The Chinatown Coalition discussed local developments on July 11, while the Chinatown/South Cove Neighborhood Council talked about litter issues on July 15.
District 2 City Councilor Bill Linehan summarized his current projects and goals for the district. Linehan’s talk was followed by presentations from the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Massachusetts Office of Refugee and Immigrants.
Linehan expressed concern about recent setbacks to build Josiah Quincy Upper School on its current site, citing lack of funds as a reason for the delays. “There needs to be a discussion moving forward with the school department about their commitment to building Quincy Upper in Chinatown, and that’s something that I am going to work on over the next year,” he said.
District 2 City Councilor Bill Linehan (second left) and his constituent services representative James Chan attend the Chinatown Coalition meeting July 11. (Image courtesy of Calin Brown.)
Mary Kanasas from the BRA stated the Massachusetts School Building Authority still intends to build the school, but is looking at other sites.
Improving district-wide education remained a priority for Linehan, who wanted more focus on improving schools at a localized, community-level. He mentioned the importance for the larger community to have a part in curriculum planning and the schools’ resource allocation.
Linehan hoped to create a more effective model for a Chinatown library. While he advocated for having a public library in the district, he said there was no public consensus on hiring a full-time librarian. Differing ideas on where the library should be and how it should run have hindered movement toward a public library in Chinatown, he said.
In response to concerns about making affordable housing more accessible, Linehan said more affordable units are needed. “Workforce housing is a legitimate issue,” he said.
Mark Liu from the Chinese Progressive Association gave an overview of ongoing or planned residential developments around Chinatown. Highlights included Millennium Place’s projected completion this fall and plans for 45 Stuart Street. Of the 766 units projected to be built at 45 Stuart Street, 581 units will be sold at market rate while the remaining units will be affordable housing. Electrical supplier Graybar also plans to establish 560 new apartments in its 345 Harrison Avenue building, along with 30,000 square feet of retail space.
The proposed developments will create an estimated 3,000 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs.
Samuel Tsoi, MORI program coordinator, discussed difficulties the agency faces in obtaining funding because of its reliance on confiscated trafficking assets. He also mentioned how illegal immigrants are often underpaid and mistreated in the United States.
CNC: Beautifying Chinatown
Chinatown and the North End are the only places in Boston to get trash pickup on three days rather than two, said James Chan, constituent services representative for Linehan’s office. Both neighborhoods have a mix of commercial and residential properties. Local businesses, such as restaurants, have commercial garbage services daily that are separate from city garbage pickup.
Littering with cigarette butts and improper disposal of residential trash were two pressing issues. “The cosmetic problems makes Chinatown look bad and dirty,” said Bill Moy, CNC chairman.
Chan will schedule public meetings with the commissioner of public works for residents and business owners. The council hoped for more Inspectional Services visits to fine violators, bilingual signage and greater communication with landlords. More education is needed for residents to place trash in seagull-proof bags rather than supermarket ones.
Published in Sampan Newspaper