The Community Preservation Act: Yes! on 5

Yes!Most public and media attention to the questions that will appear on our ballots next Tuesday has focused on questions 1 through 4. But for WalkUP Rozzie and many allied organizations, Question 5 has the greatest impact potential. We need your help in spreading the word (both via social media and in the real world)!

On November 8th, Boston voters have the opportunity to secure a lasting investment for local parks and open space, historic preservation, and affordable housing. The Community Preservation Act (CPA), which will appear as Question #5 on the ballot, is your opportunity to improve quality of life in Boston by helping the city:

  • Build and improve parks, playgrounds, trails, and gardens – including greenways that make up the Emerald Network
  • Acquire land to protect water quality and reduce climate change impacts
  • Restore and preserve historic buildings, and rehabilitate underutilized resources
  • Create thousands of new, affordable homes for seniors, families, and veterans

Currently, too many people in Boston lack adequate access to parklands and open space. WalkUP Roslindale strongly believes that safe, enjoyable streets, parks, and neighborhoods should not be a privilege afforded to some, but a right guaranteed to all. It’s time to invest in a better, more equitable Boston.

Through CPA, the City of Boston has an opportunity to generate over $20 million every year in dedicated funding to create and improve parks, restore historic sites, and build new affordable homes throughout Boston’s neighborhoods.

Thanks to our friends at Livable Streets Alliance for help with this copy. See also the Yes on 5 website and this well-written column from Adrian Walker at the Boston Globe in support of the measure.

Rozzie Votes!

Distirct 5 Voting ResultsFollowing up on our entreaty to Get Out and Vote to show political engagement, we’re delighted to report that District 5 (the district with the greatest coverage of Roslindale) had the highest number of total votes for district councilor (7,551) in the city, followed closely by District 4, which also covers part of Roslindale, with a total of 7,026 votes for the district councilor position. And to finish out the pack, District 6, which also includes several Roslindale precincts, had the third-greatest number of voters (6,808) for district councilor–for an uncontested seat! Voter turnout in many Roslindale precincts was at or well above 20% — a striking contrast with other parts of the city, e.g., Allston/Brighton, for which the majority of precincts had single-digit percentage turnout, some as low as nearly 1%.

Great job to everyone for doing their civic duty. Now let’s take this level of activation and visibility to continue to demand a more walkable neighborhood.

Congratulations are also due to yesterday’s winners, including Roslindale resident Michelle Wu who finished a strong second in the city-wide at-large contest, District 5 Councilor Tim McCarthy who bested his opponent by a nearly 2:1 margin, District 4 Councilor-Elect and first time candidate Andrea Campbell who likewise had a substantial margin over her incumbent opponent, District 6 Councilor Matt O’Malley who ran unopposed, as well as the other three winners in the at-large race: Ayanna Pressley, Michael Flaherty, and Annissa Essabi George.

Relevant links:

Get Out and Vote!

Casting BallotThis is a reminder that tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015) is election day in Boston. You can find your polling location here. Of particular interest to this group should be the city-wide at-large election (five candidates vying for four seats), District 4 (Dorchester/Mattapan/Roslindale – two candidates running for one seat), and District 5 (Roslindale/Hyde Park – two candidates running for one seat). Complete list of candidates here.

This election cycle was lower profile than the last few since only City Councilors are up for election (no higher offices), and many of those seats are uncontested. This does not mean you should just skip the vote, however — to the contrary!

First, a lower visibility election means your vote counts more. The District and At-Large seats could easily be decided on the basis of hundreds, dozens, or even single votes. Most Roslindale residents live in a contested district (D4 or D5), plus the disputed city-wide slots, and thus there is a real race that will be resolved tomorrow.

Second, these offices matter. The impacts of decisions at the federal or even state level on our daily lives are typically dilute. A city councilor can impact what happens right on our streets and around our neighborhoods–playgrounds, sidewalks and crosswalks, paths, stop lights, snow removal, community policing, trash and recycling collection, development and transportation policy, etc. We need competent and responsive people serving; if not, our quality of life will suffer more than if we elect a subpar United States Senator.

Third, neighborhood voter turnout is critical to getting attention from whoever wins. It is basic logic that elected officials listen best to those who vote, and will spend the most time, effort, and political capital addressing the needs of those in voter-rich areas. For this reason, it may matter less whom you vote for than that you vote at all. Even if you live in an uncontested district, you should turn up and be counted for this important reason.

Fourth, voting is a social event. Meet your neighbors! In fact, meet the people you’re voting for (and against). This is the official opportunity to connect with other engaged citizens and be part of the process.

WalkUP Roslindale doesn’t endorse candidates. We will note that we have met with a variety of candidates (both serving and hoping to serve) and thus far the reception has been all positive. The most useful thing you can do tomorrow to help bring continued attention and more walkability to Roslindale is cast your ballot.

We’d also ask that you retweet and share/like this entry on Facebook once you’ve voted (or even if you plan to vote).