With pending new neighbor Amazon bringing 50,000 new jobs and thousands more people and cars, city council candidate Lydia Edwards sees this moment for what it is: an opportunity for East Boston to lead.
“Amazon could land in our backyards and we need to start planning as a community. Proactive and responsive leadership is necessary in setting the table to come up with a list of demands before Amazon or another project bid develops on Suffolk Downs property. We can’t afford to be reacting too late.”
Edwards believes it’s essential for community leaders to work with civic associations to plan and set standards for development in East Boston.
“This is East Boston’s moment to steer the ship in defining its identity over the next generation. Difficult, contentious conversations will happen and we need an individual with proven leadership and a strong voice to advocate for East Boston’s interests. My career and experience negotiating on behalf of communities makes me uniquely qualified to stand our ground as big projects loom on the horizon.”
Edwards, an attorney and community organizer helped Boston communities through contentious conversations between the Boston Planning and Development Authority, civic leaders, developers, lawyers, and the Mayor as the deputy director of the Office of Housing Stability.
In three months, Edwards established regular meetings in an effort to promote government transparency and built bridges to lead neighborhoods in securing the first ever article 80 enforcement standards to prevent displacement. “It was a huge for us to change standards on developers but that’s what the neighbors needed from the city. I was proud to bring that. We knew that the city was watching us so we wanted set the example for process.”
In this case, how East Boston thrives with Amazon could also set the example for neighborhoods across the city.
“Amazon has the potential of driving the future of East Boston and I don’t want us to be just along for the ride. We need someone at the table who can negotiate, understand contracts, get down into the nuts and bolts of those details and make sure that we get the best deal for Eastie not just Boston,” said Edwards. “I want us to be setting environmental, housing, traffic, and education standards for our new neighbors regardless of who they are.”
Lydia promises to bring a bold, independent voice with a fresh perspective to City Hall and her top priorities include ensuring pathways to homeownership for all residents, quality public schools for local families, responsible community-driven development, and reliable transportation.
Edwards is a resident of East Boston with her husband, Rogerio, a licensed electrician and small business owner. The general election will take place on Tuesday November, 7th. For more information please visit: www.lydiaedwards.org.