Politics

Kim Janey: The Boston.com interview

The acting mayor and candidate on restructuring the School Committee, rent stabilization, and her love for the T.

Acting Mayor Kim Janey smiles in Nubian Square during a Juneteenth commemoration in June. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Kim Janey has three words for how she approaches her work in City Hall: equity, justice, and love.

A daughter of Roxbury and the South End, the education advocate turned District 7 city councilor made Boston history in March when she became acting mayor, stepping into the seat left vacant by Marty Walsh, who left to serve as the U.S. secretary of labor.

THE MAYORAL RACE:

Janey is the first Black and woman mayor to hold the office in its nearly 200-year history.

“I never, as someone who grew up here, I never thought I would see a Black mayor,” says Janey, who is now seeking a full term in a five-way race. “I think we’ve come close, even close in recent history, and haven’t been able to do it. And then, for it to then be me, I just never thought I would see the day.”

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When Janey talks about being guided by those three words — about taking on public service through that lens — it’s clear how she forged that mold.

As a child, Janey often lived in subsidized housing after her parents divorced, she says. Her mother lived on food stamps, and they got by through often staying with relatives.

At 11 years old, Janey endured Boston’s busing era. Rocks and racial slurs were thrown at her bus as she traveled to school. In high school, Janey became a mother — an experience that gave her new motivation that ultimately led to her entering community organizing and education advocacy work, she says.

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“I became the first woman to represent District 7 (on the City Council) and in many ways District 7, you know, is the best of what Boston has to offer, but also, has many of the challenges that I saw growing up and many of the challenges that persist to this day,” Janey says.

In her short tenure as acting mayor, Janey has found herself at the helm of a city facing the COVID-19 pandemic, instituting reforms to its police force, and grappling with deep-seated disparities that taint everything from housing to public health.

Janey sat down on a recent Zoom call with Boston.com to talk about those issues and many others. Here’s what she said.


This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Boston.com: You’re nearly four months into the job. Obviously you’ve come into the position in pretty unprecedented circumstances. What has been the biggest surprise about the job so far?

Janey: The biggest surprise I guess is that there’s so many surprises.

There has been a number of challenges that I think we all knew were here that were exposed through COVID-19 and exacerbated by COVID-19. But then there were some other things that popped up and I had to deal with a number of crises, whether that be the police commissioner, whether that be the Pat Rose case, whether that be vacancies on the Boston School Committee — and those are some of the issues that have been certainly challenging in terms of, you know, leading our city forward and wanting to make sure that we were leading or that my administration was transparent and that we were moving the city forward.

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I think there are some pleasant surprises. There is a lot of excitement about me being mayor. Obviously this is the first time in a city that is 400 years old and has a 200-year history of having a mayor that there’s a woman mayor and a Black mayor. And I think, one surprise is I never, as someone who grew up here, I never thought I would see a Black mayor. I think we’ve come close, even close in recent history, and haven’t been able to do it. And then, for it to then be me, I just never thought I would see the day.

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But … there has been a very warm reception to say the least. You know, going to current events, whether West Roxbury, just two nights ago for one of the concert series that we are hosting in the City of Boston and seeing, you know, little kids who are just — their eyes light up. Just yesterday I was at a community center in Roxbury, same thing, the reception. I mean, it is an exciting time in Boston’s history to say the least. And I am grateful to lead the city through these challenges, and certainly hope to continue to do so over four years.

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And what I think is also a very pleasant surprise is Boston is ready and wants this kind of leadership. And you know, I have again seen a lot. I’m 56 years old. It is amazing to see that Boston has really embraced my leadership [along with] the desire to move our city forward collectively, supporting women in leadership.

You know, people talk about a new day, I certainly [did] — it was my first op-ed when I became mayor. And it’s not to say that there aren’t persistent challenges around race relations and inequities and how we need to do much more in terms of having an equitable city. But I do feel like Boston has embraced this moment and really wants us to seize this moment to create a better Boston, and a Boston that’s more equitable, just, and resilient. And so I am just very grateful for the opportunity, and very proud of my city, frankly.

Education

This week you announced that the city expects that Boston Public Schools will require masks for students and staff this fall, and with the (COVID-19) Delta variant, it seems like it’s been causing rises in cases … what else should the city be doing right now to prepare both the community at large but also schools so that they can stay open this fall?

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(Editor’s note: This question was asked on July 24, when case counts were considerably lower in Massachusetts than they are now.)

