Form letters, petitions are legitimate forms of expression

I read the recent article in your paper [JP Gazette, June 13, 2008] regarding comments made about the Forest Hills Improvement Initiative. Boston Redevelopment Authority staff person John Dalzell implied that as a resident of Forest Hills, I am being brainwashed by special interest groups, and I strongly disagree.

I am exceptionally proud to call myself a resident of this community precisely because its occupants are active and raise their voices around matters such as upcoming developments. We get involved, attend meetings and write letters. But, most importantly, we express our concerns. This is what a community should do—provide input to a public process.

Form letters or petitions are the expression of the people who sign them. While we might not take the time to each write an individualized letter, it does not mean that we have blindly signed a statement without sharing in its conclusions. “Special interest groups”—what are really nonprofits—are encouraging people to provide our personal input into what is happening in our neighborhood and informing people of meetings. The letters and the petitions are an expression of our opinions and in our democratic process the City of Boston must take those opinions into account.

Lenore Glaser
Jamaica Plain

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