There’s something special about City government, where our job is to help people immediately and tangibly. From constituent services to programs and policies, our work at the local level focuses on real solutions to the struggles that our residents face.
Today constituents are asking local government to do much more than just fill potholes. As leadership at the national level becomes increasingly hard to find, Boston is called on to address the big challenges of our time—growing inequality that is making our neighborhoods unaffordable for working families; destructive climate change that threatens our most vulnerable communities with intense storms, heat and flooding. It’s not enough just to react after each mass eviction or natural disaster. We have to take urgent, bold, innovative actions to shift from mitigating damage to creating opportunity.
That’s why I’ve worked to develop a Policy Agenda with a vision of Boston as an affordable and inclusive city that is home to all, and a leading city in a time of uncertainty. The ideas are grouped into six categories: affordability and shared prosperity, livable streets, inclusive and sustainable development, civic engagement, safe and healthy communities, and high quality education. You can read the entire agenda at www.michelleforboston.com/agenda.
Here are some highlights:
- Transportation: East Boston residents should be able to choose from many affordable, reliable transportation options to get across the city. We need to implement transit signal priority and dedicated lanes to improve bus service. We must build safe infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians, and we must launch affordable water transportation.
- Climate Change: The destructive impacts of climate change are here now and disproportionately affecting residents who can least afford to adapt. East Boston will bear the brunt of rising sea levels and flooding. We must take every possible action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the safety and health of current and future generations, from increasing electric vehicle infrastructure to caring for street trees and pushing any new development to be energy efficient.
- Early Education and Childcare: Families are struggling to pay for quality early education and care for infants and young children. The City must continue to expand pre-K through an approach that sets high standards and offers full days for working parents through public school and community-based providers.
For me, this work is personal and urgent. My husband and I are lucky to be raising our two boys in a two-family home upstairs from my mother. But even in the two years since we bought our house, prices have gone up so quickly that we wouldn’t have been able to buy in our neighborhood today. Every family should be able to afford to call Boston home and continue to contribute to the city they love. Every policy action we take should support that vision of an affordable, inclusive Boston.
In East Boston as around the city, I hope residents will see this policy agenda as an invitation for continued accountability and community partnership. Let’s work together so Boston can be a city of opportunity for everyone.