Mayor Walsh Announces the Neighborhood Innovation District Committee

Boston, Sept. 26, 2014, –Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the formation of a “Neighborhood Innovation District Committee” to expand innovation and entrepreneurship in the City of Boston today. The Neighborhood Innovation District Committee will seek to identify policies, practices, and infrastructure improvements to support the development of innovation districts throughout the City. The first meeting will be October 1 from 6:00PM to7:30PM at the Roxbury Community College at Roxbury Community College, Media Arts Room 1 (Room 301) at 1234 Columbus Avenue. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.
Gov. Patrick and Mayor Walsh tour Vertex Pharmaceuticals early this year (file photo).

“As we seek to foster and support economic development in Boston, it is essential for us to establish an environment that supports entrepreneurship and job creation throughout all corners of our city,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Innovation knows no boundaries, and our policies, infrastructure, and programs should reflect that, from West Roxbury and Hyde Park to East Boston and Charlestown.”

Comprised of local leaders and experts who represent businesses, community-based organizations, elected offices, and City of Boston departments, the Neighborhood Innovation District Committee will be chaired by John Barros, Chief of Economic Development for the City of Boston, and Edward Glaeser, Professor of Economics at Harvard University and Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston.

“In today’s economy entrepreneurship and innovation can offer flexible career choices for everyone, from a resident’s first job to those looking to start a second or even third career,” said Chief Barros. “Having the ability and support to create and grow businesses can only make our neighborhoods and communities stronger.”

“This is an exciting opportunity to envision a Boston that is both more entrepreneurial and more inclusive,” said Professor Glaeser.

In addition to ensuring all residents have an opportunity to be a part of the modern economy, this committee will provide review and make suggestions for an inclusive economic agenda on innovation for the City, and lay the groundwork to pilot an innovation district embedded within a neighborhood.

The members appointed to date include:

  • Alec Stern, Founding Team and Vice President, Strategic Innovation, Constant Contact
  • Alex Oliver-Davila, Executive Director, Sociedad Latina
  • Bill Dickens, Professor of Economics, Northeastern University
  • Byron Rushing, State Representative, Massachusetts House of Representatives
  • Charlayne Murrell-Smith, Vice President, External Relations & Corporate Development, Boston Children’s Museum
  • Chris Jones, Executive Director, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
  • Michelle Wu, Councilor At-Large, Boston City Council
  • Dan Isenberg, Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice, Babson College
  • Darnell Williams, President & CEO,  Urban League
  • Rich Davey, Secretary of MassDOT
  • Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Economic Development
  • Harry Brett, Business Manager, Plumbers Local 12
  • John Fitzgerald, Senior Project Manager, Boston Redevelopment Authority
  • Joyce Ferriabough-Bolling, Media and Political Strategist, Joyce Ferriabough Media
  • Keith Motley, Chancellor, UMASS Boston
  • Mariama White-Hammond, Executive Director, Project HIP-HOP
  • Mel King, Founder & Director, South End Technology Center
  • Nicole Fichera, General Manager, District Hall / Venture Café Foundation
  • Pat Kinsel, Venture Partner, Polaris Partners
  • Ryn Miake-Lye, Co-Founder, Build From Scratch To Last
  • Scott Griffith, XIR and Partner, General Catalyst Partners
  • Sheila Dillon, Director, ‎Cabinet Chief of Housing and Director of the Department of Neighborhood Development, City of Boston
  • Sonia Chang Diaz, State Senator, Massachusetts Senate
  • Stas Gayshan, Managing Director, Cambridge Innovation Center – Boston
  • Susan Rittscher, President & CEO, Center for Women & Enterprise
  • Travis McCready, Vice President for Program, The Boston Foundation
  • Valerie Roberson, President, Roxbury Community College