I’m writing to voice my support for Stephen Passacantilli to be East Boston’s next District City Councilor. As an East Boston voter, I’ve been impressed to see Stephen’s specific plans and proposals on issues like Seniors and Veterans. As a lifelong Bostonian, Stephen has a clear understanding of the issues that matter to the district and impact me every day.
I’m also impressed that Stephen seems to be everywhere in the community. East Boston has a tradition of having elected officials that are visible and accessible, and from the way he has been campaigning, I know that Stephen will always be there for us. Stephen Passacantilli has earned my support for City Council, and I hope you will consider him on Election Day.
DEVELOPMENT AT SUFFOLK DOWNS
As a long time East Boston resident, I have been following the discussion about development plans for Suffolk Downs. If handled well, this site could be an amazing addition to our neighborhood, yet I am concerned about its impacts on the East Boston community. HYM Investment Group, a Boston based realty firm, purchased the 160 acres of land that houses Suffolk Downs racetrack. Their plans show a mixed-use development, in my opinion, a far better approach than the casino plan so many of us in the community fought to defeat. Over the past few months, HYM representatives have been meeting with residents and civic groups and have expressed an intent to create housing and jobs that will be available to the residents of East Boston and Revere. That intent is to be commended.
While HYM has shown a willingness to work with the community by attending civic association and community group meetings, the approach maybe destined to engage some while marginalizing others. As a community, we must ensure that residents are included in the planning process and that their voices inform the development. Whether affordable housing, parks, recreational, educational, or cultural/performance space should be included in the project should be part of the discussion. Whatever is built should provide support for existing and future initiatives that benefit the community.
Some members of the East Boston community have already begun thinking about best use for this land, and I would like to see a community wide dialogue about the future of Suffolk Downs begin. Residents should be involved in the planning and development process, and what is eventually built should support our community. That support should include a robust community benefits agreement package that supports initiatives we all hold dear. If that happens, I believe this development could benefit current and future East Boston residents for years to come.