Baker reports progress in District 3

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me to serve you in the Boston City Council as your District 3 Councilor from Dorchester. I want you to know that over the last nine months I have been working tirelessly to ensure that the needs and concerns of every resident in District 3 are heard, valued, and always considered when I am advocating on behalf of the district.

I am pleased to say that in my first month in office, I was appointed Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Arts, Film, Humanities and Tourism, Vice Chair of the Committee on Census and Redistricting and a member of the Committees on Economic Development and Planning, Environment and Health, Housing, Post Audit and Oversight, Public Safety, and the Special Committee on Asthma.

I am extremely fortunate have a highly competent, qualified, and compassionate staff committed to making Dorchester a better place to live, work and raise a family. I employed individuals from across the district that possess a wide variety of skill sets and come from an array of backgrounds, and have a designated Vietnamese Liaison, Senior Citizen Liaison and a Cape Verdean Liaison in an ongoing effort to unify Dorchester.

During my first budget I was able to encourage continued funding in order to safeguard three fundamentally important programs in our district; the Leahy-Holloran Community Center (LHCC) Day Care Program, Project D.E.E.P. (The Dorchester Educational Enrichment Program), and All Dorchester Sports League (ADSL). I was also able to help secure funding for the implementation a Family Substance Abuse Helpline through the Boston Public Health Commission called the PAATHS Program (Providing Access to Addictions Treatment, Hope and Support).

In addition to the Family Helpline, I have been working on several initiatives to combat substance abuse in our city, as I feel that this problem is the source of many of our most prevalent problems in the city.

In June I partnered with the LHCC and the Dorchester Substance Abuse Coalition (DSAC) to host a substance abuse forum for parents and teens to understand the dangers and signs of drug abuse. I also co-sponsored a resolution in support of Senate Bill 2122 “An Act Relative to Prescription Drug Diversion, Abuse and Addiction” and will be having a hearing in the coming months to discuss the implementation of prescription drug drop-off boxes throughout the city, in my determination to get prescription drugs off our streets.

I have been working with the Boston Police Department to address crime, prostitution, and underage drinking. In March I implemented the first district-wide email crime alert system, and thus far we have over 2000 people in the district signed up to receive weekly crime alerts. I have been working with the Gavin Foundation in South Boston to model their underage drinking program here in Dorchester.

On June 27th I stood in support of Boston’s five-year capital plan, totaling $1.84B. This will enable the City to catch up on capital improvement projects after the recent economic downturn stalled many planned initiatives. For Dorchester, the capital plan includes funding for Adams/King Playground, Hemenway Playground, Dorchester Park, Cronin/Wainright Playground, the Dorchester Avenue corridor, Adams Street Branch Library and McConnell Playground. In addition to the capital plan, I was able to obtain funding for a “hokie” position in Adam’s Village to help combat the unending litter in our neighborhoods.

Through my senior citizen liaison, I started organizing monthly senior meetings entitled “Council on the Corner” and I am looking forward to the next one on Tuesday, October 2 at 9:30 a.m. at the Dot to Dot Café on Dorchester Avenue.

I have also been working closely with Councilor John Connolly to address school assignment, school transportation, vocational school and special education issues, and will be having a hearing on vocational education this fall.

Furthermore, I have been working with the Transportation Department on expanding traffic calming measures throughout the district, and I am proud to say that together we have been able to implement over 40 transportation improvements throughout Dorchester.

In the coming months I hope to establish a district office and work at finding sensible solutions for addressing elderly-only housing and so-called sober homes. Again, thank you for providing me with the opportunity to serve you in the Boston City Council. If I can ever be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me at 617-635-3455.

Frank Baker is the Boston City Councillor in District 3.