Mayor Bloomberg and I will keep working with almost one thousand mayors and over one million Americans. Life-saving solutions, which have long been within our reach, are now within our grasp. Stand with us on guns and say enough is enough.
We also have to say enough is enough in our own neighborhoods. Two weeks ago Boston Police joined federal and state partners to sweep 27 criminals off the streets of the Bowdoin-Geneva community. The cooperation of these public safety officials is matched only by the commitment of the good people who live in that neighborhood. I am pleased to announce tonight that the task force will extend its work for the rest of the year. Those who bring guns and drugs into our neighborhoods should know we will bring you to justice.
Our comprehensive prevention strategies are working. Homicides are down in Boston, again. Violent crime and property crime are down 28 percent over the last 7 years. We will continue this progress with a focus on quality of life issues. They can seem small, but I know they make a big difference to your sense of safety and security. We will keep a strong presence in our neighborhoods, with 68 new recruits joining the force this year. I want to thank the Boston Police, and everybody who hits the street every day: our social workers, our trauma counselors, and our violence intervention personnel.
We have all of these things to do for each other this year and more.
We’ll work with partners to support teens with autism in summer jobs, and we’ll expand our inclusive after school programs. We’ll adapt to meet the needs of a growing population of seniors – projected to be 100 thousand by 2017. We’ll launch a new effort to make dozens more city services “same day services.” We’ll update our climate work to reflect the threats we face from storms like Sandy. We’ll make available one million square feet of city-owned property for development into homes for middle class families.
The point is this: if we help our neighbors learn more, produce more, and succeed more, we will do more to help Boston than anyone can do for us.
This is the era of the city, and we live in the city of the era. The thing that makes cities great, and ours the greatest, is people; that diverse, skilled, crowd of talent. So, I have never in 20 years been more optimistic about our future. All it would take to lead in the next decade and the decades after that is to help each other reach our full human potential.
If all this sounds too difficult, I can say to you with complete confidence that it’s not. Just pull for each other as much as you pulled for me.
Thank you and God bless our great city.