Thank you for the ideas and suggestions you've left in the comments of my original post. As I expected, Blue Mass Group readers came through with progressive and thoughtful ideas to make Boston the greatest city in America. (Apologies for the hyperbole, hubspoke, but I truly believe our city can be a model for urban areas around the country if we try some bold new initiatives.)
I wanted to take a moment to respond to some of your comments. Many of you talked about issues around the Mayoral veto process. This is a great subject that I'm sure the Special Committee on Charter Reform will examine during the hearing process. I urge those of you who are Boston residents to come to these hearings, which will be publicly noticed on the Council’s website. You can also contact Councilor John Tobin to get more information on the committee's meetings.
On my Twitter feed, I was asked if I supported the idea of putting the BRA's financial details online. I believe that the agency serves a valuable function in the City of Boston, and that is should not be disbanded. However, I also think the agency needs to be more transparent to those it serves. Therefore, I believe the BRA should post its financial information online, along with all its documents, which I advocated for in my remarks to the Council on Monday.
The discussion about how Boston can improve the overall quality of life for its residents was great. I appreciated the conversation about how our city can better utilize its available parking and open spaces. Midge raised the notion that “complete streets” must be developed in all neighborhoods to make our streets safe for all who use them–drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists alike. In 2001, former Councilor Paul Scapicchio and I called on the city to hire a full-time bike coordinator. This led to the hiring of former Olympian Nicole Freedman, who has done an excellent job of bringing bike lanes to what was once one of America's least-friendly cities for cyclists.
There were several comments about how Boston licenses its restaurants and bars. Many of you called for a liquor licensing process that allows small businesses to serve alcohol without paying the astronomical price for one of Boston's few licenses. Several readers also called for more 18+ clubs and concert venues. I couldn't agree more with those ideas, and hope to make real progress in this area as the year goes on.
Again, thank you for your excellent feedback. I look forward to keeping in touch with you as the Council gears up for its important work in the year ahead. Please sign up for my eUpdate, or contact my office at any time with your ideas and feedback.