2021 Boston Mayoral Race

kmp1284

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Yes, they ruined that project and I was strongly in favor of the original versions which wouldn't have been the equivalent of side-by-side Partners Buildings. They literally appeared twice as wide as the largest superblocks we decry in the Seaport.

What are you even doing here? I get flack for living a couple towns away, but you're literally across the ocean and your singular contribution here is cynicism.
I moved back. What brought me to London didn’t work out unfortunately. Do you really think I would be wasting my time reading this board and commenting to some goofus height fetishist if I still was in London?

You made my point though. You didn’t like the proportions so your reaction was to express satisfaction that nothing was getting built.
 
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DZH22

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I moved back. What brought me to London didn’t work out unfortunately. Do you really think I would be wasting my time reading this board and commenting to some goofus height fetishist if I still was in London?

You made my point though. You didn’t like the proportions so your reaction was to express satisfaction that nothing was getting built.
Ugh, that's certainly our loss.

There's enough getting built that the poorly thought out projects can go back to the drawing board and come back as something better. The pipeline of "stuff" is essentially never-ending at this point, so I back the projects I think are good and demand better from those that I don't. Again, I am very consistent that a wall-like building that is wider than it is tall, yet is also tall enough to completely obscure the city behind it, is something I always oppose.
 

kmp1284

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Ugh, that's certainly our loss.

There's enough getting built that the poorly thought out projects can go back to the drawing board and come back as something better. The pipeline of "stuff" is essentially never-ending at this point, so I back the projects I think are good and demand better from those that I don't. Again, I am very consistent that a wall-like building that is wider than it is tall, yet is also tall enough to completely obscure the city behind it, is something I always oppose.

I realize that a lot of people who post here don’t live in Boston and don’t have particularly solid grasps on neighborhoods outside of the immediate urban core but there is no city behind this parcel to obscure so spare us the bullshit and gaslighting. This project would have been a catalyst for more development and likely better quality development.

If you don’t live in Boston why does it matter what we build and who we elect as mayor? After all, you’ve made the choice to live somewhere else. Would you like it if a bunch of randos from some other towns stuck their beaks into your community insisting they alone know how your community should build, grow and govern?

Back to the mayoral race though, if being married to a slumlord and having the backing of much of the Boston PD weren’t bad enough, AEG’s PAC’s most significant financial backer is local Cheeto Jesus aficionado Jim Davis of New Balance.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/09...-davis-his-495000-bet-annissa-essaibi-george/
 
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DZH22

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If you don’t live in Boston why does it matter what we build and who we elect as mayor? After all, you’ve made the choice to live somewhere else. Would you like it if a bunch of randos from some other towns stuck their beaks into your community insisting they alone know how your community should build, grow and govern?
Boston is the hub city of the whole 6 (errr, 5 1/2) state region. It represents more than just the people who live exactly within its borders at any given time. This is especially true if you reside inside the 128/95 corridor. Everything revolves around Boston. We root for Boston sports teams. We fly in and out of the Boston airport. Many of us work or have worked in Boston, myself included for years.

Are we going to go so far as to tell non Cambridge residents they can't have an opinion on the development of Kendall Square, or non Somerville residents they can't have an opinion on Assembly, etc? I am in the city 2-3 times a week, along with Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline, and others. Things like my personal safety to be able to take a walk in peace are always at stake with every administration.

Personally I take a great interest in aesthetics. On one hand, I see many of these buildings as art and the whole urban area as a giant canvas. I also see the rest, a thriving place to walk, shop, dine, live, congregate, socialize, but one of my lenses is a lens of art. Do you also go to places like the Museum of Fine Arts and tell everybody there that it's all useless? If you don't like baseball, does that mean the city should get rid of the Red Sox? Is every part of the city used the same by every single person in it?

This is America, you are entitled to your (IMO generally terrible) opinions and I am entitled to my (in your opinion generally terrible) opinions. Maybe you are used to being able to silence people or being silenced yourself, but here we still have the first amendment. Personally, I like what I like, I stay pretty consistent, I have multiple lenses through which I view things, and I make my decisions accordingly. You are welcome to disagree but you are also a rude antagonist who spends more time tearing down other's opinions than boldly standing by your own. You are probably our longest-standing member who has added the absolute least to this forum through the years. 15 years of sniping negativity and......?????
 
