As neighborhood associations and organizations across the city figure out how to adjust to a rapidly evolving environment, the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) is no exception.
The Council offers numerous committee meetings along with a full council meeting each month, and acts as a resource as well a a source of information and discussion about issues in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood. With the uncertainty of what will happen with the virus outbreak, adaptation had to happen to keep the Council’s mission going while residents do their part to stay inside and away from others.
“The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council, like everyone, is trying to quickly adapt to a changing landscape while also trying to fulfill our purpose to ‘to facilitate communication between our neighborhood, the Commonwealth, the City of Boston, and elected officials; to enhance our neighborhood; to discuss issues and to formulate progress of action,’” JPNC Chair Kevin Rainsford told the Gazette.
He said to accomplish this, the Council is using its website, Twitter account (@jpcouncil), and Facebook page to provide information and updates to JP residents. Neighbors who have questions can reach the Council directly at [email protected].
“In talking with the members of the JPNC, I think I can speak for everyone and offer that we want to do everything we can to preserve the sense of community that makes Jamaica Plain unique,” he said.
Rainsford also said that the Council will be switching to virtual meetings “for the time being.” He said that while the Public Service, Education, and Parks+ Committees will not be meeting in April, the Housing and Development Committee will have a virtual meeting using videoconferencing program Zoom on Tuesday, April 21, at 7 p.m.
He added that the Zoning Committee is also hoping to hold virtual meetings, but “these meetings will be dependent upon the petitioner’s willingness to have their issue heard in this format and the petitioner’s ability to notify abutters either through leafleting or emails,” Rainsford said.
All virtual meetings will be open to the public and the links will be posted on the JPNC website at www.jpnc.org for the public to access. Rainsford also said that he wants residents to be able to participate and have their questions answered, so any questions or comments may be submitted to the Council at [email protected] up until the full Zoom Council meeting on April 28 at 7 p.m.
This year’s JPNC election was originally scheduled for April 25, but it has been postponed until October 3. The deadline for submitting nomination forms has been extended to September 11. Revised forms will be made available at the Jamaica Plain, Connolly, and Egleston Square branches of the Boston Public Libraries as well as Curtis Hall in early August. Rainsford said that signatures obtained before this new date will still be accepted.
Rosemary Jones, Chair of the Jamaica Pond Association (JPA) also told the Gazette that the JPA is looking at ways it might be able to have its monthly board meeting virtually, as “discussing an issue and attempting to reach consensus by email does not allow for the interplay of ideas that is one of the strong points of the group.”