Well, the best protection against the virus continues to be the vaccine. And we all know that not all of our school children are eligible to receive the vaccine. Right now, it’s still (ages) 12 and above. And so there’s a lot more work with that population to get students vaccinated.

And so my administration is working through, whether it’d be summer school, whether it be the BCYF (Boston Centers for Youth and Families) centers, working with nonprofits to make sure that we can get as many children — as many students — vaccinated over these next several weeks prior to the opening of school. We are also working very hard in the hardest hit communities. Right now, I’m proud to report that 60 percent of Boston residents are fully vaccinated. And when it comes to many of our vulnerable populations like our seniors — and we know that early on in the pandemic that our seniors were really devastated by the (virus) in terms of infections and in terms of deaths. For seniors 75 or older, we’ve got 90 percent of them vaccinated. You know, for people my age and up, that’s the next largest group of folks vaccinated, but it’s also with our young people, not necessarily children, but people who are in their 20s that we have more work to do …

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So we are also moving forward with efforts to make sure that 20-something-year-old residents are getting vaccinated as well, and it means we have to be creative. We have to meet people where they are. It’s why I’ve invested $3 million in grants to people who have community groups that have relationships in many of these neighborhoods to help in this effort, to meet people where they are.

But it also means we have to be creative. We’ve heard many folks are doing incentives, and so I think there’s an opportunity to partner with restaurants and others, if this is the 20-something-year-old crowd, and meet people where they are, provide the mobile vaccine, so that people can get vaccinated.

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When we look at it by neighborhood, every single neighborhood with the exception of Mattapan has at least a 50 percent vaccination rate. Mattapan is getting there and we continue to focus on Mattapan. It’s why we had the Day of Hope, most recently, you know, to make sure that we’re dealing with any kind of hesitancy, that we are providing the information, that we are partnering with, whether it be the Mattapan Community Health Center, whether it be the Haitian churches, to make sure that we are getting, not just the word out, but that people have the information they need to have confidence in the vaccine.

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And so we have been laser-like focused in doing this work, which is how we’ve gotten to the 60 percent, and we want to keep going because it is true that we’re likely to see, you know, increases as the weather gets colder. And it’s clear that COVID is still with us, and many are saying that it may be something that we just have to live with.

The best way to protect ourselves is the vaccine. And for folks who still have questions or they haven’t gotten it yet, we still need the masks — and that is our current policy in all municipal buildings. It is our policy, at least for the fall going forward. And I will continue to be informed by the data in terms of decisions that will have to be made in the future around other protections that we may need to take.

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You’ve supported the hybrid school committee in which some members would be elected by the general public and others would be appointed by the mayor, as all of them are right now. This is sort of a two-part question: The first one is, why do you support a hybrid committee? And if given a full term, how do you make that a priority?

So I have supported exploring the hybrid model because I believe in accountability to both parents and families, as well as the mayor, and I want to be very clear I have supported that long before I became mayor. There has to be a direct line of accountability to the mayor. The mayor is the CEO of the city, you know, controls the budget, and so it is important that there is a direct line of accountability to the mayor.

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But as someone who has been at numerous school committee [meetings] throughout my career — countless, I can’t even begin to tell you how many … I’ve gone to superintendent searches, I’ve seen it all. And I understand the frustration that many families have expressed, which is why my first opportunity to appoint members to the Boston School Committee, which was just this week … it was really important to me to make sure I was appointing members who had the respect and trust of the community, who had relationships, who were BPS parents themselves, who understood the importance of moving our district forward in terms of equity and closing opportunity and achievement gaps for our most vulnerable students.

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And so I really wanted to take that opportunity to demonstrate my commitment to those values that I have expressed throughout my entire career. And so I think when it comes to the governance of the school system around, you know, policy and this body, it is important to have a mix of folks.

I would also say, I believe strongly in youth representation. I have been on the record long before I was an elected official, advocating for more than one student representative, and for those student representatives to be voting members. So I think if there are any changes to the Boston School Committee, it is important that we not just talk about elected and appointed (positions, but) that we also talk about youth voice and representation.

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So ahead of this interview, one of the things we did was reach out to our readers to see if they had any questions they wanted to ask of the candidates. This one is continuing with the topic of education, and it’s from a reader named Ward McCarthy, who wants to know: “Rather than changing the admissions for the high quality Boston exam schools, why not improve the quality of the schools in the sections of the city that are underrepresented at the exam schools?

