2018 BOOKS




Mayor Martin J. Walsh and library community members today celebrated the opening of Boston Public Library Chinatown at 2 Boylston Street in the China Trade Center. The event marked the return of library services to the neighborhood for the first time in more than 50 years, and a $1 million investment in library services in Chinatown. Regular library hours will begin on Monday, February 5, at 10 a.m.

"I'm so proud that today fulfills our promise to the Chinatown community, and brings library services back to this neighborhood for all to enjoy," said Mayor Walsh. "So many Chinatown residents have waited decades for this day, and the opening of this space marks our commitment to ensuring all neighborhoods have the resources and support they need. I look forward to residents benefitting from this space and services."

In his 2017 State of City address, Mayor Walsh pledged to bring library services back to Chinatown. The location will operate for three to five years while plans for long-term library services in Chinatown are developed. Planning firm Miller Dyer Spears worked with the Boston Public Library (BPL), the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services and the community to develop long-term requirements for a library services program in the neighborhood. Their completed planning study is available here.

"BPL Chinatown demonstrates our commitment to our communities and the importance of physical libraries' presence throughout our city. Chinatown is a vibrant, evolving neighborhood and Boston Public Library is eager to bring long-term services to the neighborhood," said Boston Public Library President David Leonard.

The BPL Chinatown location represents an investment of almost $1 million in bringing library services to Chinatown. BPL Chinatown includes bilingual staff, books, newspapers, and periodicals in English and Mandarin, children's programming, a 2,500 item collection, DVDs in English and Mandarin, holds pick-up, immigration and citizenship information, laptops for in-library use, and WiFi. Hours are Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. All are welcome to utilize its services.

"Residents, including youth, have worked for many years to return library service to Chinatown," said Suzanne Lee, President Emeritus of the Chinese Progressive Association. "We are happy this is finally a reality, and we will continue to work toward a permanent solution."

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) owns the Chinatown Trade Center and served as the project manager for the build-out of the temporary library services space. In order to expedite the process to open BPL Chinatown, last year the BPDA extended an existing contract with Bargmann Hendrie + Archtype Inc., the architectural firm overseeing the BPDA's overall renovation of the China Trade Center, to also include design and build- out supervision for the library services. In July of 2017, the BPDA awarded the construction contract to Northern Contracting Corporation, Inc.

In addition to housing the new library services, the China Trade Center is also the home to several non-profit agencies that provide essential services to Chinatown residents, including the International Institute of New England and the Urban College of Boston.

"Over the past several years, the Boston Planning & Development Agency has worked to bring providers and services to the China Trade Center that benefit the people of Chinatown," said Brian Golden, Director of the BPDA. "After many years without a library in Chinatown, we are pleased that the Chinatown Trade Center can serve as the temporary home of BPL Chinatown and look forward to working with BPL and the community to find a permanent home for library services."

The opening of BPL Chinatown highlights Mayor Walsh's commitment to investing in all Boston neighborhoods, delivering exceptional city services. Nearly $14 million of library projects expenditure are planned across the city in fiscal year 2018, and Mayor Martin J. Walsh is investing $102 million in funding for library projects slated for fiscal year 2019 - fiscal year 2022. The Adams Street, Dudley, Parker Hill, Roslindale and Uphams Corner branches are currently in various stages of planning and renovation. Most major renovations or new construction projects undergo a programming, design, and construction phase, which always include significant community engagement at each step to gain input, feedback, and insight from users. More information on can be viewed online.

About Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, 25 branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children's room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit bpl.org.


Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced a Request for Information (RFI) to inform the City of Boston's approach to potential litigation against pharmaceutical companies and other entities contributing to the opioid crisis. The City seeks to gather information from qualified law firms, universities, think tanks, hospitals, governmental entities, researchers, and any other interested parties to help inform the City's approach for developing best practice legal and other strategies to recoup public money in the form of damages arising from the City's use of its public services to combat the resulting opioid crisis.

