Boston Pride 2018 Recap

Pride RooftopBoston Pride Week 2018 was one for the record books as the 48th anniversary of Pride celebrations throughout the week, including the Pride Parade and Festival on Saturday, June 9, saw almost one million participants at a series of 50+ events.  This year’s historic parade included more than 55,000 marchers from 360 contingents who marched along the 2.27-mile route from Copley Square the City Hall Plaza lined with an estimated 750,000 spectators.  The Pride Festival at City Hall Plaza was filled with activity all day long including 130 vendors, a Family Fun Zone and headline entertainers Martha Wash and Big Freedia, who drew huge crowds.

One of the highlights of the Pride Parade was the contingent of Mayors from across the country who were hosted by Mayor Martin J. Walsh for the annual United States Conference of Mayors meeting in Boston.  Mayor Walsh marched with 100 mayors who all wore rainbow sashes in support of the LGBTQ community. The Mayors were active on social media throughout the parade, helping Boston Pride trend nationally on Twitter. The Parade also included Grand Marshal, Freedom for All Massachusetts, the coalition of organizations fighting the repeal of the public accommodations law that would remove transgender rights.

 “The parade was both a celebration of the LGBTQ community and also a reflection of this year’s Pride theme – Rainbow Resistance  – and demonstrated that we can never be Pride Groupsilent because our rights are being threatened both here at home and in Washington DC,” said Sylvain Bruni, president of Boston Pride. “We are wicked proud of our community and allies for their outpouring of support during Boston Pride Week 2018.”

The Parade also included a remembrance contingent to honor 11 transgender people who were fatally shot or killed by other violent means so far in 2018.

Pride Week included more than 50 events throughout the community, which kicked off with the annual Rainbow Pride Flag Raising on City Hall Plaza, followed by Pride Day @ Faneuil Hall, the High Heel Dash for Charity, Pride Political Forum on the repeal of the public accommodation law, Pride Lights, Pride Night @ Fenway, Pride Night @ The Revolution, block parties in the Back Bay and Jamaica Plain and the Official Pride Closing Party at The Grand.

Pride Sponsors helped to fund costs associated with the parade, festival and other free public events, and 10 percent of all sponsorships are dedicated to the Boston Pride Community Fund, which supports grassroots LGBTQ organizations.  Since 2016, Boston Pride has awarded over $50,000 to 35 local grassroots organizations, supporting the mission of promoting social justice for the LGBTQ community.

Boston Pride’s Official Broadcast Partner NBC10 Boston, Telemundo Boston and necn helped spread awareness of Pride Week through special programming, news stories, live coverage, moderating events and had a significant presence in the Pride Parade with The Weather Warrior and World Cup vehicles accompanying the station’s parade marchers.

“Boston Pride wants to thank our supporters and volunteers for making Pride Week 2018 a resounding success. We often say that ‘it’s always someone’s first Pride’ and that’s why we are committed to do what we do every year for the LGBTQ community,” said Bruni.

About Boston Pride

Boston Pride produces events and activities to achieve inclusivity, equality, respect, and awareness in Greater Boston and beyond. Fostering diversity, unity, visibility and dignity, we educate, communicate and advocate by building and strengthening community connections. Boston Pride Week 2019 will be held May 31 – June 9.

O’Neill and Associates Announces the Addition of Joseph Alviani, Esq. as Senior Advisor of Strategy and Policy

Joe Alviani.jpgO’Neill and Associates announced today that respected government and business executive Joseph Alviani, Esq. has joined the company as Senior Advisor of Strategy and Policy. Mr. Alviani brings 45 years of experience in government, business, healthcare, and technology.

“I am so pleased to welcome Joe to our company and be able to offer his extensive talents and expertise to our clients,” said Chief Executive Officer, Thomas P. O’Neill III. “As a highly regarded advisor to a number of our region’s innovative industries, Joe’s respected career speaks to the valuable insight he can offer and what he can bring to the challenges business face in 2018.”

