Guess who’s coming to breakfast?
A political fight over who should host South Boston’s traditional St. Patrick’s Day breakfast ended last week when newly elected State Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry was named the host of the next traditionally Irish event in March 2014.
The breakfast, essentially “a political roast,” is usually hosted by the senator representing the First Suffolk district. For generations, the “Southie Seat,” representing parts of Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park, has been held by Irish-American men — most recently Jack Hart.
But Sen. Jack Hart resigned this year to take a job in the private sector, leaving the seat vacant and the event without a host. City Councillor Bill Linehan, who represents South Boston, thought that he should be the host.
Dorcena Forry wasn’t having it, and rested on her credentials as the new First Suffolk state senator. In fact, she talked about her Irish credentials in a Boston Globe article. She is married to Bill Forry, the publisher of the Boston Irish Reporter and the Dorchester Reporter. She and her Irish-American husband have raised their family in South Boston.
“I have four bi-racial children — Irish-American and black,” she told the Globe. “I’ve been to Ireland four times. We celebrate the culture in my house. My two oldest sons were baptized in St. Augustine’s chapel in South Boston. I’m not just a random black woman who has this seat.”
Linehan backed down and Dorcena Forry will become the first non-Irish-American host.
The pair issued a joint statement Friday afternoon, saying they have agreed to end their standoff and allow Dorcena Forry to lead the festivities.
“It is evident there has been miscommunication surrounding this event,” Dorcena Forry said in the statement, adding, “I look forward to the South Boston delegation playing a major role in the event as they have done in the past.”
Linehan was equally gracious. “I look forward to working with Senator Forry on presenting the St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast next year,” Linehan said. “I am confident that we can present a quality event that makes us all proud.”
Boston’s new rental inspection program receives City Council hearing
The Boston City Council’s Committee on City, Neighborhood Services and Veteran Affairs will hold a public hearing regarding Boston’s new rental registration and inspection program, ordinance CBC 9-1.3, on Sept. 16 at 11 a.m. in the Iannella Chamber on the fifth floor of Boston City Hall.
Boston City Councillor Charles C. Yancey ordered the public hearing last month following a closed meeting with representatives of Boston’s Inspectional Services Department in which he was dissatisfied with the administration’s responses to questions regarding the new ordinance.
“There are many lingering and unanswered questions that need to be answered,” Yancey said. “We need to have a public dialogue for all of Boston to attend so they can get the answers they need from the officials who will be enforcing this order.”
The program required all property owners of private rental units to register their properties with the City of Boston by Aug. 31 at an initial registration fee of $25 per unit. The cost for registration fee after the initial year will be $15 per unit. In addition to the registration fee, the ordinance also requires private nonexempt rental units to be inspected on a 5-year cycle starting Jan. 2014.
Boston Foundation sets records for fund raising and grant making in 2013 fiscal year
The Boston Foundation announced last week that its 2013 fiscal year was a record-setting year for fund raising, with the foundation receiving gifts and grants totaling $131.7 million between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013. The foundation also set a record for grants released in the fiscal year, with the foundation and its donors giving nearly $98 million in grants to nonprofits throughout Greater Boston and beyond.
“Boston Foundation donors have a long history of investing to solve the challenges of Greater Boston, and there is no greater evidence of that than 2013,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “This fund-raising effort underscores the value donors place in creating funds that can utilize the unique strengths of the Boston Foundation in asset management, research and grant making to change lives.”
The $131.7 million total marks a 26 percent increase over the previous record year for contributions, $104 million in the 2008 fiscal year. The $97.7 million in grants paid out is a slight increase over the record set in the 2012 fiscal year.
The Boston Foundation will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2015 — over its history, the foundation has distributed more than $1.1 billion to nonprofit organizations, over half of that in the past decade alone.