REGISTRATION ACCESS BILL PASSES
The Boston City Council on Wednesday, April 11, unanimously passed an ordinance authored by District 8 Councilor Josh Zakim that expands availability and reduces barriers for residents to register to vote. Once, enacted, it will increase access to government for thousands of Bostonians.
The legislation now goes to Mayor Martin Walsh for his approval.
“I’m thrilled that my colleagues agree with me on the importance of reducing barriers to voter registration, and that the city is doing all that we can to encourage more people to register and to vote,” said Zakim.
The ordinance will make it easier for eligible Bostonians to register to vote during routine interactions with city government. It requires Boston Public School’s high schools and welcome centers, Boston Public Library’s neighborhood branches, and Boston Centers for Youth and Families’ community centers to make voter registration forms available and visible in central locations.
Further, it requires the Office of the Parking Clerk to provide registration forms to residents applying for neighborhood parking permits, and to share all completed forms with the Boston Elections Department.
Zakim initially filed the proposal in 2017 after the City Council adopted a resolution he offered last year endorsing a statewide bill for Automatic Voter Registration (AVR).
“This is a proactive step that we are taking in the City of Boston while we continue to wait for the state to enact AVR,” he said. “Ultimately, we need to get statewide AVR to help reverse the downward trend of voter turnout in Massachusetts.”
SELDC SEEKS NOMINATIONS
The South End Landmarks District Commission are seeking candidates for two open positions that expire in June of this year.
The role will replace one member position currently held by Catherine Hunt and one alternative position currently held by Peter Sanborn.
The commission’s enabling legislation requires nominees for the position from resident, civic, neighborhood, block or tenants organizations that have been established within the South End.
This volunteer position includes one evening meeting per month on the first Tuesday, and additional participation in site visits from time to time.
Any South Ender who may be interested in serving on the Landmarks Commission can forward their materials directly to their local Neighborhood Association or e-mail Steve Fox, Chair of the South End Forum at [email protected]
RESCUE and JESSICA
Fairmont Copley Plaza is hosting an inspiring afternoon story time from the authors of “Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship.” Based on a real-life partnership, this new children’s picture book is a heartening story of the love and team work between a girl and her Service Dog that was just released ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Co-authors Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing who both lost legs as result, along with Jessica’s service dog, Rescue, will read “Rescue and Jessica” aloud to guests, share their story, answer questions and sign books.
NEADS, the organization that trained Rescue as a service dog and placed him with Jessica, will be in attendance to further educate about its mission and the importance of Service Dogs.
Carley Copley, Fairmont Copley Plaza’s beloved canine ambassador and fellow black lab, will also be present to meet Rescue and the crowd.
The event will take place on Saturday, April 14, at 1:45 p.m., in the Venetian Room of the Fairmount Copley.
KENMORE SQUARE HOTELS RESCHEDULED
The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) rescheduled the public meeting on 560-574 Commonwealth Ave/ 645-665 Beacon Street for Monday, April 23 from 6-8p.m. at 565 Commonwealth Ave, Classroom 106.
The meeting will discuss the proposals of two new hotels coming to the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street. The first will be an extension of Hotel Buckminster on Beacon St. at 210 feet. The second hotel will sit on the current Citizens Bank building site along Commonwealth Ave and will be 260 feet.
BOSTON STRONG BLOOD DRIVE
The American Red Cross will join community leaders to mark the fifth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings and to pay tribute to the strength and resilience shown by so many with a blood drive on April 15 from 9 to 2 p.m. at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton St.
PRUDENTIAL CENTER HOSTS VOLUNTEER EXPO
With National Volunteer Week coming up April 15-21, Prudential Center will host its annual Volunteer Expo on April 12 from 5 – 7p.m. Meet with more than 60 nonprofit groups from the Boston and Greater Boston areas that are looking for volunteers. Whether someone is looking for an opportunity in the area but are not sure what is available, or for someone trying to find a group that best fits certain interests, the Volunteer Expo provides a great forum to identify the perfect opportunities.
SAINT CECILIA CONCERT SERIES
•Jeremy Bruns, Concert Organist and Associate Director of Music, St. Paul’s Harvard Square will be performing varied composers including J.S. Bach, Ad Wammes, and Marcel Dupre on Friday, May 4, at 8p.m. at St. Cecilia’s. Admission is free and donations gratefully accepted.
SOUTH END DATES
•The Old Dover Neighborhood Association will be meeting at the New AC Hotel at Ink Block, 225 Albany Street on Tuesday April 17 at 6:30p.m. for their monthly meeting.
•Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association (WSANA) will host a social with the Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Association on April 17, at Southern Proper at 7p.m.
•Join the Boston Transportation Department to discuss transportation safety improvements for Tremont St. from Melnea Cass Blvd to Herald St on Thursday, April 12 from 6 to 8p.m. at Castle Square Community Center located at 464 Tremont Street, 2nd floor.
•The Chester Park Neighbors’ Spring Soiree will take place Sunday, April 22 from 4 – 6 p.m. at the private residence of Roberto Poli & Salvador Saca (address will be provided upon ticket purchase). Musical evening featuring a surprise program by critically acclaimed pianist Robert Poli. Drinks and Hors D’oeuvres and silent auction. Tickets can be purchased at www.bit.ly/2Dw7TVw.
•The next Exchange South End Impact Advisory Group meeting will take place on Thursday, April 26, at The Flower Exchange, 540 Albany Street from 6 – 8p.m.
•May Day in the Park will take place Sunday, May 6 from 3 – 5 p.m. in Hayes Park. Light refreshments and entertainment by the Morris Dancers will be provided.
BACK BAY HAPPENINGS
•Tim Davis, housing policy manger for the Boston Planning and Development Agency will be the guest speaker at the next meeting of the Development and Transportation Committee of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NABB), on Thursday, April 19 at 6p.m. All NABB members are welcome but must RSVP to dtcnabbonline.com to receive advance hand-out information. Meeting location is TBD.
•The 23rd Annual Taste of the Back Bay will take place on Wednesday, April 25 from 6:30 – 9:30p.m. at the Prudential Skywalk. This year a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Women’s Lunch Place. Tickets can be found online at nabbonline.com.
•The Fenway Garden Society Annual Spring meeting will take place Saturday, April 14 at Fenway Health, 1340 Boylston Street. Coffee Hour will take place 9-10a.m. with meeting following from 10 to 11a.m.
•The Fenway Civic Association’s Spring meeting will take place on Monday, April 23 at The Coop at 401 Park (Landmark Center, East Wing 8th floor) at 6:30p.m. The meeting will feature a conversation with Samuel Chambers, Public Information Officer for the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement. This meeting is free and open to the public.
•The next Audubon Circle Neighborhood Association board meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 17 at the Harvard Vanguard, 133 Brookline Ave. Annex Conference Room 3C from 7 – 8:30p.m.
MASSPORT AIRPLANE NOISE COMPLAINT LINE
Residents who are being disturbed by airplane noise are encouraged to call the MassPort Noise Hotline 24 hours a day. The phone number is (617) 561-3333.