Letters to Editor, Opinion


‘ I was surprised to see myself quoted by Boston University College Democrats Campaign Relations Director Elizabeth Jones as saying that students are the ‘scourge of Boston.’ (‘Boston Politics tend to ignore student demographic,’ Sept. 22).? First, I have never said ‘- nor would I ever say ‘- such a disgusting comment.?I believe that students play a vital role in our city and our country.?

On a national level, students ended the Vietnam War.?Students of all ethnicities fought for civil rights.?Students worked to help elect our country’s first African-American president.?Locally, students helped elect me to the Council in 1999, including those from Boston University.?Together, we fought for and won late-night MBTA service (which was eliminated two years later due to budget cuts).?I told students then that my goal was to make Boston a place where they could start their lives, and I continue to work toward that goal today.?

The problem is that 75 percent of undergraduate students leave Boston once they graduate.?This is a staggering statistic that requires us to create policies that enable more of the talented individuals who get their education at our world-class schools to stay here permanently.?This is why I created the four-unrelated zoning law ‘- because it will reduce the cost of housing, giving young people the opportunity to buy or rent affordable first homes in our city.?

Keeping a dialogue with undergraduates continues to be a priority for me. In the past two weeks, I have met with a number of student leaders from schools all around Boston to talk about their vision for our city’s future. One of these groups was Delta Sigma Pi Gamma at BU, which I met with this past Monday night.?If you see one of the fraternity’s members on campus, ask him or her if our discussion about the reasoning behind the law helped change his or her mind on whether this is a good thing for students in the long-term. ?

As I continue these student meetings, I hope to meet with more students from Boston University and to hear more about the issues that are important to you. ?

Michael P. Ross
City Council President

One Comment

  1. The reason 75% of the student population leaves the city after graduation is because of the same laws you attempt to defend. I can tell you that being belittled and treated as a second rate citizen in this city is the main reason I intend to set up shop elsewhere upon graduation. It has nothing to do with the cost of housing being too exhorbanant, and in fact your ordinance will actually cause housing prices to GO UP. If 6 students would’ve lived in 1 apartment previously they now have to occupy 2. This decreases the level of supply with the same demand, which in turn will cause prices to go UP. I think that you should probably look to get the money back for the mba you recieved because you clearly have little understanding of economics or perhaps you’re peddling a completely different cause than you claim to be. <p/>As a resident of mission hill myself it is quite apparent that you aren’t looking to make boston more affordable, rather you are looking to benefit politcally through these policies. You know the student population doesn’t vote and your main constincuency is the publicly funded housing residents that you shuttle to the polls. I also question the validity that you actually reside in mission hill. I’ve lived here for 4 years myself and work mostly outside throughout the day and I have yet to see you walking down the street a single time. Perhaps you still actually live in the condo you still own in Beacon Hill? I mean that is where you got the $1000 worth of parking tickets you tried to illegally avoid paying…you’re not fooling anyone sir.