible

Boston Logan Airport is our neighbor; I want it to be a better neighbor. Logan is one of very few international airports located in the center of an urban area in the United States.

This is why MASSPORT needs to be a national leader on environmental issues for airports.

If elected as your City Councilor I will push MASSPORT to:

  • Pay for an independant source to produce a scientifically, peer reviewed environmental study to stand as a benchmark measurement for future environmental studies. This would include a broad range of data points including ultra fine particulate matter. I support the long term efforts of community groups including AIR, Inc. in calling for this measure.
  • Continue to promote and expand “Logan Express” options outside of the city that promote bussing from the suburbs. Changes should include lowering the cost, increasing the number of sites, trips per day and amenities offered from remote lots to ensure the Logan Express lots offer a flexible schedule and are used to capacity by airport travelers. Currently 40% of riders of the Logan Express are airport employees. This number should be reduced.
  • Fund the NOAH Tree cover project, adding 2,500 trees to East Boston, giving us the average number of trees for a Boston community. This would give us 30% tree cover, the minimum recommended amount needed to have an impact on air quality. This would provide the community with natural air filtration, cleaning the air from both car and plane pollution and assist us in combating flooding.
  • Introduce a noise abatement curfew, stopping planes from flying between 11PM and 6AM.
  • Follow the lead of European and Chinese airports that are installing industrial air vacuums to remove carbon monoxide and ultrafine particulate matter from the air. In several instances these are being installed on runways, using airplane exhaust to push air through, making the machines themselves environmentally friendly.
  • Implement State Rep Adrian Madaro’s proposal for the installation of “Real Time” tracking devices around the airport and within East Boston to allow for the monitoring of noise, air pollution, and a broad range of data points with immediate access to the general public. This increased transparency and information will allow residents to hold MASSPORT more accountable, while giving us the ability to study real time data.
  • Expand the window proofing program, including the replacement of the original windows. Inclusion of local schools within the program.
  • Contract for its own ambulance. Currently, one ambulance covers all of East Boston and the airport. When called to the airport, residents have to wait up to 20 minutes for an ambulance to come through a tunnel or across a bridge in the city. As we add thousands of more residents to our community, it is only a matter of time until this situation leads to fatal results.

In the City of Boston, a worker earning the current $11 per hour minimum wage would have to work 94 hours a week just to afford a two-bedroom apartment at the market rate.  Because of this, I support the Fight for $15.  That our minimum wage has failed to keep up with the true cost of living impacts workers across Boston and at Logan Airport in particular.

We all know that competent, quality workers are vital to airport security and the safety of air travelers. Airlines have outsourced thousands of jobs that once belonged to their own employees. To replace them, airlines hire low-bid contractors. Substandard pay provided by airport contractors cost Massachusetts taxpayers millions of dollars by burdening the state’s public assistance programs such as subsidized housing and Commonwealth Care. As a publicly owned entity MASSPORT should be part of the solution, creating jobs with a living wage that promote economic growth and stability.

One of my proudest accomplishments has been being a founding member of Eastie Farm, converting an abandoned lot into an urban farm, providing fresh healthy food to people in the community and using the space as an opportunity to teach youth about climate resiliency.

  • Encourage the city to do a review of all under utilized plots of land to convert them to reduce the environmental impacts of climate change. The decision of use would be made after an evaluation of the site, and with the community.  IDEALLY this would include partnerships with local organizations who could use the site as an educational and employment opportunity for local youth. This could include a wide variety of usage options including rain gardens, renewable energy production, local food production, charging stations for electric cars, or a mix of environmental uses.
  • Expand the Boston Harborwalk along the shorelines of Charlestown, the North End and East Boston.  Implement standards of uniformity.  Require these standards to be a part of any new development around the waterfront.
  • Extend the East Boston Greenway to Belle Isle Marsh.
  • Work with the Rose Kennedy Greenway to ensure they have the necessary funding to continue to be a world class park, open to all Bostonians.

We are at the safest time at any point of our history.  However, we still need to strive to ensure that our streets are safe to be walked by any person at any time of day or night.  The MS13 gang remains a threat to our community that needs to be addressed.

