Last Thursday evening, US Rep Ayanna Pressley, in conjunction with TSNE MissionWorks, spoke at a “Millennial Housing Conversation” as part of her ongoing Equity Agenda Series. The event was held at the Link in Kendall Square, which is a collaborative work space for non-profits that opened in March.
Residents, as well as several Boston elected officials and their representatives were in attendance at the event that was moderated by Beya Jiminez, an urban planning professional and writer.
Pressley cited a recent report by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition that in her 7th congressional district, minimum-wage workers must put in at least 84 hours weekly to afford a one-bedroom apartment at “fair market rent,” adding:
“The personal lens that I bring to this outside of being a congresswoman is growing up in the residual aftermath of Reaganomics, redlining, the war on drugs and so-called welfare reform. “I don’t lose that lens or abandon those lived experiences of marginalization and oppression.”
She also spoke of the instability of her family’s housing situation growing up, saying “I came home to eviction notices often, I always felt a sense of fragility in the place I should have felt the most safe.”
Pressley said that the housing crisis is not only an economic issue; it’s also an issue of public health. “We can’t look at any of these issues in a silo, the reality is that we don’t live in big checkboxes. “We live in intersectionality, complexity and nuance, and our legislation has to meet that on the city, state and federal level.”