Page 12 THE MALDEN ADVOCATE – Friday, July 5, 2019 ~ LETTER TO THE EDITOR ~ Malden officials tout our diversity, but do nothing to preserve it Dear Editor. Malden is one of the most diverse cities in the state. City officials often use this talking point as a way to highlight how welcoming and inclusive the city is. But how inclusive is it, really? You need look no further than our city’s housing stock – and what our city leaders say about housing – to surmise that, perhaps, Malden is not as inclusive as they suggest. I was perplexed by the Mayor’s proclamation of his anti-housing position in his recent op-ed and by the anti-housing rhetoric of his opponent John Matheson. The Mayor seems oddly proud of being the lone voice among more than a dozen metro mayors obstinately refusing to do his part to address what is a regional crisis of housing affordability. Our local leaders seem to think that, amid this regional housing crisis, we can simply wall the city off and that would maintain the status quo. STUDENTS | FROM PAGE 2 School Committee Member Tara Beardsley said the pilot program is an opportunity that could open the door to other student initiatives like more recycling or a Malden Schools Green New Deal. She urged administrators to allow the Forestdale students to own the program and to let them propel it through the district. Malden is – perhaps to the chagrin of some – not an island. We are not insulated from rising housing costs. The housing crunch is here, whether we like it or not. If we continue to dig our heels in and try to prevent any new housing development, we risk pushing out the most vulnerable among us. Because of historic, systemic racism, people of color face barriers to opportunity and have less access to financial assets to help cushion the blow from a volatile housing market. This includes Black, Latinx, Chinese, Haitian, Arab, Vietnamese, and other Maldonians who make the fabric of the community we all love. It is said that the type of housing you have in a community indicates who you want your neighbors to be. Increasingly in Malden, the housing stock is neither diverse nor affordable to low- and middle-income workers, families, and older adults. “These youngsters are thinking, and they are thinking very positively, and they are looking to us to validate their thinking,” said School Committee Vice Chair Leonard Iovino. “I think that if we don’t do this, we are making a serious error.” Christenson said that Hernandez believes he could cover the cost of switching to paper straws at Forestdale and Beebe internally through the Maldonian graduates from University of New Haven W EST HAVEN, Conn. – Cameron Koizumi of Malden recently graduated from the University of New Haven with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. The University of New Haven, which was founded on the Yale campus in 1920, is a private, coeducational university situated on the coast of southern New England. It’s a diverse and vibrant community of more than 6,800 students, with campuses around the country and the world. Maldonian graduates from Centre College D ANVILLE, Ky. – Aryzona MacDonald of Malden graduated from Centre College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology during the 196th Commencement ceremony held on campus on May 19. MacDonald is the daughter of Bobbi-Jo MacDonald of Malden and the late Phil MacDonald and is a graduate of Malden High School. Kentucky historian Stuart Sanders, Centre College Class of 1995, and the Rev. Canon Naomi Tutu both received honorary degrees and addressed the graduates. Tutu spoke at the morning baccalaureate service, where her sermon celebrated the humanity, dignity and wonderful variability of all people. Sanders used his commencement address, “Seeking Inspiration from Our Past,” to highlight Centre alumni from the past who should inspire the future. The Melanson brothers, Jeffrey (left) and Joseph proudly display the bench dedicated to their loving mother Kimberly Melanson who passed away at age 48 from lung cancer. The Melanson brothers were among the guests at Sunday’s (June 30) dedication at the new Peggy’s Park at the Cheverus School in Malden. Named in memory of Peggy Fawcett Morovitz and sponsored by her loving husband, Lester Morovitz. Mrs. Melanson was a longtime family friend of the Morovitz family and was known as a dedicated and loving mother. (Courtesy Photo) One can only assume this means we are not welcome here. In early June, researcher Amy Dain published a report looking at the local zoning policies of 100 cities and towns in Eastern Massachusetts and found that, as the region’s housing prices are surpassing those in New York City, cities and towns are using measures that restrict multifamily housing. Very little land is zoned for multifamily housing and developers have to go through the approval process, which has become increasingly discretionary and ad hoc, according to Dain, which can be expensive and risky. These costs are passed on to households. Last week another report from The Boston Foundation and led by Alicia Sasser Modestino found that, although overtly discriminatory practices have been outlawed, current policies have done little to reverse these harmful legacies. In fact, food service budget. He also said the pilot program would be ready to launch in September. Hernandez estimated that switching the entire district over to paper straws would cost somewhere between current policies can even “promote segregation implicitly and create additional barriers to opportunity.” That statement from Sasser Modestino’s report highlights a key issue in the debate around whether to allow more housing developments in Malden – schools. Rising housing costs won’t only make it harder to find a home in Malden; it will also make it harder to educate our kids. If Malden completely freezes housing development as many have suggested, property values will skyrocket, and Chapter 70 education funding for our schools will plummet. We’d be forcing ourselves to educate roughly the same number of students while pushing away the state funding that helps us do so now. In reading these reports, Malden often came to mind. In a city where residential buildings with three or more units require a special permit, the process is $8,000 and $10,000. But again, he was confident he could cover the cost internally without raising the price of school lunches. The pledge of no additional costs was enough to seal the deal, and the committee votmuch more political and reduces the chances that we will follow a methodical, citywide plan for where to develop new housing – if any. Through this practice, we discourage developers from even considering Malden and those who do will try to recoup the higher cost from Maldonians. The fabric of our community is at risk. Meanwhile our decision-makers think that, by doing nothing, we are preserving the city as it is. The opposite is true. Maldonians face rising housing prices and, if we continue to do nothing, many will be pushed out of the community. The actions, not words, of our leaders make our community inclusive. If we want to tout the diversity of our community to highlight what an inclusive community we are, then we have to mean it. Sincerely, Monique Ching Malden resident ed unanimously to support the pilot program. Christenson said the students will be invited to join school officials for some type of official recognition of the program in September to highlight what they’ve accomplished. We Love You Mom

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