Zoning Committee (Chair)
Member At Large
David Baron is a longtime resident of Jamaica Plain. He served as one of the Area B representatives to the JPNC for eight years (he now serves JP at large) and has chaired the Council’s Zoning Committee since 2009. Dave also led in 2009 and 2010 the ad hoc committee responsible for updating the JPNC election procedures and by-laws. By day, Dave has a solo law practice specializing in real estate matters. As a member of the Neighborhood Council, his priorities are ensuring a fair and open community process, particularly around zoning matters, and serving as a JP advocate and liaison to City government.
Member At Large
Sarah Freeman has lived in JP since 1993 – decades longer than anywhere else (born in Sweden, raised in Ohio). Recently retired after 40 years in public health/epidemiology, Sarah’s work life, researching the role of physical activity and other factors in chronic disease prevention, has carried over into her personal life: running marathons, advocating for public health: safer conditions for walking and bicycling, promotion of physical activity, and for environmental health: parks, open space, trees and nature as integral components for healthy communities. In her spare time, she is a member and supporter of multiple organizations dealing with these priorities plus environmental justice & social justice. For a change of pace, she plays trumpet in the Metropolitan Wind Symphony. Sarah is a member of the Parks+ Committee; she also often attends the Public Service Committee, Housing & Development Committee & Police Procedures subcommittee.
JPNC (Secretary), Public Service Committee (Chair)
Member At Large
Michael Reiskind is a long-time resident of Jamaica Plain and a hard-working community activist involved in many aspects of neighborhood life. Michael is the Chair of its Public Service Committee, where he works on public safety, public works and transportation issues. He is a board member of JP Centre/South Main Streets, the Jamaica Pond Association, The Arborway Committee for Public Transit, Inc. and the JP Business and Professional Association. In addition, he has been a leader working with the Boston Police Department to implement Neighborhood Policing in Jamaica Plain.
Peter DeCotis came to JP in 2020 to be closer to work and friends. Originally from NH, Peter loves kayaking, hiking, and everything outdoors. While searching for the best place to live in Boston, Peter fell in love with the Arboretum, the Pond, and Franklin Park. With easy access into downtown and the most friendly, eclectic people anywhere, JP became home.
During the day, Peter works as a career coach for MBA students at Boston University and also has a handful of private clients. Prior to joining BU, Peter was a CIO, CTO, and technology leader for several financial services companies over 20 years. He worked his way up from the help desk to executive leadership and relished his time as a hiring manager, mentor, and trainer for decades. He also has experience as a college admissions counselor and life coach. He is thrilled to get involved in the local community where he can help make life better for all.
Danielle Sommer Kieta
Housing and Development Committee
Renee Stacey Welch
Renee Stacey Welch has lived in Jamaica Plain in her family home on Montebello Rd from 1975 until this past October 2021, when she moved to her new home in Egleston. She is a 47-year resident of Jamaica Plain. Over the last 18 years, Renee has managed several financial institutions. Her passion is educating people on how to finance and manage homeownership. Renee is a currently pursuing her advanced degree in Business management. Close to Renee’s heart is maintaining the beauty of Jamaica Plain keeping the neighborhood a happy, clean, and safe environment
Housing and Development Committee
Lorenzo is a lifelong Jamaica Plain Resident of almost 20 years. He is currently an undergraduate student at Northeastern University studying Human Services and Psychology with a minor in Urban Studies, but lives with his family on Union Avenue in his off time. Lorenzo is currently working full-time at Fenway Community Development Corporation as part of Northeastern’s “co-op” program and would like to remain in Boston’s nonprofit field as long as possible. He is hoping to bring a youthful and progressive perspective to the Council and is a big advocate for affordable housing and community uplifting. Lorenzo loves JP and Boston as a whole and would like to do whatever he can to help both the people and the city.
Nick Chaves (he/him) moved to Jamaica Plain in 2021 and has lived in Boston since 2014. Originally from the Southcoast of Massachusetts, Nick attended Northeastern University for his undergraduate education and is back at Northeastern pursuing a law degree. He is passionate about the environment and sustainability, public transportation, and engaging with community members. Nick is excited to contribute to the work of the JPNC and explore more of JP’s green spaces and restaurants (and always willing to swap recommendations)!
Outreach Committee (Chair), Public Service Committee, Zoning Committee
Paige (she/her) has lived in JP since 2019, and has lived in the Boston area since 2011. Originally from Colorado, she now works in clinical research at one of the local hospitals. She joined the Council in 2022, and has a particular interest in public safety, new development, and community engagement. She serves on the Public Service Committee (including the Subcommittee on Police Procedures), Zoning Committee, and Outreach Committee.
Parks+ Committee Chair
Alexis moved to Jamaica Plain in 2020 and has lived in Boston since 2017. Originally from Texas, Alexis is currently in law school and going to work in education and civil rights law upon graduating. Alexis is the current Parks Committee Chair for JPNC. Alexis’s motivation to join JPNC comes from her deep appreciation for JP’s green space, namely the Pond, the Southwest Corridor, and the Arboretum. She hopes to use the Parks committee to bring people from every corner of the neighborhood together in JP’s green space through community service, recreation, and events.
JPNC (Vice chair)
Bernie Doherty was a member of the JPNC from 1985 through 1997, and during this time served as the Chair of the Zoning Committee overseeing the Interim Planning Overlay District (IPOD) process. He also has served as President of the Asticou-Martinwood-South Street Neighborhood Association for the past 30 years and was a founding member of the Community Planning Committee for the Arborway Yard and a member of a number of other community-orientated organizations. Bernie was born and raised in Jamaica Plain and is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts in Boston with a major in International Marketing.
Zoning Committee (vice-chair), Outreach Committee, Public Service Committee
Peg Preble has lived in JP since 1991. She is presently on the Neighborhood Council, and on the Zoning and Public Service committees. Peg works in the JP area as a residential electrician, and has intimate knowledge of many neighborhood attics and basements. Her love for the quirky housing stock of JP and the wish to insure that the neighborhoods have a voice in their community drew her to the council.
Public Service Committee
As a resident of Jamaica Plain since 2013, Gert plans to continue focusing on issues that affect the quality of life and our environment in Jamaica Plain. He has previously served on community boards in New York City, including as a neighborhood association president in Brooklyn; as a member of the Town Planning Board in Westport, Connecticut, and currently serves on a historical society board. Gert has a great interest in ensuring that our community continues to be diverse, and that we support opportunities to improve our built environment and provide resources to our residents. Gert is an architect with experience in urban planning, multi-family housing, commercial, university and healthcare, and well versed in working with governmental entities and community boards. He also has been an advocate of Green Building environmentally responsible design, and is known as a hands-on advocate, pro-active in engaging with community members.