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donkeybutlers

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Back to the mayoral race though, if being married to a slumlord and having the backing of much of the Boston PD weren’t bad enough, AEG’s PAC’s most significant financial backer is local Cheeto Jesus aficionado Jim Davis of New Balance.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/09...-davis-his-495000-bet-annissa-essaibi-george/
This is really the thing. All these smears of Wu but when it comes to development AEG is extremely slimy and I cannot trust her to ensure safe housing for tenants. Amazing people take more issue with living in a democracy than with using public office for personal gain.

Several of you also have a weird idea of what the community wants for example:
As an example, the residents of Jamaica Plain, one of her political strongholds, still routinely oppose projects under the JP/Rox Planning guidelines even though the BPDA spent years working through that to get height increases in exchange for affordability requirements and lower parking.
In reality the community literally just had a protest in defense of two developments (dense affordable housing near transit) that a corrupt landlord (like AEG's hubby) and business owner is trying to block if he cannot extort them for everything he wants. This actually seems like an example where the community supports what you want and increasing community input might prevent wealthy pricks from getting away with blocking much needed affordable housing too close to them? (like the original definition of NIMBY and how it should be used)

I feel like this is worth highlighting because her actual policies are clearly addressing what is needed with "every tool" as she says:
For reference, here’s what Wu’s website says about zoning. She’s not just about increasing transparency and community input. She wants to densify, reduce auto centric planning, and massively increase TOD around T stops. These are all things that the people on this forum regularly advocate for, and which Anissa (who doesn’t even remember the last time she took the T) doesn’t seem to care about.

As I said, I didn’t even vote for her last night (I thought that Campbell was more aggressive on housing and thought she had a more impressive background), but I have little doubt that, in terms of urban placemaking and transit, Wu will be the best mayor of my lifetime.
I am also very glad rent control is finally back in the conversation. It is desperately needed.
 

donkeybutlers

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Do you have anything to support your position on rent control? Every report from modern economists I've read is very against the idea - it's been tried and does not/is not working.
Not working from whose perspective? Landlords? Because everyone I know with a rent control apartment in NYC or Berlin (Before the unfortunate repeal) loves it and anyone who doesn't have it wishes they did. Even studies that are often claimed to be evidence against rent control, show it is very effective in terms of stabilizing housing for renters (thus helping prevent displacement which is a huge issue in this city right now).

This study and this study on the end of rent control in Massachusetts both found that ending it did not increase construction (as is often claimed by opponents of rent control) but it did reduce the length of time tenants lived in their homes, and increase rent prices.

This study based in NJ found that rent control increased the number of available units.

This study from Colombia Business school found substantial benefits to rent control.

This study from Stanford on the Bay Area found that it effectively limited rent hikes, and did not effect new construction and the only downside was landlords using loopholes to convert to condos.

An argument for rent control in the Urbanist

Effectively the downsides are overblown and can be prevented or at least alleviated by closing loopholes. The upsides are much less acknowledged because it is a policy that benefits the poor at the expense of the rich, and the latter has a lot more money to fund biased studies by ideologically aligned or just straight up bought think tanks. For some serious problems we have in this city such as rapidly raising rent prices and displacement of individuals and communities it can be very effective.
 
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Bananarama

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I mean, I can just as easily scroll through google scholar and find twice as many studies that find the opposite of the ones you've linked. And Shelterforce is just as much a "thinktank" as the ones you disagree with.

What are the loopholes and how would you close them? Would you really prohibit landlords from converting from rentals and selling their properties as condos?
 

donkeybutlers

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I mean, I can just as easily scroll through google scholar and find twice as many studies that find the opposite of the ones you've linked. And Shelterforce is just as much a "thinktank" as the ones you disagree with.
You asked for resources I gave some. I also explained part of why I think some benefits/risks get hyped over others. There is a debate on this, and a lot of it is about that. If rapid rent increases might fuck you over rent control has a lot of appeal. I think you can understand the point about disparity in influence and power and how that plays into who supports it.

