The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council’s ongoing lawsuit against a local real estate development looks like it will be a double-edged sword in terms of drawing attention to the pending council election. The JPNC should make sure that potential candidates are fully aware of the lawsuit and any possible legal ramifications that might involve them.
Many potential candidates surely will balk at the prospect of getting entangled in suing the City of Boston. On the other hand, the situation might well attract candidates who either want to see the lawsuit through or pull the plug on it.
In fact, it is a good chance for candidates to join important conversations about JP’s gentrification, business investment and changing land uses, as well as about whether the JPNC should lean more toward activist stances or providing neutral forums.
The JPNC is one of JP’s oldest and most powerful community institutions. It needs strong resident participation to continue. The lawsuit may inspire some participation, but the council must properly educate candidates on the pros and cons to ensure a good discussion and a strong membership.