The RFI asks that interested applicants evaluate the financial, social, and other costs caused by the reckless dissemination of opioids and the misleading information about the safety and purpose of their use.

"The pharmaceutical industry is the main offender and sustainer of the opioid crisis," said Mayor Walsh. "They were irresponsible in their practices and turned their heads the other way to increase profits, causing irreversible devastation to our families and significant damages to cities nationwide. In Boston, we are addressing the opioid crisis from every angle, from creating the first municipal recovery office to investing in more services and building a state-of-the-art recovery facility on Long Island. We, like so many towns and cities across the country, have invested the time, money and resources. Now is the time to finally hold the pharmaceutical industry responsible."

Based upon the responses received, the City may enter into an agreement for legal services with a qualified attorney or law firm. The City may also choose to explore other contracts, projects and remedies to address this growing public health crisis. The goals of any litigation or other endeavor shall be to recoup public money in the form of damages arising from the City's use of its public services to respond to the opioid epidemic; and create long-term solutions including rehabilitation services and support networks for all impacted residents of the City of Boston and their families.

Having been in recovery for over 20 years, Mayor Walsh understands firsthand how easily addiction can take hold and how difficult it can be to recover. In his first term, Mayor Walsh made expanding access to recovery services in Boston a priority by creating the Office of Recovery Services to study substance use in Boston and lead the city's strategy around substance use disorders, addiction and recovery. This is the first and only municipal recovery office in the nation.

In addition, Mayor Walsh mandated the life-saving medication naloxone (Narcan) be carried in every public safety vehicle in the city in his first two weeks in office and launched a new 24/7 hotline through 311 to help people struggling with addiction access all levels of recovery services.

Continuing these efforts into his second term, Mayor Walsh announced in his inaugural speech earlier this month that his Administration will rebuild the Long Island Bridge and invest in a comprehensive, long-term recovery facility on Long Island. These new services will offer a continuum of care, from harm reduction, to detox, to residential treatment, to transitional housing and ongoing peer support, and equip people with the opportunity to rebuild a life.

All responses or questions to the RFI should be submitted to John Natoli at John.Natoli@boston.gov. The City shall accept responses up to noon EST on March 12, 2018.

Fenway Health statement on CDC policy around use of words and phrases including “transgender,” “vulnerable,” and “evidence-based”

The Washington Post reported that officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) could not use the words and phrases “transgender,” “diversity,” “entitlement,” “vulnerable,” “fetus,” “science-based,” and “evidence-based” in official documents related to the federal 2019 budget. On Sunday, in a series of tweets, CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald asserted that “there are no banned words at CDC.” Fenway Health Interim CEO Jane Powers offered the following statement in response:

“These reports of restrictions on the use of language by public health officials at the CDC are deeply troubling. It does not matter whether there is an outright ban based on ideology, or whether the list originated as a strategy to gain support for the CDC budget among Republican conservatives. Telling public health officials working to prevent Zika, HIV and other diseases what words they can use is Orwellian. It is not what we expect to see in a democracy, and such policies—whether they are formal or informal—harm public health.

“Disease treatment and prevention must be driven by science and evidence. That includes the proper use of terminology, such as ‘transgender,’ which describes a population that bears a disproportionate burden of sexually-transmitted infections, including HIV, and which also experiences barriers to accessing competent and affirming health care. Accommodating intolerance of people who are transgender by discouraging the use of accurate language is extremely dangerous.”

Since 1971, Fenway Health has been working to make life healthier for the people in our neighborhood, the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS and the broader population.  The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues. Fenway’s Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center cares for youth and young adults ages 12 to 29 who may not feel comfortable going anywhere else, including those who are LGBT or just figuring things out; homeless; struggling with substance use; or living with HIV/AIDS.  In 2013, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts joined the Fenway Health family, allowing both organizations to improve delivery of care and services across the state and beyond.


