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Patrick: Boston has changed since the 1970s

Governor Deval Patrick thanked the National Urban League for returning to Boston for the first time in 35 years at today’s State of Black Boston Town Hall, which is a pre-conference event for the civil rights organization’s annual convention. The city, Patrick said, is a very different place than it was in 1976 when he was a junior in college.

[fragment number=0]The governor told the crowd of nearly 1,100 people that when he first arrived in Massachusetts from the South Side of Chicago in 1970 as a student at Milton Academy, it was like stepping into another world.

“The campus was a relatively safe and comfortable place to be, but you never knew what you were going to get when you stepped off campus,’’ he said. “Today Boston is smarter, more diverse, younger, more dynamic, prettier in many respects. There are places where my niece and her pals hang out that were off limits in 1976. We even have a black governor, the first in Massachusetts and the first in America ever reelected.’’

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But, he continued, those who are now in positions of power have a “generational responsibility’’ to continue trying to improve the future for those who come behind them.

“It can’t be about our own moment, our own accomplishment,’’ Patrick said before launching into what he considers to be Massachusetts’ litany of accomplishments. “That’s why today, Massachusetts is No. 1 in the nation in student achievement and the No. 10 in the world in math and science.  And why, for the first time in 20 years, young people and families are moving into the Commonwealth faster than they are moving o0ut. None of those things are happening by accident.’’

His administration’s strategy is to focus on education, innovation, and governmental infrastructure to continue moving the state forward.

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