Recent years have seen the establishment of new elected neighborhood Area Councils in Upper Falls, Waban, and Newtonville, as well as an aborted effort to create one in Newton Centre. It looks like well before the rest of the villages get their own Area Councils, a new wave of hyper local democracy is breaking out.
In Upper Falls there’s a tight knit neighborhood up on the top of the very steep Cottage St, and Columbia Ave that locals call Upper Upper Falls. The residents from up on that hilltop have petitioned the Upper Falls Area Council to create a new Area Council for their neighborhood within a neighborhood. Says Upper Upper Falls resident Julie Irish, “We’ve got a different outlook from our lowland neighbors and we’d like to have our own representative body to deal with our unique issues up here where the views are better but the air’s a bit thinner.
Cross town a similar move is afoot in Newtonville. The boundaries of the Newtonville Area Council’s district spans the Mass Pike. Neighbors to the north of the pike are petitioning to create a new Area Council for North Newtonville. Says City Councilless Emily Norton, “we’d like to keep all of Newtonville together if possible, but being a North Newtonville girl myself, I do understand the concerns of my neighbors for better representation of their more local interests”. Said one Newtonville North resident, “there’s only so much talk about Austin St down in South Newtonville that I can stand”