May 31, 2022 Minutes

Saint Mark’s Area Civic Association (SMACA) Meeting
May 31, 2022 7:00pm
Basement of St. Mark’s Church
Minutes by Kendra Beaver, Secretary
Attendees (including speakers): 20

Police Report — Officer Mike Keaney
● New Commander at District 11: Shawn Burns
● May 3: Man arrested for a robbery in progress outside of Adams St & a robbery on Dix St
● May 20: Officers stopped a man waving a gun at 1800 Dorchester Ave
● May 30: Three suspects arrested near Hemenway Park who had a bag of guns and ran away
from the police
● Numerous arrests by Shawmut Station this past month
City Councilor Frank Baker
● Focused on Columbia Point peninsula’s potential for job training opportunities
● Thinks of the biotech industry looking to come to Dorchester as the future of Boston
○ The industry has identified 20M square feet they want to develop, e.g. Training space in
the old Globe building & the old Bay Side site
○ Arguing with the industry that folks can succeed in these jobs with the right training
even without an associates degree
● In response to a member question asking if he would work with the school systems regarding
the trades: “I think we need to invest more money from our linkage program towards brick and
mortar job spaces”
● Member comment: Concerned about Dorchester Bay City (traffic, housing, etc.)
○ Good group of people working on that plan; resiliency, job training, housing, and
transportation are the foci; the developer will put $10M into the STASH program; we
want to have units in Boston/Dorchester that those residents can move into; how do we
take city/CDC assets and use money from the development?
● Member question: What specifically are you doing to ensure that current residents aren’t being
pushed out of their communities by increased developments?
○ The Councilor stated he is not in support of rent control after a member suggested it;
“City councilors don’t have much control over rents”; claimed he can push for increased
affordable housing units in developments
● Member question: What do you or don’t you support regarding development? There have been
projects which abutters, neighbors, and local civics have voted against that you still supported
(e.g. 4-6 Ashmont St)
○ “I’m supportive of development and density because I believe it drives business”
● Member comment: What do you say to someone like me who’s 72 years old who needs a car to
get around and who has lived in and been committed to our community for 35+ years but can’t
find a place to park anymore?
○ “That’s unfortunate” but it’s nice to be able to walk to our restaurants; density will keep
us safer
● Member comment: Developers are pushing people out who have been here for decades with a
car… Why is it so hard to demand parking?
○ We shouldn’t block every development without parking
● Member comment: If we had the appropriate size building in the appropriate size lot, all the
dominoes would fall into place
Enrique Pepin, Executive Director of the Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS)
● ONS’ job is to have representatives for each neighborhood; Dorchester has three
● ONS’ job is to attend the meetings of all 220 civic associations in the city and bring your
comments back to the Mayor to understand the questions, opinions, necessities, failures, & the
good things happening in your neighborhood to improve the quality of life
● ONS is the “bridge between [residents] and City Hall/the Mayor”
● SMACA’s liaison, George Huynh, is our main contact
● Member: Concerned about increased & burdensome property taxes during the pandemic
● Member expressed concern that “each [development] project is a silo” and that with a master
plan for the neighborhood, people would feel more comfortable and heard; argued for rezoning
with extensive community input
● The City just hired a new chief of planning; ONS is looking to have “future of zoning” meetings
in each neighborhood and is working with multiple civics to plan
● Member expressed need for increased investment in our public transportation
○ MBTA bus network redesign meetings are happening now
Elected Officials & Representatives
● Lisa Sersei from City Councilor Erin Murphy:
○ Reminder about Love Your Block grants
○ Assistance for homeowners: Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT)
still has funding available
○ If you’re in need of recycling pick up/new cans, contact their office
○ SuccessLink is still hiring for youth summer jobs
○ Councilor Murphy cares about
○ public and mental health awareness in our community, as well as homelessess
○ Learn about how to recycle your textiles in Boston
○ Keep an eye out for upcoming hearings about athletics in our schools
○ There has been an uptick in 311 calls in regards to rodents → any time you call 311, be
sure to get a reference number to track your report
Community Announcements & Discussion
● DorchFest: Sat. June 4th from 11:30 - 4pm
● Dorchester Day Parade: Sun. June 5th from 1 - 4pm
● Dorchester 5k run is at noon on Sunday; starts from the Blarney Stone
● Check out the Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) project tracker (no ZBA updates)
● Member question about a group of people interested in improving the subway cap?
○ Original group doesn’t function much anymore; difficult to make progress since it’s
state land which requires state representatives’ buy-in
Meeting adjourned around 8:30pm

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published this page in Meeting Minutes 2022-09-23 23:36:40 -0400
St. Marks Area Civic Association
The St. Marks Area Civic Association is a group of community conscious residents who want to improve the quality of life in our section of Dorchester. We meet in the lower hall of St, Marks Church, at 1725 Dorchester Ave on the last Tuesday of each month