The office of state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz is slapping down the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council’s (JPNC) claim that she “refused” to speak with its members about a possible community benefits agreement with Whole Foods Market.
“There definitely was not a flat-out refusal,” Chang-Díaz spokesperson Katherine Adam told the Gazette.
But Adam also could not say whether the senator wants to provide input into the shaping the JPNC’s negotiating points.
“Possibly,” Adam said. “I don’t know how she views her role moving forward in this.”
The JPNC last night established a five-member team to negotiate some type of agreement with Whole Foods about its upcoming move into Hyde Square. That move came after JPNC members asked various community leaders and groups about the idea of a CBA.
As the Gazette previously reported, JPNC member David Baron said that Chang-Díaz’s office “stated that she did not wish to speak with us on this issue…They refused.”
That was a surprise, because Chang-Díaz originated one possible CBA idea: asking Whole Foods to establish a fund to bolster affordable housing.
But, Adam said, Chang-Díaz’s office actually said that “we’d love to be helpful” but could not arrange a meeting prior to the JPNC’s deadline due to the senator’s busy schedule. The “very specific timeframe” was the issue, Adam said.
The JPNC is still accepting public input about what exactly its team should request from Whole Foods.
Updated version: This version corrects the spelling of the name of Katherine Adam.