- Feb 2023
Boston Public Works has 170 pieces of in-house snow clearing equipment. During larger storms, it can deploy an additional 800 pieces of equipment.
We speak Spanish and Arabic, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, and more
Full list of languages the cabinet speaks:
- Chinese (Mandarin)
- Haitian Creole
The theme of this year's State of the City revolved around civic heroes, City employees who work daily to deliver top-notch services to residents.
A selection of civic heroes were featured in a video displayed at SOTC. A full list of names can be found at the end of the video.
Mayor Wu plans to submit a Home Rule Petition to Boston City Council to end urban renewal in the city. If approved, the Home Rule petition would be sent to the Massachusetts Legislature.
In 2022, Boston 311 created 313,896 new cases.
training young people from our neighborhoods for great jobs in the green economy. Many of them are here tonight.
The inaugural PowerCorps class graduated 21 students in 2022.
“I am beyond honored to have had the opportunity to support 21 incredible young people gain new skills to join the green workforce. I am so humbled to prepare Boston's young people for employment opportunities that will allow them to earn a livable wage and support their families while taking care of the environment.”
– Davo Jefferson, Executive Director for PowerCorpsBOS
Director of Green Infrastructure Kate England has been heavily involved with the program as well. With the first PowerCorps class, she did a tutorial on green infrastructure with the students (what is stormwater, what is GI, jobs and certifications in the GI field and info about the sites they are going to maintain: Washington Irving School, New England Avenue and Codman Square). In the next couple of weeks, she'll give the presentation again for the next class and do more GI maintenance with the first class.
Fire Cadet Program
The Boston Fire Department's first-ever Cadet Program will have 28 cadets starting in April. Applications are being accepted until February 3, 2023.
We built a new model for housing and services
One of these low-threshold housing sites is the EnVision Hotel, a 41-bed congregate transitional housing program operated by Victory Programs. Victory Programs, founded over 45 years ago on Mass. Ave., "has a long history of providing effective intensive case management, housing search/stabilization, substance use treatment and harm reduction services in a variety of low-threshold settings. [They] provide individualized, client-centered care reinforcing empowerment and self-determination. Clients are active participants in building their individual service plan (ISP) goals, connecting to community-based services, and strengthening support networks." (Source)
- Jan 2023
Governor Healey’s ambitious goals for heat pump deployment
Governor Healey plans to install one million heat pumps by 2030.
partnering with the City Council and our Disability Commission
"Captions help people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and people who have hearing loss due to age or who have developmental or sensory disabilities, Non-native English speakers, and more. Having captions on by default will make all of Boston more welcoming! The idea for this new ordinance came from the Disability Commission Advisory Board, a group of 13 residents with disabilities appointed by the Mayor to advise the City on matters of concern to the community. You can attend the public meetings of this Board, or any other Board or Commission, and participate in efforts like this!"
– Andrea Patton, Chief of Staff, Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities
new dedicated bus lanes
The Streets Cabinet is leading an effort to build about 5 miles of dedicated bus lanes in 2023 with another 18.6 miles under planning and design.
fire stood ready
The Boston Fire Department responded to 4,328 fires last year, including 2312 cooking fires (confined to container), 374 building fires, 355 outside rubbish (trash or waste) fires, 160 passenger vehicle fires, 188 grass fires, 4 rail vehicle fires, and 3 water vehicle fires.
The Worker Empowerment Cabinet includes:
5,090, to be exact!
recommend changes to our Article 80 development review process
Article 80 is the BPDA's approval process for all proposals over 20,000 square feet, planned development areas bigger than an acre, and academic and medical areas’ institutional master plans.
rent stabilization to end rent gouging
From the Bay State Banner:
"In 1972, the City Council voted in favor of a state rent control law that strengthened protections for Boston tenants. Under the state law, a landlord could not raise rents on any unit without being granted prior approval by the Board of Rent Appeals; tenants were no longer required to appeal their rent increases. About 20 years later, a statewide referendum asked voters in Massachusetts if the state should prohibit rent control. In 1994, the referendum passed by a narrow margin, banning rent control statewide, with a 51% to 49% split of the votes cast on the measure."
Rent stabilization measures empower municipalities to set certain limits on annual rent increases for existing tenants, and may also include other tenant protections, such as “just cause” eviction protection. These approaches promote the preservation of mixed-income neighborhoods and prevent renters from being pushed out of their communities. Mayor Wu’s draft proposal would call for rent to be tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 6 percent with a maximum annual increase of no more than 10 percent. It would also exempt buildings from the policy for 15 years after they open in addition to small, owner-occupied buildings.