What are the loopholes and how would you close them? Would you really prohibit landlords from converting from rentals and selling their properties as condos?
Doing things like giving tenants first right of purchase, provide subsidy to tenants in purchasing their own homes, ensuring you cannot do that conversion on an existing tenant who intends to stay and only after they voluntarily leave, restrict pressuring tactics landlords use to press tenants to leave, etc. There plenty of things you can do to make it a stronger policy for its intended purposes. I don't think the right of a landlord to cash-out because they can't hit tenants with exorbitant rent increases anymore supersedes the right of a tenant to stay in their home.
 

TallIsGood

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But the landlord owns the property not the renter. That’s the big difference. Population in Boston (and likely housing construction) has increased since rent control ended.

Construction of housing would increase if not for restrictive zoning, community benefits, set asides etc which all raise the cost of construction.
 

donkeybutlers

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But the landlord owns the property not the renter.
So what? I still don't think the right of a landlord to cash-out because they can't hit tenants with exorbitant rent increases anymore supersedes the right of a tenant to stay in their home. And most of the time the renter is the person who is really paying the mortgage in reality.
Population in Boston (and likely housing construction) has increased since rent control ended.
Several studies show the latter not to be the case. The recent boom in both came about 2 decades after rent control ended, and cannot be said to be caused by it. This is atrocious reasoning on your part, especially in response to peer reviewed studies disproving your claim before you even made it.
Construction of housing would increase if not for restrictive zoning, community benefits, set asides etc which all raise the cost of construction.
Another way to read this is that, especially for the more affordable housing, developers will not provide environments for people that are truly livable without being required to do so. I don't want a lot of shit quality development that will fall apart in a couple decades sticking those living there with the bill while the developer keeps the profits. I want high quality housing for all residents. Sure you may get more quantity without basic standards, but you do not get more quality, which is why those basic standards exist. If developers cannot provide truly livable housing they should find a new line of work. Whining about basic quality controls shows what you really want, and that is maximizing profits for already wealthy people, unencumbered by any concern for the people who will live in it or the broader community.
 
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BronsonShore

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But the landlord owns the property not the renter. That’s the big difference.
In a legal sense, property ownership is not a black and white issue (google "bundle of rights" if you want to learn how legal philosophers think of the issue). This is necessary, because it's what allows the law to declare that, despite the fact that he owns the space, your landlord can't enter your apartment in the middle of the night and try on your underwear while you're sleeping. In a society of laws, we're free to define the rights of property owners vs. tenants any way we sit fit, so long as it's constitutional - and all of the donkey butler's proposals are constitutional.
 

Brattle Loop

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This is necessary, because it's what allows the law to declare that, despite the fact that he owns the space, your landlord can't enter your apartment in the middle of the night and try on your underwear while you're sleeping.
Just lurking here, but, I have to ask 'cause I really hope there's not a specific real-life reason for that particularly creepy example. (Though knowing how much weird stuff there is in legal history, I get a sinking feeling a landlord might have done exactly that...)
 

TallIsGood

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So what? I still don't think the right of a landlord to cash-out because they can't hit tenants with exorbitant rent increases anymore supersedes the right of a tenant to stay in their home. And most of the time the renter is the person who is really paying the mortgage in reality.

Several studies show the latter not to be the case. The recent boom in both came about 2 decades after rent control ended, and cannot be said to be caused by it. This is atrocious reasoning on your part, especially in response to peer reviewed studies disproving your claim before you even made it.

Another way to read this is that, especially for the more affordable housing, developers will not provide environments for people that are truly livable without being required to do so. I don't want a lot of shit quality development that will fall apart in a couple decades sticking those living there with the bill while the developer keeps the profits. I want high quality housing for all residents. Sure you may get more quantity without basic standards, but you do not get more quality, which is why those basic standards exist. If developers cannot provide truly livable housing they should find a new line of work. Whining about basic quality controls shows what you really want, and that is maximizing profits for already wealthy people, unencumbered by any concern for the people who will live in it or the broader community.
The relationship between landlord and tenant is by contract. The only right a tenant has exists under the contract. They have no right to possess a leasehold after expiration of the lease.
Rent control is a disease.
 

