Letter: My Twenty-Four Hours in Charlestown
Danielle Valle-Fitzgerald reports on her survey of the town.
On July 19, I had one of the most exciting experiences I have had in my tenure as the Charlestown Liaison to the Mayor. I spent a full 24 hours straight in the community getting to spend time with residents and business owners. Though I spend many hours in the community between my duties in and out of the office, it was great to engage with residents for a more consistent span of time.
I started my day at the Grasshopper Café with the owner Kevin Smith discussing neighborhood issues. I then walked the business district with Diane Grant of the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce. We walked up and down Main Street, meeting with business owners and hearing their concerns.
After a delicious lunch at Toni Ann’s, I met up with Kelly Tucker of the Mishawum tenants’ association to see ways in which the City of Boston can better support the tenants of Mishawum. She alerted me of some damaged sidewalks and missing slip guards, which I relayed to the Public Works Department. I also learned that sixteen of the Mishawum buildings are solar powered.
I spent the rest of my day at Doherty Park, and then attended a school choice meeting at the Warren Prescott. It was great to spend time with parents discussing the school assignment process.
Once the sun went down, I drove through all of Charlestown to do a street light inventory to assure that all lights are efficient, effective, and have power. I have since given this list to the Public Works Department, and they are in the process of expediting all of these. Just today ten of the lights that were out have been replaced.
From midnight to four, I had the pleasure of participating on a police ride along with an exceptional officer. Though it was a very quiet night, we spent the time driving around the neighborhood checking problem areas. Before this, I never realized how much of a police presence there is in Charlestown at night. From walking through Doherty Park to checking on problem areas, the police are everywhere. I spent the rest of my night checking problem areas, and then checked on the construction areas to make sure no projects were starting before 7 AM.
This was an incredibly educational experience. I especially want to thank Diane Grant, Kelly Tucker, and the police department for being so accommodating. I know that this experience will better my ability to serve the community.