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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Boston joins Lunar New Year Celebration, declines grants for parks and recreation, establishes new landmark

Adam Marotta / Graphics Editor

Boston City Council discussed several grants, Boston’s celebration of Lunar New Year, a review of driving rules with “green” transportation safety and the possible establishment of a new landmark in its Feb. 7 meeting.

Requests for grants presented included an over $1 million grant for the cemetery parks and recreation department, a $100,000 grant to fund and support mental health training for early childhood educators and a $60,000 grant funding a development series for youth workers to learn skills and strategies to become more effective in their positions, as well as funding the mayor’s upcoming Youth Summit.

Councilor Brian Worrell of District 4 voiced his support for the passage a $92,735.50 grant that would be used to increase the operational capacity at the Boston Emergency Operations Center. 

“Given the low dollar amount and the critical nature of our emergency preparedness and response, I urge the suspension and passage of this grant,” said Worrell.

Worrell also backed the suspension and passage of a grant for $65,000 that would be used by the Boston Police Department of Human Trafficking Unit, helping coordination between Boston and other law enforcement.

However, Councilor Edward Flynn objected to the passage of all presented grants that were posted and called for suspension and passage, resulting in a delay in passing to later hearings.

During this meeting, Councilors Enrique Pepén, Tania Fernandes Anderson, Henry Santana and Julia Mejia were not present. Pepén and Santana are both recently elected and non-incumbent city councilors. This encouraged Flynn to object to the suspension and passage of the grants in order for the absent councilors to learn of their purpose.

Flynn advocated for the suspension and passage of a resolution in celebrating Lunar New Years, pointing out how Boston, particularly his district that includes Chinatown, Downtown, South Boston and the South End, has an ever growing AAPI population. 

“We’re celebrating the year of the dragon, but we’re really also celebrating the incredible contributions and sacrifices the AAPI community has made to our city and to our country,” Flynn said. 

Flynn also stressed the importance of the resolution in light of acts of racial violence and hate against the AAPI community.

“I just wanted to highlight that we’ve also seen a huge increase throughout this country and throughout the world in anti-Asian racism and hate crimes against the Asian community,” said Flynn.

This proposal was unanimously passed by those in attendance, marking Boston’s official recognition of the celebration of Lunar New Years. 

The council also unanimously approved a review of the rules and regulations on vehicles in relation to the expansion of alternative transportation options, such as bicycles and scooters, which was brought to the council by Councilor Sharon Durkin of District 8. 

“Safety on our streets and sidewalks is the number one concern I get from residents of District 8. At times, no matter what form of transportation you are using, it can feel like you need to be on high alert as you travel through the city,” said Durkin. 

Many residents are using these modes of “green” transportation such as walking and cycling and are very vulnerable means of transportation, said Durkin.

Durkin also noted that Boston’s Vision Zero 2023 report displayed over 3,000 injuries and 10 fatalities from “motor vehicle, bicycle or pedestrian crashes.”

Councilor Gabriela Coletta of District 1 collaborated with the Boston Landmarks Commission to suspend and pass a commission from Mayor Michelle Wu that would establish the rope walk in Charlestown to be a historical landmark, the last granite rope walk in the United States.

“It produced all of the rope used by the U.S. Navy for over 100 years,” said Coletta. She and Durkin received support from the rest of the attending council to pass this commission.

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About the Contributor
Joshua Yanes, Staff Writer | he/him
Josh is a senior journalism and communications major with a politics minor. He was born and raised in East Boston, Massachusetts, and has had a passion for the news since he was 8-years-old, watching and discussing the news to his single-mother of six kids. He has a strong passion for his Latinx background and wants to be as involved as possible with culture at Suffolk.

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