District Seven residents have too little power over City policies that affect their lives. With issues ranging from education to development, too many residents of our  communities don’t find out about them until the “fix is in.” Over the last few decades the trifecta of economic, political and social disinvestment has taken its toll on the district. When people ask, what’s in it for me?” and City officials can’t come up with an honest answer, there is no incentive for District residents to get involved. 

This has to change.

Community Empowerment

The interests of the residents of the District are an afterthought, irrespective of the issues. In order to deal with the problem, whatever it may be, we have to first acknowledge the problem exists, deal with all the manifestations of the problem, and realize that residents have a right to be consulted to address the solution. On too many occasions, District Seven’s residents are at best an afterthought, and at worst exploited; and kept out of the loop on many issues that impact them until it’s too late to do anything about it.

This is not right.

As your City Councilor, I will prioritize informing the District’s communities about pending city policies, and consult residents and other stakeholders before policies are instituted.

Education

We need to restore accountability to the Boston school department, from kindergarten through high school. Working with students, parents and staff, I will do my best to ensure a quality education for all our students. 

I will prioritize the upgrade of Madison Park High school to create first class vocational options.  

I will work with the residents of District 7 to help organize on behalf of students and parents at both the local and state level.

Constituent Services

Sharing access to basic services is a necessary part of a City Councilor’s job. I will work to address the concerns of all the district residents. Any constituent request will be tracked by my office to ensure a prompt response by city agencies.

Transparency and Government


The office will serve as a clearing house for folks to get the information they need in a timely fashion.

I will use my office to increase transparency and accountability, so that residents will get real-time information about all the issues and City policies that impact their neighborhoods.

I will hold meetings at local neighborhood venues throughout District Seven, so that residents can discuss their issues or events.

I will institute regular public forums and coffee hours throughout the district at a time convenient for residents to attend. Any and all neighborhood associations and neighborhood groups will get real-time information about policies that impact the neighborhoods within the district.

Senior Services

My office will work with our seniors to ensure both access to existing senior programs and prompt response of any senior concerns.

Economic Development

I will also work to expand existing city programs tailored to provide tailored home ownership, including but not limited to, first-time homebuyer education programs, mortgage assistance, lead paint removal, etc.

Affordable Housing and Home Ownership

We must define “affordable” to fit the actual median income of Boston residents, which is much less than the Area Median Income (AMI). Therefore, we must deal with an affordable housing definition that is responsive to the actual income of Boston residents. Using the median Boston income we will adjust the linkage formula to provide more housing for our residents as a condition of development.

I will also work to expand existing city programs tailored to provide tailored home ownership, including but not limited to, first-time homebuyer education programs, mortgage assistance, lead paint removal, etc.

 

Police Reform

In addition to working to eliminate abuse of police power, I support a return to a community policing model of the early 1990s where individual police officers were integral parts of the communities they served.

Public Health

As City Councilor, I will focus on expanding inter-agency cooperation to meet the needs of our youth.

Building on the existing work of the Boston Black COVID Coalition, we must create a community-based health system responsive to existing and future health emergencies.

We cannot concentrate substance abuse facilities in one area of the city. In addition to reopening the Long Island shelter and the programs that were located there, we must work with existing organizations and city departments to prioritize treatment in a community–accountable fashion.

The Long Island Bridge is in litigation, but the island’s facility is not. We could ferry clients to programs and shelter. From a purely logistical perspective it would not be difficult to rehabilitate the docks and some of existing buildings, while, adding a usable fire station and police substation. It is my understanding that the city is maintaining the existing physical structures on the island, which should minimize costs.

We must make certain that the mental health and emotional wellbeing of our residents are prioritized. We need to ensure that residents who suffer mental or emotional health emergencies are provided the care they need. To minimize the need for a law enforcement approaches in purely mental health emergencies, we should coordinate police responses with mental health and EMS professionals, such as the program currently existing in Brookline.

Environmental Justice

Fighting for environmental justice will be a priority of my office. My office will be a link between environmental organizations and residents as a means of creating a community-driven process for environmental justice.

Youth Development

One of the major flaws in Boston’s development approach to youth issues is that some programs are designed and administered out of the contexts of immediate neighborhood needs and those of the City as a whole.

This limits their effectiveness.

Thus, not only do existing  recreational, educational, mental health, and substance abuse programs often do not meet the needs of youth; these programs (as currently designed) sometimes fail to meet the needs of District 7 residents, irrespective of age.

I believe that my experience, both professionally, in volunteer work, and as a resident of District Seven, gives me a unique perspective.  In addition to working with City agencies, I can work with my neighbors.

I will meet with neighborhood residents to create a program mix specific to the needs of each neighborhood within District 7.  I will engage City agencies, such as Parks and Recreation, the Boston School Department, the Boston Health Commission, the Centers for Youth and Families, among others to create accountable approaches to youth development in Boston; and do so in a context of broader community empowerment.

Recovery Programs

We have to face the scale of the substance abuse crisis in Boston, starting with the fact that Boston is the epicenter of a statewide crisis.  This crisis involves issues of public health, mental health, substance abuse, public safety, and quality of life.

For that reason, we have to have fact-based policies to deal with this.

We must address the fact that treatment facilities cannot and should not be centralized in residential neighborhoods.  Nevertheless, Boston needs to deal with centralized treatment of the most extreme population of substance abusers.

For that reason I will work to reopen the Long Island Shelter, and to create centralized addiction recovery, mental health, and emotional health programs away from residential neighborhoods.  In addition to existing facilities there should be an increased public safety and public health presence on Long Island.  In the absence of a bridge to the island, ferry access can be provided.

I will work with the recovery community to ensure that substance abusers have a real-world path to recovery, jobs and housing.

In areas, such as the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard, there are groups of dealers and others who prey on substance abusers.  I will work with the Boston Police Department, Suffolk County District Attorney, and Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office to ensure that those who prey on substance abusers are dealt with, while ensuring that those who suffer from addiction get access to treatment via human services, not law enforcement.

Finally, recognizing that much of the population of substance abusers is not from Boston, I will work with the Boston Delegation in the Legislature to ensure that all these approaches are fully funded.