We will prioritize keeping residents in their homes, and closing the racial wealth gap by boosting home ownership.
The Mayor has directed $60 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to be allocated to the development of income-restricted housing for eligible Boston residents and financial assistance programs to help residents in buying homes. The “Welcome Home, Boston” initiative promoting homeownership is part of the Mayor’s commitment to address housing affordability and stability through the operating budget, the Capital budget, and federal recovery funds to build and acquire new affordable units, upgrade public housing, expand housing stability services, and expand a voucher program:
The Mayor’s Office of Housing will enhance three financial assistance programs that will aid households looking to purchase a home in Boston:
Boston Home Center First Time Homebuyer program: Income-qualified buyers will be eligible for downpayment and closing cost assistance of up to 5 percent of the purchase price, not to exceed $50,000 through the BHC first-time homebuyer assistance program.
ONE+Boston program: Qualified Boston residents who earn between 81% and 100% AMI will receive a half percent (0.5%) discount rate off the reduced interest rate offered through the ONE Mortgage product (currently about 6.625%). Boston residents who earn below 80% AMI will receive up to one percent (1%) off of the current ONE Mortgage rate. The downpayment assistance combined with the discounted mortgage rates through the ONE+Boston program will greatly increase the buying options for qualified residents.
We’ve analyzed every square foot of City-owned property and identified several parcels that could generate thousands of affordable housing units.
In conjunction with the land audit, "We built out a story map to be transparent about the process and walk people through our inventory and translated it into lots of languages."
– Morgan McDaniel, Deputy Chief of Operations
You can find the story map here.
In 2023, the City will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to developers for the first 70 parcels to create homes for residents to rent or own. A portion of the American Rescue Plan Act funds will be used to subsidize the construction of the housing units, making the new homes affordable to moderate-income households.
newly created leadership roles focused on academics
This line is in reference to the hire of Linda Chen, Senior Deputy Superintendent of Academics, who previously served as Chief Academic Officer for New York City Department of Education.
Our police officers took nearly 900 guns off our streets
Click here to see the Boston Police Department's Firearms Recovery Dashboard, which breaks down when and how firearms were taken off the streets.
we’ll give you the land for free
In November, the Mayor's Office of Housing (MOH) launched Welcome Home Boston to fast track the production of new affordable homes by making 150 parcels of City-owned land available for new homeownership opportunities in Boston's neighborhoods. MOH will be issuing a request for proposals for the first 20 parcels in March.
we’ll build on that foundation by piloting a Year 13 program at Fenway High School
Fenway High School is an early college high school, which educates a diverse student body from neighborhoods across Boston. As Seth Daniel from the Dorchester Reporter notes:
"The school already offers a robust early college program where students can take classes without cost at UMass Boston or Wentworth Institute of Technology and earn up to two years of college credit. However, that offer ends once they graduate. With the new “Year 13” concept, they can continue taking those classes without cost for another year after the graduate if they are working towards a degree.
mobility is the minimum
There were 3,781,506 BlueBike trips taken this year, skyrocketing during the Orange Line Shutdown when the City offered free 30-day passes.
every City department stepped in to keep Boston moving and proved that a more connected, coordinated system is possible.
"Preparing the City's response to the Orange Line Shutdown was the epitome of an all hands on deck effort. Every single department at City Hall was active in making sure our residents and visitors could still get where they needed to go, despite the closure of a major subway line."
– Kirstie Hostetter, Boston Transportation Department
Fun fact: Kirstie live-Slacked her experience riding the very first shuttle of the shutdown in an effort to document and improve riders' commutes!
"On the first day of school, neighborhood liaisons from the Office of Neighborhood Services were stationed at multiple Orange Line stops to help direct students to the shuttles and help the first day of school go smoothly for students who participate in public transportation (both for going to school and leaving school). Liaisons directly interacted with students to make sure they not only found their way, but that they were excited for the first day."
– John Romano, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives for the Office of Neighborhood Services
This was Boston's population in 1950, which by 1980 had dropped to 574,283 residents.
500 tons of curbside composting
Not sure what belongs in the city's compost? Check out this song, released March 2022 by Dr. Wonder (aka Cliff Notez) + Deluxe Bandito (aka Will Dailey) and produced by the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics.
Youth Safety Task Force
"A space where all City partners invested in youth violence—from our safety services at BPS, to our neighborhood trauma team and public health experts, to members of the school police unit at BPD, to community-based partners that play a crucial role in preventing and addressing community violence—come together to wrap around our young people who could potentially be in harm's way. The group works together to meet emergent needs and mobilize services to prevent violence before it can take place and help young people heal from violence that has already transpired."