The issue isn’t an either/or. It’s an and/both. We need to make sure that there is equity and inclusion, access and opportunity at the three exam schools — and having equity and inclusion and diversity, whether that be, you know, through different neighborhoods or class, etc., does not mean, as many people express, that the standards go down or that there is less rigor at the three exam schools. So I just want to be clear on that.

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But I think the reader has a very good point in the sense that we need to be focused on all of our schools. There was a lot of energy put into looking at the three exam schools and I certainly applaud the working group that was charged with that work. I was working on those issues prior to be becoming an elected official, and so I applaud the working group, I applaud the Boston School Committee and the superintendent for leading us in a new direction as it relates to our three exam schools.

But we also have to focus on all of our schools. Every single child in BPS deserves the opportunity for academic rigor. They deserve the opportunity to be in schools that are well-resourced. They deserve the opportunity that the students in our three exam schools experience every single day. And so, as mayor of Boston, you know, my belief, my desire, my focus will be on improving all of our schools, not just a handful of schools. We need to make sure that every single school is a school that parents want to send their children to and that they have full confidence in the education that their children will benefit and receive a great education.

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You know, this is very important to me as someone who grew up in a family of educators, someone who has experienced very varied educational experiences whether a community school, whether my elementary school experience in BPS which was very positive, going to elementary schools and Roxbury in the 1970s, and then being bused and then seeing what it was like to have well-resourced schools through the METCO program going to a suburban school.

Our kids deserve the best. And I know that’s what parents want for their kids, and it is my desire for all of us to continue that work together — and not just people who have kids; it should be everyone’s business that our school system works for all of our kids. That is the work that I’ve dedicated the majority of my career to, and it is something that I am certainly very much committed to as mayor of Boston.

Housing & Development

We have a question from reader named Rían, who’s from Southie, and they asked: “What do you plan to do about the gentrification of Boston? There’s not one neighborhood left in the city that is majority working class and Boston is slowly losing its culture.

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This is a huge issue and a personal one for me as my family has experienced gentrification when the South End was being gentrified in the 1980s, and we weren’t able to hold on to our family’s brownstone — and I see it every single day in my neighborhood in Roxbury. We see it in East Boston, we see it in Chinatown, and see it all over Boston.

So we need to ensure that we are doing development in Boston without displacement, that we are creating mixed income opportunities. For too many times and I saw this firsthand, representing District 7, where there is either deeply, deeply affordable housing that is income restricted, or very high-end housing that people can’t afford to live in and that the people who are, to your reader’s point, working class, who may be working as nurses, or, you know, janitors, or in retail, or in the hospitality industry, are being squeezed out of Boston all together because they make too much to qualify for the deed restricted housing and obviously not enough for the high end. So we’ve got to do mixed income housing.

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We also have to make sure that we are focused on homeownership opportunities. Two thirds of Boston are renters and one way, and an important way, that we stabilize our communities is by creating more homeownership opportunities. It is also a way that we can close the racial wealth gap in Boston.

We also have to make sure that our development helps our economy in terms of jobs that it creates, whether that be through life science or green jobs, whether (it’s) the construction jobs that are temporary, but also the permanent jobs that come from that.

I also support the efforts that many advocates are doing in terms of rent stabilization, and the efforts at the State House to move forward there. My administration is looking at IDP (Inclusionary Development Policy) as a way of dealing with affordability in Boston. I grew up here, so many folks grew up here, they’re facing having to move out of the city. So we need to make sure that Boston is a place for Boston residents, whether they grew up for generations here like I did, or whether they want to put down roots here …

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It also means through the BPDA, a better focus on planning and making sure that we are implementing what has already been adopted in terms of affirmatively furthering fair housing in the City of Boston. And we have to continue to engage residents in this work.

Rent control recently became a bit of a flashpoint in the race. In early 2020, you joined city councilors at the State House, like you said, to advocate for the legislation that would allow cities and towns to decide whether they want to implement it. But there was also a mayoral forum recently where, when they asked if you supported the legislation, you were one that held up a ‘No’ card. So I just want to clarify, is that something that you’ve changed your mind on?

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I believe wholeheartedly in local control and local options, and I think some of this might be semantics.