Prior to joining O’Neill and Associates, Mr. Alviani served as the Vice President for Government Affairs at Partners HealthCare, a regional health care system that includes among its hospitals, Massachusetts General, Brigham and Women’s, Spaulding and McLean. There Mr. Alviani oversaw a staff that provided counsel in the development and implementation of the organization’s public policy, responded to the legislative and regulatory needs of the Partners’ hospitals and affiliated entities, and assisted in assessing community and regulatory demands related to market transactions. Before joining Partners, Mr. Alviani founded and led Alviani and Associates, a Boston firm with a specific focus on strategic counsel to non-profit organizations, government, and business. He was the Executive Director for the Massachusetts Technology Park Corporation (MTPC) where he expanded MTPC’s mission and created the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC). Mr. Alviani also was partner at Mintz Levin and Chairman of ML Strategies LLC, a subsidiary of the law firm.

Mr. Alviani is a recognized leader at the state and federal level. He was Massachusetts Secretary of Economic Affairs for Governor Michael Dukakis and the Corporation Counsel for the City of Boston under Mayor Kevin White. Mr. Alviani’s Washington, D.C. positions include roles as co-counsel to the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on Labor and executive staff member for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Mr. Alviani has been involved in a number of civic and business associations including the New England Council, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the Governor’s Council on Economic Growth and Technology, and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Alviani earned his Juris Doctor from the Harvard Law School and a Bachelors of Arts in Government from Dartmouth College. He was also a Fellow for the Center for Business and Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and an adjunct professor of law at American University Law School.

Head Of The Charles Regatta Begins Preparations for This Year’s Race

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Every October, the Head Of The Charles Regatta transforms the banks of the Charles River into front-row seating for one of the most renowned rowing competitions in the world. But what many spectators don’t know is that the preparation for this autumn tradition begins many months in advance. The Regatta’s board, staff, and volunteers have already begun planning for this year’s race.

The event’s sponsors also play a key role – helping to support the event and ensuring it’s a memorable experience for participants and spectators. Earlier this month, investment management leader BNY Mellon renewed its partnership with the Head Of The Charles Regatta, announcing that it will serve as Presenting Sponsor and Official Investment & Wealth Management Sponsor for five years.

“BNY Mellon’s continued support of the Head Of The Charles Regatta highlights their deep commitment to this event and the rowing community at large,” said Frederick Schoch, executive director of the Regatta. “This five-year extension provides stability and continuity for the event, allowing for innovation and growth in the years to come. We are extremely grateful for their support.”

The Head Of The Charles Regatta is free to the public and accessible to view from any bridge or shoreline along the three-mile Charles River course. During the two-day event this October 20th and 21st, the Regatta will host a variety of events for local and international rowers. It engages rowers of diverse experience, including Juniors, Olympians, Para and Masters athletes and has become a signature sporting event in New England.

“Whether in the boardroom or on the race course, winning requires dedication, discipline and teamwork, and the world-class athletes who compete in the Head Of The Charles Regatta embody those traits,” said Mitchell Harris, CEO of Investment Management for BNY Mellon. “We’re inspired by their passion and commitment, and proud to support one of the sport’s most prestigious competitions.”

The Head Of The Charles also has raised more than a million dollars to support local charitable organizations such as the West End House, Cambridge Community Foundation and Community Rowing Inc. through its charity program. For more information on the Head of the Charles Regatta, please visit http://www.hocr.org/

How the Early Literacy Act Will Help Struggling Students

Stand_National_Logo_CyanMassachusetts has the best public schools in the nation, but it also has one of the worst achievement gaps – that chasm that exists between the education students receive in our wealthiest and poorest school districts. One major factor contributing to the achievement gap is the significant number of students who are unable to read effectively by third grade.

Currently, 53 percent of Massachusetts third graders do not read at grade-level. The numbers are even bleaker among our minority, poor and ELL students – with over 70 percent of Black and Latino children, 71 percent of poor students, and 80 percent of ELL students unable to read proficiently by the end of third grade.

Poor literacy has lifelong social, health and economic consequences. Students who can’t read are more likely to drop out of school, be unemployed, pay less in taxes, have substance abuse problems, and end up in prison. It also has major workforce implications. Simply put, if you can’t read, you can’t succeed.

There is a solution to this crisis. The Early Literacy Act filed by Sen. Joseph Boncore and Rep. Michael Day provides a blueprint to stop the decline in literacy and catch struggling readers before they fall too far behind.

The bill establishes a competitive grant program to improve literacy rates among Massachusetts students in grades K-5, focusing on the highest-need districts. It provides much-needed funding for the initiatives research shows are most effective to improve literacy and help students – such as reading coaches, teacher home visits, literacy consultants, advanced literacy technology, summer literacy and academic programs, vision and hearing screenings and adjustment councilors.

