BOSTON - “Tonight, we begin this decade by recommitting to the Boston we believe in,” began Mayor Walsh. “We will lead with our values. We will work together across all our differences to tackle our toughest challenges. We will be a city that’s world-class because it works for the middle class, and we will leave no one behind. We believe in each other, and we believe in Boston.”
If you weren't made aware, it's a new year. We have a presidential election, we might be going to war with Iran, there's a lot going on in the world. But back home, our mayor has laid out his plan for 2020 and we'll highlight the big points for you below.
The first big point is education. The Mayor announced a new plan which will add $100 million to Boston Public Schools over the next three years. Where will this money go? He said the money would be given to many underperforming schools. Words like "evidence-based" and "direct classroom funding" were thrown around, which sounds good but are hard to define what that means in practice. Hopefully, the money will end up in the right places so all kids in our city have a chance to learn at a high level.
Next up, transportation. This was slightly less inspiring, with very little concrete plans made. He talked about launching a new committee in East Boston to handle the unique transportation headaches they deal with daily. He also spoke about his Vision Zero plan, which notably has cut fatalities on Boston roads in half. Not much else of interest to report.
“We continue to address the biggest economic challenge our city faces: housing.” This feels important. Boston is rapidly expanding and prices for housing are going nowhere but up. According to Boston.gov, Mayor Walsh pledged to dedicate $500 million over the next five years to create thousands of homes across Boston affordable to households with low and middle incomes. That is monumental, and if it succeeds, it could be a blueprint for other cities to follow who are experiencing the same kinds of issues. They will also issue city-funded rental vouchers, to subsidize rents of those families most in need.
In the rest of the speech, Walsh spoke about hosting the 2020 NAACP convention, lowering crime and arrest rates, and many other subjects. Feel free to read the full speech here.
For now, I'm sure the Mayor would agree in wishing you a happy and successful 2020 in Boston!
Image via Wikimedia Commons