You know, rent control has become a third rail here in Boston and across the Legislature. We obviously need tools around rent stabilization here in Boston and other municipalities all across our commonwealth. So I wholeheartedly support the advocates’ efforts and legislation for local options, and I believe that we need to have the tools here in Boston to stabilize our rents, stabilize housing costs, and look forward to continuing to work with residents of Boston with advocacy groups who are on the ground fighting the good fight.

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And part of that is how we stabilize rents. Part of that is how we stabilize communities more broadly through other tools like homeownership. But (in) all of that, we need to have residents of Boston as part of the conversation, leading those efforts. I also believe that, you know, we have to be careful of a one-size-fits-all approach that we just say, ‘Here in the City of Boston, it will look like this,’ because, if we do that, we are just reinforcing the inequities that already exist in our housing world. So we have to be careful to look at what are the needs in different neighborhoods, and where is affordable housing lacking throughout the city? … There are neighborhoods like Roxbury, Chinatown that have very high numbers of deed-restricted housing there. And then we have other neighborhoods that have very little.

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And so we need to make sure that we are creating mixed income development opportunities and communities throughout Boston and not to reinforce the inequities that currently exist. We don’t want to build on a foundation that we know is already problematic and so we have to be, I think, mindful of that in all of this work as well.

One of those phrases you keep mentioning is homeownership. What do you think is the median sales price of a condo in Dorchester?

It’s ridiculous all across Boston. You know, I have been in condos, so I want to be clear: condos, you know, you’re going to have a much smaller footprint in terms of square footage, probably less likely to have, you know, green space and if you do it’s shared. I’ve seen $800,000, $900,000 condos all across Boston and neighborhoods that I mean, whether it is a triple decker, whether it is a new construction building that has been condo-ized, it’s scary.

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So, I believe strongly, which is why I have, you know, tripled the investment in terms of downpayment assistance, investing $2.4 million in the city’s program to offer homeownership opportunities more broadly, taking that downpayment from $10,000 to $40,000. In addition to what the city is able to do, we’ve got to do more in terms of convening private partners around creative underwriting for families, so that there is more opportunity to build some equity. You know the great thing about the city’s program is the affordability piece for people to get their foot in the door, but also that the next person coming in can come in at an affordable price, which is great, and you can build some equity but not a lot. We need to look to see if there’s a way to tweak it, so that the family in there now can, if … they’re there for a long time, can generate a little bit more equity but that we can still make it affordable for the next buyer.

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But there’s also an opportunity to convene some of the private lenders to see what they can do to help on this front with homeownership, as well as partnering with the nonprofit leaders in this space like (Mass Affordable Housing).

This is a huge issue because as long as people are renting, and a landlord decides maybe you’re renting in a triple decker, for example, and that landlord is either going to sell or wants to condo-ize or wants to just raise the rents. It leaves our families vulnerable. So yeah, the prices are very high.

You want to take a guess at what it might be right now?

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Oh, I’d say $800,000/$900,000.

According to the Warren Group, the median sales price for a condo in Dorchester was $587,500 in June.

Speed Round

On a normal week, how often do you take the T?

I have been taking the T at least once every single month since I’ve been mayor. And since the weather has gotten warmer, it’s been more frequent.

Just last week I was on the T twice. I’ll be on the T again next week. So July, it’s probably been on average every week in July … and I’m kind of weird like that. I like the T, like I enjoy the T. I don’t know, I like it. And when I travel to other cities … one of the things I want to experience is their public transit system.

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What’s your typical Dunkin’ order?

I know that Dunkin’ Donuts is headquartered here and a big favorite here, but I try to stay away from donuts and I’m not the biggest coffee drinker, so …

But if I did, those chocolate Munchkin things and the glazed Munchkins. Those are little, and that’s why I tried to stay away from them. You feel like, ‘Oh it’s just so tiny,’ but then next thing you know you’ve eaten seven of them.

Favorite Boston movie?

Wow, that’s a really good one. And that’s a tough one. Yeah, that’s, that’s tough. There’s some good ones.

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Or top three?

Well, I have to put ‘Good Will Hunting’ up in there, even though a lot of it’s in Cambridge. I’d have to put that up there because I do love that movie. I’m going to name a couple, I’d say ‘The Departed,’ I’d say, ‘Mystic River,’ I’d say ‘Good Will Hunting,’ I would say, ‘Blue Hill Ave,’ and I would say ‘Squeeze’ — and ‘Squeeze’ I’m going to say is my favorite. It’s an indie movie … and the filmmaker is my cousin.

