Dear Residents and Stakeholders,
In the Fall of 2014, a small group of Downtown Boston residents came together to mobilize against a proposed 43,000+ sq. foot entertainment complex in the neighborhood. We were compelled to act based on the information at hand and because residents lacked a proper voice in the process – we believed fervently that our neighborhood and beloved City deserved better than what was being proposed. We appreciated the critical importance of residents in the ongoing revitalization of Downtown Boston and recognized that residents, as citizens and taxpayers, have a fundamental right to have a voice in matters that stand to impact quality of life and the ongoing development of their neighborhood.
We founded the Residents’ Association for one simple reason: to enable civic engagement. We expected to engage 30-40 residents across a few residential buildings but what transpired over a few short weeks was completely unexpected. Through word of mouth, basic research of the proponent’s public filings, and a data driven approach, hundreds of Downtown Boston residents organized and engaged to shine the spotlight on obvious issues with the proposed entertainment complex and its proponent. Despite being dubbed obstructionists by some, we carried forward. History confirms that this effort was both prudent and necessary. As anticipated, the proponent of the failed project is facing several labor lawsuits in multiple states and continues to shutter locations nationwide. Our neighborhood and City deserved better.
What initially started out as a small, informal group of residents coming together to respond to a challenge quickly evolved into a robust, active residents’ association with over 400 members and growing from across 15 Downtown Boston residential buildings. The Association remains 100% independent and volunteer resident driven. It remains committed to engaging, informing, and empowering Downtown Boston residents by creating a forum for discussion and debate on a wide range of topics related to quality of life and development in Downtown Boston.
Today, we are pleased to share an exciting announcement and milestone. Based on your feedback, discussions with stakeholders, and our experiences over the past year and a half, the Leadership Team of what has been known as the Midtown Cultural District Residents’ Association has decided to rename the Association to Downtown Boston Residents’ Association to more closely align with the neighborhood’s current identity. Our new website address is www.downtownRA.org. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.
We would like to take a moment to thank our elected officials, City agencies, and their dedicated staff; the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District (Downtown Boston BID) for their support and partnership since our inception and for their transformational work in Downtown Boston over the last five years; Suffolk University, an important anchor institution in the neighborhood, for providing in-kind meeting space, staff, and security for the majority of our meetings; Chris Damian and the team at SIP Wine Bar and Kitchen for hosting our first public meeting; the Ritz-Carlton Boston for providing in-kind meeting space; the Boston Police Department and MBTA Transit Police for protecting and serving the neighborhood and engaging with the Association; and you, the residents of Downtown Boston, the lifeblood of this great neighborhood.
Please feel free to share this message with fellow neighbors and stakeholders. We look forward to our continued work together.
The Leadership Team
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