Council hearing will focus on ‘Little Saigon’ district proposal

A hearing sponsored by City Councillor Frank Baker and scheduled for next Thursday (Dec. 5) will take up the proposal to create a “Little Saigon” cultural district in Fields Corner.

The hearing before the Committee on Arts, Culture and Special Events, is set for 5:30 p.m. at St. Ambrose Church on Adams Street and will include public testimony. 

If approved by the state, the designation “Little Saigon” would serve to identify a half-mile stretch along portions of Dorchester Avenue and Charles, Park, and Adams streets in Fields Corner as a center of Vietnamese cultural, artistic, and economic activity for at least five years.

The Networking Organization of Vietnamese Americans (NOVA) has proposed the designation. The subject was last discussed in September at a Fields Corner Civic Association meeting.

“I’m supportive of it,” said Baker. “I’ve been involved in this discussion for about five or six years. If the community comes out and there’s a large opposition, then maybe we have to figure out how to get people more comfortable with it,” he said. “The hearing is so that people can get more comfortable with it and figure out how we can get groups involved that feel like they aren’t a part of it.”  

The hearing will involve the Mass Cultural Council and representatives from the mayor’s office speaking to the proposal. In the end, it is up to the council whether or not to pass a resolution along to the Massachusetts Cultural Council for review. 

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