What was really I think powerful about that movie (is it) came out during an era of a lot of those kind of urban stories of, you know, like ‘Boyz n the Hood,’ ‘Menace II Society,’ but it really explored the trauma and mental health aspects of what happens when you experience trauma in your neighborhoods through community violence in ways that other movies weren’t really tackling at that time. So it is a really powerful movie. If you’ve never heard of it, please check it out.

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Favorite Boston band or musician?

I’m going to go with New Edition and BBD (Bell Biv DeVoe) … But there’s so many, so that’s why it’s hard because there’s so many.

But I’m a Roxbury girl, so I gotta go with my people.

Would you rather see a game at Fenway or TD Garden?

Oh, those are tough ones. That’s going to be a tie. I mean, I grew up loving basketball. You know, when I was a little girl, my grandfather was an avid baseball fan, but it wasn’t until I became an adult and actually went to my first Red Sox game that I really could appreciate baseball. It seemed too slow on TV. But when you’re there in person, oh my God, it is a lot of fun. And then I hope you guys saw my pitch, so that’s going to be a tie.

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What are your thoughts on Boston City Hall as a building?

The brutalist architecture I guess isn’t my fav. It is cold and seems hard, that concrete everywhere.

What is exciting I think about City Hall, though, is the energy inside the building and how we bring it to life, and what we have tried to do around activating space and art. We’ve got a pop-up happening with the eighth floor that used to be a little cafeteria, kind of diner spot. ZAZ, which is a wonderful restaurant in Hyde Park, is there now. Every two weeks we’re having new restaurants.

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So the design and architecture of the building is a bit much but we’ve tried to fill it up with art and opportunity, and the work that is happening is exciting for me.

Public Safety

There was a recent Boston Globe poll that showed that about half of residents have a generally positive view of the city’s police force. Would you count yourself among that group?

I think it’s mixed. As everyone on this call I’m sure realizes, we have a lot of work to do in Boston — like many cities across the country … I’ve outlined much of that in terms of reimagining policing, making sure we’ve got a pilot (program) coming out around (our) response to crisis, particularly as it relates to mental health. We need to do work on diversity, but we also have great officers who are doing amazing work. I know many and have gotten to know many more as mayor of Boston, who are doing [that] work.

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And so I am very proud that we have [serious] crime down, it continues to be down. In terms of homicides, that is down as compared to last year and the year before. We are recovering more and more firearms. I’m sure you’ve seen how we are engaging and de-escalating and prioritizing that in the work.

So there is good work underway, more work that needs to be done, and certainly good officers on the force. But we are going to continue to move our police department forward.

You obviously have supported and acted on several reforms to the police department, including the reallocation of overtime funding to other city initiatives. What about the subject of policing reform makes you stand out or differ from other candidates in this race?

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I’m sure there are a lot of things that, well not all of us, so many of us who have called for reforms, I’m sure agree on many of the topics.

I have been able to put my values into action on that front, whether that be the creation of the Office of Police Accountability; whether that be investing in racial equity training; whether that be building up the cadet program that leads to more diversity on the police force; whether that be re-imagining how we respond to crisis through the mental health pilot (program) — on all of these things I am doing that work right now, as well as (the) transparency piece, you know: dealing with the police commissioner and the releasing of (the Patrick Rose) internal affairs files. I’ve done more in four months as mayor than any of my predecessors have done in a full four years. And I will continue to do that work, should I receive another four years to lead the city.

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Councilors you have served with, some of whom are now running against you in this race, have criticized your administration as inaccessible, particularly during the budget process. What’s your response to that?

I think I have a good working relationship with councilors on the Boston City Council, as demonstrated by the 10-2 vote (in favor of the budget). As I said, many of us … have worked together on these issues and share these values.

If you’re wondering about relationships and people on the council who are running, I just think it is important to stay focused on the work. And too often, things get political because people are running for office. I’ve tried to stay focused on the work and I think that has been successful.

Transportation

You’ve said that you’re working with the MBTA on a pilot program to eliminate fares on the 28 Bus from Mattapan to Roxbury. When do you expect that pilot to begin? And if you win a full term, how do you build on that work?

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So that is beginning soon. This is something that I have been advocating for for some years now and I’m really excited that I am able to implement that. We’ve been working with the MBTA on this. And so we will be making an announcement next week. …

On July 26, two days after this interview, Janey announced a three-month pilot program would begin on Aug. 29. Riders of the 28 bus will not be responsible for paying fares during that time.

