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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

City council changes name of Roxbury library, discusses BPS including ESOL classes for parents

Adam Marotta / Graphics Editor

Boston’s City Councilors met this week to discuss previous documents that were postponed, a review of plans, rules and policies, to change the name of Roxbury Library and to discuss the possibility of a congestion tax in Boston.

Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson proposed a hearing to discuss the possibility of Boston Public Schools providing English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes for parents. 

“32% of all Boston Public School students are defined as English learners, meaning they are not proficient in the English language, with such a high English-learner population in our schools we know that we have thousands and thousands of parents who are also English learners for a total that is likely even higher than 32%,” said Fernandes Anderson. 

With ESOL classes being provided for parents in BPS it would allow for more parents to be able to understand and engage with their children and their education, said Fernandes Anderson. All councilors approved for a hearing on this document.

Fernandes Anderson had also proposed a change of Roxbury Library to be changed to Nubian Library. All Boston libraries have the name of the library matching the name of the square they are located in. The proposal was approved unanimously.

Fernandes Anderson had also proposed a hearing to discuss congestion pricing in Boston. 

“The vast numbers of vehicles entering our city can also negatively impact the quality of life of our residents,” said Fernandes Anderson.

Fernandes Anderson spoke about how she had numerous meetings with constituents who have voiced concerns about the narrowing of streets due to bus and bike lanes and rise of vehicular traffic. Congestion tax could assist in solving that problem and would solve other problems such as safety and quality of life.

These types of policies are also in discussion in other cities, such as New York City which has received support from many people to create a congestion tax. 

Fernandes Anderson suggested that if the city were to enact a congestion tax it would affect low income families and would also affect people who are coming to the city for smaller reasons, such as coming to pick up a family member. 

Her proposal to resolve this problem was to have a way for these families to transition into these means. 

Fernandes Anderson was asked by Flynn whether she wanted to establish this congestion tax for just her district or for all of Boston, rather encouraging this discussion in other hearings with the rest of her colleagues.

All councilors agreed that this was something that needed to be heard, however, there is a need to discuss first.

Councilors Liz Breadon, Gabriella Coletta and Erin Murphy presented a proposal that would update the EMS services area plan to the council.

This change to the EMS services plan would improve the emergency response times of Boston and allow for ambulances to arrive more efficiently as they continue to update the plan every year. 

All councilors are in support of this plan as some of them, such as Flynn and Coletta have heard from members of their community who have had increasing reports of emergency services not arriving in a timely manner.

Alongside this proposal Councilor Flynn had continued on with a different conversation pertaining to the change of EMS plans, he spoke about getting the community involved as they have been having transportation plan discussions on Zoom rather than in person. 

He urged his colleagues to revert back to in-person and Zoom meetings together, to make their discussions more transparent. He claimed there has been a lot of discussion on social media that the transportation talks should be more accessible to everyone by offering a hybrid option to be available to everyone.

Flynn also proposed another educational opportunity for all councilors by requesting a hearing to review city council rules, which was met with unanimous agreement. It would allow for the new councilors to learn more about their positions and what they can do, and would allow for a refresher for current councilors to also review the rules as well. 

Last week, Boston’s city councilors spoke on numerous documents that were postponed by Flynn due to his concerns over new councilors, who were not present for last week’s meeting, who would be missing “educational lessons” of how councilors work in the city of Boston.

One of the documents that were discussed was a $60,000 grant for the mayor’s office that would fund workshops for youth workers to learn skills and strategies to become more effective in their positions which would be presented during the mayor’s youth summit, this grant was unanimously passed.

Another previous document that was discussed and urged for suspension and passage was the order to allow for several of Boston’s elementary schools, such as the Kenny Elementary School, O’Donnell Elementary School, Adams Elementary School and other elementary schools to apply for the accelerated school repair programs.

Councilor Brian Worrell of district four urged for the suspension and passage of this request from the mayor as well. However, Flynn objected to it. The deadline for this to be allowed was fast approaching and if it were not passed it would come down to waiting until next year. The councilors had called for a roll call vote and it had passed unanimously.

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About the Contributor
Joshua Yanes
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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