In Brief

By Phil Orlandella

City Releases RFP for Disparity Study

A Request for Proposal (RFP) has been released by the City of Boston to provide technical and administrative support for the development of a citywide disparity study to work with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

“Equity is not only essential to achieving a just society, but it’s also a strategic imperative for our economy,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said.

Boston Artist-Residence Program

Ensuring arts are integrated into all aspects of civic life, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has announced that applications are currently being accepted for the third round of Boston Artist-In Residence (AIR) program. Deadline to apply is November 5.

The program brings together artists, community members and city employees to collaborate at the intersection of civil service, social justice and artistic practice to explore and reframe critical social conversations.

Digital Equity Fund Available

Creation of a $35,000 Digital Equity Fund to support the city’s goal of ensuring all residents have equal access to digital service has been announced by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

The fund will provide support to community-based organizations that help residents fully connect and participate in today’s media and information landscape.

“A more connected Boston is a more equitable City and a more prosperous City,” said Mayor Walsh.

One grant of $35,000 or two grants of $17,500 each will be awarded to non-profit organizations that promote digital equity.

Boston Harbor Now Hires New Vice-President

Jack Murray has been named by Boston Harbor Now as the organization’s new Vice-President for Partnerships & Operations to lead the organization’s efforts to strengthen its relationships with government, the business community and partner organizations advocating for increased awareness and public access to Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands.

Murray is a veteran manager of policy and program initiatives related to transportation, conservation, recreation and the environment.

He served during the Patrick administration as Deputy Commissioner for Park Operations for six years before becoming Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Landlord Guarantee Program Launched

A Landlord Guarantee Pilot Program, a new initiative that will support landlords who choose to rent to homeless individuals and families that relied on outside financial support and resources has been launched by the City of Boston.

Participating landlords receive a dedicated landlord part from the Office of Housing Stability, access to landlord resources including meditation services and access to funds for losses such as unpaid rent and excessive damages.

“Boston is committed to making sure all individuals and families have stable, long-term housing– and that means we have to work with landlords to encourage them to rent to those homeless renters who may not be able to meet traditional tenant requirements,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

Boston Recognized for Climate Resiliency

A recently released report specifically highlights the significant process being made in Boston under the leadership of Mayor Martin Walsh of the inclusion of equity goals and principles and the city’s climate action and preparedness plans on climate resiliency.

The report was released by The Center or American Process (CAP) and the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED) that recognizes mayors across the country to curb carbon pollution and fight climate change.

New Catamaran Joins MBTA Fleet

An introduction and christening of the MBTA’s brand-new Catamaran Ferry, the Champion, was recently held for the 150-passenger transportation boat which will service Long Wharf, Logan Airport, Hull and Hingham.

The introduction of the high-speed Champion and the upcoming announcement of a second brand-new catamaran, the Glory, will reportedly mark smart investments in Greater Boston water transportation the T claims.

Including state-of-the-art flat screen passenger information systems, the Champion also features energy-efficient LED lighting, carpeted interior decks, tables and seating to accommodate 110 passengers and ADA wheelchair positions, a concession-stand, and luggage racks.

MassDOT Releases ADA Transition Plan

MassDOT has finalized and released The Transit plan for Public Rights of Way concerning compliance of state-owned facilities including curbs and sidewalks.

The plan will guide the efforts of MassDOT to improve accessibility for people with a disability in public programs, activities and services within the Highway Division.

This significant, progressive change is being made in compliance with disability rights law and practice that are linked to MassDOT’s receipt of federal financial assistance.

BPL Transfers Sound Archives Collection

Approval has been given for the transfer of the Boston Public Library’s significant holdings from its Sound Archives Collection to the Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library offering permanent access to historical collections for researchers, historians and the general public.

The project will catalog and digitalize a major component of BPL’s collection of American popular music of many genres including classical, pop, rock, jazz and operators from the early 1900s on the 78 rpms and through the 1980s on LPs.

The collection has remained in its current state for several decades, in storage, and catalogued and inaccessible to the public.

Kevin Sibley Named Director

Kevin Sibley has been named by Mayor Martin J. Walsh as director of the Office of Returning Citizens, a newly formed office that will support the 3,000 individuals who return to Boston after being released from state, federal and county facilities each year, as well as others who were previously incarcerated.

            Sibley will work within the Office of Public Safety Initiatives.