TallIsGood

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In a legal sense, property ownership is not a black and white issue (google "bundle of rights" if you want to learn how legal philosophers think of the issue). This is necessary, because it's what allows the law to declare that, despite the fact that he owns the space, your landlord can't enter your apartment in the middle of the night and try on your underwear while you're sleeping. In a society of laws, we're free to define the rights of property owners vs. tenants any way we sit fit, so long as it's constitutional - and all of the donkey butler's proposals are constitutional.
The rights of property owners vs tenants is defined in the lease. I don’t need to google the laws. I learned them in law school.
 

donkeybutlers

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The relationship between landlord and tenant is by contract. The only right a tenant has exists under the contract. They have no right to possess a leasehold after expiration of the lease.
Rent control is a disease.
This is not true, for example tenants have a right to safe housing and landlords do have requirements to provide housing up to code that are legal requirements beyond the contract (although this is unfortunately often unenforced, which I'm sure you approve of) and its also very much possible to mandate certain things be in a contract.

Im sure you'd also defend landlords breaking the contracts when profitable for them too when it really comes down to it. This happens all the time and because there is a material power imbalance that is not simply resolved by the false equality of the contract there are needs for greater protections of renters and greater restrictions of landlords.

I am glad rent control scares people with your kind of parasitic rentier lifestyle.
 

TallIsGood

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This is not true, for example tenants have a right to safe housing and landlords do have requirements to provide housing up to code that are legal requirements beyond the contract (although this is unfortunately often unenforced, which I'm sure you approve of) and its also very much possible to mandate certain things be in a contract.

Im sure you'd also defend landlords breaking the contracts when profitable for them too when it really comes down to it. This happens all the time and because there is a material power imbalance that is not simply resolved by the false equality of the contract there are needs for greater protections of renters and greater restrictions of landlords.

I am glad rent control scares people with your kind of parasitic rentier lifestyle.
You seem very sure of your correctness and my views (which are wrong). Maybe consider listening to people sometimes and not being so aggressive to anyone who has a different belief.

There are basic safety standards yes. 🙄

Why would I believe in contracts but defend one side breaking it?

Renting is not bad at all. It is just a different method of using real estate than owning. May times renting is preferred for various reasons.
 

donkeybutlers

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You seem very sure of your correctness and my views (which are wrong).
This is hilarious, absolute work of art of a sentence. I am not going to engage you any further because that alone shows how you will never operate in good faith.

I will say though that Landlords break contracts all the time and you demonstrably do not care. Yet you call something that would not violate them but would simply strengthen the position of the tenant in them a "disease." You go on to try to claim what renters prefer but according to polling, votes, and popular sentiment all over the world that is rent control (including the cities that had it here). Rent control is extremely popular among renters for obvious reasons and it already exists within the legal framework of contracts. You do not dislike it because it breaks contracts, you dislike it because it interferes with exorbitant rent increases that drive displacement on the one hand and profits on the other.
 

TallIsGood

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This is hilarious, absolute work of art of a sentence. I am not going to engage you any further because that alone shows how you will never operate in good faith.

I will say though that Landlords break contracts all the time and you demonstrably do not care. Yet you call something that would not violate them but would simply strengthen the position of the tenant in them a "disease." You go on to try to claim what renters prefer but according to polling, votes, and popular sentiment all over the world that is rent control (including the cities that had it here). Rent control is extremely popular among renters for obvious reasons and it already exists within the legal framework of contracts. You do not dislike it because it breaks contracts, you dislike it because it interferes with exorbitant rent increases that drive displacement on the one hand and profits on the other.
Your entire post is just stating what you think I believe and I’m the one not discussing in good faith?
Rent control does not increase housing production nor does it lead to increasing quality of housing stock. More demand for housing will increase housing production as we see in Boston. If only new housing construction wasn’t constantly subject to reduced height limits, lower density and so-called community benefits when housing construction itself is the community benefit.
 

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