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City Council resolution passes resolution on Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building

Yawu Miller
Yawu Miller is the former senior editor of the Bay State Banner. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1990 and has written for the Banner since 1988.... VIEW BIO
City Council resolution passes resolution on Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building
The Late City Councilor Bruce Bolling (center) with brother, Royal Bolling Jr. and father Royal Bolling Sr. (Banner file photo by Don West)

The City Council approved a resolution urging support of Mayor Martin Walsh’s recommendation to the Boston Landmarks Commission that the Ferdinand Building in Dudley Square be named the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building.

The resolution, sponsored by City Councilor Tito Jackson, passed unanimously by voice vote.

Bolling’s record of achievements during his tenure on the council justified the distinction of the naming, according to at Large Councilor Ayanna Pressley.

“With his remarkable ability to persuade and build consensus, Bruce was able to drive through key pieces of legislation that have had long-lasting, city-wide impact: The Fair Housing Commission, the Boston Linkage Ordinance, and the Boston Residents Jobs Policy,” she said. “Naming the Ferdinand Building for this venerable man, this son of Roxbury is a befitting tribute, as the restored building will stand proud and tall as a symbol of economic progress, development, jobs, revitalization, enterprise, emblematic of what Bruce Bolling fought for every day.”

Bolling, the first African American elected president of the Council, died two years ago after a battle with cancer. He was a graduate of English High School, Northeastern University and Cambridge College. His father, Royal Bolling Sr., was a state senator. His brother, Royal Bolling Jr., served as a state representative.

“Councilor Bolling never stopped fighting for Boston’s neighborhoods, especially Roxbury, holding that community together at a time of great division,” Walsh said in a press statement. “A remarkable civic leader, he dreamed big for diversity and for narrowing Boston’s economic and racial divides, and working together to achieve a common goal. I’m proud to honor his legacy through this centerpiece of the City of Boston’s Dudley Square revitalization efforts.”

While on the council, Bolling passed the Boston Jobs for Boston residents policy, which mandates that construction receiving public assistance in Boston maintain a workforce that includes 50 percent Boston residents, 25 percent people of color and 10 percent women.

Bolling also sponsored the city’s parcel-to-parcel linkage policy, that required developers of projects built on public land downtown to fund development projects in Boston’s neighborhood. The policy generated millions of dollars of development in the city’s neighborhoods.

Bolling also sponsored legislation creating the Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund, a pool developers pay into as part of the city’s Inclusionary Zoning law that has created more than 4,000 units of affordable housing in Boston. He also sponsored a Minority and Women Business Enterprise Ordinance, increasing contracting opportunities for people of color, women and small business enterprises in Boston.

Other measures Bolling secured passage of included an anti-redlining ordinance, the city’s first gun buyback program, a Maternity/Paternity leave bill for city workers and the Community Police Partnership Act, which helped promoted better relations between police and community residents during a time of deep division in Boston.

After leaving the Council, Bolling became executive director of the Massachusetts Alliance for Small Contractors, an organization providing capacity-building services to help small and minority-owned business construction contracting businesses compete for contracting opportunities.

The Public Facilities Commission is expected to vote on the naming of the building as soon as August 6. The building is slated to open in the winter of 2015.

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