– Ajay Singh, Policy Advisor
Our Office of Early Childhood
A project started in the Office of Women's Advancement that moved to the Office of Early Childhood when the office was built out this year is the Childcare Entrepreneur Fund for family childcare providers.
"It has been so successful that we have done it for 3 years now. And we continue to do it"
– Paula Gaviria Villarreal, Director of Childcare for the Office of Early Childhood
Fun fact: Paula recently interviewed and took site footage of Joyce Browne, a family childcare provider who received a grant, which was shown at the recent U.S. Conference of Mayors! Click here for a clip of Joyce being interviewed by Paula.
And, this year we’ll make Boston’s largest investment ever in artists and the arts.
A glimpse at this past year's investment in artists by the Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture: 150 artists funded for free community events and career development, 11 murals created, 27 artist-led projects and activations around the city, 25 Poet Laureate events, 56 City Hall gallery shows, $3.4 million in grants to 192 arts and cultural organizations, $200,000 to support 12 local productions at the Strand Theatre, and 87 Paintboxes (painted utility boxes).
Looking ahead to 2023: MOAC has rolled out the Cultural Investment Grant, a $10M multi-year transformative investment from ARPA aimed to grow and sustain arts and cultural organizations that have a clear vision for building a more just, more creative, more equitable city. The grant will direct funds to build capacity for arts and cultural organizations working directly with and alongside communities in Boston most impacted by the pandemic, particularly communities of color. Distributed over four years, the grant will provide investments in the cultural sector that will give organizations a path to thrive in Boston, create long term opportunities for all of Boston’s communities to have access to the arts, and strengthen our local arts ecosystem.
We worked alongside residents in Egleston Square and business partners to secure a Community Peace Garden on Washington Street
In 1998, students from Greater Egleston Community High School and ESAC Boston created this peace garden out of a littered lot as a memorial to youth who had passed away. Since then, the community has stewarded this peace garden, technically owned by Clear Channel Outdoor, an advertising company with a billboard on the site. This year, the City has been working on an agreement to purchase the lot as a result of community members' efforts—led by the Friends of the Egleston Square Peace Garden—to draw attention to the garden's uncertain future. (Source)
"The Hub is the second most congested city in the United States and the fourth worldwide, according to INRIX, a company that analyzes traffic data around the world. Only drivers in London (156 hours), Chicago (155) and Paris (138) lost more hours in traffic in 2022.
Boston drivers spent 134 hours in congestion, INRIX found. That's more than five and a half days of the year." (Source)
to clear the way for new development, even if that meant displacing tens of thousands of working class, immigrant, and Black and brown residents.
Residents of Roxbury, the West End, the North End, the South End, and Allston protested vigorously against being evicted from their homes. One of the protests that resulted in a major win—though, twenty years after the original row houses were torn down—was the 1968 Tent City protests in the South End. Led by Mel King and other activists, the protest led to the Tent City affordable housing complex, built in the late 1980s. In the two decades in between, protesters had "to block the city from building market-rate housing and a 1400-car parking garage on the site." A sign at the site read, "People, not cars. This is a place where homes should be." (Source)
to an alternative crisis response program with EMS and behavioral health services
This line refers to the Mobile Integrated Healthcare program. Among other strategies, since October 2022, Boston EMS has been screening behavioral health emergency 911 calls to assess eligibility for telehealth with a behavioral health clinician. This new process keeps more people in their homes instead of transferring them to hospitals unnecessarily.
The Josiah Quincy Upper School in Chinatown will be our next brand new, state-of-the-art high school
Since the JQUS is one block away from the intersection of the Massachusetts Turnpike and the Southeast Expressway, engineers developed innovative solutions in order to filter out harmful pollutants from the outside air as it's drawn into the building. (Source)
first electric school buses at the Readville bus yard
"Funding the Mayor made available in the spring of 2022 for 20 buses means Boston will have the largest electric bus deployment in the northeast. Two buses are already on site with more arriving in the next two weeks. Training for mechanics, operations, and drivers is already underway."
– Jackie Hayes, Fleet and Compliance Manager, BPS Transportation Department
When Omicron spiked and pushed our hospitals to the brink, we didn’t turn away
This year, the City stood up 5 new standing sites providing Covid testing & vaccination, & flu vaccination. The City also supported 100+ community organizations in hosting their own test sites and vaccination clinics.
resident Flynn & Boston City Councilors, Chair Robinson and the Boston School Committee, May
A baseball team.
Opened in 2022.
This year, we are seeking proposals that use any form of design to help us answer foundational questions on the implementation of the Green New Deal
Testing restricted publishing group annotation