Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's Time: Leaving the BHCA Board of Directors

As of this May, I will finish up my eighth one-year term as a director of the Beacon Hill Civic Association. I have decided that this term will be my last.

No, I am not leaving the neighborhood. And I still plan to participate in the events I like-- such as Decorating Days in December and the block party in September. I still plan to push for 2+2+9 and to continue my advocacy for programs that will make my neighborhood cleaner.

My reasoning for leaving the board of directors is somewhat hard to explained, but it's summarized by my simply saying that it's time.

Over the past eight years, I feel that I have helped the board to accomplish quite a bit. We've supported strict enforcement of posted street sweeping signs, encouraging the city to tow cars parked illegally on street sweeping days. We've seen the landmark green ticket law go into effect; those green tickets left in the neighborhood now have some teeth.

I have also thoroughly enjoyed learning about the history of the neighborhood from fellow board members. This past August, during the annual "non-meeting" of the group, I learned from my neighbors who were once, not so long ago, in the same position that I am in now. A relatively young professional who's just getting to know their neighborhood. It made me like Beacon Hill a lot more.

But it's time. And without question I feel as though there were some things I wanted to get done that I just didn't have time to do. There were some causes for the Beacon Hill Civic Association as a whole that were not accomplished. Take the average age of a board member, for example. I would love to see more younger members. When I was added to the board, I was 27 and was the youngest member. Luckily, there is one member who is in their 20s now (whereas I am not), but the board needs more age diversity if it really is to carry out its mission of representing the entire neighborhood.

Beacon Hill faces a flight problem, like other Boston neighborhoods. I have seen many of my neighbors leave when they got married, or had kids, simply because it's too expensive to live here. I want to figure out a way to convince those neighbors to stay; to make it easier for them to stay. That is a cause the civic association can no doubt contribute to, and I am happy to help.

As for me, I am not going anywhere. As the secretary of the Boston Ward 5 Democratic Committee, I am definitely keeping myself busy-- and enjoying it. And I have no doubt that the board members who will now serve, and continue to serve, will have the best interests of Beacon Hill at heart. I saw that first hand over the past eight years. And I was proud to be a part of it.

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