July 14, 2020: Public Health Hearing & Virtual Office Hours!

Dear Friends,

Last week, the Committee on Public Health hosted a hearing regarding the reopening of colleges and universities amid the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of the hearing order I filed with Councilors Breadon and Janey. If you’d like to watch the hearing, which was attended by the Mayor’s administration, local union leaders, and several university administrations, you can do so at the City Council Youtube page. We heard from Northeastern, Harvard, and Boston University about their plans to de-densify classrooms, housing, and other campus areas, as well as policies for physical distancing, cleaning, and testing.

I emphasized my concerns about the need for extreme public health readiness to handle the influx of students from all parts of the country at the end of the summer, especially given the concerning rise of COVID cases nationwide. I also stressed that we need our universities to take responsibility for all their off-campus students, not just the ones living in campus facilities; we can’t allow institutional priorities to endanger the health and safety of our neighborhoods. The universities have made a range of plans when it comes to in-person teaching and residential life; I urged them to remain flexible as the public health situation continues to shift, and to work in close partnership with City Hall, the Boston Public Health Commission, their workers and students, and their local neighbors to ensure that we keep our whole community safe.

We also discussed the universities’ efforts to push back against recent ICE guidance from the Trump Administration designed to make it difficult for international students to stay in the country if their coursework becomes remote. I regard this guidance as a cruel expression of federal hostility to immigrants, and a threat to Boston’s rich academic ecosystem; I am glad that MIT, Harvard, and Northeastern have filed a suit against it and Mayor Walsh has sent a letter of protest.

If you’d like to chat about these topics or anything else, I’m hosting virtual office hours with constituents! If you have questions, concerns, or issues you’d like to discuss, you can sign up using this form for a 15-minute slot. I look forward to meeting with you!

Once you complete the form, a staff member will reach out to you to confirm your time. I’ll be conducting office hours through phone and through Zoom, whichever you prefer. If none of the times listed work for you, note that on the form and a member of my staff will get back to you to set up a time.

Sincerely,

Kenzie

In the News 

Summer Youth Jobs

  • Summer Youth Jobs, Boston residents ages 15-18, Get paid, have fun, and learn about the environment and the Emerald Necklace Parks!
    • The Green Team Summer Program combines, nature connection, environmental education, and fun. The program runs from July 13-August 14, 2020.
    • Crew members work during the week for a total of 15-20 hours. You must register on SuccessLink with Boston’s Department of Youth Engagement and Employment at youth.boston.gov
    • Once registered, select the Emerald Necklace Conservancy under the Job Search tab. For more information or help with registering, contact Kent Jackson at kjackson@emeraldnecklace.org or 617-285-1671.
  • District 8 Youth Summer Interns, Boston residents aged 15 – 18,
    • Our Office is seeking energetic, positive, hard-working, organized, and creative individuals who share their commitment to serving our district, engaging the public, and fostering a sense of community.
    • District 8 Youth Interns will work on two group projects throughout the summer: Arts in District 8 and Mission Hill Senior Support. Interns will also work with community groups including the Muddy Water Initiative.
    • Register on SuccessLink with Boston’s Department of Youth Engagement and Employment at youth.boston.gov
    • For more information or help with registering, contact Henry.Santana@boston.gov

Other Announcements

  • With the support of the Mission Hill/Fenway Neighborhood Trust, Operation P.E.A.C.E. is offering FREE weekly activity kits and virtual programming for youth 4+ in the Fenway and Mission Hill neighborhoods! Anyone interested can email mallory@operationpeaceboston.org for more information.
  • Kaji Aso Studio 2020 Haiku ContestDue Date July 15, 2020
    • FIRST PRIZE is $300 from Kaji Aso Studio and a complimentary Certificate of Commendation from the Consulate General of Japan in Boston, SECOND PRIZE: $150, THIRD PRIZE: $75, SENRYU PRIZE: $75.
    • Entry Fee: $3 per haiku or per senryu
  • Count All Kids launched their National Art Competition, where children, with the help and permission of a guardian, can submit an artistic creation of their choosing that is inspired by the theme “Count All Kids in the 2020 Census.” Submissions are open until July 15.
  • The Building Pathways Building Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program is now recruiting for the fall training cycle which begins in September. For more information visit:www.buildingpathwaysboston.org

If you have a District 8 announcement you’d like to share, please email Emily.Brown2@boston.gov

Historian’s Corner

The Parker Hill Library, in Mission Hill, was initially opened in 1907 as a small reading room in a rented space at 1518 Tremont Street. The Parker Hill Library became a Boston Public Library branch in 1924. Its current location, the Gothic building designed by Ralph Adams Cram at 1497 Tremont Street, was opened in 1931 by Mayor James Michael Curley. Cram designed many buildings in Boston, including All Saints’ Church in Dorchester and the John W. McCormack U.S. Post Office and Courthouse downtown. The “Parker Hill” name refers to the hill on which most of Mission Hill sits. The neighborhood was known as “Parker Hill” until the 20th century, when it became known as Mission Hill due to the association with Mission church. Today, the library’s front yard is known as Dolly’s Garden, in honor of Dolly DeSimone, the Parker Hill Children’s Librarian for over 20 years.

Contact Our Office

Main number: 617-635-4225

For my staff’s emails and direct lines, click here

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