Director to manage all aspects of CPA program; work with committee to make recommendations for use of CPA funding
BOSTON – Friday, July 28, 2017 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the selection of Christine Poff, of Jamaica Plain, as Director of the Community Preservation Committee, a newly established position and committee that will shape the future of investments in Boston’s neighborhoods with funds contributed through the Community Preservation Act (CPA).
In November 2016, Boston voters approved adoption of the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA), which will generate millions of dollars of revenue to be used for the creation and acquisition of affordable housing, historic preservation, open space and recreation.
“I am incredibly pleased to welcome Christine to this new role as Director of the Community Preservation Committee, which will have an important role in ensuring that the funding captured through the CPA is re-invested in our communities,” said Mayor Walsh. “Christine is someone who for many years has been actively involved with organizations that improve the communities around them, and I look forward to continuing that work with her in this new capacity.”
As part of the City’s plan to oversee the investments made through the adoption of the CPA, Mayor Walsh is working in partnership with the Boston City Council to form a Community Preservation Committee (CPC) that will study community preservation needs and make recommendations on how CPA funds should be allocated. The funding of any project requires a recommendation from the committee and appropriation by the City.
The Director of the CPC is responsible for managing all aspects of the CPA Program, including staffing the CPC; coordinating the application process for granting CPA funds; managing the CPA budget and CPA grants; and managing special projects related to the CPA.
“Christine Poff’s appointment as the Community Preservation Committee Director makes sense,” said City Councilor Michael Flaherty. “Her years of advocacy for our city gives her the experience to guide the Community Preservation Committee in a fair and equitable manner. I look forward to working with Christine, the Community Preservation Committee, and the Mayor as we continue to move Boston forward.”
The Director will work closely with staff from City departments, as well as members of the community, to determine need, ensure transparency in the application process and funding awards, and complete annual reports on CPA projects and expenditures.
“I’m so honored to be at the helm of Boston’s new Community Preservation Program,” said Christine Poff. “When I think about this City I love, it’s the three CPA components that feel most vital going forward: affordable housing – a basic human right; greenspace that enhances quality of life for everyone; and historic preservation to maintain our neighborhood gems. I can’t wait to work with Mayor Walsh and his team, the City Council, and community members across Boston to make our City the best it can be.”
Prior to her appointment as Director of CPC, Poff served as Political Director of the National Association of Social Workers, where she advocated for economic and social justice bills at the Massachusetts State House. Before that, Poff served for nearly 15 years as Executive Director of the Franklin Park Coalition (FPC), a nonprofit organization that serves as a community voice for Franklin Park, where she worked to bring back beloved park institutions including the Elma Lewis Playhouse, the FPC Youth Crew and the annual Kite and Bike Festival. She also began a citywide network of park leaders, the Boston Park Advocates, to help bring attention to the City’s open spaces.
Poff earned a Master of Social Work degree from the City University of New York (Hunter College), and a Bachelor Degree from Wellesley College. In addition, she was a member of the 2011 Class of Barr Fellows. She is a 25-year resident of Jamaica Plain, where she resides with her two sons, who graduated from Boston Public Schools.
About the Community Preservation Act (CPA)
By adopting the CPA in November 2016, the City has created a Community Preservation Fund. This fund is capitalized primarily by a one percent property tax-based surcharge on residential and business property tax bills, that began in July 2017. The City will use this revenue to fund initiatives consistent with CPA guidelines: affordable housing, historic preservation, open space and public recreation.