Councilors Wu and Essaibi-George discuss community preservation funds, needle disposal

Boston City Council President Michelle Wu met with media on August 25 with at-large Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George at City Hall. Wu spoke about the Community Preservation Act (CPA) and Essaibi-George discussed her proposed ordinance on safe sharps disposal.

Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George spoke about city policy with Council President Michelle Wu and her son Cass Pewarski on August 25 at City Hall. (Image courtesy of Ling-Mei Wong.)

The CPA was passed for a city property tax creating a Community Preservation Fund for open space, affordable housing and historic preservation. Members of the five- to nine-person Community Preservation Committee will make recommendations on CPA projects to the City Council. Christine Poff was named CPA director and will manage the committee, Wu said.

The City Council approved a special committee at its August 23 meeting to nominate four Boston residents to the Community Preservation Committee. The council also created a 90-day working group for input on the nomination process.

“We created the working group to get feedback from community members, composed of Boston residents,” Wu said.

Essaibi-George sponsored an ordinance requiring any retailer selling or distributing sharps must inform consumers about safe sharps disposal and provide a free system for consumers to safely dispose of their sharps. The ordinance will also require retailers report how many sharps they collect and directs any revenue from fines for this legislation to the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services.

“The city has only nine units to bring in disposable needles,” Essaibi-George said. “If pharmacies come in, that adds hundreds of sharp disposal sites, which would be a real resource for residents.”

The legislation hopes to address the issue of sharps being found in parks and playgrounds across Boston. Boston’s Mobile Sharps Team collected 20,000 needles from public spaces in 2016.

The council supported Essaibi-George’s resolution to designate August 31 as Overdose Awareness Day in Boston, with a vigil held at City Hall Plaza.

Wu attended the meeting with her son Cass Pewarski, after six weeks of maternity leave. Cass is Wu’s second son, joining her firstborn Blaise.

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About Ling-Mei Wong 黃靈美

Editor of the Sampan, the only bilingual Chinese-English newspaper in New England 舢舨報紙總編輯。舢舨是全紐英倫唯一的中英雙語雙週報。
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