“Literacy is the single most critical education issue, and one that impacts every student in Massachusetts,” said Ranjini Govender, executive director of Stand for Children Massachusetts. “Unfortunately, literacy is often overlooked and school districts are in dire need of more resources to support teachers and help students learn to read effectively. This legislation is crucial to address this major inequity and to ultimately help close the achievement gap.”

While the legislature is considering the full bill, immediate and meaningful action can be taken in the FY19 budget cycle. By increasing funding for a key line item, the Commonwealth can begin the process of providing grants to help Massachusetts elementary and middle schools improve literacy rates.

Govender discussed the literacy crisis and legislation with community advocates in recent op-eds in the Worcester Telegram and Salem News. To learn more about the Every Child Reads campaign and how we can tackle Massachusetts’ literacy crisis, visit https://everychildreadsma.org/home

Red Sox to Host Cure Alzheimer’s Fund on June 5th

On Tuesday, June 5th, the Boston Red Sox will host Cure Alzheimer’s Fund at the team’sDeDUDq-U0AA00ne game against the Detroit Tigers to raise awareness about the disease and efforts to identify effective treatment and prevention strategies.

“We’re grateful to the Red Sox organization in helping us to highlight that research is currently being conducted that could lead to a cure or effective treatments,” said Barbara Chambers, Senior Vice President of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.  “We realize that this is a special gift that provides us an opportunity to help educate Red Sox fans on how they can be a part of the fight to cure Alzheimer’s disease.”

The event will include a ceremony on the field at Fenway Park honoring researchers who are working to better understand and find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease; a color guard comprised of members of the Quincy Fire Department, who hold an annual event raising money funding research into the disease; and the first pitch to be thrown by Dr. Rudy Tanzi, who is the Vice-Chair and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and Chair of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Leadership Group.

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is a non-profit dedicated to funding the most promising research to prevent, slow or reverse Alzheimer’s disease.  In 2017, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund distributed $15.7 million in research grants to 67 projects around the world. Since its founding in 2004, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has surpassed $67 million in research spending and funded more than 300 projects.

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the US and is the country’s most expensive disease, with care for it and other forms of dementia costing more than $275 billion this year. There are currently 6 million people in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s and nearly 50 million worldwide, and this is expected to triple in the next 30 years.

The Red Sox/Detroit Tigers game featuring Cure Alzheimer’s Fund will take place on Tuesday, June 5th at 7:10 pm.  For more information about the fund, please visit https://curealz.org/.

Welcome Summer 2018 Interns

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This summer, we are proud to welcome fifteen students to our internship program. Each of our interns represents a different school as listed below:

  1. Georgetown University
  2. Boston University
  3. University of California, Los Angeles
  4. Brown University
  5. Auburn University
  6. Quinnipiac University
  7. Syracuse University
  8. University of Massachusetts Amherst
  9. Clemson University
  10. Saint Anselm College
  11. Loyola University Maryland
  12. Suffolk University Law School
  13. Boston College
  14. Clark University
  15. St. Lawrence University

Throughout the summer, our students will be paired with mentors who will help them gain valuable skills and insight into the world of public relations, federal and government relations, and marketing. During the internship program, there will be opportunities to work on client projects and on-site events. We look forward to seeing all that our interns will accomplish!

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute: 50 Years of Advocating for People Living in Poverty

The Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) is one of the nation’s leading nonprofit statewide poverty and law centers.  Its mission is to advance laws, policies, and practices that secure economic, racial, and social justice for low-income people and communities. For 50 years, MLRI has helped to shape policy that has had a significant impact on both the state and national levels, including helping to develop the Commonwealth’s Chapter 40B housing law and advancing CORI reform in Massachusetts.

O’Neill and Associates Vice President Suzanne Morse interviews Georgia Katsoulomitis, MLRI’s executive director, about the organization’s advocacy work and its 50-year history of developing policies that help people living in poverty.

Governor Baker and Mayor Walsh Join Community and Business Leaders to Mark Opening of Boston East Residential Community

AED_0156 2Developer Trinity Financial marked the opening of its new residential community, Boston East, with a ribbon cutting celebration on May 21. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined Trinity Financial executives, representatives from the East Boston Community Development Corporation, local elected officials and community leaders to welcome the opening of the new residences.

