Christine Poff, a longtime Jamaica Plain resident and the former director for the Franklin Park Coalition, has been selected as the City’s director of the Community Preservation Committee (CPC), a newly established position and committee to overlook funds from Community Preservation Act (CPA), which was approved by voters last year, according to a press release.
The CPA will generate millions of dollars of revenue to be used for the creation and acquisition of affordable housing, historic preservation, and open space and recreation. The CPA created a Community Preservation Fund in which revenue is collected by a property tax-based surcharge on residential and business property tax bills. The tax collection began in July 2017.
The funding of any project using CPA funds requires a recommendation from the CPC and appropriation by the City. The committee will study community preservation needs and make recommendations on how CPA funds should be allocated.
As director of the CPC, Poff will work closely with staff from City departments and members of the community to determine need, ensure transparency in the application process and funding awards, and complete annual reports on CPA projects and expenditures.
“I’m so honored to be at the helm of Boston’s new Community Preservation Program,” said Poff, according to the press release. “When I think about this city I love, it’s the three CPA components that feel most vital going forward: affordable housing – a basic human right; green space that enhances quality of life for everyone; and historic preservation to maintain our neighborhood gems. I can’t wait to work with Mayor Walsh and his team, the City Council, and community members across Boston to make our city the best it can be.”
Poff has previously worked as political director of the National Association of Social Workers, where she advocated for economic and social justice bills at the State House. Prior to that, she served for nearly 15 years as executive director of the Franklin Park Coalition, where she worked to bring back park institutions including the Elma Lewis Playhouse, the FPC Youth Crew, and the annual Kite and Bike Festival. Poff also started the Boston Park Advocates, which is a citywide network of park leaders that aim to bring attention to the City’s open spaces.
Poff earned a master degree of social work from the City University of New York and a bachelor degree from Wellesley College. She resides in Jamaica Plain with her two sons, who graduated from Boston Public Schools.
“I am incredibly pleased to welcome Christine to this new role as director of the Community Preservation Committee, which will have an important role in ensuring that the funding captured through the CPA is re-invested in our communities,” said Mayor Walsh, according to the press release. “Christine is someone who for many years has been actively involved with organizations that improve the communities around them, and I look forward to continuing that work with her in this new capacity.”