Mayor Wu is thinking big for 2023 🙋♀️
Double the duck boats.
It’s Thursday, Boston.
💸 Attention: If you’re reading this and you’re the Mass. Mega Millions $31 million jackpot winner who hasn’t claimed their prize yet, I will gladly take it off your hands if it’s too much trouble.
👀 What’s on tap today:
- Slow zones to shut downs
- Show me the money
- Two duck boat parades?
STATE OF THE CITY
Wu’s 2023 plans
Image: Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu delivered her first State of the City address last nightat MGM Music Hall at Fenway, focusing on her early successes and highlighting her agenda for the year ahead.
Here are five takeaways from her speech:
🌱 We need to rethink how we grow. The city’s development boom has prioritized building buildings at the expense of communities of color, affordability, and sustainability, Wu said. She promised to establish a Planning Advisory Council to begin modernizing the city’s zoning code, end urban renewal, and simplify the development approval process so “good projects get shovels in the ground faster.”
🏠 Affordability is a priority. Wu said “we can’t grow sustainably unless our residents are secure in their homes.” She plans to send the City Council a rent stabilization proposal in the coming weeks to “end rent gouging” (here’s a rough idea of what that plan could look like). She also called on local builders to work with the city to design “high quality, affordable housing” in exchange for free land.
♻️ Boston needs to be greener. “Meeting our climate goals starts with ending our use of fossil fuels,” Wu said. She promised to sign an Executive Order requiring all new city construction and major renovations to be entirely fossil-fuel free. She also promised to end the use of fossil fuels in the city’s public housing by 2030.
🧒 Investing in the next generation. This looks like speeding up the design and building of new schools, investing $50 million in inclusion to better serve students with disabilities, and funding social workers and counselors at every school. Wu also announced a Year 13 program at Fenway High School, a partnership with UMass Boston that will give students a full year of college-level courses debt free as they transition into college.
🙌 Celebrate the wins. The MBTA had a rough year, but it wasn’t all bad. Wu’s admin made three bus lines entirely free, added dedicated bus lanes, and is expanding the bike network. She also noted that her admin is two-thirds people of color — a historic first.
You can watch Wu’s full State of the City address here.
TOGETHER WITH NOBEE
New year, new lease
Image provided by Nobee
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Quick & dirty headlines
Image: Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe
🚇 Thought the Orange Line slow zones were fixed? Sike! The MBTA tweeted that parts of the Orange and Green Lines would be shut down this weekend due to work on the Government Center Garage. But after asking the MBTA why the Orange Line would be shut down outside the area where the garage is, Globe reporters learned that crews will be performing track improvements so trains can run faster, i.e., fixing the slow zones the MBTA said they fixed previously, but didn’t.
🤑 Show (potential employees) the money. Well, Mass. employers might have to if a recently filed pay transparency bill passes. The bill would require companies with 15 or more employees to share estimated salary ranges on job postings and advertisements, and disclose pay ranges when offering promotions. Lawmakers say these kinds of disclosures will reduce the gender and racial wage gap in Mass. These kinds of laws already exist in other states, however, there have been some frustrating loopholes for job applicants. Some New York employers were skirting the rules by posting salary ranges of over $100,000.
🏆 Don’t jinx it, but … it’s possible we could see the Celtics and the Bruins both playing in the Finals at the TD Garden this June. Or, better yet, see a duck boat parade doubleheader. Both teams have the best records in their respective sports and win just about every other night. The Bruins are on pace to finish with the best record in the history of the NHL and are 22-1-3 at home. The Celtics were in the NBA finals last year and have won nine of their last 11. No city has ever won both winter sports titles in the same spring, but if any one can do it, it’s obviously us (but still, fingers crossed).
THINGS TO DO
Jimmy Fallon via Giphy
🎿 Try cross country skiing with a trip over to Weston at the Leo J. Martin Ski Track. A day pass is $13 and ski rentals are $22.
🍽 Dine outside in a cozy igloo at 75 on Liberty Wharf. Select ‘outdoor’ when making a reservation to eat in one of their heated igloos.
❄️ Find free fitness classes, hot cocoa, and swag at the launch of Frost Fit 2023, an annual program held by the Esplanade Association with Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts. FREE | Saturday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
🕺 Bundle up for a parka dance party at the MIT Open Space featuring a hot cocoa bar, free snacks, a food truck, and a DJ. Reserve your spot here. FREE | Saturday, Jan. 28, 4 to 6 p.m.
☃️ Snowshoe around Franklin Park with Boston’s Winter Fitness Series program. The event repeats weekly. Snowshoes are provided. FREE | Monday, Jan. 30, 10 to 11 a.m.
ONE LAST THING
The 80 for Brady ladies
Photo courtesy of CBS News
ICYMI: The friends who inspired the upcoming movie ‘80 for Brady’ were on “CBS Sunday Morning.” And somehow, they’re even cooler than you imagined.
The North Attleboro besties Betty Pensavalle, 94, and Elaine St. Martin, 95, founded the Over 80 for Brady fan club, along with three other friends, which gave them companionship and camaraderie as widows.
Though the movie centers around a fictionalized Super Bowl trip for the club, their fandom for the Patriots is 100% real. When asked how she felt after Brady left New England for the Buccaneers, St. Martin told CBS: “I was angry with him. I wanted to kill him.”
😭 Thanks for reading! Same, Elaine. Same …
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