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星期二, 5月 17, 2016

Yes for a Better Boston campaign officially launches in support of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) for the City of Boston

Yes for a Better Boston campaign officially launches in support of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) for the City of Boston
Measure will appear on the November 2016 ballot

BOSTON – The Yes for a Better Boston campaign launched officially today, in support of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) for the City of Boston. The campaign comprises a broad range of community-based organizations, unions, business leaders, faith leaders and others, united together to encourage Boston to vote yes in November for a special opportunity to fund historic preservation and park projects, while creating much-needed affordable homes for families, seniors and veterans, and producing jobs. 

CPA is designed to help Massachusetts cities and towns create affordable housing, preserve open space and develop outdoor recreational opportunities, and rehabilitate historic sites. CPA funds are generated by a small surcharge on local property tax bills matched by a statewide trust fund to maximize their impact. The Yes for a Better Boston Committee recommends a 1% property tax surcharge, with exemptions for low-income homeowners, low-and-moderate-income senior homeowners, and for the first $100,000 of residential and business’ property value. The typical Boston homeowner whose home is assessed at $500,000 would pay approximately $24 per year towards this investment, and in turn, the City would generate $20 million or more every year for CPA projects. These new dedicated funds would allow Boston to:
  • Develop and improve parks, playgrounds, trails, and gardens
  • Acquire land to protect water quality and reduce climate change impacts                         
  • Create thousands of new, affordable homes for seniors, families, and veterans
  • Restore and preserve historic buildings, and rehabilitate underutilized resources

In February, Boston At-Large City Councilors Michael Flaherty and Andrea Campbell filed An Order Accepting the Provisions of the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act. The Council subsequently held a public hearing and a working session exploring CPA for Boston, and on May 11, the Council voted 12-1 in favor of putting CPA on the November ballot.

On April 27, Mayor Martin J. Walsh endorsed CPA for Boston. In his endorsement, Mayor Walsh shared, “I believe the Community Preservation Act offers a balanced and timely strategy for helping Boston build affordable housing, invest in our parks, and preserve Boston's historic and inclusive character.” His sentiment was echoed by members of the Mayor’s cabinet, including Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon and Chief of Environment, Energy, & Open Space Austin Blackmon. 

If adopted, Boston would exercise local control over its CPA funds. With input from the public, and city boards and agencies, a committee of local residents would determine which projects to recommend to the city for funding each year. CPA expenditures are transparent and accessible to the public.

“Boston needs more homes that families and seniors can afford, which requires new resources,” said Joseph Kriesberg, West Roxbury resident, President of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations, and Chair of the Yes for a Better Boston campaign. “Mayor Walsh has set an ambitious goal in his Housing Boston 2030 Plan, calling for $20 million annually in new city-generated resources for affordable housing. CPA is a direct, achievable and viable way to help make that happen.” 

CPA funds will also address neglected historic resources in Boston neighborhoods. CPA will support the rehabilitation of underutilized and abandoned buildings for new uses, bringing jobs and new revenue while assuring historic buildings are here for the future. CPA-funded projects will stimulate the travel and tourism industry. 
 
“Boston’s economic success and vitality are centered on its unique historic character and blend of old and new. Yet the historic fabric that defines our community, from neighborhood commercial blocks to small theaters and churches, continues to crumble,” said Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “CPA will bring these buildings back to the community and will serve as a catalyst for neighborhood enhancements and private investment.”

CPA’s dedicated revenue can also be used to develop and improve parks, playgrounds, trails, and gardens, and acquire land to protect water quality along beaches and riverfront areas. Investments in outdoor recreation projects would improve quality of life for Boston’s families, and create opportunities for kids to get outside and learn about nature, exercise and play.

“Boston is a city rich with greenspaces, making our City a livable, beautiful destination”, said Elizabeth Vizza, Executive Director of the Friends of the Public Garden and Member of the Boston Park Advocates Steering Committee. “However, our parks are heavily used, and in great need of renovation. The park system must also expand to serve Boston’s growing population. Mayor Walsh’s vision of making Boston’s parks the best in the nation can be met using CPA funds - a proven tool that can guarantee quality parks for every Boston neighborhood, now and for future generations.”

“Too many Boston families are not able to buy a home in the city due to our very high housing prices,” said Thadine Brown, Hyde Park homeowner, board member of the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, and Treasurer of the YES for a Better Boston campaign. “A YES vote can help create new affordable homeownership opportunities enabling our families to stay in the city.”

Since its creation in 2000, CPA has been adopted by 161 communities including the cities of Cambridge, Fall River, Malden, Medford, New Bedford, Quincy, Salem, Somerville, and Waltham. CPA is popular; no community has ever repealed CPA. Boston voters can learn about the many benefits of the Community Preservation Act by visiting www.YesBetterBoston.org.

The Yes for a Better Boston campaign partner organizations include:
  • Allston-Brighton CDC
  • Arnold Arboretum Committee
  • Arboretum Park Conservancy
  • Asian CDC
  • Boston Harbor Now
  • Boston Park Advocates
  • Boston Preservation Alliance
  • Boston Tenant Coalition
  • Charles River Conservancy
  • Charles River Watershed Association
  • Citizen Housing and Planning Association
  • Community Labor United
  • Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corp.
  • Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
  • Emerald Necklace Conservancy
  • Environmental League of Mass
  • Fenway CDC
  • Franklin Park Coalition
  • Friends of the Public Garden
  • Historic Boston, Inc.
  • Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion
  • Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp
  • Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council
  • Mass Affordable Housing Alliance
  • Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants 
  • Mass Association of Community Development Corp
  • Mass Communities Action Network
  • Mass League of Environmental Voters
  • Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership
  • Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services
  • Neighborhood of Affordable Housing
  • Neponset River Watershed Association
  • Preservation of Affordable Housing
  • Preservation Massachusetts
  • South Boston Neighborhood Development Corp
  • Southwest Boston CDC
  • The Community Builders, Inc.
  • The Esplanade Association
  • The Trust for Public Land
  • The Trustees of Reservations
  • Urban Edge
  • VietAID