Letters to the Editor

Money is speech

Dear Editor,

Jan. 21, marks the 10th anniversary of the harmful and misguided U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Case of “Citizens United v FEC,” giving for-profit corporations the same Constitutional rights as real people and struck down limits on spending of money for political influences.  Basically saying corporations are people and money is speech.

This anniversary in nothing to celebrate. Mega donors control the money in politics, drowning out the voices of the common man.  We now have “Battle of the Billionaires” in our elections.

Only a Constitutional amendment can permanently overturn Supreme Court rulings.  The proposed “We the People Amendment” (HJR.48) will reserve Constitutional rights for real people and mandate campaign finance reform.  Currently the “We the People Amendment” has 67 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives. I would like to personally thank Rep. Ayanna Pressley for being among them, and I urge Senators Warren and Markey to file the “We the People Amendment” in the U. S. Senate.

For more information on the “We the People Amendment”, visit www.WethePeopleMass.org.

Nancy Gentis

Why Is the Bunker Hill Housing Development NOT included in Plan Charlestown?

Dear Editor,

Recently we have learned that the Charlestown Plan excludes the Bunker Hill Housing Development as it touts that the ENTIRE community is included. Is not the Bunker Hill Project part of the community? Who made this determination?

As I was thinking about the Bunker Hill Housing Development Project, it occurred to me that over 2,699 units are being planned for redevelopment in that area. According to the 2016 census, there are 2.3 residents for very residence in Boston. If there are close to 2,700 units to be built, are we potentially looking at roughly 6,000 residents plus to reside at that area?

The population of Charlestown is around 17,000 residents as of the 2016 census. As we look around, we can see that the 2020 census may well be closer to 20,000 residents factoring in all the new buildings that have been built, upcoming developments as well as the approved permits yet to be built.

The Bunker Hill Housing Development will be situated on 26.4 acres. There are 640 acres per square mile. Giving it some thought, does it make sense to stuff close to 6,000 people [which the project may well exceed] in a tiny area of 26.4 acres, with only three ways in and out of Charlestown? Just think, one acre for every 200-plus people is what may well be an outcome if the Bunker Hill Housing Project goes forward as is.

From what I understand, 100 affordable units of the 2,699 units will be built at Sullivan Square. What should be included there are 250-350 market-rate units to satisfy the MIXED income requirement.

Why can’t more units be dispersed throughout the 13 parcels, and more, land the City currently owns? Why isn’t the City and developer being creative and looking to locate more of the proposed units to other parts of Charlestown? Where is the common sense in this process?

While I appreciate all the efforts regarding Plan Charlestown, something seems to be missing. Why is Charlestown not afforded the opportunity to have a Master Plan so that the citizens can have valid affirmation that buildings in the future will NOT be slated for towers such as the 28-story Hood Plant? I am concerned that the Rutherford Corridor as well as the Sullivan Square area will become “towers.”

Is the Mayor and the BPDA holding onto these properties so that the goal of 69,000 units of housing will be built by 2030? Are they looking to build towers along these available parcels?

Over 2,600 Charlestown residents signed a petition for a Master Plan, we want input as to how tall the buildings should be, 5,10, 28, 30 or more stories? How many more thousands of people can Charlestown accommodate? Our one square mile already has too much traffic, too much pollution.

Why is the BPDA reluctant to give the community of Charlestown what we really want? We need ASSURANCE that we will not be surrounded by towers.

Jane Jacobs, a noted activist and urbanist, was a firm believer in the importance of local resident’s having input on how their neighborhoods develop. As she quotes in her book, Death and Life of Great American Cities, “Citizens have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everyone.”

Please attend the meeting on Jan. 30, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Warren -Prescott School to hear the latest updates regarding the planning of the future for Charlestown.

Everyone’s voice and concerns need to be heard.

Ann Kelleher

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