Located directly on Boston Harbor and in close proximity to Downtown Boston and the MBTA, Boston East is a $71 million, boutique, mid-rise residential community that features 200 units, including six artist live-work-sell units and a community art gallery. DbfU85AW0AEMnGIBoston East also embraces and engages the waterfront with the development and expansion of the East Boston Harborwalk, which was made possible in part by a $3 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant to East Boston.

“Today we are celebrating the results of innovative public-private partnerships and the significant role they play in our Administration’s efforts to develop and create housing opportunities across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I am pleased to see the successful work that has been done to transform this site into a residential community, which will deliver new housing units and public spaces, open access to East Boston’s waterfront and maximize infrastructure investments in the area.”

Trinity Financial utilized its experience in creating successful market rate luxury living spaces to develop a unique and desirable residential community at Boston East. Among the luxury communities Trinity Financial has developed or has currently in development DdvCKVNV0AA_c0Tinclude the One Canal and Avenir buildings in Boston, 66 Summer Street and Vela on the Park in Stamford, CT and Foundry Square in Newburyport.

Boston East, which is designed by ICON Architecture, features an acre of open space that includes a number of community outdoor features – including multiple decks and a large rooftop lounge. A harbor walk trail extends around and past the development, and residents also have access to an onsite kayak and stand up paddleboard launch.

“This project showcases what can be accomplished when we work together with our partners to transform vacant, city-owned property into beautiful, thriving and welcoming spaces,” said Mayor Walsh. “Boston East has helped to revamp the waterfront by providing affordable as well as market-rate rental units, more open space, as well as increased access to the Harbor meeting the City’s sustainability criteria.”

Boston East is located in one of Boston’s fastest-growing neighborhoods near restaurants and a variety of arts, cultural and outdoor amenities and activities. The development features studio, 1, 2 and 3-bedroom units, along with loft units located close to the MBTA DdWT3DgWkAA_0J8Blue Line, downtown Boston, and Logan International Airport.

“This project is the result of more than a decade of planning and hard work by a variety of public and private partners,” said State Senator Joseph Boncore. “The result is a new residential community at Boston East that provides much needed new housing and features outstanding cultural and waterfront amenities that benefit the entire community.”

CEO Thomas P. O’Neill III Speaks at the Annual MassAccess Conference

TPO MassAccess ConferenceOn Friday, May 4, O’Neill and Associates CEO Thomas P. O’Neill III served as the Keynote Speaker at the annual MassAccess Conference.

MassAccess is the nonprofit trade organization representing community media stations throughout Massachusetts. The membership group works to ensure the future vitality of Massachusetts based community media centers. There are over 200 local access cable TV centers in Massachusetts, the highest concentration of media centers in the country.

Community media professionals, local filmmakers, vendors, industry experts, and producers come together each year to learn from the best in television, film, and management. Each year, the conference provides MassAccess members the opportunity to meet, learn, and exchange ideas.

In his keynote address, O’Neill addressed the importance of free speech – particularly in today’s world of 24-hour news cycles, social media, and diminishing newspaper presence. The number of reporters in newsrooms is dwindling and, as a result, less news is being covered. Local Cable Access Centers and PEG stations are of vital importance now more than ever…they serve as one of the last lines of defense of transparent and free speech. “Local television may very well be our last gasp of free speech, we must protect it,” said O’Neill.

Community media centers across the country are being attacked and, in some cases, pushed out of their communities and out of business. But the work being done at these centers is vital. It doesn’t end with cable access. These centers are not only the last hyper-local outlet for citizens, they also provide educational and media literacy training, while serving as community hubs and centers and a training ground for students who want to pursue careers in TV and film.

As part of their ongoing advocacy efforts to ensure the vitality of community centers, MassAccess has been working to advance their Bill, ‘An Act to Support Community Access Television,’ filed by Senator John Keenan and Representative Ruth Balser. The Bill seeks to allow community media stations access to Electronic Programming Guides and channel signal quality that is comparable to local broadcast stations – now and in the future. Passage of the Bill would require cable companies to allow for broadcast of PEG channels in HD format and inclusion of programming in viewers’ electronic guides. These two changes would allow for PEG channels to be on par with most other offerings in cable television, and allow for greater access for viewers.

In addition to legislative advocacy, MassAccess works to develop educational workshops, utilize technology to inform and enhance community media centers, and acts as government liaisons to inform supporters across Massachusetts regarding the current political landscape in regards to media.