News and Notes

Dr. Cain Named Director

Doctor Taylor Cain has been appointed as Director of the City of Boston Housing Innovation Lab by Mayor Martin Walsh.

Dr. Cain will lead citywide outfits to pioneer innovative housing models, systems and accelerate the pace of innovations in the housing sector.

“Dr. Cain has an incredible background that will suit her well in this new role,” Mayor Walsh said.

Mayor Signs Executive Order

In an effort to prevent conflict of interest, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has signed an executive order prohibiting City employees or members of their families from participating in a marijuana business that is currently seeking or intends to seek an approval from the City or its agencies.

The City of Boston also now mandates cannabis applicants complete a Beneficial Interest Form so that an applicant’s business, personal and capital interests are disclosed. With this completed form, the application is signed under the pains and penalties of perjury so if a candidate or company provides false or misleading information, it could lead to a license revocation.

Changes to Tobacco and Nicotine Regulations

Vaping and tobacco use among youth in Boston is targeted for proposed regulations aimed at addressing what has reportedly become a problem that warrants some kind of regulatory stability.

The proposal, by Boston Public Health Commission, would only allow the sale of mist and methanol nicotine and tobacco products to be sold in a verified adult-only tobacco retailer.

Mayor Martin Walsh said, “Now is the time to act.”

Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates Online

Marriage certificates are now available online, completing the Registry Department’s online services.

Death and birth certificates were previously launched online by the City’s Department of Innovation and Technology in 2018 and 2019.

This process is an alternative to obtaining the documents at City Hall as records are now online at

City Launches Age Strong Awareness Campaign

The first Age Strong Commission public awareness campaign has been launched aimed at revealing implicit biases around aging and dispelled stereotypes about older adults to promote more positive messaging around aging.

The campaign comes after the City’s Age Strong Commission updated its name and brand and refined its mission and values reflecting a growing trend and national movement towards a more inclusive aging language and actions.

“We want to evolve the conversation around aging and make sure that the images and stories we share help expand what it means to age in our city,” Mayor Martin Walsh said.

Eighty New Commuter Rails Bi-Level Coaches on the Way

A $278.5 million contract has been awarded to Hyundai-Rotem by the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board for the procurement of 80 new Commuter Rail Bi-Level Coaches which will increase capacity by over 14,000 seats daily.

A $4.1 million contract for engineering and program management services for the project was also awarded to WSP USA Inc., in close cooperation with Keville Enterprises, Inc., and V. P. Engineering Inc.

The Notice to Proceed will be issued this October 2019 with the first coach delivered by September 2022 and the last anticipated by June 2024.

            In addition, a release for a Request for Proposal (RFP) for up to 100 more coaches is anticipated for November 2020 with the first coach to be delivered in July 2024 and the last in June 2027.

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