Stephen Passacantilli, a North End civic leader, Boston Public Schools parent, and former staffer to City Councilor Sal LaMattina has released his Parks & Open Space Platform. Passacantilli is running for District 1 City Councilor, which includes the neighborhoods of East Boston, Charlestown, and the North End.
Passacantilli said, “Welcoming parks and open spaces are essential to the well-being of our citizens and livability of our neighborhoods. They help improve people’s health and quality of life and, when established and maintained effectively, can also greatly influence economic development. As a City Councilor, I will push for a broader and more creative approach to the maintenance, preservation and creation of parks and open spaces.”
Passacantilli’s Parks & Open Spaces Platform Includes:
- Engaging with the City’s newly forming Community Preservation Committee to ensure that the North End, Charlestown and East Boston receive their fair share of city funds collected under the CPA for recreation, open space and historic preservation.
- Working to ‘Green Up’ our urban neighborhoods through acquisition and development of more small-scale pocket parks and by trading asphalt and concrete for green spaces, such as gardens in traffic medians.
- Enhancing the city’s resiliency planning and preparation for rising sea levels by funding needed modifications and retrofits to coastal park spaces that could better manage storm- or climate- related impacts and protect adjoining residential neighborhoods from potentially devastating impacts.
- Pursuing enhanced connections between neighbors via water-based transportation options, prioritizing options that link parks and public spaces amongst our waterfront neighborhoods.
- Expanding accessibility to public spaces located within privately-owned properties – created by developers or private landowners as concessions or requirements during zoning and development processes but often ending up unknown or hidden to the public. Open space is not public space if the public is excluded. These lapses can be fixed, first, by the establishment of a citywide directory for all such spaces in each neighborhood and, then, by the placement of visible signage and markings so the public knows where and how to access spaces meant for all.
- Seeking more opportunities to renovate and redevelop publicly owned land or to reclaim abandoned properties or brownfields for public use, either as open spaces or both active and passive recreation.
- Coordinating with the Parks and Recreation Department and non-profit groups, such as Boston Harbor Now, to improve and maintain the condition of the Boston HarborWalk in each neighborhood of the district to ensure that residents and visitors alike have access to a contiguous, navigable and well-marked public walkway that provides full access to the natural gem that is Boston Harbor.
- Encouraging greater collaboration between city parks and planning agencies to make open, accessible and inviting public spaces a prominent feature of new development.
- Collaborating with the creative community in the district’s neighborhoods to encourage more public arts projects and to transform vacant lots or other under-utilized spaces into gardens or small art/music parks.
- Working closely with non-profits, government agencies, and funders, including the Trustees of Reservations and Massport, around the potential development of additional signature waterfront park space in the district that promotes modern sustainability and resiliency factors.
- Pushing for more innovative methods of funding public spaces created through public sector investment, such as capturing a share of increased commercial property values through business or park improvement districts that would adequately fund public spaces in perpetuity.
Ensuring that the continued world-class care and maintenance of the Rose Kennedy Greenway that was promised to North End residents and the city as a whole after the Big Dig is continually supported by the state and other key stakeholders.
- Improve safety, security and the continued level of care and maintenance of the East Boston Greenway.
Making sure any new development at Suffolk Downs properly builds and/or funds the care and maintenance of public space consistent with the project’s footprint and uses to ensure no overuse of Noyes Playground, Belle Isle Marsh, or other nearby public parks.
Many know Passacantilli from his years of public service across Boston. He is a lifelong resident of the North End where he has been deeply involved as past president of his local civic association and through local charities and community organizations like North End Against Drugs (NEAD) and the North End Beautification Committee. Passacantilli is also an active Boston Public Schools parent and serves on the board of the Gavin Foundation.
Passacantilli and his wife, Renee, are raising their two children, Grace and Evan, just around the corner where he grew up in the North End.