Our Boston Police are central to dealing with MS13 and other gangs, but we have a large number of officers planning to retire in the next few years.  They have served us well and have earned the right to enjoy their mature years.  The Boston Police Department needs the tools and funding to engage in a comprehensive recruitment effort, reaching kids as young as middle school to ensure that they understand that police officer is a noble and needed profession.  Such a recruitment drive will also help to ensure that our police force’s makeup is reflective of the neighborhoods in which it serves while be large enough to ensure adequate coverage across the city.

I want to ensure that our seniors are free to live in the situation that suits them best. Whether this is aging in place, or moving to senior housing

  • Create more senior specific housing throughout the district to ensure seniors have additional housing options.
  • Create a specific “Senior Parking Pass” issued through the department of aging for seniors who wish to “age in place”.  This would be for seniors who live alone and have given up a car, but have friends or family who travel to the city to assist them This would enable a visitor to stay up to 24 hours near the seniors home, and would need to be renewed.
  • Create an East Boston Senior Center on the site of the Orient Heights library, ensuring this is a one level fully accessible site. Expand funding for the Charlestown Golden Age center to ensure they can expand their programs.  As part of these funding opportunities we would provide staff who coordinate additional community activities for seniors and others including luncheons, trips and concerts.
  • Push “the ride” to be more efficient, using technology, ensuring seniors do not need to wait hours to attend a Doctor’s appointment.
  • I support the East Boston museum, and legacy programs. I would like to see these created in conjunction with the Boston Public Library to encourage seniors to share their pasts, and ensure that our neighborhood history is preserved for all future Bostonians to enjoy.
  • Expanding property tax relief programs for elderly residents, to ensure they are able to age in place.
  • Working with the city, local schools and organizations I would like to create part-time engagement, employment and mentorship opportunities for seniors. Seniors have a lifetime of knowledge and experience, that so many of us could gain and learn from, we should be encouraging this transfer of knowledge.
  • Push for the creation of a senior center in the North End, as part of this project we would provide staff who coordinate additional community activities for seniors and others including luncheons, trips and concerts.

Suffolk Downs will be a massive development, potentially changing East Boston forever. As your next City Councilor I will work to ensure this is development only enhances East Boston.

  • I will ensure the development is of mixed use, and meets the needs of the community.
  • Work to ensure the development protects and integrates with existing green spaces including Belle Isle Marsh and the East Boston Greenway.
  • Is transit oriented, utilizing both of the  blue line stops attached to the property as much as possible.
  • Does NOT allow traffic to pass through the Orient Heights neighborhood.
  • Rejects the idea of urban sprawl. As this is being built in an area next to a large hill, with no residential area on the property currently, I want them to build up, not out, leaving as much open green space as possible.

Currently, East Boston residents pay a street cleaning ticket of $40, then a tow fee of a $125, at a minimum, this doesn’t include the cost of the time it takes to retrieve your car. This cost is too high for East Boston residents. It stops kids from getting to school, and can cost someone an entire day of work to retrieve their vehicle

I propose a single $90 ticket instead of the current ticket-and-tow program. An increased fine actually saves East Boston residents money, and guarantees your car is where you left it. Funds from the increased tickets could be used to pay individual workers with brooms, who could clean hard to reach areas in the streets. Removing towing for street cleaning was adopted several years ago in Charlestown, and has proven successful, I believe it it time to expand the program to more neighborhoods, specifically East Boston.

My brother is a veteran, and when he returned from the Middle East, he was lucky he had a place to stay with my parents, and clear path of education he wished to pursue.  Many veterans are not so lucky. To ensure our veterans receive the assistance and guidance they need and deserve I will:

  • Ensure veterans returning from active duty have a specific VSO (Veterans Service Officers) within  the City’s Veterans Services Department to connect them with Mental Health, housing and employment services. Someone who has additional training regarding individuals reentering society from active duty and can be sensitive to any additional needs they may have, and ensure they receive the services they need to address those needs immediately.
  • Improve outreach from the City’s Veterans Services Department to ensure all veterans know they can count on us to provide them with assistance.
  • As a part of programming at the Charlestown, North End and East Boston Senior Centers, work with local, regional and national veterans organizations to provide support, veteran specific programming and ensure