Elisabeth H. Saxe has been appointed Chief Development Officer at the Huntington Theatre Company, in Boston, Massachusetts. She joins the Huntington after serving as the Senior Vice President for Advancement at the Mystic Seaport Museum since 2013. In her new position at the Huntington, Ms. Saxe will oversee the Huntington’s comprehensive fundraising efforts, including a campaign to renovate and expand the Huntington Avenue Theatre into a state-of-the-art theatre facility for the Boston community.

“I am delighted to welcome Elisabeth to the Huntington and to benefit from her 38 years of cultural fundraising experience,” says Managing Director Michael Maso. “She is a highly accomplished non-profit professional and I’m certain the Huntington will benefit from her leadership as we embark on our next chapter and enhance our services to artists, students, and Boston audiences.

Ms. Saxe stated, “I am thrilled to join the Huntington – an institution with an illustrious past and vibrant reputation – during this pivotal time for the organization. My goal is to help the Huntington set a course for its future on Huntington Avenue and to deepen relationships with those who can provide philanthropic support to transform the Huntington Avenue Theatre into a premiere cultural asset for Boston right here on the Avenue of the Arts. We will work to ensure that the Huntington flourishes, so that the power of its world-class productions can be experienced by audiences for generations to come.”

Ms. Saxe has a diverse fundraising background, with an area of specialization in the cultural sector. While at Mystic Seaport she attained a record level of success in fundraising for annual giving, revived a planned giving program, and surpassed their most recent capital campaign goal.

Her affiliation at Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut, a theatre then under the artistic direction of Joanne Woodward was marked by the successful accomplishment of a $30.6 million campaign to restore and revitalize the historic theatre which reopened in 2005. She then returned to the Playhouse four years later as Director of Institutional Advancement, and was a part of the new “turn-around” leadership team to achieve fundraising expansion and build meaningful connections with donors. During her tenure, she broadened and deepened support from corporations and foundations and increased revenue and participation from individuals dramatically.

At Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, New York, Ms. Saxe served as the Director of Development, and was a catalyst for strategic philanthropic growth as the organization expanded its music programming. She was responsible for raising funds for operations, programs and special projects, and endowment for the internationally-acclaimed cultural institution.

At Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, Ms. Saxe was an integral member of the visionary team responsible for founding the 20,000 square-foot, educational resource which opened in March 2000. She participated in funding strategies to raise $11 million for construction and creation of the new institution.

She began her professional career in development in the early 1980s as the Director of Special Events and Membership at the highly-acclaimed School of American Ballet (SAB) official school of the New York City Ballet (NYCB) at Lincoln Center, having first been a development and press intern for SAB and NYCB while attending Skidmore College.

Ms. Saxe has been a frequent presenter at conferences, for non-profit organizations, and for higher education institutions on topics such as “Building a Collaborative Board/Staff Advancement Team,” “Fundamentals of Major Gift Fund Raising” and “Capital Campaigns from the Ground Up,” and serves as a mentor to young development professionals new to the field.


Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the City of Boston is seeking innovative ideas about how the City could potentially utilize its capital assets to spur the development of additional housing for Boston residents, while improving the infrastructure conditions of City buildings through redevelopment. In a Request for Information released today, Boston will measure interest in the mixed-use redevelopment of assets such as community centers, libraries and fire stations. The goal of the RFI is to determine whether this type of development is right for Boston, while identifying how it could be pursued in the future.

"With the right projects and partnerships in place, we believe this model could have the potential to enhance City property by improving our infrastructure and generating new affordable housing options needed in neighborhoods throughout our city," said Mayor Walsh. "I look forward to seeing the ideas that could help us reimagine the future of our civic spaces to maximize the public benefit."

Cities around the country, including Chicago, San Francisco, New York City and Washington, DC, have built affordable and market-rate housing alongside and on top of city assets such as libraries and transit stations. These cities consider this work a critical part of creating more public value with public assets.

