A lot of people see Boston as a city that is divided by neighborhood, economics, race and ethnicity. Sometimes our daily experiences reveal even more divisions: new Boston and old Boston, people with dogs, people with bicycles, pedestrians, pedestrians with strollers, people with cars, and other divisions large and small.
I set out to look for a candidate who can envision a Boston that is connected. And so I decided early on to support John Barros from the field of twelve candidates.
What I appreciate most about John Barros’s message and his work with the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative is his understanding of the practical ways that a connected city is stronger. Investments in the urban environment, parks and open space can have positive spin-off effects on education and economic development. Affordable and diverse neighborhoods strengthen the labor force. Investments in playgrounds, dog parks, bicycle paths and other infrastructure promote public safety.
Most importantly, I like his vision for youth in Boston, with his message to all youth that the “whole city is yours.” John says that young people from all neighborhoods should grow up enjoying the public libraries, museums, parks, harbor islands and other great resources of the city. They should all know about Boston’s colleges and universities, medical centers, high tech innovation centers and other economic opportunities and should know that all these opportunities belong to them. And I love John’s message that all kinds of organizations in the city from neighborhood nonprofits to major businesses to small corner stores can play a role in nurturing local youth.
Like a lot of voters, when I choose a favorite candidate, I have many factors to consider. I am a parent, neighborhood resident, church member, park volunteer, bicyclist and MBTA customer, and a computer database consultant working youth programs. Through these connections I am involved with and care about education, the environment, parks and open space, transportation, economic development, affordable housing, homelessness and public safety. When poll takers ask me what one issue is most important to me, I have a hard time picking just one. And so I like Barros’s vision of a connected Boston, in which progress on each of these issues reinforces progress on other issues, and where removing barriers among neighbors and constituencies helps us to move forward.
September 22, 2013