SEEN FROM THE HILL : WE LAUD THE PRESERVATION VOTE EVEN THOUGH THE FORT HILL TOWER CAME IN SECND

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Good Morning Mr. Mulligan and Ms. Frazee:

Your gratitude is much appreciated and thank you for all your hard work on the Fort Hill Tower! It looks great!

It was quite a voting journey for the Fort Hill Tower, Roxbury, and her supporters, some from as far away as Italy. Roxbury love spreads like jam. Easy and oh so good!

We battled from seventh place, with just 23 votes to a very strong and challenging second place with 2765 votes. As noted, votes for the Fort Hill Tower came fast and furious on the final day. At its height, I counted between 15-20 votes in a matter of seconds!

In the end, we came up short by 498 votes to LogMein’s tally of 3263 votes. But in the final weeks, no competitor could match our one day tally on the last day of 643 votes!

It’s important that both of you mentioned neighborhoods and community. In all honesty, much of the enthusiasm you’ve praised me for, I derive from my Roxbury neighbors and the folks that supported us. The enthusiasm is ours, collectively.

An email I sent out on the last day of voting summed up a big part of my enthusiasm. The Fort Hill Tower symbolizes our connection to one another as people in Roxbury and our connection to this time and this place. And all of that matters and is critically important to our city and beyond.

My sense is that I wasn’t the only one feeling that way because folks wrote back saying yeah we do matter, and preservation means so much more — it is about people!

To Mr. Mulligan’s point “the real winners are the community.” Agreed! A win-win! Our vote supports restoration work of an important city resource and is also an important vote of solidarity.

Folks in Roxbury bear witness to that solidarity every day and in my mind the 643 voting fury the final day is testament to it and is just the tip of the iceberg!

For that, I’m thankful! But not for a vote, rather the lesson that vote teaches.
We celebrate with you the completion of projects in our neighborhood, like the B-2 police station, the Dudley Library, the Shelburne, the Bruce Bolling Administrative Building (AKA Ferdinand’s), and the Fort Hill Tower.

But incumbent to the celebration for completed projects, there’s also a celebration of the folks those projects are meant to serve. Namely: are we participating in the restoration and construction with employment opportunities and business opportunities for firms of color in our neighborhood? Are we represented in a way that sustains and preserves our space in this place and time ?

Or, how we can rationalize doing all of the previous projects to preserve the history, utility and capital in a building or structure and not rationalize the very same history, utility and human capital in restoring a school at Dearborn ?

The Dearborn school building should not be torn down! God forbid! Would we do that to the Fort Hill Tower? No, we wouldn’t! The Dearborn school building should be restored and utilized as the updated, state of the art STEM facility that was promised !

Last year at Discover Roxbury’s Heart of the Hub celebration, Mel King was one of three Pudding Stone awardees. The Pudding Stone is awarded to individuals whose tireless activism in their community provokes the good in all of us.

Mr. King’s speech was eloquent; the one quote I held fast to was him saying “you are exactly where you’re supposed to be.”

He’s right! Roxbury residents are exactly where we’re supposed to be. We’re not moving anytime soon, despite what hear. We’re here in this time and this space to show each other, the City of Boston, the state, the country and the world how preservation must work.

So we invite you both to Roxbury anytime for a healthy slice of Roxbury anytime for a healthy slice of Roxbury hospitality!

Warm Regards,

— Rodney Singleton / Seen from the Hill

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