This is an important bus route. It is the busiest in the entire commonwealth. It is a major economic corridor here in Boston, and it is where some of the poorest people in our city live. So I’m really excited to do that. …

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We’re going to measure what it was before and how the pilot may have changed in terms of ridership, in terms of the frequency and reliability of the buses. And I am hopeful that this will lead to more partnership with the MBTA and more opportunities for fare-free buses. Obviously, the MBTA has other challenges in terms of a structural deficit. But I’m hopeful that this will help move us in the right direction.

If this is successful are there other lines where you could see this working?

I mean, the challenge is the funding of it, you know? And so I would love to — I’d love like several lines, quite frankly, to be fare free. I think it will definitely increase ridership and reliability of the T.

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And I think this is a critical time to be doing this because we already know that, for some lines, our ridership has been down with COVID. This is a way to encourage more ridership, and we can’t have the reaction be ‘Oh ridership is down, let’s cut more bus lines.’ So, yes.

Reader Questions

This question is from a reader named Richard Schultz who is concerned with environmental issues and their question is: ‘In a recent poll of likely voters, climate change and sea level rise did not rank as a major issue. What will you do to raise public awareness on this issue?’

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I think it is a pretty big issue in our city. We are a coastal city. It is why I appointed Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, who has worked in this space, has been a champion in this space, and who has deep roots in our community working with not just a number of climate justice activists and advocates, but in the community at large. And I think she will be helpful to move our city forward as well as raise awareness.

And in all issues facing Boston residents, we know that they disproportionately impact poor people of color, BIPOC communities, and this is no exception. And so I’m really grateful to have her on the team, and know that she will be helpful in raising awareness on this issue.

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Our last community question is from Brian, he lives in East Boston: ‘Food injustice is driving an obesity and mental health crisis in our Black and brown communities. Junk food is cheap and easy to access while nutrient dense, quality food is hard to find in our neighborhoods. Would you consider a soda or junk food tax to help invest in neighborhood farms and outdoor playgrounds?’

That’s a great question. I would say this: The reader is absolutely right in his analysis. And I, as someone who’s experienced food insecurity, know what it’s like to depend on corner stores and sub shops, literally, for like my primary meals as part of my childhood. Absolutely right.

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I also live near a supermarket. It’s now … Price Rite but it used to be Save A Lot, and in Save A Lot, there was no juice. They had literally no real juice in the store, the supermarket. It was ‘drink,’ which is water, sugar, and food coloring. Not one option was real. So it’s a real issue.

I have invested more money into our food access department here in the City of Boston. I’m a big proponent of community gardens. I, you know, consider myself — well, I used to be an urban farmer. I haven’t had much time for that, but I want us to do much more investment in community gardens, not just ones that exist, but using some of our public land to create more community gardens and involve kids as well all the way up to our seniors in that work.

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Our last question is sort of open ended: If you could snap your fingers and change one thing tomorrow, what would it be?

That’s, you know, a good one. And it’s super aspirational, and it’ll sound like a Coca-Cola commercial from when I was a kid — you guys are probably too young to remember Coca-Cola commercials from the ’70s — but I wish that there wasn’t racism. I wish that there wasn’t sexism. I wish that all of these isms that have plagued society since forever didn’t exist.

You know I do know, however, that justice work is ongoing and ever-evolving; that there is not like this day that you finally arrive, that you always have to continue to press on and persevere. And I’m just grateful that I get to do it as mayor of Boston, in a city that I think is ripe for this kind of work — you know, the work that creates a stronger Boston and a Boston that will be better for all of its residents with a focus on equity.

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And so, if I could snap my finger, I wish all of those things didn’t exist: poverty and sickness and…

But we have to do the work, I say all the time … and I’ll leave you guys with this: As the first Black mayor, as the first woman mayor for the City of Boston, I bring my Black girl magic with me every single day to City Hall. I don’t leave it at the front door. I bring my Black girl magic. But I know it’s not going to be magic that will lead us forward, we have to do the work. And I’m just blessed that I get to do that as mayor of Boston.

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Editor’s note: Candidates for mayor of Boston will compete in a preliminary election Tuesday, Sept. 14, with the top two finishers facing off in the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

To keep track of the news of the race as it happens, follow along with Boston.com’s election live blog and make sure to visit our candidate information page regularly for candidate Q&As, along with additional coverage of the race as the preliminary election approaches.

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