Letters:

January 26, 2018
By

Tenant organization is thankful

In partnership and unity, communities find the strength to uplift. Our community, the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain personifies this.  On Monday, January 8th, a large-scale arrest involving our community took place in the culmination of a two-year investigation. It is an important step to enhancing public safety at Mildred C. Hailey Apartments.

We cannot express our gratitude enough to the agencies that led the investigation – Commissioner William Evans and The Boston Police Department, Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (AFT), Boston Housing Authority, and federal law enforcement agencies. Thank you for your consummate and dedicated service to helping ease daily living in our community.

I serve as the President of the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments Tenant Organization. Our work in the Tenant Organization is devoted to fostering a unified Mildred C. Hailey community. It is important that you also know the true essence of hurdles we face and how we surmount them.

The arrests are only one step in continual movement toward bettering our community. There is more work to be done. Carfentanil and heroin are prominent drugs that also continue to plague the lives of innocent Mildred C. Hailey residents. Incidents of violence occur in the complex. The encouraging news is that the Tenant Organization is actively working with programs and community partnerships to evade these perils.

Another invaluable community partnership for the Tenant Organization is with our local elected officials – Mayor Martin Walsh and State Representative Jeffrey Sánchez – among important local organizations like JPNDC, Tree of Life, and the JP Neighborhood Trauma Team, which continue to play a key role in providing resources and a helpful presence to our community.

Youth of Mildred C. Hailey are also pillars of our community. We are actively committed to providing constructive outlets for youth residents to develop into positive role models. Through local programs and partner organizations nested close to the Apartments, such as, Children’s Hospital-Martha Eliot, ABCD, and Real Kidz, the community is empowering itself to build a bright future, every day. Youth participants in these programs return in droves to help usher in the next generation of young leaders at the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments. Keeping our youth residents engaged in the community rather than being caught up in the legal and correctional system is our top priority.

Over its history, Mildred C. Hailey residents have always fostered an environment that brings people together. From the aid of the investigation and our focus on positive relationships, our residents will continue to shine as an example of what it means to be a collaborative community. We look forward to maintaining partnerships that make improvements in public safety possible.

Wendy Polanco

President

Mildred C. Hailey Tenant Organization

Immigrants in the U.S.

People often correctly point to the Lazrus poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty as evidence that  the spirit of America is being violated with all the hateful messages coming from POTUS.  While it is not law, It is the poem’s message to immigrants that set us apart from so many nations in days when not all countries opened their doors to people of color and/or speaking a language other than English. The people from these countries, whether from Ireland, Italy, Africa,  Central America, or the Far East provided new ideas, skills, and strong bodies to build this nation.

As the baby boomer generation ages, we see the greater need for nursing homes. If you’ve visited one lately, you’ll note that – at least in the Northeast – there are very few white Americans doing the hard work of caring for the elderly at minimum wage and often intolerable conditions.  Many of the employees are berated for their accent or their skin color by the very clients/patients they serve. One might, if feeling charitable, excuse the angry patients for being senile, but, sadly, it’s a real possibility they’ve harbored these thoughts all along, but no longer have impulse control to temper their remarks. Racism goes deep, as we all know, and it’s been given license to roam free without restraints because of the bigotry spewing from the White House these days.

That we could possibly have a president who is so ignorant of what America was built on and who actually boasts about his bigoted comments must confuse even his most ardent supporters.  Then again, maybe not. Maybe they’re encouraged by it.

Michel L. Spitzer

Jamaica Plain resident

Jamaica Plain jobs

Have you noticed all the new construction along Washington St.?

Much of what you see falls within the footprint of the Plan JP Rox development area. The PLAN JP ROX calls for community monitoring committees, to be formed and to regularly review the hiring numbers as dictated by the Boston Residents Jobs Policy. Other projects that are not part of the Plan JP ROX area, but approved by the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA – née BRA) also fall under the Boston Residents Jobs Policy.

This 1986 Jobs Policy policy calls for hiring goals on all construction projects of more than 100,000 sq. ft., of: 50% – Boston Residents; 25% – People of Color and 10% – Women.

There is a new Boston Residents Jobs Policy with higher hiring rates and applies to projects starting at 50,000 sq. ft. and up, that became law in April, 2017. Given the long time it takes for most construction projects to go from City approval, when hiring goals are established, to shovels in the ground, all of today’s projects fall under the old ordinance. It will be well into 2018 before we see projects covered by the new Ordinance.

Currently, there are two projects on Washington St. being reviewed by this Monitoring Committee: 3200 Washington St. in Egleston Sq. and 141 McBride St. Self Storage, near English High. We meet with the General Contractors, representatives from the BPDA Compliance Department and Councilor O’Malley’s office, on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday’s of the month. We meet from 8:30 to 9:30. The meetings are in the Community Room at the Boston Police District 13 station at 3345 Washington St. JP. They are open to the public.

For many reasons, the hiring numbers are not meeting the Job Policy goals. At these monitoring committee meetings, we discuss the problems and reasons for the poor numbers. We also develop and suggest strategies to improve these numbers.

The current hiring numbers, as of 1/17/18, are below in all categories, with women workers being the furthest from compliance.

One strategy is to advertise this job opportunity as widely as possibles, especially to Boston residents, People of Color and Women, with some construction experience to walk-on to any construction site and fill out an application for employment. All applications are reviewed regularly by the General Contractor on the building project and qualified applicants are referred to one of the sub-contractors.

We encourage all of you to apply for these jobs, if qualified, and to pass this information on to others. You can go directly to the two Washington St. construction sites currently under way. Look for the trailer every site must have and the walk-on applications will be posted near this trailer. These sites are at:

3200 Washington St. ( Egleston Sq.) and

141 McBride St. (next to English High – trailer is on Burnett St.)

There will be more projects starting up this year. Every site will have a trailer and take walk-on applications. Keep your eyes out for them or for more info contact 781-929-6486.

Dick Monks

Jamaica Plains Jobs Committee

Archives