As part of my experience, I have worked with neighborhood youth and funded ad administered programs to deal with youth violence and gang prevention. I believe neighborhood associations must join together to walk the streets, engage with young people, push for youth employment, push for gun buybacks and encourage police officers to engage with young people on the ground, rather just on patrol.
Post Covid-19, we must use the infusion of federal dollars to respond to the needs of students as they return to the classrooms. The key to success is to ensure that we constantly forecast ahead to address the ever-changing needs of the student population and provide the required services. We must use the available funds more effectively and efficiently to support students, teachers, and administrators. As the District 4 City Councilor, I will advocate on behalf of the students in my district and the school system as a whole.
The racist culture of the police department must change to reflect more inclusion, transparency and accountability. We need to improve recruitment and training standards and require implicit bias training. Strengthen the Internal Affairs Oversight Panel and appoint new members of the Civilian Review Board. Police officers must remain residents of the city of Boston to foster better engagement with the neighborhoods.
People have manipulated a system that is supposed to serve BIPOC business people but the system has little enforcement, power or accountability to make sure that happens. Even though the city developed the MBE/WBE Department, it had little to no impact on making sure that BIPOC businesses have access to contracts.
As city councilor, I would push for a cabinet office that had veto power to stop contracts from going forward without consideration for BIPOC businesses. Every city department would have to meet performance standards. If they fail to meet those standards their performance measures would suffer and their budgets would be frozen.
Truly affordable housing is very difficult to achieve. To develop affordable housing we need to make better use of strategies including land grants, better use of government-owned parcels and subsidies. Truly affordable housing does not make any profit for developers and to make it work we need subsidies from the city and federal government. We will work to secure those subsidies.
Inclusionary units go hand in hand with a concept called linkage. Currently, the BPDA requires only 13% of any market-rate development’s units to be for inclusionary units. Linkage is a policy of the Boston Planning and Development Agency BPDA (nee BRA) that allows developers of Seaport Condominiums and big money developments to give money to the BPDA for inclusionary units in return for not having any inclusionary units in their luxury buildings. They have to set aside more money to go along with the federal, state, and city subsidies, and increase the income mix for developments to 33 percent.
Green space is an ideal that I will always champion. I will fight to ensure that all new housing developments have substantial green space.
Pollution, climate change and other environmental issues disproportionately affect our community and our health. As city councillor, I will work with elected officials and the community to make sure the voices of people of color and low-income people are heard. I will promote the following priorities:
In addition, I will encourage District 4 to take advantage of new city programs such as the Boston Community Clean Air Grants which are funded through the Air Pollution Control Commission. These grants are designed to help residents, nonprofits, and businesses to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions. The program encourages partnerships through collaboration and joint proposals. This is part of the city’s effort to support projects that will produce meaningful, measurable steps to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change and air pollution.