On Monday, we endorsed Marty Walsh to be our next Mayor, focussing on his progressive record in the legislature: on economic and racial equity, LGBT rights, criminal justice, immigration, and women’s issues. This email will focus on Marty’s vision and plans for Boston.
Before we get to that, last night we made phone calls about the endorsement, and you may have been a recipient. We would love to hear from you. Are you supporting Marty? If so, can you help us get the word out in Jamaica Plain?
If you cannot join us this weekend, please email us when you might have some time. We also particularly focussed on signing up help for GOTV Weekend and Election Day. Contact us if you are able to volunteer with us.
We are with Marty in large part because we believe he is the candidate who best understands the struggles of low- and moderate-income families in Boston. This message is not just talk. It ties directly to his record as a legislator.
Don’t take our word for it. See what some of his Preliminary opponents had to say:
“During my campaign for mayor, I talked about the tale of two cities… of the haves and have nots. Marty understands the struggles of working people because he has lived through it.” —Charlotte Golar Richie
“Throughout my campaign for Mayor I talked about issues that mattered to all Bostonians, like finding pathways out of poverty, closing the achievement gap, and ensuring that everyone has access to opportunity and a voice in the direction of our City. Marty Walsh stands out as the candidate who uniquely understands the critical importance of these issues for Boston’s future.” —Councilor Felix G. Arroyo
“We need a Mayor who will not only work to improve our education system, but one that will work to ensure every child has a quality educational seat, one that will work to ensure every resident and neighborhood has opportunity for affordable housing, one that will work to ensure every neighborhood is benefiting from economic development, and ensure that every resident lives in a safe neighborhood. Marty is the candidate that can do that.” —John Barros
Housing and Development
Walsh will be a champion on affordable housing. He knows how important the recent economic growth is to the city’s future, but that growth has resulted in substantial housing pressure on lower- and moderate-income households. He knows that the city has to prioritize housing development and strategies for low-income families, or we stand to exacerbate the income inequities in our city. Walsh’s housing plans target transit-oriented development affordable housing opportunities, and city land dispositions for affordable units. He seeks to push local colleges to build more on-campus housing for students to alleviate student pressures on our neighborhoods. His housing plan proposes affordable housing options for artists, and suggests innovative financing structures to increase affordable housing production across the entire city, and not just targeted to certain neighborhoods.
We are impressed with Marty’s plans for a total overhaul of economic development in Boston, not just reforming the BRA but turning it into a new transparent agency with city council oversight and a council-appointed board member. This new agency will allow for a more streamlined and transparent permitting process that will address the differing needs of small and large-scale projects, with more robust and respected community participation.
In our conversations with Walsh, we found that he both recognizes the need for quality and well-supported homeless shelters, yet understands that shelters are not a strategy for ending homelessness. He has been a strong supporter of efforts to find homes for the homeless, and developing additional programs and funding sources to continue seeking the only true way to house the homeless: with a home.
We see an important difference between the candidates on schools. The one that really jumps out to us is Marty’s focus on quality schools first. He is committed to retaining the school assignment process until every child has a good school in their walkzone. This is no time to talk about reducing the school transportation budget. Boston is not ready to do that. We also appreciate his approach towards the teachers union as one of building a partnership, rather than creating animosity. To us, it’s the only way forward. We encourage you to read his full education plan, which includes expansion of pre-K, improving college prep, high school reform, and many other solid ideas.
In addition to the new economic development agency opening up a far more transparent development process, we like Marty’s proposal of a new City of Boston Ethics Commission.
Walsh has committed that not only will his cabinet reflect the diversity of the city, but the entire City of Boston management structure needs to better represent the city. This is a critical step to ensuring that voices from all our neighborhoods are heard his administration’s decision-making process.
Marty will expand community policing, focusing on prevention. This includes more foot and bicycle beats, and direct outreach to all Boston communities to build community relationships with their Community Service Officers.
Marty will also increase social service collaboration to decrease youth gun violence, partnering with community groups to create better options for our city’s youth. He will strengthen collaboration between the BPD, BPS, DYS, the court systems, job programs, clergy, and other direct social service providers to work with youth most like to be impacted by gang violence.
Marty opposes the development of a Level 4 Biolab in the heart of the South End. Nothing like it sits in an urban center in the nation. A good lab can provide strong jobs, but Level 4 is unacceptable. Connolly is on record in support of the Level 4 Biolab.
Marty also has put together a strong team and a strong plan on the environment. On issues of climate change, greening our city, expanding use of renewable energy, enhancing our parks, and increasing recycling capacity, Mayor Walsh will be there for us.
These are the issues that matter to us. If you have any thoughts or questions, or issues you want our help getting information on, reply to this email. We’ll see what we can do.
Thanks for reading.
Annie Rousseau, Co-Chair – Elections
Reuben Kantor, Co-Chair – Issues
Georgia Hollister Isman