The Boston City Council has thirteen members: nine district representatives and four at-large members, with no term limits. Four City Council Districts will hold preliminary elections on September 26, 2017. Districts one, two, seven, and nine have all met the candidate requirement to call for a Preliminary Election. Each district race has at least three candidates running. But, the remaining five out of nine District City Council contests will not have a preliminary election.The general election for Boston City Council will take place on Tuesday. November 7, 2017.
While the City Council creates local laws & approves the City's budget each year, I think that the most important role to fulfill is connecting residents to resources. As a community leader, I know that we need more hands-on leadership within District 8. Community organizers & advocates like myself need to be able to count on a city councilor who is active & present every day in our neighborhoods; a leader who gets directly involved & knows how to engage community to get results.
Although District 8 is a very diverse area of Boston, it also has common goals shared by all 7of its neighborhoods. The need for safe streets/parks, dependable transportation, aging in place, etc., are opportunities for a city leader to connect residents to government contacts & services that lead to effective outcomes. I believe that we all need to contribute to truly make our neighborhoods & city better. A big part of that is voting! This election is not about politics, it’s about strengthening community.
Vision Zero's goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries for those on foot and on wheels can be done through policy and budgeting but also through awareness. Across Boston there are examples of current and future Slow Street initiatives, which we need to continue to identify but also be strong in terms of public communication and awareness campaigns.
I would first address the fundamentals. For example, as of 01/09/17 we have had a new city-wide speed limit of 25 but that change is not widely known to residents/visitors. We need signage and enforcement.
Also, as drivers have become heavily dependent on GPS directions, we now see drivers cutting through neighborhoods that have not historically had high traffic volumes. We need to focus on these new traffic patterns and identify solutions.
Health and education are the foundation of a progressive, successful society and are priorities for me. We as a community need to focus on early childhood health & development - it lays the groundwork for a lifetime. Studies show that the earlier we get children in structured educational programs, the sooner they become self-motivated learners.
I would encourage the Mayor and School Committee to increase early childhood development funding now to give kids a better chance to succeed and for us to better manage community costs in future. We need to focus on equity vs. equality. Some students need more/different resources to reach the same health and development levels as peers. Students need equitable access to high-quality early education seats.
I want to partner with families to determine the best implementation of transition year and play-to-learn activities. The more we align in-class development curriculum with home activities, the more we help close the achievement gap.
As a member of Boston’s City Council, I serve as a watchdog and an advocate on behalf of the residents of District 8. During the months-long budget process the City Council conducts nearly 30 budget hearings, throughout which we question the Mayor’s Administration to ensure that we are adequately and responsibly funding our city’s needs. Additionally, members of the Council serve as advocates for issues, both in the district and across the city. Through hearings and working sessions we can hold public agencies and private individuals accountable and shed light on matters that otherwise might be ignored. During my time on the Council I have convened hearings on LGBT-friendly affordable senior housing, decreasing barriers to voter registration, and the benefits of late-night T service, among many others. I have also written legislation on a range of topics from immigration to neighborhood parking regulations that were ultimately passed and signed by the Mayor and are now law in Boston.
I strongly support the city’s Vision Zero program and believe that our streets should be safe for all Bostonians, no matter their preferred mode of transportation. I successfully advocated for increased Vision Zero funding in this fiscal year, and have been pleased to see that Vision Zero and other Go Boston 2030 initiatives are a priority for the Boston Transportation Department (BTD). Along with my colleagues on the Council, I helped to pass the 2016 law decreasing the speed limit on our neighborhood streets, and have worked with neighborhood groups, members of the Vision Zero Coalition, and BTD on a redesign of Beacon Street that should begin construction in the coming weeks. I support the implementation of thoughtful street redesigns elsewhere in the city, and I look to continue learning from and implementing best practices from peer cities.
I was excited to hear Mayor Walsh’s proposal for universal pre-kindergarten during his State of the City address earlier this year. All of Boston’s children, regardless of where they live or their parents’ income, should have the right to access high-quality preschool education, and I look forward to working with Mayor Walsh and his Administration to identify the necessary resources so that we can continue moving our city closer to this goal.