By: Jeanette Origel and Sarah Byrnes
The much anticipated 5th Annual State of Our Neighborhood took place February 26 at the Kennedy School. Three hundred neighbors came out to show their support and express their concerns for their neighborhood.
¡Acción! Community Theatre and Hyde Square Task Force kicked off the evening with a great performance about Jamaica Plain’s gentrification. A short documentary by local artist “Homefries With Ketchup” also depicted the stories of the increasing number of people facing eviction in Jamaica Plain.
City and state officials were in attendance to address housing issues as part of a panel discussion led by Malia Lazu of Future Boston. The panel’s interaction and audience engagement made for a great and entertaining night filled with live tweeting. See some live tweets below.
After a robust conversation, elected officials were asked to make commitments. Some highlights were:
- Councillor Ayanna Pressley stated that healthy communities do not happen by accident, they have to be actively built. She continued, “Everyone deserves a home and I will fight for that.”
- State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez vowed to continue working to better the Bromley- Heath Neighborhood and hold neighboring institutions accountable, so they too, will help better the community.
- Councillor Matt O’Malley will continue to fight for what JP needs from the MBTA at Arborway yard, as he put it, “with every fiber of my being.”
- State Representative Sonia Chang- Diaz will commit to fight the fight on revenue reform, living wage issues, and education.
- The Walsh Administration will plan on increasing affordable housing beginning this year with a an expected 50% increase by 2030, according to Shiela Dillon, head of the Department of Neighborhood Development.
As Ayanna Pressley said, “This is all about social and economic justice and fairness.” JP NET and the other conveners of the SOON will continue to work for justice and fairness. Stay tuned for more info on how to stay involved.
— JPNET (@JPtransition) February 26, 2015