"In Washington, DC we are committed to building and preserving neighborhoods that residents can both afford and enjoy, and we're doing this through the creation of public-private partnerships that deliver housing, job opportunities, and community benefits. Recently, we cut the ribbon on a new library that is part of a development that includes a firehouse, retail, and affordable housing; for residents, this means a lot of resources in one location. We look forward to collaborating with Boston as we both work to build safer, stronger communities and put more residents on pathways to the middle class," said Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.

"As a community-based non-profit in a neighborhood where countless families have been displaced by skyrocketing housing costs, JPNDC has found City land and resources to be instrumental to our efforts to create new affordable homes," said Leslie Boss, Director of Real Estate at the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp. "The Housing Innovation Lab's concept is intriguing, as it offers the dual benefit of supporting affordable housing development and improving facilities and services that are critical to the safety and quality of life for the entire community. We are excited to see the City continuing to explore creative new approaches."

Boston owns hundreds buildings that could be candidates for these types of development. A preliminary list of these assets is available in the Request for Information for potential respondents to review. The City's primary interest is in proposals that identify how city assets currently used for core city services, such as libraries, fire stations, police stations, and community centers can be combined with housing.

"As a convener of Boston's design and development community, we are happy to see the City explore how innovative design, adaptive reuse, and co-location can help address Boston's housing needs," said Jay Wickersham, FAIA, Board Chair of the Boston Society of Architects. "We commend the Walsh Administration for taking this thoughtful step."

A Request for Information is a call for input, which allows the city to explore new ideas. It does not replace or interrupt the normal community process. If the City chooses to pursue any specific development ideas, the development will undergo a full community process, engaging local residents and community members before any potential redevelopment takes place. All submissions are expected to outline how potential development will remain contextual to the city and the neighborhood.

The City's nationally-recognized Housing Innovation Lab (iLAB), part of the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics and the Department of Neighborhood Development, is leading this RFI. The iLAB is transforming how Boston designs, develops and funds housing, and has been creating housing solutions in collaboration with many diverse constituencies at the City, in our communities, and across industries.

The Walsh Administration continues to be a leader in ambitious and innovative work to build, sustain, and promote affordable housing for its Boston residents. Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030 is the Walsh Administration's comprehensive housing plan. Under this plan, Boston will create 53,000 new units of housing at a variety of income levels throughout Boston, including 44,000 units of housing for the workforce; 5,000 units of housing for senior citizens; and 4,000 units to stabilize the market and bring rents and housing prices under control. During his second inaugural address in January, Mayor Walsh also pledged to increase Boston's targets for low-income homes, moderate-income homes, senior housing, and overall units.

Since the 2014 implementation of Housing a Changing City, 13,551 new units of housing have been completed. With an additional 8,412 units currently under construction, the City has secured housing for an estimated 25,000 residents, making significant progress in meeting Boston's rapid population growth. The City remains on target to meet the production goals. To date, the Walsh Administration has committed more than $100 million in funding to the creation and preservation of affordable housing.

The City will accept submissions through March 23, 2018; respondents' questions may be submitted to margo.cramer@boston.gov by February 12, 2018. An applicant conference will be held on February 15, 2018 at 26 Court Street, Boston. Responses to this Request for Information will not result in any development agreements or site-specific plans. Additional information is available on the Housing Innovation Lab Request for Information webpage.

About Imagine Boston 2030

Shaped by more than 15,000 resident voices, Imagine Boston 2030 is the first citywide plan since 1965. Mayor Walsh released the plan in July of 2017. The final plan can be downloaded at https://imagine.boston.gov/ and can be found at all branches of the Boston Public Library.

About the Housing Innovation Lab

The Mayor's Housing Innovation Lab was facilitated by a collaboration between the Department of Neighborhood Development and the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM). The Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics serves as Mayor Walsh's civic innovation group. A City agency that was formed in 2010, New Urban Mechanics pilots experiments that offer the potential to improve the quality of life for Boston residents. The Housing Innovation Lab focuses their work on reducing the cost of housing. To learn more about MONUM, follow the office on Twitter or visit their website. To learn more about the Housing Innovation Lab, follow the office on Twitter or visit their website.