On Tuesday, June 18, 2023, we cosponsored a forum for the candidates running to represent District 5 (much of which is in Roslindale) on the City Council. The candidates were (alphabetically) incumbent Ricardo Arroyo, Enrique Pepén, Jose Ruiz, and Jean-Claude Sanon. In case you missed the forum, a video of the event is below. You can also read a summary on Universal Hub. Our own Rob Orthman asked questions about our priority housing and transportation issues about 39 minutes into the event.
We are co-sponsoring a District 5 City Council candidate forum tomorrow night, Tuesday, July 18, from 7pm-8:30pm. Other co-sponsors include Forum for Racial Equity via Educational Experiences in Hyde Park, Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, Keep Hyde PArk Beautiful, Longfellow Area Neighborhood Association, Progressive West Roxbury/Roslindale, RozzieBikes, and the Ward 18 Democratic Committee. Four candidates, eight community organizations, and lots of questions!
Every councilor impacts policy citywide by the votes they take, the policies they put forth, and the committees they serve on, so this election impacts everyone, even if you’re not a D5 voter.
To join on Zoom, register here. And don’t forget to vote on Tuesday, September 12!
We’re happy to see City Councillors Kendra Lara and Ricardo Arroyo, along with the Boston Transportation Department and neighborhood resident Nathan Eckstrom, are leading a safety walk on January 28th at 1pm, focusing on road safety issues along Hyde Park Avenue. The walk will meet at Forest Hills Station (Upper Level). Advance registration is recommended. More details here:
We’ve posted on this topic previously and have expressed our own support in a comment letter earlier this year and now we’re gratified to see the following statement from District 5 City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo in support of the proposed project, released earlier today and quoted here in full:
“Today a project by Arx Urban at 4198-4206 Washington Street in Roslindale goes before the BPDA Board.
“I am in full support of this project.“This project sets important benchmarks that are in line with the values and priorities I believe developments in our neighborhoods should have and should promote. At least 40% of the units will be income restricted between 30-90% Area Median Income and the developers are seeking to and have stated publicly that their goal is to eventually have 100% of the unit’s income restricted. The city currently only mandates 13%.“This project will be sustainably built. A 100% electric building, with solar power, approaching Passive House standards. While also widening sidewalks around the property and creating a courtyard with greenspace on Washington Street. They have also entered partnerships with two local businesses with long term, below market leases and will showcase the Rozzie Square Theatre, an already existing wMBE business, that will invite innovation in the arts and provide a forum for diverse voices.“Arx Urban has also taken meaningful steps to engage the community and implement feedback. They’ve reduced the height to four stories from an initial seven. Set the building back from the Sumner School by 51’ and collaborated with the school on a mural and improv classes. They have also agreed to several measures to improve pedestrian experiences and safety.“I have heard from opponents who are most staunchly opposed to this project because it lacks onsite parking. And while I believe that is a valid concern, I believe it is outweighed by the truly transit oriented nature of Roslindale Square. I believe in prioritizing the housing of people and a project like this, that provides truly affordable housing on this scale, makes that goal available to those who most need it.
“Our city has been, and continues to be, in a housing crisis that has been headlined by displacement and a lack of truly affordable housing. As a Councilor I will continue to advocate for projects that make remedying that issue, with strong commitments to income restricted units, a priority.”
With the preliminary election for the Boston City Council now just two weeks away — on Tuesday, September 24 — we here at WalkUP Roslindale thought it might be helpful to do what we could to more broadly circulate the responses of the various candidates to the Vision Zero Coalition’s Candidate Questionnaire, which provides the best available yardstick for figuring out how closely the candidates come to supporting safe and equitable travel on our streets. We’re starting today with the District 5 candidates and intend to move on to the At-Large candidates and then the candidates for districts 4 and 6 as well.
And so, we’re off – there are a total of eight candidates running for the District 5 City Council seat. In alphabetical order, they are Ricardo Arroyo, Maria Esdale Farrell, Cecily Graham, Justin Murad, Alkia Powell, Jean-Claude Sanon, Mimi Turchinetz, and Yves Mary Jean. Of these eight, the four candidates in italics submitted responses to the questionnaire. Below we provide their full answers, without modification, to the top-line question of “How do you move around your community and get where you need to go?” along with links to pdfs with responses to all of the questions:
“Previously I owned a hybrid, now I do not have a car and rely on
the MBTA and ride sharing.”
“In order to move around my community, I use a variety of transit
modes. I am a driver, therefore this is my main mode of
transportation to get to the market and laundromat. I also bike
within a 2 mile radius for short trips, in addition to walking and the
use of public transportation when visiting neighboring towns. Last
but not least, I will utilize ride-share services if I have to be
somewhere in a timely matter, especially if parking is not readily
available at my destination. All of these modes are important
because it is hard to depend on one to get around efficiently.”
“MBTA bus and Orange Line mostly.”
“I take the 32 Bus and the Orange Line when ever possible, I also
have a car.”
CONCLUDING NOTE: WalkUP Roslindale has a policy of not specifically supporting or opposing any candidate for elected office. In the interest of full disclosure, please note that the author of this post, Matt Lawlor, personally supports candidate Arroyo.